Replace my Marantz AV7702mkII?

Greetings Audiogoners,

I am looking to upgrade my HT Pre/Pro. I have been around in circles about which direction to go, dedicated 2 channel or not. However, since I live in a condo I don’t have the luxury of multiple dedicated listening rooms, I need to compromise.

Almost all of my listening is digital, I do not need an included DAC, I have an external one. I use an Apple TV 4K, so having 4K video output is important. My listening source is a Lumin U1 to Denafrips Terminator, through a Marantz AV7702mkII, amp is a McIntosh MC205, speakers are Sonus Faber Amati.

I would like some input on which pre/pro has better 2 channel audio. What I am considering is a new Anthem AVM 70, a new Lexicon MC-10, or a used Krell Foundation 4K. Do any of these meet my requirements? Should I look at something else? Will they be an improvement in 2 channel audio over my existing Marantz?

Thank you for your opinions.

Ag insider logo xs@2xordinaryjoe
For example, does the 2 chan pre need to be on when watching a movie? I think so, but that means a tube pre is kinda out of the question, since it would burn through the tubes much quicker.
Your amp(s) will connect to the preamp.  The signal is routed from the preamp to your HT processor where the amp input, bypassing the preamp.  Some preamps need to be powered on, others don't. 

I use a tube preamp this way.  I listen to music much more than I listen to movies.  I don't worry much about tube life.  If I wasn't watching a movie, I'd probably be listening to music.  I don't generally use the front two speakers when listening to TV, I leave the preamp off and listen through the center channel from the HT processor.

does the 2 chan pre need to be on when watching a movie? I think so, but that means a tube pre is kinda out of the question
Well, yeah, but you don’t have a tube option at all using only a prepro, right? The point is, even a good solid state stereo preamp will likely provide better performance — and give you a ton more potential options — than using the prepro for stereo and would also allow you to just keep using your Marantz for HT duties.

If you want to use a tubed stereo pre there are a few that don’t require to be powered on for HT (maybe VAC, Backert, Rogue?) but not many. Another way to look at it is that if you find a tube pre you really like the tubes in many tube pres can last thousands of hours and aren’t necessarily too expensive to replace so may still be a worthwhile option for the benefit enjoying some tube magic.

For hookup you only only need to run the front L/R pre outs from the Marantz into the stereo pre and connect the stereo preamp to the amp powering your front L/R speakers and you’re pretty much done other than plugging your 2-channel source into the stereo preamp. Only requires an extra pair of interconnects. Hope this helps, and best of luck.

@soix Thank you for the information, it has been very helpful.