your Thoughts on AV8801?

Hi all,

I am very excited as my wife said i could finally update my old Pre/Pro my Yamaha Rx-z7 Receiver i was using as a pre/pro with my parasound A52 and 2125 amps along with my Def Tech 7002, CLR 2500 and Infinity rears and rear center along with Def TEch Trinity Sub..Sounded great..and i liked some of the DSP modes but not all of them.. But i always felt i could increase the sound quality with a true peamp processor and get better sound on music especially while still getting the same or better sound with movies.. i have read alot of reviews on both the marantz av8801 and the new Yamha CX-a5000 pre/pro.. and i had always owned Yamaha in the past including some of their older flagship receievrs..(the Marantz is actually made in Japan, impressive for newer stuff nowadays! its a rarity) I strongly considered the cx-a5000 against the 8801.. i decided to buy the 8801 and i got a smokin deal on it brand new from auth dealer with full warranty for 2399.00... it will be here by UPS on i figured i would try something different.... i have no need for atmos at this time so those were the only two i was considering.. The marantz actually reminded me more of the old Yamaha flagship recivers i have bought in the past in regards to its build qulaity etc HDAM's.. it looks like the newer Yammie's are stripped down.. even the new pre-amp looks like it is somewhat stripped down inside the chassis... anyway.. looking forward to other Marantz 8801 owners on how much they like their Marantz 8801... I am sure the new Yammie cx-a5000 is great as well...hopefully i won't miss the DSP's very much as i feel the Marantz's more musical sound will obviate the need for it ... what a fun hobby we have comparing all of this stuff....
As you may know, Dolby Atmos along with HDMI2.0 18Gbps full bandwidth and HDCP 2.2 encryption are current buzzwords.

I have the 8801 and it is a good system but if I had to buy something now, I'd either go for the new 7702 - which appears to match the 8801 in most of the feature support PLUS handles HDMI 2.0 and Atmos. HDCP2.2 is not supported.

The 8802 is being released in Dec and there is an upgrade path (~700 bucks? IIRC) to get it to HDCP 2.2 compliance.
" i have no need for atmos at this time so those were the only two i was considering.."

Same here and both are quite good. I have used both and kept the Marantz for two reasons: 1. I have no use for all the Yamaha's DSP modes and 2. Marantz' Audyssey XT32 was more effective and reliable than Yamaha's YPAO.

I could live with either.
I was in your shoes as well. Lucky for me, I was able to do a side by side comparison for about a week with the cxa5000 and 8801. I felt the 8801 was more dynamic for movies and cxa5000 better in 2 channel. Two factors made me decide on the cxa5000 over the 8801, the yam ran a lot cooler and you can do HDMI switching without having the unit on. But, both are very good units, can't go wrong with either.
Interesting thoughts.. i do see the 8802 being released.. i will probably upgrade again in another 5 years or so.. i have had my Z7 since 2010... i am sure by then Atmos/Auro 3d will be a mature format and 4k blu will be closer to a reality.. maybe the 8804? LOL.. this is a crazy fun hobby but just too costly to upgrade every 2 years.... besides these things are so good as it is... how many more channels do we need , 20? lol... anyways.. glad to haer your thoughts.. i even got a tripod so i can measure the audeysee stuff.. on my Yamaha i never could get YPAO to work correctly so set it to manual and the Flat setting....

I understand there is an Audessey Flat setting as well that you can use along with the XT32 , which is supposed to be very precise .. this should be fun hooking everything up.. I have never owned an actual Pre/Pro with no amps in them.. this thing should theoretically be able to drive my Parasound's to full power.. not that i would do that, my neighbor's wouldn't be happy but i am sure i will still get more out of them than what i have now....
Does anyone have any good recommendation the best way to hook up my Oppo 105 to the Marantz? I was going to keep using the dedicated stereo unbalanced out to the CD input stereo analog on the 8801.. but in some of the other forums, some are saying to get a more "pure" sound and to really take advantage of the 105 i would need to hook the dedicated stereo out to the 7.1 FL/FR input on the Marantz? ANyone ever heard of this? I would imagin i would still hear an upgrade form my Yam Z7 CD input going into the Marantz 8801 CD input , regardless and still be using the Oppo's DACS.... What do you guys think?
Personally, id get some used anthem n forget about it, likely! i see ZERO need to spend high dollars for any pre/pro these days, when you can get many hd Dolby /DTS Master equipped pre or receivers as pres for pennies, used! And most all of em can't compete with bypassing the processor fer 2 channel purity, direct to a dedicated 2 ch pre for music, anyway! But that's just me.-plus these things drop in value faster than grass grows!! So id consider...cause you will not see a big av sound difference in brand new pres vs 5 year old used units, i say
unless you need 4k pass-through, theres simply a hundred options for high performance movie sound and video switching on the cheap! but dont let me rain on ur parade. i just dont see it, personally
I think i am going to enjoy my AV8801 for a long time.. considering i paid 2229.00 it, i think i did well .... Can't imagine doing better until i get a 8802 4 or 5 years down the road when i have more speakers etc for Atmos and the price on that one has come down from 3999.00!!! LOL!! These Marantz pre/pro's are built like tanks i must say!
you know what you should do? should AB movies from your Yammie into some amps, vs new $2229 used car investment, and see if anyone on your block would actually hear a difference to justify your purchase!?! My guess is..yyyeeaaah. FUN THOUGH!
OUCH! $2200 for mid-fi!!! WEeeeeeeeeeee!...
FYI , hooked this thing up tonight.. it is definitely NOT mid-fi. Blew my old Yam out of the water.... well worth the 2299.00 brand new ..... i must say.. i did'nt know what i was missing.. this thing drives my Parasound amps like no tommorow...:)
OH! I stand corrected!!
FOUND IT!!!!...Apparently, a recently introduced Marantz AV surroundy sound processor (manufactured in which country again??) = HI-FIDELITY AUDIO EQUIPMENT!! WHAT IN SAN HAINES WAS I THINKING?!!!
...sooooo, um, ok, if you run it in two channel mode, it clearly competes with the likes of Ayre, CAT, Pass Labs, MBL, Audio Research Ref and so forth?! Well scoop me sidesaddle, there Magic Michael! Cause apparently this mythical AV beast is what audiophiles all these years have been missing, as the solution to high fidelity signal preamplification and refinement!! YYYEEESSSS!!!
Well I guess I have a lot to learn here then, cause I've missed it, it seems.
That's it!..Im selling off my expensive exotica and getting a Chinese Digital surround maker! DOH!
Ok ok..that's probably a bit cynical on my part. I condeed.
However, apparently, in a pinch, I can substitute the Marantz for my Pass Labs pre, no problem. Who knew!?!!
So, thanks for that...
Audiomike1, You do want to use the front LR outputs from an Oppo 105 whether for stereo or surround. You might want to by-pass the processing of the AV8801 for stereo, because the Oppo may have a superior analog section, but I don't know that. I suggest you visit the Oppo 105 owners' thread at AVS. An alternate connection from the Oppo to the Marantz would seem to be HDMI. I don't agree with much of what Avgoround writes, but I do agree that spending a lot of money on a processor seems misplaced.

Ok ok..that's probably a bit cynical on my part. I condeed.
However, apparently, in a pinch, I can substitute the Marantz for my Pass Labs pre, no problem. Who knew!?!!
So, thanks for that...

Yes he shows you spent too much money on your Pass labs. Guess what I can drive to work in a Kia at get there as fast as a Porsche in morning traffic...

That is not the issue. The OP saw a big improvement from the Yammy to the Marantz and that is good or him. It is clearly not a world class 2 channel system, and I believe he will agree to that.
I wonder how many people on here jumped at spending $$$ on a Mcintosh that uses the same technology as the marantz because it is "high-end" and the Marantz isn't. I would suggest trialing more products and less time being so sure you are right about everything.
Some of you should here the 8801 do multi/ch sacd with Audyssey over hdmi simply beautiful comes to mind! And as a preamp from my Oppo 105 its still the cats meow for 2/ch. And yes I've hooked up my 105 direct to my Halo A21 for some killer 2/ch but guess what? the 8801 remains very, very transparent to those sabre dac's. Its been 2yrs and the music collection is growing!
Agree 100% with Jdub39!!! I can't stop listening to the great BD's , SACD's , CD's and etc.. My music collection is getting bigger........ :) The 8801 does truly outperform above its price IMO.......!!! Especially with my 105D and my Technics SL1200!!!!!
lol..who knew that the entire 25000 thread amp/preamp discussion forum section, consising of dialogue on world class pre's and such were missing a key element, in the Marantz 8801!
That does it..Imma start a new thread over there. I I am, yes really
I have a 8801. Have had it since it first came out, approx 4 years. First the dc trigger went out. Now I get no picture and it keeps switching inputs when playing music! I have babied this avr since I bought it! Tried resetting the micro processor a few times, but didn't fix it! Now I think a decent preamp, 2 channel, is going to be my next purchase, probably from Audiogon. I do have my eye on the new Emotiva preamp and the spec's are very impressive. Price is $1199 I think. Anyway, good luck with your Marantz AVR'S!!!!
I feel that unless you have a dedicated and expensive TV room, you just don't need 5-7 channels! I definitely like having a center speaker, so I bought a small, inexpensive Yamaha 5 channel receiver with hdmi inputs and outputs. For my setup, that's all I need!!!! For my music, I'll go with a 2.1 or 2.2 preamp!!
My solution for mixing HT and music is a Bryston SP3 processor that passes front LR to a Parasound JC 2 BP preamp.  JC 1 monoblocks are the LCR amps, driving a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s and 204/2C.  Sound is superb for music and HT.  Not $1199, though.