I am looking to purchase a preamp processor in the next couple of months. What experiences do people have with these. Whats good? I was looking at the Marantz AV8801. Any views???
In my opinion, the best two currently available are the Audiolab 8200AP and the Marantz AV8801. Both of these are good enough for music as well, which is where some fall down.
There may/will be another processor announced at the end of this month I believe, but I won't say anything until I've checked with the rep tomorrow as to whether I'm allowed to say anything...
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
thanks David , I will check out the audiolab and stay poised waiting for an update regarding the possible new model. We can always try hangman to see if I can work it out .... How many letters???
I'm being slow but what does this mean ?
Audiolab points out that as all Blu-ray players are required to decode these formats as standard, it's a cost effective measure not to add this functionality to the 8200AP.
The WHF review confirms the audiolab will process the latest sound codecs but confuses me with the above statement?
It is a little confusing.
The Audiolab doesn't have decoding for TrueHD and DTS-MA (lossless). The digital output of the Bluray player is set to PCM rather than Bistream - this then converts these two formats to PCM (uncompressed), which the Audiolab decodes.
This means that Audiolab doesn't have to pay the licenses for TrueHD and DTS-MA, which also means that you don't - you still get the same signal at the end of the chain, just in a different format.
David, I understand you've heard both the Audiolab and Marantz pretty extensively - what can you say about the pure sonic characteristic differences between them? (with and without Audyssey)
Current A/V equipment:
NUFORCE AVP-18 (processor/DAC) | NUFORCE MCH-300SEC7 (multichannel amplifier) | MONITOR AUDIO APEX (5.2 speaker system) | SAMSUNG LE-52B755 (tv) | DENON DBT-3313UD (disc transport) | NAIM UNITISERVE (music server) | SUPRA (cabling) | LOGITECH HARMONY 900 (universal remote) | NORDOST PULSAR POINTS (isolation feet)
The Audiolab is definitely the smoother of the two. Not that the Marantz is bright, but it certainly possesses more sparkle and energy than the Audiolab. I do like the Audiolab as it is so simple, and I also like the fact that there are no "auto" features that can kick in and spoil things without you knowing, which I have experienced on other processors. The Marantz has quite a few more things to play with though, so is more flexible. The Audiolab is so simple that there's really nothing you can get wrong!
I wouldn't say that there seems to be much difference between the 8801 with or without XT32, but I've heard big differences on other products that do use it. I can only put this down to the Ken Kreisel speaker package which doesn't really need any EQ'ing for the speakers themselves. Even without EQ, the Marantz sounds great, for music and movies - nice and open, detailed, energetic, but not harsh or tiring.
I'd write more, but its film time!
Let us know, when you can, what the new prepro is that is hopefully due to be announced imminently. Enjoy the film.
completely off topic, I know, but yamaha are potentially announcing a replacement for the DSP Z11 soon. Are you aware??
Is it off topic?
>) I'm still going with the principle that a pre pro offers a better end solution than a combined AVR. But it's always interesting to see how things develop whilst I prepare for the big spend!!
End of May, all can be revealed
Cyrus AV5 on the blink. Why are processors so rare and expensive? What would be a decent Home cinema amp that i could use and upgrade with my three Cyrus power amps
Probably because they are a small part of the AV market, as most people will go for an integrated receiver.
I think that might be the subject of another thread
when we spoke last I hadn`t had any experience of the Marantz, I remember you asking me at the time if I had
well now I have and one word describes it.......... fantastic
we audyssey pro-installed this one at a customers house who had sold his ADA processor, and his words were that the Marantx was better, his room had never sounded so good
its receiving great comments from everyone whose demo`ed or owns one so its certainly I feel one of the processors that should be going on peoples list to audition
one will certainly be going on my rack
Audiolab 8200AP! Check out the home cinema choice review.
Or the end of may?
Thanks for sharing your experience. I am due to plan a road trip soon to start hearing some of these options in the flesh!!!
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