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#412907 - 06/19/15 11:37 AM Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice?
DrStrangeQuark Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 87
Loc: Texas

Hi All --

My long awaited Axioms are shipping soon, and it's time to order a receiver.

The speaker arrangement will be 9.2, with m80 & vp180 for the LCR, 4 X qs8's for surround and rear surround, and a pair of m2's for front height. A pair of ep500's will handle the low bass. The walls of the theater slope up at 45 degree angles into the ceiling (over garage bonus room). The dimensions are 20' long, by 16' wide at the base (tapering to 8' wide at the ceiling) and 8'-9' in height (stadium tiers). The surrounds and front heights will all be ceiling suspended (with a ~ 1' drop down) from the 8'wide central flat portion of the ceiling.

I've come to the conclusion the best fit will be an older refurb model that is higher end rather than a newer model that is lower end. I can do without the vector surround formats (Atmos and DTS:X) and HDCP 2.2 for this cycle, although those features do seem to be appearing in even the entry models for next year. It feels like it might still take a couple of years for the new approach to object based surround information to really stabilize, and I have no hi-res video plans in the near term (4K projector pricing will be prohibitive for a while still). The 9.2 upmixers like Neo:X and PLIIZ seem sufficient for this cycle, and are all that will work with most existing soundtracks anyway.

The two contenders are the Denon AVR-4520ci and the Marantz SR7008. These are sister companies, as most know. The feature set is quite similar. Both will power 9 channels and have dual sub outs. Both have Audyssey XT32 + the subwoofer module (the merits of which are debated in another thread, but there is no doubt that many experienced theater builders find the benefits to be quite substantial). The Denon has 32 bit D/A converters (probably inaudible over the Marantz 24 bit), and the Marantz claims to have some upgrades to analog circuitry (who knows). The Denon is officially rated to power 4 Ohm speakers, and is supposed to have a larger power supply, while the Marantz is not officially cleared below 6 Ohms. JDSmoothie at AVS says that both will power 4 Ohm speakers, but that the Denon will be less likely to protest at reference levels. (The receiver is at the back of the room, with cabling run up the walls, across in the ceiling, and back down the walls for a total run of ~ 40', using 12 gauge in-wall wire from Monoprice -- this seems to be more or less compatible with professional recommendations for max lengths.) I like the look of the Marantz a bit better, although the Denon is also attractive and sleek. Ideally, when budgets allow, perhaps on the next upgrade cycle, I would like to do a Marantz pre/pro with outboard amps for the LCR (balanced cables to all speaker locations are already run, along with speaker cable, and also power for local monoblocks, e.g. the Outlaw 2200 modules). At that point the current receiver will be downgraded to a function as a 6 channel amplifier, and both have external analog inputs to facilitate this use case.

If I were going on features, it seems to be a wash. On looks, and future matching with a Marantz pre/pro, the SR7008 is the winner. If there is a concern about driving the 4Ohm LCR's for now, the Denon seems to be favored. If I were not at all worried about the amplifier section, I would go Marantz. Both receivers were top of the line models for the respective companies at the time that they were released. The Denon originally sold for $2500, and the Marantz $2000. Both can now be found as refurbs with a 1 year warranty at Accessories4Less.com for $750.

Ordering this evening, or as soon as I can make a final decision. I don't think that there is a bad decision, but I'm flip flopping. Any thoughts to tip this teeter totter over one way or the other??

Thanks! DSQ
Denon or Marantz
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 06/19/15 11:37 AM
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.

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#412909 - 06/19/15 12:55 PM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
I have a mid sized Denon AVR from about 3 years ago for my 5.2 system. It has worked flawlessly for my medium size HT.

With your 9.x system you need all of the power that you can get, it seems that the Denon has a bit more horsepower to be able to drive all those speakers & especially the 4 Ohm LCRs...

TAM

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#412918 - 06/19/15 06:47 PM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
MatManhasgone Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 1030
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
I can tell you that a Pioneer even though it is supposed to do 4ohm runs out of steam very quickly.

I have the Marantz AV7005 pre/pro and it only does 7.2, but I find that plenty for me.

I'd go for the Denon


Edited by oakvillematt (06/19/15 06:58 PM)
_________________________
Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A

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#412921 - 06/19/15 07:51 PM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
DrStrangeQuark Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 87
Loc: Texas
Thanks Both -- Keep the thoughts coming if you have them ...

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#412923 - 06/19/15 08:17 PM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
Hansang Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 602
Loc: New York
I have the Denon 4520 2X M80, 1X VP180, 2X QS8, 1X VP150, and 1X EP500. I repurposed the VP150 to act as my rear channel.

I've got zero complaints. No issues with HDCP, switching between Oppo, Toshiba HDX2, Scientific Atlanta DVR and FiOS DVRs. Oh, and Xbox One, PS3, Nintendo Wii U. All work flawlessly.

Enjoy!

hansang
_________________________
--
Denon 4520, EPIC80/500/VP180 Speakers

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#412927 - 06/20/15 12:50 AM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
DSQ, you may have ordered already, and either choice should easily drive your Axioms with no problem to beyond safe(to your hearing)listening levels. It can be noted, however, that the 4520 certainly doesn't have an "official" 4 ohm rating. That can only be had in conformity with the FTC amplifier regulation procedures, which among other factors would require it to be driven at full rated power into a 4 ohm load for at least five continuous minutes(an unrealistically severe burden outside the test lab). It carries 8 and 6 ohm ratings.

The difference in the maximum power ratings(150 vs 125 watts)is trivial and amounts to only a 0.79dB difference in maximum sound level.

You're wise to consider an A4L refurb and either one would have all the key features, including the in my view essential Audyssey XT32. If as you say you'd go with the Marantz if you had no amplifier worries, then do so, because there're no solid grounds for any such concern. Enjoy.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#412929 - 06/20/15 02:57 AM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
DrStrangeQuark Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 87
Loc: Texas
Hi Hansang & JohnK --

Thanks both very much for the input. Holding off still until my mind is settled. Its worth another day, and I appreciate the input!

The Marantz was pulling away in the voting, but the Denon (who was winning the comments) is making a horse race of it in the polls as well. One of the votes for the Marantz doesn't count though -- I had to vote to see the results! I guess I should just go with my own vote, but I need a more reliable source! laugh

JohnK -- I'm particularly pleased to read your suggestion that either receiver would drive the speaker package readily. Also, very glad to hear a "second" on the A4L refurb route. I'm realizing that if I put the order onto a Visa Signature card then the warranty will be extended to a second year, which is reassuring (apparently not all cards will extend a refurb unit warranty, and there are other very interesting and subtle differences in coverage between providers). I'm starting to lean this way (toward the Marantz), just for the looks and branding more than anything else (which is really quite silly, but they seem close in other regards, so there you have it).

Thanks also very much for the nice clarifications on the 4 Ohm and max power ratings. I should revise, perhaps, to instead say that the Denon manual states that it is "compatible" with 4-16 Ohm loads, whereas the Marantz states similar for 6 Ohms and up only. I'm with you on the comment that 125 to 150 is not substantive logarithmically, and I appreciate the emphasis. The thing that's getting me a bit hung up is this this post at AVS from one of the resident experts (to be clear, I say that seriously, not sarcastically) who says:

Quote:
The 4520CI has a much more robust power supply and is designed to power 4-ohm speakers to reference level volume whereas the 7008 is not.


Looking at the actual power draw, there is again not much difference (710 vs 780), which would give what, maybe 60-70 real Watts per channel at the most all driven, leaving some overhead for the processors? Again, not much practical difference in those stats, but I suspect that there are some realities of the design distinctions that just don't always translate into the commonly provided standard specs that guys like JD are nonetheless privy to.

By the way, that quote was from an older thread, but he was generous with personal advice when solicited as well (I don't anticipate that there would be any objection to sharing the comment) and said:

Quote:
Either model would serve you well. If you plan on driving 4-ohm speakers to loud volume levels ... go with the 4520CI. If not, as you seem to prefer the look of the Marantz, go with the Marantz. Simply a personal preference decision here.


Straightforward, insightful, and appreciated, as are the comments of the members here. I'll stop agonizing and pull the trigger on one or the other shortly (I hope).

Cheers - DSQ

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#412931 - 06/20/15 04:48 AM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Note that the 710,780 numbers aren't "actual power draw" at full rated power. This would be the case only when explicitly stated(rarely so)to be at "full power" or similar language. Otherwise this is at an average power output which is typically 1/8th of full power. Class AB amplifiers are about 50% efficient at full power but about 20% efficient at 1/8th power. This equates in this case to about 150 total watts of all-channel 1/8th power output, which requires the 710/780 watt input numbers at about 20% efficiency.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#412933 - 06/20/15 06:57 AM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1574
Loc: PEI, Canada
DSQ I voted Marantz, but I would agree with John that the differences would be trivial in terms of power output/SPL. The Denon does tank in much heavier, suggesting a meatier transformer and perhaps a power supply with more grunt. With high efficiency speakers this issue may be of little concern. I have found inefficient bookshelf designs are best when "squint listening" laugh for differences between amplifiers.

The great thing about your train of thought for future upgrades is the addition of seperate amplifiers. This makes the choice of an AVR more about software/GUI, remote, input switching lag, network connectivity etc. Unfortunately, these traits are glossed over in reviews so the best resource is to get feedback from users. This means having to wait for responses when you're eager to pull the trigger on new gear. Agonizing!

I'm not sure about either model you are considering, but I have found the best features offered in the models I have played with was a seperate sub trim level for stereo listening vs multichannel (not global), bypass video scaling/processing option, and channel (especially sub) quick trim adjustments by remote. Not having to leave your media to use the full screen setup GUI to tweak the sub/center channel trim is very useful.

The ability to remote toggle between direct vs eq'd settings is also very useful for room tuning and initial setup.
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#412934 - 06/20/15 10:27 AM Re: Ordering Receiver Today -- Any Last Advice? [Re: DrStrangeQuark]
DrStrangeQuark Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/09/14
Posts: 87
Loc: Texas

JohnK -- More very useful information on the power ratings that I was not aware of -- THANKS. Very good point on the A/B efficiency -- I wasn't considering that properly.

Serenity -- Very thoughtful, THANKS. I agree that the six pound difference is going *somewhere*.

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