Archive for category AV Receivers
While the AV8802A and AV8805 look similar, the AV8805 has over 1,900 part changes that are meant to enhance audio quality. These include faster DSPs, new isolation plates between the transformer and chassis to reduce noise and vibration, additional shielding and isolation between the DSPs and the audio PCBs, a new DAC board layout with a shorter signal path for improved jitter reduction, and updated HDAMs (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) with precision-matched discrete devices.
One thing Marantz hasn’t updated is its best-in-class user interface, one that I find to be extremely intuitive and easy on the eyes. When powering up for the first time, you are greeted by a guided setup that walks you through the installation. First, you tell the processor how many components you’re using. Next, you’re instructed to connect the included Audyssey microphone to the unit’s front so that MultiEQ XT32 equalization can work its magic
Yamaha’s YPAO calibration system is tasked with dialing in your speakers and making acoustical adjustments. The entire process only takes a minute or two and unlike Audyssey, you only need to place the mic in one position. The results were solid, although it mistakingly labeled my fronts as large.
Streaming music to the RX-581 via one of its multitude of streaming options is a simple process. In the past, Bluetooth on Yamaha receivers could be a little difficult to get up running. With the 581 I had no such issues. After I pressed the Bluetooth button on the remote it was just a matter of pairing the amp with my phone. AirPlay and internet streaming worked equally well.”
“Compared with this market’s class leaders – the aforementioned Sony and Denon’s most recent five-star amp (the AVR-X2500H) – it lags noticeably behind both for punch, and trails the Sony in particular for that dynamic variance and musical detail.
If you do go for the Onkyo, take care with system matching. You won’t be able to inject any of what it lacks, but you could double down on it with an equally safe-sounding speaker package. Best to let this amp feed a livelier package, such as the Dali Zensor 1 5.1, and make the most of what enthusiasm it has.”
“On the streaming side, the Denon amplifier supports everything from Bluetooth and AirPlay (AirPlay 2 is support coming shortly) to Spotify Connect, Tidal and Deezer, while its HEOS multi-room technology also sports Alexa voice control. You can stream audio in hi-res quality up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as single and double speed DSD files.
Wondering why the X8500H is titled an “AVC” rather than the more usual “AVR”? The AVC-X8500 is called an AV amplifier rather than an AV receiver, for the simple reason that it doesn’t have an FM tuner built in (like the US model), so you can’t call it a ‘receiver’. It does have a tuner input in case you want radio reception, though.”
After confirming operation with test tones, I turned to Dirac Live setup. The first task was to update the processor’s firmware and BluOS. NAD includes a Wi-Fi module to plug in the USB port, but I opted to use the RJ45 jack for a direct connection to my home network. The update took only a few minutes. Then, I added the M17 V2 as a BluOS player in the iPhone app. It allows access to vast amounts of streamed content from carriers like iHeart Radio and Spotify.
I’ve already detailed the running of Dirac Live in my previous reviews of the T 758 and T 777 receivers, so I won’t rehash it here. I was anxious to try the additional features of the full version though. The extra room layouts are intriguing because my theater doesn’t really resemble a sofa configuration. Chair is closer to my actual seating arrangement. And I wanted to hear the effect of correction at frequencies higher than 500Hz.”