Marantz SR8012 11.2CH IMAX Enhanced AV Receiver Review

R

RTG

Audioholic
I found a few operational hiccups with Audyssey editor App that Denon/Marantz claim to be working on for the next update. I will wait till that's released and will test and report back then.
Great review Gene. I must say I was a little surprised to read you prefer Audyssey Flat to limiting or no MultiEQ room correction. You mentioned DEQ I’m curious what your opinion of Audyssey DEQ is.

Also, not sure if you have used the app but if you calibrate using the App it will likely set the subwoofer levels properly. When I calibrate via my Denon 4300 my subs are set at -7. When I use the app they are both set at -4.

Thanks!
 
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N

NigeB

Audiophyte
An excellent review thanks.

In the UK we run on 220V so will the 8012 that is available to us use exactly the same components as the US spec?

What are the pros and cons when comparing receivers operating at either 110 or 220 volts ac?

Will the 220 volts model run cooler if it is drawing less current?

Thank you.
 
hk2000

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
So do audiophiles still look at the weight of the unit to infer the quality of the amplification? I guess it depends on how you word it, right? I'd say this unit weighs less than 40lbs- Not 'almost 40lbs'. For an 11 channel receiver, a flagship unit? That's puny!!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
So do audiophiles still look at the weight of the unit to infer the quality of the amplification? I guess it depends on how you word it, right? I'd say this unit weighs less than 40lbs- Not 'almost 40lbs'. For an 11 channel receiver, a flagship unit? That's puny!!
Yes but only to a point. It may be a more reliable way if you are comparing models of the same brand, line, and most importantly, same/similar designs such as class AB vs class AB, linear ps vs linear ps etc, fanless vs fanless etc.
 
R

RTG

Audioholic
I think when most enthusiasts drop 3K on a component they want to see a navy duty build quality. Does it automatically mean it’ll sound better. No. Prior to my Denon 4300 I had a Marantz 7009 which was bigger and heavier. In the end I prefer the Denon for its beefier low end and crisper top end.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Glad to hear they are working on an update!
I know @Pogre will be interested because he was frustrated with using the app with his Marantz, and did not seem convinced that D&M were planning to fix it anytime soon (and it has been awhile).
You will be doing many of us a favor simply by announcing that an update is out!
It is taunting with the idea of controlling many of the parameters that AVR based Audyssey forced us into an "all or nothing" proposition! I think many are interested in being able to only use Audyssey in the low frequencies where the room has such a dominant effect!
@PENG, you were able to use the current version effectively, correct? Did you experience any major glitches? I am wondering if the integration with Denon is better and (perhaps, if the app was developed on a Denon) Marantz just isn't as conducive to it (although it is hard to believe they would have done much different between the two brands).
It works fine for me based on my REW graphs, there are the typical kind of software glitches (nuisance type) that are basically harmless and I can't remember the details. It is very difficult to manually shape the target graph and, understandably, you can't expect the resulting REW graphs to follow the reshaped response graph exactly. I don't expect anything can be done about that kind of "glitch" as it is probably theoretically impossible to a large extent.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
The Denon X8500H review should be up soon. I have had it in house for several months and we awarded it our AVR of the year. One thing that seems to be floating about online is the claim that it has a “preamp mode”. Depends on what one means by that. I think some people have claimed that it disengages the amp section. That’s not accurate. I confirmed with Denon that the X8500H functions the same as the X7200WA and the amp section remains engaged. That said the preamp section of the X8500H is excellent. Both Marantz and sister company Denon have done a superb job with their new lineups.
Regarding the pseudo preamp mode, what then is the difference between that mode and simply setting ECO to "ON", and use it as prepro only?

We know with ECO on, the power amp rail voltage is limited but the preout voltages are not affected at all. So again, why the pseudo preamp mode on top, one would expect that it must turn something else off to worth the effort. Thanks.
 
Robert Stepan

Robert Stepan

Audiophyte
Well, still no full pre-outs, but it looks like with the 7.1 input and using the two zones, you'd effectively have a full set. Is that the case, or is there something to glitch using the receiver that way?
 
C

chaos400ra3

Audiophyte
So Dolby upmixing is not blocked? I thought Dolby was going to block all upmixing from original format in all new products?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Well, still no full pre-outs, but it looks like with the 7.1 input and using the two zones, you'd effectively have a full set. Is that the case, or is there something to glitch using the receiver that way?
?? Of course it has a full set of pre-outs.
 
S

Sptwriter

Audiophyte
Gene, you say to never set any receiver's impedance to 4 ohms regardless of the speakers being driven. This was a hot topic on a recent Tekton Design owners Facebook page. Most agreed with you. However, I have hooked a mid-level and high-level Denon receiver to Tekton Double Impact speakers with the receiver's default 8-ohm setting and within minutes both receivers literally overheated and shut down. (In the latter 6400 I now have a 7.1.4 system and not all of them are 4 ohms.) I changed the setting to 4 ohms and have run each for hundreds of hours without this issue even though they were often pushed just as hard or harder than the times they shut down. I'm not an engineer and I don't fully understand your linked story. How do you explain why the receivers would overheat and is it really smart/safe to go back to the 8-ohm setting?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
So Dolby upmixing is not blocked? I thought Dolby was going to block all upmixing from original format in all new products?
I believe it is blocked from upmixing non-Dolby codecs (DTS, Auro-3d)
 
A

Altoqur

Audiophyte
Have always loved all Marantz products. I purchased my first amp in 1976 the year I graduated with a Thorens turntable a Shure arm and Ortofon cartridge with JBL 100s. I had quite the system for an 18 year old then haha.
 
hk2000

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
Yes it's 11 channels, and the inside of it looks impressive, but a max consumption of less than 800 watts? Don't expect it'll be enough for an 11 channel system, I'd stick with 7 channels if you want it to have any oomph.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Yes it's 11 channels, and the inside of it looks impressive, but a max consumption of less than 800 watts? Don't expect it'll be enough for an 11 channel system, I'd stick with 7 channels if you want it to have any oomph.
We don't know what Marantz based their power consumption specs on so we should not assume it is for under rated power output condition.

For real world use, people don't listen to continuous sine wave tones and I highly doubt you can find any contents that would drive 11 channels simultaneously to more than 100 W peak for more than a few seconds, let alone 100 W average continuously (or 200 W peak), or even 5, 7 channels.

It is also impractical for most home user to benefit from super powerful avrs/amps (even if they exist) truly rated for all 11 channel driven simultaneously and continuously. An ACD (cont. rated) capable 7 channel X 150 W class AB amp would have a huge power supply anchored by a 2 kVA rated transformer that would probably weigh 25 lbs or more. The 52 lbs Denon flag ship's power consumption is rated 900 W and it's transformer alone weighs >18 lbs already. Also, a unit fitted with a 2 kVA transformer would require a dedicated 20 A line. So you can project that for a 11 channel one.

The SR8012 has been bench tested by the German Audiovision.de to output 235 W into 4 ohms 1 kHz 2 ch driven and dropped to 105 W into 6 ohms, 7 channel driven. That compares very favorably to Marantz dedicated power amp, the MM8077, 249 W and 130 W correspondingly. Faced with compromises that all have to make, even NAD is practical minded enough to focus on dynamic output.
 
hk2000

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
We don't know what Marantz based their power consumption specs on so we should not assume it is for under rated power output condition.

For real world use, people don't listen to continuous sine wave tones and I highly doubt you can find any contents that would drive 11 channels simultaneously to more than 100 W peak for more than a few seconds, let alone 100 W average continuously (or 200 W peak),or even 5, 7 channels.

It is also impractical for most home user to benefit from super powerful avrs/amps (even if they exist) truly rated for all 11 channel driven simultaneously and continuously. An ACD (cont. rated) capable 7 channel X 150 W class AB amp would have a huge power supply anchored by a 2 kVA rated transformer that would probably weigh 25 lbs or more. The 52 lbs Denon flag ship's power consumption is rated 900 W and it's transformer alone weighs >18 lbs already. Also, a unit fitted with a 2 kVA transformer would require a dedicated 20 A line. So you can project that for a 11 channel one.

The SR8012 has been bench tested by the German Audiovision.de to output 235 W into 4 ohms 1 kHz 2 ch driven and dropped to 105 W into 6 ohms, 7 channel driven. That compares very favorably to Marantz dedicated power amp, the MM8077, 249 W and 130 W correspondingly. Faced with compromises that all have to make, even NAD is practical minded enough to focus on dynamic output.
All of that is true, but you're talking of extreme scenarios, I'm only interested in a little more attention to the power supply in a flagship like this one- There is no question, the power supplies in todays receivers are taking a back seat to the bells and whistles. My Integra receiver which is a few steps down from the flagship of its production year, weighs more than this one and is only 9 channels. And this is from a generation of only a few years back, which was already taking steps back in power supplies (Integra's receivers of this caliber weighed over 50 lbs well into late 2000s) . . Did people "...listen to continuous sine wave tones... " then, or had content that needed to drive 5 or 7 channels simultaneously with 100 watts each? Of course not, but they did have the capability to do it for a few seconds and more sometimes- even if they didn't, you knew they had it in them, now you're lucky if you can play a movie at THX level without those "flagships" start clipping or a protection circuit kicking in.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
All of that is true, but you're talking of extreme scenarios, I'm only interested in a little more attention to the power supply in a flagship like this one- There is no question, the power supplies in todays receivers are taking a back seat to the bells and whistles. My Integra receiver which is a few steps down from the flagship of its production year, weighs more than this one and is only 9 channels. And this is from a generation of only a few years back, which was already taking steps back in power supplies (Integra's receivers of this caliber weighed over 50 lbs well into late 2000s) . . Did people "...listen to continuous sine wave tones... " then, or had content that needed to drive 5 or 7 channels simultaneously with 100 watts each? Of course not, but they did have the capability to do it for a few seconds and more sometimes- even if they didn't, you knew they had it in them, now you're lucky if you can play a movie at THX level without those "flagships" start clipping or a protection circuit kicking in.
Fair enough, but you cannot just based on weight, that is only one factor. For example, I owned a Denon AVR-4308CI that only weighs 43 lbs, but if you look at the bench test results, it did almost as good as the Onkyo 805 or the equivalent Integra flag ship of the time, in fact it ranked in the top 5 of my chart.

The 53.6 lbs Integra DTR 9.9 ranked #9 and the 50.9 lbs 805 ranked top. The newer Denon/Marantz models are no doubt lighter, but their power supply did not get smaller in terms of per channel only but slightly larger in absolute sense. They are lighter because their customer wound transformers are more efficient in terms of VA/lb, lighter weight enclosure and heatshinks, with the help of forced air cooled scheme. Ranking in the chart I compiled is based on S&V bench tests only and weigh heavily on 2 channel into 4 ohms at 0.1% as well as 5 and 7 channel driven into 8 ohms.

Regardless, I do agree with you to a point, that the newer models do not do as well, but we both know you need to double the output to gain 3 dB of spl so between those 40/60 lb of the past and the 27/52lb AVRs, the difference in spl output is probably within 1 to 1.5 dB. I do disagree with your THX comment though as I am sure the flagship Onkyo/Integra/Denon/Marantz models can hit THX level in medium sized rooms sitting 10' from the TV screen as long the sensitivities are >87 dB/2.83V/1m 8 ohms nominal or 90 dB 4 ohms nominal. I was skeptical about 7.1 and 7.1.4 in the beginning, but I got used to the immersive effects now and won't trade them for say 20% more power output. As always, ymmv..
 
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TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Regarding the pseudo preamp mode, what then is the difference between that mode and simply setting ECO to "ON", and use it as prepro only?

We know with ECO on, the power amp rail voltage is limited but the preout voltages are not affected at all. So again, why the pseudo preamp mode on top, one would expect that it must turn something else off to worth the effort. Thanks.
As you’ll see in the forthcoming review set eco to OFF or AUTO. The amp stage is class AB. Never set Eco to “on” or it will starve your speakers of power. When set to “auto” it will function more like a class H amp and use rail switching to reduce power and increase efficiency.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Regarding the pseudo preamp mode, what then is the difference between that mode and simply setting ECO to "ON", and use it as prepro only?

We know with ECO on, the power amp rail voltage is limited but the preout voltages are not affected at all. So again, why the pseudo preamp mode on top, one would expect that it must turn something else off to worth the effort. Thanks.
Good question. As far as I can tell, the notion of a “pre-amp mode” is something that has crept into the conversation and states, “The X8500H has a preamp mode that disconnects the amp section.” Its found in several preview and review articles. I’m not sure if this was initially part of the X8500H marketing materials or something that was simply copied from publication to publication. The X8500H manual has no mention of it nor is it an option. You simply have 15.2 pre-outs on the unit.
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Audioholic Chief
I think when most enthusiasts drop 3K on a component they want to see a navy duty build quality. Does it automatically mean it’ll sound better. No. Prior to my Denon 4300 I had a Marantz 7009 which was bigger and heavier. In the end I prefer the Denon for its beefier low end and crisper top end.
Better higher quality pre-amp? It all starts with a good pre-amp.
 

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