Marantz SR8012 - Really disappointed with sound quality

I

Itsmerandy

Audiophyte
I have always owned Marantz receivers in the past because to me they always had the sound I liked compared to other brands, I think mainly because of their HDAM discrete preamps but for whatever reason they sound good. I have an SR7010 that had started giving me weird little issues with the HDMI doing weird things, I have an 75" LG OLED with a connected Tivo that is tied together through the HDMI CEC control system and when I hit the off power switch on my Tivo remote it will turn off everything, but then my SR7010 would sometimes kick back on after 30 seconds and a little later shut back off. Strange I Know. I had been looking at replacing it and happen to come across a good deal on a Marantz SR8012 so I purchased it, To my disappointment it doesn't have the Marantz signature sound, I have spent weeks going through and trying every setting possible to make it sound better with no luck, it just sounds like any other receiver now, it has turned my Paradigm studio 100's into "Horned" PA speaker's. Sorry that's my best description of what it sounds like now, it over emphasizes the mid's and upper end frequencies and has no mid bass, its like I can't feel the music anymore the liveness and dynamic feelings are gone from music now. With my previous systems I would love to turn up the music and feel its presence but with the SR8012 I find myself turning it down because it is fatiguing to my ears after a little while listening. I was just hoping to maybe find some other Marantz guy's on here that have or heard the SR8012 or SR8015 and see what their opinions are. I run a Yamaha MX1000U amp for the front channels and have tried my Adcom GFA-555II as well but not much better with or without running amps for the main speakers. I really like the receiver, if it wasn't for me listening to music on it I would just grin and bear it, but unfortunately 60 percent of my listening pleasure is music.
I am really curious if the Marantz Preamp's sound any better or if they changed for the worse on those too when United Sound took over?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I have always owned Marantz receivers in the past because to me they always had the sound I liked compared to other brands, I think mainly because of their HDAM discrete preamps but for whatever reason they sound good. I have an SR7010 that had started giving me weird little issues with the HDMI doing weird things, I have an 75" LG OLED with a connected Tivo that is tied together through the HDMI CEC control system and when I hit the off power switch on my Tivo remote it will turn off everything, but then my SR7010 would sometimes kick back on after 30 seconds and a little later shut back off. Strange I Know. I had been looking at replacing it and happen to come across a good deal on a Marantz SR8012 so I purchased it, To my disappointment it doesn't have the Marantz signature sound, I have spent weeks going through and trying every setting possible to make it sound better with no luck, it just sounds like any other receiver now, it has turned my Paradigm studio 100's into "Horned" PA speaker's. Sorry that's my best description of what it sounds like now, it over emphasizes the mid's and upper end frequencies and has no mid bass, its like I can't feel the music anymore the liveness and dynamic feelings are gone from music now. With my previous systems I would love to turn up the music and feel its presence but with the SR8012 I find myself turning it down because it is fatiguing to my ears after a little while listening. I was just hoping to maybe find some other Marantz guy's on here that have or heard the SR8012 or SR8015 and see what their opinions are. I run a Yamaha MX1000U amp for the front channels and have tried my Adcom GFA-555II as well but not much better with or without running amps for the main speakers. I really like the receiver, if it wasn't for me listening to music on it I would just grin and bear it, but unfortunately 60 percent of my listening pleasure is music.
I am really curious if the Marantz Preamp's sound any better or if they changed for the worse on those too when United Sound took over?
This is a three year old unit, so I assume you must have purchased it used. That receiver will not sound different to any other. I suspect the unit has settings hanging over from a previous owner. I suppose it could have a problem, or have been abused, but I doubt that.

The first thing to do is get the unit back to its original state. I would do a hard reset. Then load the most recent firmware from an Internet cable, and NOT Wi-FI.

Once you have done this, check you speaker connections and make sure you do not have one or more with reverse polarity. Set crossovers appropriately. Set inputs and speakers according to your set up in the appropriate menus

Having done that run Audyssey according to instructions. Just do the levels and distances, not Eq. Make sure Audyssey is off on all inputs. Now see how it sounds, and report back the results and all associated equipment connected, including speakers.

No receiver is going to do what you say, unless it is faulty, or perversely set up. Marantz does not have a particular sound, and that HDAM nonsense largely came out of the back of the marketers necks.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
I have always owned Marantz receivers in the past because to me they always had the sound I liked compared to other brands, I think mainly because of their HDAM discrete preamps but for whatever reason they sound good. I have an SR7010 that had started giving me weird little issues with the HDMI doing weird things, I have an 75" LG OLED with a connected Tivo that is tied together through the HDMI CEC control system and when I hit the off power switch on my Tivo remote it will turn off everything, but then my SR7010 would sometimes kick back on after 30 seconds and a little later shut back off. Strange I Know. I had been looking at replacing it and happen to come across a good deal on a Marantz SR8012 so I purchased it, To my disappointment it doesn't have the Marantz signature sound, I have spent weeks going through and trying every setting possible to make it sound better with no luck, it just sounds like any other receiver now, it has turned my Paradigm studio 100's into "Horned" PA speaker's. Sorry that's my best description of what it sounds like now, it over emphasizes the mid's and upper end frequencies and has no mid bass, its like I can't feel the music anymore the liveness and dynamic feelings are gone from music now. With my previous systems I would love to turn up the music and feel its presence but with the SR8012 I find myself turning it down because it is fatiguing to my ears after a little while listening. I was just hoping to maybe find some other Marantz guy's on here that have or heard the SR8012 or SR8015 and see what their opinions are. I run a Yamaha MX1000U amp for the front channels and have tried my Adcom GFA-555II as well but not much better with or without running amps for the main speakers. I really like the receiver, if it wasn't for me listening to music on it I would just grin and bear it, but unfortunately 60 percent of my listening pleasure is music.
I am really curious if the Marantz Preamp's sound any better or if they changed for the worse on those too when United Sound took over?
First get it to sound good in 2 channel stereo, 2 speakers, no sub, no external amps. Position your speakers so they are at the angles specified by Dolby and experiment moving toward and away from the wall and with toe in.
Next, run Audyssey and try the settings for both Flat and Reference, again with stereo.
Please post whether you can or can't get 2 channel ONLY to sound good. If not we can test settings, if good we move on to 2.1, 5.1, etc.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
I have always owned Marantz receivers in the past because to me they always had the sound I liked compared to other brands, I think mainly because of their HDAM discrete preamps but for whatever reason they sound good. I have an SR7010 that had started giving me weird little issues with the HDMI doing weird things, I have an 75" LG OLED with a connected Tivo that is tied together through the HDMI CEC control system and when I hit the off power switch on my Tivo remote it will turn off everything, but then my SR7010 would sometimes kick back on after 30 seconds and a little later shut back off. Strange I Know. I had been looking at replacing it and happen to come across a good deal on a Marantz SR8012 so I purchased it, To my disappointment it doesn't have the Marantz signature sound, I have spent weeks going through and trying every setting possible to make it sound better with no luck, it just sounds like any other receiver now, it has turned my Paradigm studio 100's into "Horned" PA speaker's. Sorry that's my best description of what it sounds like now, it over emphasizes the mid's and upper end frequencies and has no mid bass, its like I can't feel the music anymore the liveness and dynamic feelings are gone from music now. With my previous systems I would love to turn up the music and feel its presence but with the SR8012 I find myself turning it down because it is fatiguing to my ears after a little while listening. I was just hoping to maybe find some other Marantz guy's on here that have or heard the SR8012 or SR8015 and see what their opinions are. I run a Yamaha MX1000U amp for the front channels and have tried my Adcom GFA-555II as well but not much better with or without running amps for the main speakers. I really like the receiver, if it wasn't for me listening to music on it I would just grin and bear it, but unfortunately 60 percent of my listening pleasure is music.
I am really curious if the Marantz Preamp's sound any better or if they changed for the worse on those too when United Sound took over?
sounds like you have a set up issue. Perhaps Audyssey is engaged when you think it isn't or your bass management is improperly set up. The SR8012 and 8015 have solid amplification sections for an AVR and VERY GOOD Preouts. In fact, both units have a better preout than their AV7706 dedicated preamp. I use an 8015 to power my family room system with Perlisten S7ts with excellent results.
 
I

Itsmerandy

Audiophyte
This is a three year old unit, so I assume you must have purchased it used. That receiver will not sound different to any other. I suspect the unit has settings hanging over from a previous owner. I suppose it could have a problem, or have been abused, but I doubt that.

The first thing to do is get the unit back to its original state. I would do a hard reset. Then load the most recent firmware from an Internet cable, and NOT Wi-FI.

Once you have done this, check you speaker connections and make sure you do not have one or more with reverse polarity. Set crossovers appropriately. Set inputs and speakers according to your set up in the appropriate menus

Having done that run Audyssey according to instructions. Just do the levels and distances, not Eq. Make sure Audyssey is off on all inputs. Now see how it sounds, and report back the results and all associated equipment connected, including speakers.

No receiver is going to do what you say, unless it is faulty, or perversely set up. Marantz does not have a particular sound, and that HDAM nonsense largely came out of the back of the marketers necks.
I apologize, sometimes I am not very good at explaining what I mean or want to get across. I am very knowledgeable on Marantz and the Auddyssey XT32 settings, I have reset and tried all the settings and usually prefer not to run Auddyssey except to setup the speaker distances.
It's not that SR8012 sounds horrible by any mean's, I am happy with it as far as watching movies and tv. It's just not what I expected when it came to music listening. I am 56 years old and have owned many receivers and separates over the year's. One that I enjoyed musically was a Marantz SR8000 which I have owned for many years until I decided to upgrade to one with HDMI, that was an Marantz SR7008 but it didn't sound half as good as the SR8000, but as luck would have it I had many problems with bad HDMI boards on it and Marantz upgraded me to the SR7010 which they touted as having upgraded the preamp making it more musically pleasing, which it was by leaps and bounds. I have been very happy with the SR7010 and just figured taking a step up to the SR8012 would have to be at least as good sounding if not better then the 7010 but unfortunately that wasn't the case for me and I'm just disappointed. So I just wanted to hear what other people opinions were that own one and if they are happy. Not trying to offend anybody as I know everybody's ears are different. Thanks for the reply's.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
I can only share how I have coaxed the best music from my Marantz 7702 processor and hope it might give you some ideas. For me personally the first thing I did was upgrade from the stock power cord, WOW! If you prefer to just get an electrical improvement get this:


Next I got the speakers locations measured and set with a laser pointer to dolby specs, treated my room via Gene's video tutorial and a knock my sox off improvement was when I switched to the Audyssey Pro software and a calibrated mic. I think the difference is night and day from just sticking it in my rack and hitting play. You can download the new Audsyssey software in the Microsoft store and it is a HUGE upgrade from the stock version. My system has never measured or sounded so good:
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
@Itsmerandy please do not be duped into chasing power cords and other electrical devices to tune your system. I have yet to see any true evidence that such things matter to anybody that doesn't have money to waste. Most reviews for such items show at best no degradation of signal compared to the stock item. Other gear can actually introduce signal limitation or in the case of some "power conditioners" actually restrict the electricity flowing through them to whatever is plugged into them.

I will not endeavor to tell you what you should do, but please know that I am on a Marantz 6012 and while it may not be earth shattering, it works quite well, and was a significant upgrade from what was a 10 year old Onkyo. The Marantz in 2.1 or 7.1 delivers my fair share of goosebumps and HT splendor.

Most of the time, here, we spend energy helping people understand that upgrading processors is not a guarantee of improved SQ. It seems you went from a good processor to two years newer and a step up the ladder. It may seem like there should be a "veil lifted," but many will say this is not the case. Please do not be discouraged. Your AVR should at least sound as good as the previous.

I hope you will stay patient with your process and keep working to make certain you are set up properly!
 
Timforhifi

Timforhifi

Full Audioholic
It’s interesting that people still think all avrs sound the same. Ongoing debate, my arcam avr20, denon 4700, integra drx7.1, onkyo rz50, and pioneer elite 502 all sound different. Some are more center channel focused, some are more lively in the surround channels, some are very full sounding with adding no powered subs. This is all before running any room eq.

If you don’t like the marantz 8012 don’t waste your time with it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not your thing. Too often people don’t like something and their first reaction is it’s bad or terrible. Nah, just not your preference. Music I love arcam, just puts a smile on my face. I like my other receivers as well for where I use them. I recently wanted to try Yamaha again and bought the rxa8. Tried really hard to get it to sound right. Running rew, ypao, and dirac with mini dsp. Sounded decent with movies but music was so sharp and edgy. Arcam sounded better with dirac off than rxa8. Yamaha might be a better match with different speakers or in a different room.

I’d sell the 8012 and get something that makes you happy. Good luck to you
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
@Itsmerandy please do not be duped into chasing power cords and other electrical devices to tune your system. I have yet to see any true evidence that such things matter to anybody that doesn't have money to waste. Most reviews for such items show at best no degradation of signal compared to the stock item. Other gear can actually introduce signal limitation or in the case of some "power conditioners" actually restrict the electricity flowing through them to whatever is plugged into them.

I will not endeavor to tell you what you should do, but please know that I am on a Marantz 6012 and while it may not be earth shattering, it works quite well, and was a significant upgrade from what was a 10 year old Onkyo. The Marantz in 2.1 or 7.1 delivers my fair share of goosebumps and HT splendor.

Most of the time, here, we spend energy helping people understand that upgrading processors is not a guarantee of improved SQ. It seems you went from a good processor to two years newer and a step up the ladder. It may seem like there should be a "veil lifted," but many will say this is not the case. Please do not be discouraged. Your AVR should at least sound as good as the previous.

I hope you will stay patient with your process and keep working to make certain you are set up properly!
Power Cords- "definitely worth the upgrade"- 1:30

 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I can only share how I have coaxed the best music from my Marantz 7702 processor and hope it might give you some ideas. For me personally the first thing I did was upgrade from the stock power cord, WOW! If you prefer to just get an electrical improvement get this:


Next I got the speakers locations measured and set with a laser pointer to dolby specs, treated my room via Gene's video tutorial and a knock my sox off improvement was when I switched to the Audyssey Pro software and a calibrated mic. I think the difference is night and day from just sticking it in my rack and hitting play. You can download the new Audsyssey software in the Microsoft store and it is a HUGE upgrade from the stock version. My system has never measured or sounded so good:
You should use an oscilloscope to see the waveform of your power service. Seriously- you bought something hoping it would fix a problem that doesn't exist. Exactly, how does this DC enter the grid? If it was significant in a wide area, most electronics would fail much sooner than we see because the power transformers would be damaged and it wouldn't only be the toroidal ones mentioned in the ad.
 
Replicant 7

Replicant 7

Audioholic Samurai
Power Cords- "definitely worth the upgrade"- 1:30

Come on man! With all the knowledge you have with AVR's and this HT home hobby you still propagandering power cords! Really!! Bro, I enjoy reading your post, you got a nice system, and your definitely a Audioholic like the rest of us AH members. Tell you what, send me one of those "Power Cables" you have on hand. I'll pay the shipping both ways if I hear the slightest difference of improvement not only will I pay you Full price for that power cable I'll send you one of my oldest Vinyl albums from the 70's. The best I have is the 14th press off of the Master press. That album is worth hundreds today. Deal?
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
You should use an oscilloscope to see the waveform of your power service. Seriously- you bought something hoping it would fix a problem that doesn't exist. Exactly, how does this DC enter the grid? If it was significant in a wide area, most electronics would fail much sooner than we see because the power transformers would be damaged and it wouldn't only be the toroidal ones mentioned in the ad.
Highfigh, if you want to run it under your oscilloscope and do a waveform analysis, post some measurements, all good. Amazon has a 30 day return. If you don't want to test it it/try just try to find a link from someone (anyone) who has actually tried the product. Start with Amazon, 16 reviews OK:

From an actual owner:

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Days from now, you will be mainlining the purest audiophile grade sound imaginable!
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2022
Verified Purchase
I did not perceive there to be any problems with the electricity in my system, I purchased the DC Blocker in the hopes of better sound. As I was plugging it in, I was having skeptical thoughts, figuring that it would likely go back.
I hit the power button on the amp and was absolutely ShOcKeD! The improvement in sound quality jumped straight out at me. It was like putting a new battery in your Accord and all of sudden you have a 700hp V-12 Ferrari! All aspects of the audio are improved. The biggest difference is in the mids. Vocals are more holographic and real. Hugh increase in separation, clarity, layering, etc. Insert the whole audiophile lexicon because you name it, it was doing it. I skimmed my way through around 500 songs and counting.

I have tested this DC Blocker with 2 different amps, one 240 volt and one running 120v and both were vastly improved (audiolab 6000a and Rotel A11 Tribute). I like both amps, but the 6000a is definitely superior in terms of straight up sound quality -mainly in bass articulation. This DC blocker will do the most good on amps. I've tried it on partnering equipment and performance seemed a bit enhanced but I don't know if I could tell in a blind A/B test. Results will be most dramatic on amps. I would guess that it will produce the best results on mid and high level equipment because crappy power is the only thing left holding them back. It's output plug is IEC (most amps use this input) so you can't use it with any old plug without an adapter. It is limited in it's output to 300 watts although the fuse is for 4 amps so it would likely handle a bit more. Powering a receiver would likely work out great as long as you don't crank it on 8 channels. This will not feed a whole 12 outlet power strip but there is an small IEC power strip available here on Amazon and you could likely power an amp, dac and a disc player at the same time.
It is a little disheartening to realize how badly our gear is being served by the terrible quality of our electrical grid. Your gear is way better than you think it is! Even if you don't think you have a problem with your power, you must try this audiolab DC Blocker. This little device was a bigger upgrade than buying new speakers and cost a pittance in audiophile terms.
To the naysayers and snake oil proclaimers, there is much to be skeptical about in audio, but I challenge you to send this little guy back.
I own two of these. Some day, one of them will go to my heirs. The other will be placed under my head and buried with me for holographic sound in the afterlife. Let's face it, hell likely has dc on the mains.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
This from an ASR review on a Power Conditioner which went through the full battery of testing:
As I have explained many times, the reason these devices don't do anything for your audio system is twofold:

1. They don't filter high amplitude harmonics and noise in AC mains which is below 500 Hz and most of it below 240 Hz. Such filtering will be quite expensive and large.

2. The first thing our audio devices do is convert AC to DC. That conversion has mandatory filtering which is far easier to implement due to much lower voltages.

So no wonder that in test after test, we find no difference in quality of AC mains, or output of audio device tested.

Why do people attribute better fidelity to these devices? Simple: lay intuition says "filtering" removes noise. So they pay more attention to what is playing and "hear more into the music" with the AC conditioner in the path. And report veils removed, noise floor going down, blacker backgrounds, etc. This happens even if I gave them an empty box but told them it is a power conditioner.

The only time above false observations go away is if the testing only uses one's ear, i.e. blind testing. Then, the listener doesn't know if the device is in the path or not, and will read such differences into either sample showing no statistically valid value to the device. Sadly, people don't want to know the truth here as that would invalidate years of claiming other differences so false statements are made about benefits of such devices....
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Full Audioholic
This from an ASR review on a Power Conditioner which went through the full battery of testing:
OK, that isn't what I recommended to the OP. I only shared what worked for me with my Marantz processor. Do you even know what power conditioner amir tested? Did he test it with a Marantz receiver? How much did it cost?
Ryanosuer, I respect that we are of different opinions. The DC Block from Audiolab is around $100 and you can return it if it doesn't meet your needs. All good, respectfully, the WD
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
I was waiting for him to put on his tinfoil hat.
Same here! I used to find Steve much more valuable, but he’s really gone cuckoo. He is very good at not overselling his claims too,
while simultaneously driving the Manure spreader…
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Doesn't Steve still live in New York? Sometimes you gotta' hawk crap to pay the rent.:confused:
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
OK, that isn't what I recommended to the OP. I only shared what worked for me with my Marantz processor. Do you even know what power conditioner amir tested? Did he test it with a Marantz receiver? How much did it cost?
Ryanosuer, I respect that we are of different opinions. The DC Block from Audiolab is around $100 and you can return it if it doesn't meet your needs. All good, respectfully, the WD
Cost and product are immaterial. Amir’s point is being made regarding all such devices. Until or unless you post something more meaningful than links to Amazon reviews and more conjecture videos or personal subjective experience, nobody here will take you seriously.
So, yes, we will continue to disagree.
I, along with many others, will continue to look at the science of it and rely on the words of true engineers rather than any random person making such claims.
While there are sites you can get accolades for preaching the amaze-ball differences you think you experience, places like AH and ASR really don’t cater to that crowd. Not when we have actual engineers showing us what happens when similar items you have espoused are inserted into the chain (be it from wall outlet or wherever).

Thats it. It is that simple. If you bring something meaningful to the table you will find a different experience here.
In fact, since you have such an interest in these items and have recommended them in many threads, why not send them to Amir to test for you! They are your claims and the burden of proof is on you. So try it: beat us at our own game. ;)

Cheers.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
It’s interesting that people still think all avrs sound the same. Ongoing debate, my arcam avr20, denon 4700, integra drx7.1, onkyo rz50, and pioneer elite 502 all sound different. Some are more center channel focused, some are more lively in the surround channels, some are very full sounding with adding no powered subs. This is all before running any room eq.

If you don’t like the marantz 8012 don’t waste your time with it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not your thing. Too often people don’t like something and their first reaction is it’s bad or terrible. Nah, just not your preference. Music I love arcam, just puts a smile on my face. I like my other receivers as well for where I use them. I recently wanted to try Yamaha again and bought the rxa8. Tried really hard to get it to sound right. Running rew, ypao, and dirac with mini dsp. Sounded decent with movies but music was so sharp and edgy. Arcam sounded better with dirac off than rxa8. Yamaha might be a better match with different speakers or in a different room.

I’d sell the 8012 and get something that makes you happy. Good luck to you
This I don’t disagree with… though I cannot help but wonder why two AVRs from the same manufacturer, with production only separated by 2 years would make such a difference.
I could maybe see it if we were talking a 7-10 year old sr50xx switching to a new sr80xx or some such.

Can anybody speak to whether some significant retooling of components or build occurred at this time been the 7010 and 8012? @gene or perhaps @PENG ?

thanks!
 

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