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Marantz or Pioneer Elite?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Slade, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Slade

    Slade Agent

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    I've been thinking about getting a Marantz 8500. Before I do, I'm wondering about the Pioneer Elite series. I know nothing about them.

    I was choosing the Marantz 8500 for the musical sound quality, the features, build quality, discrete amp, toroidal transformers, etc.

    What would be the equivilent Elite and how do they compare to the Marantz?

    (By the way, I'm planning to power Paradigm Studio 100s and Paradigm surrounds, sub, etc.)

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    If you need HDMI, Marantz doesn’t have it yet. I was recently comparing the 8500 to the Elite 72TXV for a friend. The latter is quite a bit cheaper and has more features. I also liked the remote and manual better. The remote seems to be more user friendly and easier to program, and has basic receiver functions like volume and mute available all the time – i.e., you don’t have to endlessly toggle back and forth between an “Amp” and “Source” mode. I hate that.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Steven Stock

    Steven Stock Auditioning

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    You need a lot of power to drive the Studio 100s and I don't think the Elite 72 or the 74 would have the power. Unless you go with a separate amp.
    The Marantz SR8500 might do a better job. Plus Marantz is better for music. You still might have to go with a 200w amp or better to run the Studio 100s.
    I'm going with the Marantz SR8500 and Paradigm Studio 60s cc570 ans 20s rear. Matched with a SVS Ultra Sub. Cant wait 3 weeks to go.
     
  4. Eric C.

    Eric C. Auditioning

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    Hello Slade,
    I'm looking at the exact same models for my setup. Please let us know which one you'll be going with.

    Marantz has always been at the top of my list for the same reasons you mentioned, but it is expensive, so I have to save my money for it. And, by industry standards, it is getting old, I'm afraid a new model will come out right after I buy it, since all the other models (except for the 7500) have already changed.

    But now I saw some good deals on some Elites, prices have dropped on the the old VSX-52TX, VSX-54TX and the VSX-56TXi. And to complicate things, the new fully equipped and featured VSX-72TX and VSX-74TXi are cheaper than the Marantz by several hundred dollars. I did hear the VSX-74TXi with Paradigm Studio 100's, and it sounded pretty good, but it was in a store and with material I did not really know.

    Once I'm ready, I will auditioned them at home before making my mind.

    Thanks and good luck.
     
  5. Slade

    Slade Agent

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    Yeah, I was wondering about the design age of the 8500. I would bet there will be something like an 8600 soon. (That's just purely a guess.)

    I spoke to another dealer yesterday on the phone. He said they didn't stock the Marantz, but stocked Yamaha. From what I've read, the Yamahas have a more processed sound. I want something more pure on music, hence my interest in the Marantz. I also hear the Marantz has good build quality, which is important to me at that price level.

    I'm open to other suggestions for a receiver. I want toroidal transformers, discrete amplification, solid power and very good build quality. It will have to have good power for the Studio 100s, until I can get an amp.

    Something else I've thought about, is to go with separates. This is an area I know nothing about, though. I'll start another thread with that question.

    Thanks for all the help,
    Slade
     
  6. Eric C.

    Eric C. Auditioning

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    If you're in a hurry, go for the Marantz and you can still add an amp later. Musically, I think it's the best option for it's price range (I know there's Arcam and Rotel, etc., but that's almost another grand more).
    The Pioneer is great for surround, but I'm still not sure for music. A lot of people say it's very good and considerably warm.
    I think an in home audition is a must.
     
  7. Slade

    Slade Agent

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    Eric,

    What does "warm" mean? I see descriptions of "bright", "neutral", "warm", etc., but am not exactly sure what they mean nor what is preferred.

    Thanks
     
  8. GregoriusM

    GregoriusM Second Unit

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    I bought a Marantz 8500 about 3 months ago. Auditioned the Denon 3805, Yamaha 2500, had THREE Rotel 1056's in my home (gave up on that model), and then the Marantz 8500.

    Sweet, sweet, sweet.

    Paradigm Focus mains, CC270 center, ADP170 surrounds. The 8500 is barely cruising to push those speakers to high and clean sound levels.

    I too am looking forward to the 8600, which I will upgrade to in a split second. I think they are waiting to announce them when they have AutoEQ, HDMI switching, and a couple of other features. They need at LEAST those features to stay in the ball park.

    But, I believe that the Marantz is the BEST sound for music in its price range, and, well, surround sound is awesome as well.

    I liked the Rotel 1056's sound until I went with the Marantz. I'm a Marantz person now. I loved Denon before, especially for the features, but even the 3805 sounds a bit muffled than the Marantz, and the Rotel is a bit thin and bright compared to the Marantz.

    Personally, I would wait until the 8600 comes out, then you'll be set for a good long while.

    If they haven't announced it at CES, then you can bet it will be ready for CEDIA in September. I know, I know, that's a long time to wait, but remember, you're going to have this puppy for a while. If you need to, throw on a 2 or 3 channel amp for the fronts down the road and you are in heaven!

    IMHO!

    Greg
     
  9. Slade

    Slade Agent

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    Greg,

    Thanks for the feedback. I would be willing to wait even until Spring, but I don't want to wait until Fall.

    By the way, can you (or someone), explain to me what AutoEQ and HDMi is? Is it important for other upcoming technologies?

    Thanks again,
    Slade
     
  10. Eric C.

    Eric C. Auditioning

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    Well, I'm fairly new to this as well.

    I still find it difficult to understand what audiophiles mean when they describe sound with adjectives that mean something you can see or touch (like warm, bright, muddy, chalky, harsh, coarse, boxy, colored, transparent...well you know what I mean).

    Most people will say that they are looking for a neutral and warm sound. Meaning that the sound the receiver and speakers reproduce is as much as possible the way it was recorded without modifying it, keeping it clear and precise without causing listening fatigue after long periods of time (too bright, harsh). (headache, buzzing in ears, ears hurt a bit...). I think in the past few years, a lot of the receivers sounded too digital, too dry. I don't know if this is a good analogy, but here it goes. It's like when CD's first came out, a lot of people found them to sound too dry and digital, was lacking the vinyl warmth quality (not evoking any emotion).
    I'm not sure this is easy to understand but it's the way I see it.

    The AutoEQ, I think is not present in the 7500 and 8500 models. When you run the auto setup, all they do is set the distance of each speakers to your listening position and sets them to large or small and calibrates the volume of each. The competitor's new models (like Pioneer Elites) will also set the crossover points for each speakers and I think even the subwoofer.

    I might be way off on all this, anyone is welcome to correct me so I can also learn.

    P.S.: I still can't post a link, but try this. At Stereophile dot com, do a search for "Audio Glossary". It might help a little.
     
  11. GregoriusM

    GregoriusM Second Unit

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    That's a pretty good explanation, Eric.

    AutoSetup actually sets the crossover to the sub (some don't), the speaker distance, whether the speaker is large or small (a large speaker gets all of the sound frequencies and a small gets only the frequencies above the subwoofer cutoff).

    AutoEQ tests the speaker's ability to replicate the entire frequency band and compensates for frequencies the speaker is either too strong or too light on, and it also helps to compensate for room acoustics, since the microphone that you put where your head would be when you are sitting where you would normally sit picks up the fact that maybe some of the higher frequencies are being lost in the furnture, rug, draperies, etc. and "turns up the volume" on those speakers to compensate.

    Most AutoEQ's do this for ONE listening position, some doing a better job than others. Denon has licensed MultiEQxT, from Audyssey labs, that lets you measure in about to 8 listening spots, and also measures not only the first reflection of the frequencies, as in off the drapery, etc. but also secondary and third (I'm not too sure how many reflections it measures). It is supposed to be very good.

    Any receiver with AutoEQ also has a parametric equalizer built in that is either controlled only by the AutoEQ or can be adjusted manually. The user can AutoEqualize and then change the settings to his/her own taste... maybe bring up the higher frequencies to his liking, etc.

    Some have 5 frequency centers, some have 9, and the centers can be moved up or down. You'll probably find a better idea at www.audyssey.com (I believe that's the URL).

    Anyway, a low-end AutoEQ can screw up your sound (although some are quite good), while a really good AutoEQ can enhance the sound, since room acoustics play the most important part in your sound outside of the speakers themselves.


    I hope this helps!

    If you really like the Marantz sound, wait. You'll be listening to it for a long time, and if the sound bugs you from a receiver that you don't like quite as much, you'll be kicking yourself in the butt for a long while.

    As always, my humble opinion!

    Greg
     

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