Marantz receiver analog hookup question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisDixon, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    I just bought a Marantz SR-8200 and I'm having some trouble with the analog hookups. I'm hoping that it is something that I'm missing and not a bad unit. I've connected my sattelite (digital), Playstation 2 (digital), CD player (digital and analog), and tape deck (analog) without any problems. However, I cannot get the analog inputs to work for VCR1, VCR2, or TV. For example, when I hook up my VCR to the VCR1 Inputs, I get the picture via S-Video, but no sound. Likewise, no sound if I connect to VCR2 or TV. I get the sound just fine though, when I connect the analog inputs to the tape input. I set each of the problematic inputs to "ANA" in the setup screen and also tried some of the "auto" settings, but no sound comes through, just the picture.

    Another thing: for CD I can connect both analog and digital and switch between them with the A/D button. For DSS, the sound is fine via digital, but the analog inputs give no sound when I switch to them.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to wake up these analog inputs or something else that I can test to see if I have a bad unit? I just spent about 10 hours rebuilding everything from the ground up in my system, and I hate the idea of tearing it all down and driving over an hour back to the shop.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris
     
  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    funny, I have the SR8200 as well, I've hooked up the TV and VCR audio to the analog inputs as well and it all works fine.

    I see you've already changed it to "ANA" inputs, so that can't be the problem (I made a mistake on this once, with input still set to digital).

    since you can switch between analog and digital for CDs, it strikes me that analog should work fine. can you do the same A/D switching for VCR and TV as well?

    or could it be something as mundane as putting the RCA plugs in the "Out" rather than "In" sockets?
     
  3. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, the more troubleshooting that I did, the more it points to a bad unit. What I discovered is that one whole "column" of analog inputs seems to be dead. DSS, TV, DVD, VCR1, and VCR2 are all not working for analog (s-video and digital are fine). The other sets of analog inputs are fine though (CD, Tape, CD-R, front Aux). For example, I can plug the VCR outs into CD-R and hear it fine. And yes, the Input Sources *are* set to "ANA".

    On the plus side, the 8200 sounds amazing. I was quite surprised at the improvement over my last receiver (Marantz SR-7000 which is also a great piece). The whole things is at another level, and compared quite well to the Outlaw 950/770 separates that I heard at a friend's house this weekend (which was twice the price).

    Chris
     
  4. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    Chris,

    Marantz seems to be quite good at addressing problems with their equipment, so you shouldn't have any problem.

    BTW, can you elaborate on the sound difference between the 8200 and 7000? I have a 6200, and plan to upgrade to the 8300 sometime next year. How would you compare the HT performance, and also music at both high and moderate volumes, for critical listening to CDs. Also, what CD player are you using?

    Thanks.
     
  5. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Chris,

    Since I just got the 8200 a few days ago, I haven't had a chance to listen to a bunch of DVDs, so I can't go into much detail on DD comparisons. What I have heard, though, the 8200 seems more detailed and effortless at higher volumes. The big difference here was with non-DD material from DirecTV. Prologic II makes a *huge* difference on network shows and 2 channel digital material. TV shows and even commercials just seem to come alive with PLII.

    On to music, which is my primary passion (hence my appreciation of Marantz gear). With the SR-7000, I just could never get it quite right. It's DACs weren't as good for music (smaller sound stage/less detail), so Source Direct was the only way to go. Problem there is no sub-out in SD. Long story short, I ended up using an a/b switch and the pre-outs to get the sub to work. Also, it seemed to struggle a bit with loud and complex passages (making them sound a bit compressed). Since I listen to a lot of progressive rock, I need loud and complex!

    Enter the 8200. My CD player is a Marantz CC-4000, and I connected it via analog and digital. I tried digital first, using the 4000 as a transport and the 8200's DACS. This was the biggest "night and day" moment for the 8200 vs the 7000. Very detailed soundstage along with plenty of headroom. The power sounded cleaner and effortless, especially at high volumes. The bass also blended perfectly with the subwoofer (SVS 16-42pci) and the 80Hz cross-over works surprisingly well for music too. I also tried the Sourc-Direct mode, which sounded great also, but not nearly the difference heard in the 7000. I'm certainly not done with my testing, but right now I'm leaning towards sticking with the digital connection instead of source direct which I never would have guessed, but I guess the Crystal DACs in the 8200 are supposed to be to notch. It was hard to justify the $1,250 price with myself, knowing that I already had a good setup, but I knew it was a keeper after a few short listens.

    Chris
     
  6. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    ChrisDixon,

    Thanks for the information. I too like DPL-2, but I prefer CS-5.1 for most TV viewing, including satellite. It seems to be even more spacious and involving, although with certain programs it can sound a little overdone, so in those cases I use DPL-2.

    Source Direct is fantastic for straight stereo listening to CDs, but I find the DACs of the SR6200 to be average at best, and so I'm searching for a good CD/SACD player that has decent internal DACS (such as the Sony 222ES). I had the Marantz CC3000 in the house for a week, but othere than the player's looks and carousel mechanism, I was not impressed. The sound seemed lifeless, especially through analog. Coax digital was not much better, and far inferior to the analog sound of a friend's older Sony carousel (forget the model number), which is why I'm looking at Sony for CD playback.

    I find the 6200's power to be adequate and clean, but I wish there was a bit more. An external amp for the front three channels would help. However, despite being rated at only 20wpc more, it is definitely a step up from the 5200 I tried. I imagine the 8200 (or upcoming 8300) would fit the bill nicely.
     
  7. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Chris,
    Yes... the extra 20 watts made a big difference between 100 and 120 also (7000 vs 8200). As to the CD quality, if you're planning to get a new receiver, you might want to wait and see if you like it's DACs. If so, the CD player DACs don't matter, and all you need is decent build quality to transport the bits via digital coax.
    I actually like the warm sound of the CC-4000's analog outputs, but I will probably use it as a transport from now on since the improved DACs of the 8200 do such a good job.
    But if you don't like it (and go with the Sony), you can't go wrong either. Marantz seems to really care about music reproduction. Here is a quote from the review of the 8200 at "The Perfect Vision" that sums up what I'm talking about:
    "Fast forward to Marantz' new SR8200 audio/video receiver, where users will find not only analog pass-through and tone-control-defeat buttons but also a "Video Off" mode to bypass video circuitry in the event that video is being routed around the 8200 directly to the video monitor. This says a lot about the direction the SR8200 is headed in. The Marantz SR8200 is not only a fully featured 6-channel A/V receiver but an "old-fashioned" integrated amplifier aimed at a growing new breed of listener—the multichannel audiophile."
    By the way, what do you hear about the 8300? Noone seems to know anything and the reps are still denying it's existence, from what I hear. I'm trying to figure out what they could add that isn't already in this beast.
    Chris
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I would recommend getting rid of the CC-4000. I was really not impressed with this unit via analog, and it sounded nearly identical via digital with my 6200. It sounded rather average for a ~$200 player.

    I've been considering a 222ES as well, but I got a good deal on a CA70ES that is meeting my needs for now.
     
  9. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    ChrisDixon,

    Actually, I think the single-purpose DACS in a mid-level and higher CD player such as the 222ES SHOULD be better than the multi-purpose ones in a mid-level receiver like the 8200's (as good as they are). Only testing analogue vs. digital outputs on the actual equipment can verify this though. I REALLY wanted to like the CC3000 - it had very smooth and quiet operation, but such lacklustre sound through both outputs.

    Regarding the 8300, I haven't heard anything either, but since the 8200 was released about four months after the 7200, I'd assume the beast will make an appearance in early 2003. Regardless, I won't be buying it one for at least a year after that, hopefully at "closeout" prices as the next generation receivers hit the market (8400?), since my number one priority at the moment is getting a decent CD/SACD player (and rebuilding my savings after a HT spending spree!).

    I think the 8300 will incorporate a variable bass crossover setting (like the 7300 is supposed to have), CS 6.1, and perhaps a seventh amplified channel, though that last one is probably a long shot, since it is not required under the THX-Select specification (yet?). However, I believe other manufacturers such as Integra are including the 7th amplified channel on their newest THX-Select receivers.

    John Garcia,

    Now that you've had the CA70ES for a while, what do you think, is it a keeper? Are you using the Analogue outs?
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd say the CA70 is a keeper. It's been getting a lot of use too. I can't really find much fault with it (the tray is kind of slow, and a little bit noisy, all of the ones I've checked out are the same).

    I am using it via analog for normal listening, and also via digital for the occasional DTS CD. If I get the 222, I will certainly still keep the CA70, and probably put it in my second system.

    I will probably have to stop by a local shop and see if I can pick up a 222ES to audition at home for a few days and compare the two.
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Chris D:
    sorry to hear about your bad unit. hope it works out for you with Marantz, and keep us posted!
    ChrisAG:
    I'm a tin-eared noob, so take this with a pinch of salt [​IMG] when I was trying to decide between the 7200 and the 8200, I was allowed to audition them fairly extensively (about 1.5 hours of A/B swapping back and forth, playing a CD I'm reasonably familiar with). I used the DACs in the receivers, i.e. digital out from the source (just a DVD player as transport).
    the main thing I can say is things sounded a bit clearer on the 8200, cymbals were just that much crisper, there was more detail and separation.
    personally, I prefer using CS5.1 for music, and DPLII for TV. I find that CS5.1 provides a more enveloping feel, which works nicely for music, but with stereo TV, it seems to send too much information to the surrounds and detracts from the action up front, whereas DPLII does it just about right, i.e. surround sound when you need it, only when you need it.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  13. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    Comparing the 5200 to the 6200, the two units look identical on the outside but the extra four pounds of the 6200 probably goes entirely into a bigger transformer, for a noticable difference in sound when pushed hard. Plus, I think that when you get into the higher-end receivers like the 8200, the power ratings get a little more "honest," so the 120Wpc of the 8200 is plenty. Just look at the respective weights of the of the 6200 vs. 8200: 33 lbs. vs. 43 lbs.

    I'm not surprised the C70ES DACs are superior to the 6200's... I think it would take a very high-end receiver to match a purpose-built mid-line CD player like a Sony ES.
     
  14. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Well, it was a bad machine. I took it back to the shop and they reproduced the problems and gave me another new one. I'm happy to report that this one has no problems at all, and setup was a breeze this time. Now I can go back to enjoying this thing instead of fussing with inputs.

    FWIW, I also like PLII for TV, and agree that the CS is a bit too heavy on the surrounds. I'll try the surround music settings, but I tend to like 2 channel unless it's mixed for multi.

    I'm still not sure about the remote. I like the touch screen idea, but I don't like scrolling through menus to get to the button I need. I'll reserve judgement until I've had some time with it. All in all, though, it is WELL worth the extra effort to reach the level that I wanted. It's a good sign when I visited a friend with Outlaw 950/770 and the Paradigm Studio 80s (I have Monitor 7s) and wasn't itching to upgrade even more! I thought that some of it sounded just as good on my system. I was especially underwhelmed when he played heavier material like Dream Theater. Where that system shone was jazzy material where the cymbals and highest end sounded more natural, but the difference wasn't worth twice the money IMO.

    Chris
     
  15. Myki Cantero

    Myki Cantero Stunt Coordinator

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    ChrisDixon,

    Glad your unit is fine now. What kind of speakers do you have hooked up with your 8200?

    Myki
     
  16. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    Chris, I'm glad you got a new unit. When you have a chance, try waching your movies using the "DIRECT" mode, That's riht...when you get a chance put your favorite action movie and listen to it on this mode and you will be amazed. Don't worry as all channels will be engaged, including the subwoofer which by the way seems to reproduce only the lowest notes more than on the auto mode. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it?. I have full range front speakers ad this may have a possitive effect on my results.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Just so we are clear, full range speakers are defined as having 20Hz-20kHz capability.
    I use source direct for DTS CDs and I still get plenty of bass from the sub as well.
    I've got a friend with an SR-19EX with Studio 40s and I have to say, I was not as impressed as I thought I should have been. I may have to go over and tweak his system...[​IMG] I have another friend with Studio 20s and a Denon 4800 and they sound very good.
     
  18. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Myki: I have Paradigm Monitor 7v2 for L/R, CC-350 center, Mini Monitors for surround, and an SVS 16-46pci sub. The only complaint that I have with this system is the brightness on the highest end (especially cymbals). I really like the soundstage and up-front nature to go with my warmer Marantz.

    Luis: I do like direct mode, and will use it for sure. I was mainly talking about analog direct for music that was a *must* for my SR7000 due to its poor performance in the digital stage for music.

    I'm also realizing the paradox of getting a better system. I used to yearn for more flexibility (ie. pre-out/main-in loop), but now that I have it, I don't feel like I need it as much anymore because I don't need the work-arounds. When looking at the back of my 8200, my wife said, "that's a bit excessive!". She's probably right, but I love it!

    Chris
     
  19. Myki Cantero

    Myki Cantero Stunt Coordinator

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    Luis, John,

    I have always used my Marantz SR7200 in Source Direct mode when listening to music... BUT I didn't know that it has an effect when used when watching DVDs or Music DTS.

    Can you enlighten me on this? In music, tone controls and bass management gets bypassed. But with DVD movies, what gets bypassed? Definitely it needs the DD and DTS decoders right? Or does it just have the simple effect of making ALL speakers as LARGE?

    In your experience, is using Source Direct while watching DVDs the same as the "day and night" difference while listening to music?

    Myki
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I actually don't know what it is doing, but there is a difference. I personally didn't thik it was a good thing for movies so far (though I am running M5s and a 370), but for music, I like it.
     

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