By Dick Tan
While looking practically identical to the AV7005/MM7055 pre/power multichannel AV amplification system it replaces, Marantz’s latest flagship AV8801 pre/processor amplifier and its matching MM8077 multichannel power amplifier is packed with quite an extensive list of new features.
Foremost among them is the AV8001’s ability to upscale all incoming video signals, from standard definition to the high definition to 4K (3,8420 x 2160) resolution to match the steadily increasing influx of 4K native resolution displays. Should 4K up scaling be undesirable the AV8801 can be switched to simply allow pass through of any video signal without any form of processing.
There are also more HDMI inputs – 7 compared to 6. In addition there are now 3 HDMI outputs compared to 2, improving the flexibility of the AV8801 to provide separate room connectivity.
The list does not end here for this new Marantz flagship is also a 11.2 channel capable pre-amplifier with professional standard XLR balanced outputs, HDMI support for MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) that allows viewing of video contents streamed via smart phones and a sophisticated Audyssey LFC bass algorithm that supposedly is able to solve or curtail intrusion of extraneous low frequency into adjacent rooms.
As with all modern AV receivers, the AV8801 even more so, is extensive in its provision of Internet-based programming including support of high-resolution network audio for WAV of FLAC at 192/24 bit standard.
Providing up to 7 channels of solid, driving muscle, the matching MM8077 multichannel amp is rated to be able to deliver up to 150 watts per channel into 8 ohms from 20hz – 20khz with a negligible 0.08% THD.
While conceived primarily as a multichannel amplifier for home theatre application, the MM8077, according to Marantz, is nevertheless infused with a bass Marantz audio capability that will allow it to operate equally effectively in a two-channel only music system.
Reflecting its audiophile pedigree is the generous application of XLR balanced inputs alongside the unbalanced options, gold-plated multi-channel speaker posts and an extra large, heavy-duty power transformer.
Retail price is RM13,900 for the AV8801 and RM12,000 for the MM8077.