Marantz Unleashes Reference AV8805 Immersive Audio Preamp

Marantz has introduced its first 13-channel AV preamplifier, the AV8805. Compatible with all immersive audio formats (Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D) and a wide number of high-resolution audio formats, it’s distributed via AWE.

Extremely versatile, the Marantz AV8805 features a balanced XLR stereo input and assignable 15.2 balanced XLR outputs, which include overhead channels, front/width outputs and two subwoofer outputs. The provision of 15.2 pre-outs provide additional compatibility with multiple power amplifier types or active speakers. The pre-amp uses Marantz HDAM modules in a Current Feedback topology, before passing to the XLR or analogue outputs and separate power amp.

The AV8805 HDMI video section promises full 4K compatibility with HDCP 2.2 support on all eight HDMI inputs. It also comes with enhanced audio return channel (eARC) support (via a firmware update), for the most advanced audio formats via single HDMI connection between the device and compatible TVs.

For remote control compatibility there’s an IR (infrared) remote control input and output on the rear panel, along with dual 12V trigger outputs. For direct connection to external home automation and control equipment, the AV8805 includes an RS-232C serial port with Crestron Connected certification, plus full IP control.

Marantz says it is planning a firmware update to support Amazon Alexa Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices, which will enable owners to use voice commands to switch inputs, adjust volume, and skip tracks.

Build quality looks to be exceptional. A rigid base chassis combats microphonic effects through unwanted vibration, while the oversized toroidal transformer feeding the main capacitors is set on an extra 5mm aluminium pedestal for extra stability. All electronics are supported by copper plating on the main chassis, which is said to improve Signal to Noise behaviour. In total, 17 single board HDAM modules are used to maximise channel separation for reference-setting audio performance.

The AV8805 also has HEOS integration as standard, making it fully compatible with HEOS multirooom speakers. The HEOS integration also provides music streaming available through Spotify, TuneIn Internet radio, JUKE, TIDAL, Napster, Deezer, Apple AirPlay, Soundcloud and Amazon Prime Music.

Visitors to AWE’s THX Reference cinema will be able to hear the new AV8805 in action, along with the new KEF Ci5160REF speakers. Clearly a listening experience not to be missed.

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