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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Primare SP33 vs Marantz AV8801

    Hello everyone. I am new to this but really want to do it right the first time rather than going through an expensive trial and error process over years.
    So far I have....

    Speakers B&W 802 Diamonds fronts, 805 rears, and centre

    Electrocompaniet AW 3x120-M (two of these because apparently "When used in multi-channel configuration, a pair of these three channel power amplifiers is an ideal choice for a home theatre.")

    So that leaves the best pre-amp to run this system.
    I am advised by the salesman that the SP33 will give the best audio result. Is this true?
    The Marantz is 4K ready - with upscaling and pass-through, whereas the Primare does not have this feature.
    It seems that the Marantz is the more future-proof choice but I don't really want to sacrifice optimum sound. If the difference in performance between the two pre-amps is minimal then I would probably choose the Marantz.

    Suggestions and guidance would be most welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    If you want the best sound then don't worry about the 4K. You can get a 4K BR player. It all boils down to what features you want and what is more important to you. The Marantz with its warm sound may be a good match for the B&W's. Your dealer should let you take each unit home for a spin to see which one you prefier.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Springfield, Mo
    I would look very close at both units and take them home for a trial basic if possible to see how they sound with your amps and speaker setup. It really does not matter the opinions of other people as far as these to units by themselves if the people do not know how they sound with your amp/speaker combo. That will be the only way to know which unit will be the best for you. If you can see if you can have an in home trial of the units to see how the synergy is with the gear you have at home. If that is not possible then the only thing you can do is look at research and reviews and make the best choice based on that which unit will work with you sonically and with the gear you have.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    I had the Primare SP-31.7 before replacing it with my current Marantz AV8003. I bought the 8003 in order to modernize my HT set up. The Primare did have better overall sound quality, slightly better detail, more transparent and better control. Seeing the 8801's retail price I'd suspect Marantz stepped up their game on that unit and to my guess would have better synergy with the Electrocompanient. I think it comes down to where the main priority is, Primare would have an edge in sound where Marantz is going to be more feature rich. I haven't seen the 8801 but the Primare had better build over my 8003, the 31.7 having a solid metal chassis and remote. In the past, such as when I had to upgrade, Primare was lagging behind the technology. I haven't seen the latest Primare but I wonder if it has the streaming and auto set up etc. that the Marantz does. The auto set up and equalization is a very nice feature, especially if you enjoy a balanced sound.

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