In this showdown, we’ve put the tried-and-true Yamaha CX-A5200 against one of the newest high-end preamplifiers on the market -the Marantz AV7706. The Marantz AV7706 vs Yamaha CX-A52200 competition is fierce. There is a lot to like about Yamaha’s power amps, but we are ready to embrace the future of audio and video performance. We recommend the Marantz AV7706 to power your audiophile-quality home theater. (>>> Check on Amazon)
We will explore the features and functions these products offer and give you an honest evaluation of what the differences are. We describe the physical appearance of both, describe the HDMI inputs and their functions, and describe the way that features like Dolby Atmos can help create a surround sound environment.
Marantz AV7706 vs Yamaha CX-A5200 Side by Side:
|Marantz AV7706||Yamaha CX-A5200|
|Video||8K/60Hz or 4K/120Hz||4K/60Hz|
|Amplifier||11.2 Channel||11.2 Channel (150W per channel)|
|Sound||7.1.6 Dolby Atmos||Dolby Atmos/DTS:X|
|Price||Find on Amazon|
|Find on Amazon|
The Yamaha CX-A5200 is a great pre amp, but the AV7706 simply outclasses it. The quick facts are below that give you some information about why we like the Marantz unit. Later in this article, you will find detailed information about each of these high-end preamps.
Design and Layout Features Winner: Marantz AV7706
When it comes to the look and feel of a quality preamp, the AV7706 is the hands-down winner. It has the sleek style and convenient layout you are looking for in a high-end preamp.
Connections Features Winner: Marantz AV7706
It’s only a matter of time before 8k becomes a standard resolution and we think you’ll want to be ready to handle the most realistic content possible. The AV7706 offers one 8k-compatible HDMI input perfect for the latest content and gaming consoles. We also found that the AV7706 amplifier offers a broader range of connection types to enable hooking up all sorts of different devices.
Performance Features Winner: Marantz AV7706
The only feature that is important is how well an amplifier performs. In this case, the two are very close. Both offer plenty of power, advanced Dolby Atmos features, and excellent tuning systems to perfect the minute nuances in music. The truth is that audiophiles out there will hear the difference, and the AV7706 produces cleaner audio at all levels.
Product Reviews In-Depth
Now that we have shown you some of the key features that set these two amplifiers apart, we will completely describe the features, functions, and layout of this audio gear and describe the differences between each brand. The comparison will show how close these two are in terms of performance, but will also give you a good idea why we think the AV7706 is superior for today’s entertainment options.
Layout and Design In-Depth
Even though it may not be your primary interest in picking up an amplifier, the way the unit looks is the first thing you notice about it. People tend to form lots of opinions simply by the way something looks. As audiophiles looking at the design and layout of a preamp, we look for certain features like controls, HDMI input and output port locations, digital and analog inputs, and the type of display. A device with a poor design won’t just look ugly, it’ll be difficult to use. We also look at the fit and finish of the case, the layout of dials, and the overall size of each brand.
Marantz AV7706 Layout and Design Features
- An elegant-looking, high-performance amplifier that features the ability to handle up to a massive 11.2 channel system and has 8k capabilities
- Perfect choice for the audiophile who demands perfection and only wants crystal-clear frequencies without distortion at any volume
- Attractive design blends with modern furnishings and looks great with a brand-new 8k television
- There are few things to dislike about this preamp. It can be a little fussy to adjust properly
When you approach this piece of equipment, you automatically know you are looking at a high-quality product. The matte black case is broken up from monotony with a machined aluminum front panel that adds a touch of sophistication to the appearance. The effect is a stunning and attractive product that has modern class.
Dials and Displays
Two large rotary dials provide function and source selection. The dials are finished in a turned-metal look that gives the impression of expensivenness. The ractangular shape of the unit is further broken up with the unique round display. The display is small for most devices, but we found the text to be highly readable even from across the room.
Behind the aluminum drop tray, you’ll find controls and front ports for connecting USB devices and other temporary devices. A second display provides the information you need about source selection and tuning options. The display is easily legible in all types of light, and its small size is acceptable since this would normally be concealed behind the front panel.
The back panel locates all of the most important ports in useful and logical places. Speaker connections are along the bottom and all of the AV connections are above. There are a pair of coaxial digital outputs and a pair of optical outputs as well.
The AV7706 features seven HDMI digital inputs and three digital outputs. One of the digital inputs is reserved for 8k video upscaling. This design makes it simple to keep your wires well organized when you install your preamp.
The AV7706 offers balanced RCA terminals and unbalanced RCA terminals to provide you proper tuning control based on your speaker configuration.
Not a lot of people think about the remote control until they have bought a device and are setting it up. The remote included with this amplifier is understandably complex due to the features and functions the remote controls. Once you get used to the layout of most of the buttons, the overwhelming feeling caused by having so many buttons to choose from is less daunting.
The Marantz AV7706 looks just like the Marantz AV7705 that it replaces, which is great news because these are beautiful preamps. If there is one thing we could wish for it would be to have the main display a little larger. It is very legible at a distance but doesn’t have the room to display a lot of information.
Yamaha CX-A5200 Design and Layout Features
- A workhorse amplifier with a documented history of providing audiophile-quality audio and great video resolution
- Full-width display makes identifying information from across the room easy to do
- Doesn’t provide 8k pass through
- Doesn’t offer gaming-specific features
A few years ago when this unit came out, we liked the way it looked. Sure, it looked just like the Yamaha CX-A5100 it replaced, but it was okay. As time has gone on, tastes have changed, and the amplifier seems a little dated on first impression. Some of the things that audiophiles will point out include the center stand under the unit and the ability to see a lot more information at once than the competition. The center stand helps stabilize the unit and is an additional step to reducing physical harmonic imbalance.
Display and Dials
This amplifier uses a full-width display and a drop tray that protrudes from the front surface. It isn’t a bad-looking unit, but it lacks the pizzazz and sophistication of the competition.
Even though the display looks dated, it does provide all of the important information you need while being easy to see from across the room. Dual turned-faux metal dials on the face provide the source selection and function controls as well as the volume. The knobs sit against raised escutcheons that add to the vintage appearance.
When you open the drop tray on the front, you get lots of tiny buttons and digital inputs for HDMI and RCA cables. The effect is cluttered and somewhat irritating considering the diminutive size of the buttons.
The back panel looks a lot less fussy than the AV7706 amplifier because there are fewer connections available. Side-by-side with the AV7706, the lack of input and output features becomes readily obvious.
Connections Features In-Depth
The audiophile looking to buy an amplifier cares very much about the layout of the back panel. It’s not only the location of certain ports, but also which types of devices can be connected. There is a significant difference between these products -and it’s something that matters to you.
Marantz AV7706 Connection Features
On the back panel, you find a plethora of connection options. So many in fact that it is a little overwhelming even to the expert familiar with AV equipment. You’ll find balanced RCA outputs and unbalanced analog XLR outputs for a full 11.2 channel system that features gold-plated connections for the ultimate in signal transmission.
HDMI Inputs and Outputs
A row of eight HDMI inputs provides a connection from multiple devices. One of the inputs is dedicated to 8k/60 Hz pass-through.
There is also an output specifically for connecting to eARC-compatible televisions. eARC allows audio signals to go both directions from one cable, simplifying the installation of a modern television with the amplifier and speaker setup.
Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity makes streaming from a device easy. You can also stream audio from the preamp to connected wireless headphones. This amplifier uses HEOS technology to allow for multi-zone setups using wireless speakers connected through Wi-Fi. AI Assistant connectivity lets you use your voice to control the preamp processor.
You’ll also find digital optical ports, dedicated gaming console inputs, and ports specifically for DVD player connections. The way the connections are laid out on the back panel makes cable organization easy.
Yamaha CX-A5200 Connection Features
The back panel has the same 11.2 balanced and XLR unbalanced connections for hooking up speakers. The ports are on the bottom of the panel except for the subwoofer connections which are in the middle. Seven HDMI ports, all of which feature 4k/60 Hz pass-through, reside on the top of the panel. There are digital optical inputs and analog input and output ports, but not dedicated inputs for gaming or players.
Bluetooth and WiFi are built in along with convenient access to apps and AI assistants. Multi-zone wireless speaker setups are possible through MusicCast.
The layout of the Yamaha back panel feels cluttered and messy. There are large areas of open space with all of the connections bunched together. The effect looks sloppy and compared to the Marantz preamp, looks incomplete as well.
Everything else aside, the only reason to buy an amplifier is that you are a discerning audiophile that can tell the difference between clean frequencies and muddled noise. Both of these devices do a superior job of boosting and filtering audio to provide the best possible audio quality.
Marantz Performance In-Depth
Hooking this device up to a power amp and connecting it to an 11.2 channel surround sound system is just like any other unit. The brand bundles the MultiEQ XT32 tuning system into this preamp. If you haven’t used MultiEQ before, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get the sound perfectly tuned. Your music will open up in a new way, audio on a movie will sound three-dimensional, and your gaming experience will be thrilling.
The audio quality from this preamp is exemplary. Marantz tunes this preamp to give you “that Marantz sound” which basically means that you’ll forget that you are listening to a digital audio source and think for a moment you are sitting in the front row at a sold-out show. The brand focuses on authenticity over impact, so this isn’t the most bass-heavy system on the market.
Dolby Atmos Processing Features
Surround processing features include a full Dolby Digital suite that includes DTS:VirtualX and Dolby Atmos with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization to artificially create the sensation of overhead speakers.
Marantz includes a full suite of features specifically geared to gamers. Dolby Vision, VRR, QFT, and ALLM technologies work in concert to provide a smooth gaming experience without lag, stutter, or hesitation in 4k UHD at 120Hz.
Yamaha CX-A5200 Performance In-Depth
There is nothing complex about setting this device up. It handles up to an 11.2 channel configuration and takes advantage of YPAO tuning technology to perfect the frequencies and volumes of individual speakers in your setup. YPAO is not difficult to use and does a great job of getting fantastic overhead and dimensional sound.
The audio quality produced by this device is legendary. The sound is big and bold, bringing depth and color to anything you listen to. It is more bass-heavy than the copetition. The CX-A5200 lets us down in terms of video capabilities more than anything.
The Marantz AV7706 is one of our favorites on the market right now. It offers tons of features and flexibility to make any home theater experience mind-blowing. When coupled with a matching power amplifier, the Marantz is everything you could ask for in a future-ready preamp. (>>> Find on Bhphotovideo)
The other device we looked at today has been a go-to for years now for a few simple reasons, chiefly that is a rock-solid and reliable performer that has enough versatility to perform under the most demanding conditions. We’ve found that many of our readers who appreciate audiophile audio quality are also drawn to the most highly detailed visual representation possible.
With 8k becoming more common by the day and the latest and best gaming consoles releasing titles that take advantage of the hyper-realism offered by high-speed pass-through and 8k resolution, it doesn’t make sense to invest a significant chunk of money on a device that lacks the potential to take advantage of the newest tech. The Marantz AV7706 wins simply on the strength of the fact that it is a more modern device.