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Leading Hi Fi component Company Marantz has raised the bar by delivering a brand new top-end tuner, preamp, surround processor that delivers 11 channel capability.The new model which is set to sell for over $4,000 can be paired with the new flagship MM8077 seven-channel power amp.

The 11.2-channel component joins the recently introduced 7.2-channel AV7701 and the AV7005 preamp processor. It is not known when the new top end Hi Fi gear will be launched in Australia.

The new preamp processor is the brand’s first audio component with 11-channel capability and Marantz’s first component with DTS Neo:X post processing, which adds two front-height and two front-width channels to a traditional 7.1 home-theatre system. The 11.2-channel component supports Neo:X’s full 11.1-channel capabilities, whereas some Neo:X-equipped audio components in the industry support up to 9.1 Neo:X channels.

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The AV8801 is also Marantz’ first product to incorporate Audyssey’s XT32 room-equalization technology and Audyssey Sub EQ HT processing, which optimizes sound for dual-subwoofer setups. It’s also Marantz’s first audio component with four-port Ethernet switch.

Like the 7.2-channel AV7701 preamp processor, the flagship features DLNA 1.5 networking, AirPlay, HD Radio, Internet radio, 4K passthrough and up-scaling with GUI overlay, 3D passthrough, optional stereo Bluetooth, two simultaneous HDMI outputs, a third HDMI out for a remote zone, and Audyssey DSX post processing, which adds front-wide and front-height channels to a 5.1 system.

Both preamp/processors also stream photos and audio from networked PCs and connect to broadband modems to stream Internet radio stations, Pandora, SiriusXM Internet radio, Spotify and Flickr.

Compared to the AV7701, the flagship model adds AM-radio band and 4K up-scaling from standard-definition sources, not just from HDMI-connected sources. The flagship also offers 192kHz/32-bit processing compared to 192/24 processing.

Other flagship features include InstaPrevue function, which lets users preview video from connected HDMI sources in multiple picture-in-picture windows. The component’s four-port Ethernet switch connects up to four networked devices, including the preamp processor, to a home network without adding a third-party Ethernet hub. Other connected sources could include network-capable Blu-ray player or game console.

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