Denon and Marantz Re-Release Flagship AVRs with HDMI 2.1 8K Upgrades, Announce 2.1 Adapter Kits for Troubled 2020 Models

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(May 27, 2020) Denon’s potent AVR-X8500 and Marantz’s vaunted AV8805 are being re-released with upgraded HDMI 2.1 capabilities. The new units, designated as AVR-X8500A and AV8805A, will gradually replace all existing AVR-X8500H and AV8805 units, shipping for $4,499 and $4,999, respectively.

The receivers’ new HDMI 2.1 capabilities are confirmed to pass 4K/120Hz signals from all of the latest gaming consoles, while upscaling HD and 4K content to 8K. Additionally, a dedicated 8K HDMI input enables 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, HDR format support for HDR10+ and Dynamic HDR, and a new HDMI feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS), which allows a source to instantly switch frame rate to eliminate screen blackout.

Of course, both receivers will support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.

On the console front, gamers will enjoy 4K/120Hz pass-through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce lag, are also supported features.

Sound United says that current owners of AVR-X8500H and AV8805 receivers can upgrade the HDMI/Digital board in their units to enjoy the same HDMI 2.1 features found on the refreshed versions. This upgrade will require a hardware modification performed at a certified service center. Customers in the United States and Canada Owners can visit the following links for Denon and Marantz to initiate the process; availability begins on June 15, 2021, and costs $599 ($749 CA).

The process to upgrade is as follows:
  1. Customer visits associated brand link provided above and follows instructions.
  2. United Radio, the official repair partner of Denon and Marantz, will ship a box to the customer.
  3. A confirmation will be sent to the customer via email with instructions on what to do with the shipping carton. This will include details on how to affix an upgrade kit label to the box, and a prepaid shipping label.
  4. Customer ships carton to United Radio.
  5. United Radio receives product and performs upgrade within 48 hours.
  6. Return shipment sent out, customer receives shipping notification from United Radio with tracking.
Non-US and Canadian customers should contact their authorized retailer for pricing and availability.

Lastly, Denon and Marantz have announced a fix for 2020 receivers with HDMI 2.1 cards exhibiting compatibility issues with other hardware (primarily the XBOX Series X gaming console). Owners can request a free adapter box (HDMI Adapter SPK618) that corrects errors causing a black screen and no audio when attempting to pass 4K/120Hz or 8K signals to the 8K input of the receiver. This solution is available now and can be ordered by visiting Denon or Marantz.


Additional Photos

SPK618 HDMI Adapter Kit
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Marantz AV8805A AV Receiver

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Denon AVR-X8500A AV Receiver
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Last edited:

Todd Anderson

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Pricing has been adjusted: Denon $4,499 and Marantz $4,999, respectively.

Also, 8K60 and 4K120 pass-through is supported on just one HDMI input labeled as “8K” while ALLM, VRR, QMS, QFT, 8K upscaling, HDR10+ are supported on all inputs (same as our 2020 8K models).
 

Sonnie

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Hmmm... I don't know, but $600 sounds a bit high for the upgrade. Is it that important to make it worth it?
 

Todd Anderson

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Costs are through the roof at the moment... chip shortages, crazy expensive shipping, and shipping backlogs. I'm sure all of those factors are driving the price. Plus, they're covering shipping here in the US.

If you're a gamer, this upgrade is a no brainer. If you're not, probably not necessary at the moment.
 

LeKnobber

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Two questions:

1) Are these shipping now?
2) Since they have an adaptor that fixes the issue, does this mean it has been corrected or will be corrected in the rest of their line that is shipping now or later this year?
 

Sal1950

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Todd Anderson

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Two questions:

1) Are these shipping now?
2) Since they have an adaptor that fixes the issue, does this mean it has been corrected or will be corrected in the rest of their line that is shipping now or later this year?
Great questions. The two new receivers don’t have a definitive ship date, as far as I know.

Im assuming new production AVRs have the corrected chipsets... but let me confirm that for you. I probably won’t have an answer until Monday, but let me see what I can dig up!
 

Robert Zohn

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Sound United was very good to us and we were included in their first allocations of the new Marantz's new AV8805A processor and Denon's new AVR-X8500HA receiver. Our very nice large order shipped yesterday and is scheduled to arrive at our store tomorrow.
 

Todd Anderson

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SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
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dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
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JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Two questions:

1) Are these shipping now?
2) Since they have an adaptor that fixes the issue, does this mean it has been corrected or will be corrected in the rest of their line that is shipping now or later this year?
Sorry for the delayed response on this...
Sound United says the new HDMI boards have already been installed in production units. Unfortunately, unlike the new flagship models that have the "A" designation, other AVRs aren't going to carry any delineation on packaging... they say the best way for users to find out if their unit is affected is to call Denon or Marantz customer service with their serial number.
 
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