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A/V Receivers & Preamp/Processors

Denon and Marantz Update Flagship A/V Receiver / Preamp

Denon and Marantz enable HDMI 2.1 in their top-of-the-line A/V receiver and preamplifier/processor for 2021.

Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Front

The flagship Denon A/V receiver and Marantz preamp/processor have been hanging around the product line since 2018. Each top-of-the-line home theater component has been missing one very important feature — HDMI 2.1 — which enables compatibility with 4K/8K TVs and the latest gaming consoles. That’s about to change, for both new and previous owners.

Denon and Marantz today announced an upgrade option for current owners of their flagship home theater products, the Denon AVR-X8500H and Marantz AV8805. For a fee ($599 US / $749 CA), either unit can be sent back to the factory to have a new HDMI 2.1 circuit board installed. The upgrade enables 8K/60Hz upscaling and passthrough, 4K/120Hz pass-through, HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, HDCP 2.3, as well as other HDMI 2.1 technologies.

Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Front
Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver (2021)

Denon and Marantz will also be selling the same units with the HDMI 2.1 upgrade pre-installed. These new units will labeled “A” models, named the AVR-X8500HA and AV8805A. The Denon AVR-X8500HA will retail for US $4,299, and the Marantz AV8805A at $4,799. 

Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier 2021
Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier (2021)

The improved components now also boast the latest HDMI technologies. Enjoy movies and shows with stunning picture quality thanks to a dedicated “8K” HDMI input enabling 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, new HDR format support including 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. For exceptional color, clarity and contrast the latest models still support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.   

The improved products can also upscale existing HD and 4K content to 8K so more people can experience the power of 8K resolution. They also continue to support eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which allows lossless and object-based audio transmission like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos from TV apps or connected devices using a single HDMI cable. 

Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Rear
Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Rear
Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier Rear
Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier Rear

Several new features give gamers an edge, including razor sharp motion clarity with 4K/120Hz pass through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Get a jump on the competition with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce lag and improve stats. See the enemy before they see you with stunning 8K picture quality.

In addition to this, and in accordance with Denon and Marantz’s history of advanced customer support, current owners of the Denon AVR-X8500H and Marantz AV8805 will have the opportunity to upgrade the HDMI/Digital board within their units to obtain the same features as the “A” components. The upgrade requires a hardware modification at a Denon and Marantz certified Service Center. Beginning June 15, 2021, this will be arranged on request by contacting Denon or Marantz directly via the Denon Site, and Marantz Site for US$599 or CA$749. This upgrade service willl be offered both in the United States and Canada. For customers outside of the US and Canada, it is recommended to contact the local Denon or Marantz dealer or distributor for the availability of the upgrade given potential variations in price and availability. 

Denon AVR-X8500HA HDMI 2.1 Circuit Board
Denon AVR-X8500HA HDMI 2.1 Circuit Board
Marantz AV8805A HDMI 2.1 Circuit Board
Marantz AV8805A HDMI 2.1 Circuit Board

Upgraded Features

Once upgraded, the components will be exactly the same as the new “A” models. See what’s changed below.

2021 (“A”) Models / Upgraded2018 Models
FeaturesDenon AVR-X8500HA
Marnantz AV8805A
Denon AVR-X8500H
Marantz AV8805
8K60Hz and 4K120Hz Pass-throughYes
(A dedicated “8K” input and “Main”, ”Sub” outputs support up to FRL 40Gbps)
(4K60Hz, up to TMDS 18Gbps)
HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFTYes (all Inputs)ALLM only
UpscalingUp to 8K (all inputs)Up to 4K (all inputs)
Copy Protection StandardHDCP 2.3HDCP 2.2
Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Top

Availability and Upgradability 

For owners of either the Denon AVR-X8500H or Marantz AV8805 who wish to perform the HDMI 2.1 upgrade, please visit the Denon Site or Marantz Site for details. The process to upgrade the Denon AVR-X8500H or Marantz AV8805 follows: 

  1. Customer visits Denon Site or Marantz Site. Follows instructions, and checks out.
  2. United Radio, 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.
Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Top
Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver Top
Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier Top
Marantz AV8805A A/V Preamplifier Top

Price & Availability

Denon AVR-X8500HA A/V Receiver – $4,299

Marantz AV8805A Preamp/Processor – $4,799

Related Reading

Denon and Marantz fix HDMI 2.1 bug affecting 2020 A/V Receivers (April 27, 2021)

Denon AVR-X3700H 9.2-ch A/V Receiver Review (2020 model)

Denon Anniversary Edition AVR-A110 8K A/V Receiver (2020 model)

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