Denon and Marantz launch upgraded 'A' spec versions of flagship AV models

Denon and Marantz have announced upgraded iterations of their flagship AV amplifier and processor respectively.

New from Denon is the AVC-X8500A, priced £3700, a successor to its 2018-era 13-channel AVC-X8500 amp. Sound United stablemate Marantz, meanwhile, is launching the AV8805A (£3899), an overhaul of the 13-channel AV8805 processor.

The new 'A'-class models will replace the outgoing hardware at retailers. Owners of earlier AVC-X8500H and AV8805 can have the HDMI upgrade added via an authorised Denon or Marantz dealer.

There is a £650 cost attached to the upgrade, however.

The new HDMI board replaces an HDMI 2.0 input with a dedicated 8K-capable HDMI 2.1 input (40Gbps) allowing passthrough of 8K/60 and 4K/120 signals. All inputs, except the front-panel connection, are upgraded to support VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode), and QMS (Quick Media Switching).

Video upscaling is also boosted, with HD and 4K now able to be scaled to 8K.

Both the Marantz and Denon machines have held flagship status since their launches in 2018. While this is the first hardware update to be offered, they have previously received firmware updates adding DTS:X Pro and IMAX Enhanced, plus Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and front-wide channel support via Dolby Surround.

Last month, Denon and Marantz owner Sound United announced a free HDMI adapter kit for 2020-era AV receivers affected by the HDMI 2.1 'bug'.