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Marantz SR7005 AV receiver review

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Marantz SR7005 AV receiver

Summary

Our Score:

10

Before Christmas we reviewed Marantz’ sensational SR6005, which wowed us with its classy looks, extensive features and powerhouse audio performance. Sitting before us now is the its bigger brother, the SR7005, another seven-channel amp that adds even more features to the list and cranks up the power from 110W to 125W per channel. Its range-topping status is reflected in a hefty price tag, but Marantz doesn’t usually short-change punters in this price class and we’re hoping that the S7005 is no exception.

As ever we start with design and the first thing that jumps out is the SR7005’s size. By regular AV receiver standards it’s enormous, with a chunky 187mm-high fascia that might necessitate a rethink of your AV furniture. True home cinema heads won’t care about that though, particularly when it’s styled as attractively as this. Marantz has opted for a classic look with hints of retro chic in the circular display panel that shows the current volume and selected input, illuminated by a ring of gentle blue light. Yes the digits are on the small side, but don’t worry – there’s a bigger display hidden beneath the drop-down flap below. Clever.

The rest of the fascia is pretty tasty too. It curves gently on both sides, making it more elegant than your average AV receiver, while the vertical grooves, large knobs and brushed black finish are pure class (it’s equally stylish in the alternative silver finish).

Adding to this elegant look is the lack of clutter on the front panel – the flap mentioned above also hides a range of auxiliary connections and up-close controls. Under here you’ll find an HDMI input, an optical digital audio input and composite/stereo audio inputs, all of which will come in handy for those devices you only use from time to time. There’s also a USB port that lets you connect an iPod directly and lets you play WMA, MP3, WAV, AAC and FLAC from USB memory devices. Completing the front socket line-up are ports for headphones and the setup microphone.

On the back is a veritable feast of sockets, as befits a receiver of the SR7005’s high-end status. The first thing we always look for is the number and type of HDMI inputs on offer and the SR7005 is endowed with five at the rear and another on the front, all of which are v1.4 and therefore ready to handle 3D content from Blu-ray players. You even get two HDMI v1.4 outputs, which are useful if you want to feed two different TVs simultaneously, (or a TV and projector) and one of them supports the Audio Return Channel feature.

As for the other connections, you get four digital audio inputs (two coaxial, two optical) and one optical output, 7.1-channel analogue inputs, seven-channel pre-outs with two sub outs, seven analogue stereo inputs and four outputs, four composite video inputs and three outputs, plus four component video inputs and two outputs. Some of these audio and video outputs are designated for use in a second or third zone. Vinyl lovers will be pleased to see a signal ground terminal for a turntable, plus there are remote control ports for custom install use and a proprietary M-XPort for the RX101 Bluetooth receiver. It really does have all bases covered but then you’d expect nothing less for well over a grand.

You’ll also notice that there’s an Ethernet port on the back – that’s because the SR7005 is a DLNA-certified receiver, which means you can play music or view photos stored on networked PCs, as well as listen to vTuner internet radio and access Napster, Flickr and Last.fm. With this and its USB/iPod/Bluetooth support, the SR7005 really is a cutting-edge entertainment hub.

ffrankmccaffery

January 7, 2011, 5:27 pm

Reviews such as this serve only to induce further buyers remorse in whatever capable receiver you already have. Still that blue LED ring on the fascia will irritate me of somewhat.

Metalex

January 7, 2011, 5:59 pm

I'm a bit puzzled by this sentence in the verdict - especially in regard to effects placement:





"The combination of insightful detail, awesome power and precise, expansive effects placement makes the Marantz a master of its craft and for that reason it’s worth every penny of its price tag".





Can you explain what you mean by "precise, expansive effects placement"? Does that mean cheaper/inferior AV receivers place sound effects less accurately or in the wrong place?!

Jim 7

January 7, 2011, 10:56 pm

Also, why does every AV receiver review here seem to use different source material? How can you accurately compare one receiver playing Iron Man 2 against another playing Inception? Much of this review sounds like frothy, audiophiliac nonsense (to my ears, at least).

Mike B

January 8, 2011, 1:17 am

The problem is once you move up to receivers that cost above about £600 the differences become far more subtle and the the preferences are in the ear of the beholder! I have the Yamaha RX-V2067 and am very happy with its performance. This unit tends to get 4 star reviews over the Pioneer LX53 but in fact it all depends heavily on the other components, in particular the speakers. For my Monitor Audio RS package the Yamaha produces a better overall, more balanced and natural sound than the Pioneer produces with the same speakers. Some may prefer the Pioneer sound over the Yamaha but this ends up as personal preference.





As Jim pointed out unless the listening room, other equipment and source material are the same it is hard to make a totally critical evaluation. It would also require a panel of listeners to ensure all tastes were catered for in the trial.





In other words reviews like this can only point you towards a range of devices to look at but in your own home and with your own equipment it may sound different to what any reviewer says!

dan pugh

January 8, 2011, 2:09 pm

I have older version (7002) for many years in several rooms. Its great for both surround and music (which is a rare event), but also looks much nicer than most. Its worth noting that marantz phone (not email) support is brilliant, and warranty for mine is 5 years. Definately demo before buying as subjective issue. The majority (my brother) go for onkyo on price. I'm glad I didn't

Super

January 8, 2011, 4:10 pm

Little confused, if it's worth every penny for it's price tag, how come you only gave it 8/10 for value ?

Metalex

January 10, 2011, 7:33 pm

Any chance of a response to our questions, Danny?

Danny P

January 11, 2011, 8:35 pm

@Jim 7: I like to use a range of Blu-ray discs to test home cinema products. I play my staple discs like Hellboy II, The Dark Knight etc on everything but when decent new discs like Iron Man 2 or Inception come along I check them out too – saying the same things about the same scenes can get monotonous so using more recent films is my attempt to inject a bit of freshness into the reviews. It’s good to hear how products cope with lots of different scenes, after all you don’t just watch one film at home do you?





And I’d be interested to hear any advice you have on how to write 1,000 words on an AV receiver and its sonic characteristics so I can avoid making it sounding like ‘frothy, audiophiliac nonsense’ in the future.





@Metalex: Some receivers are better than others at separating, steering and projecting sound than others and therefore give you a better sense of your place within the soundstage. I’m not saying that inferior receivers don’t place effects accurately but there are subtle differences in how widely effects are dispersed and how clearly they emerge from the speakers. Mike B has nailed it with his comment – it’s not an exact science, I’m just describing my thoughts on its sound quality as a prompt for you to check it out yourself and see if you agree.





@Super: Yeah, tricky one. It’s still quite expensive, had it been a bit cheaper I might have given it more. Getting this level of performance and this many features from, say, a £700 receiver may have earned a higher value mark.

Jim 7

January 12, 2011, 2:35 am

@Danny P: So how do you know (and by extension, how do we know) that you can attribute those characteristics to the receiver, and not the source material, or the speakers, or the gauge of speaker cable, or the room, or the temperature, or any of countless other variables if you don't use the same set up every time? It might make for a dry review, but at least it would be something quantifiable. Could you at least do A/B testing alongside a baseline receiver to compare? Anyway, thanks for the response.

Danny P

January 12, 2011, 6:52 pm

@Jim 7: I do use the same setup everytime - speakers, Blu-ray player, films - and compare it to my reference receiver every time, the Onkyo TX-NR906. I just don't talk about the same film every time.

Dow

January 26, 2012, 2:27 am

Danny in the process of buying a new receiver read both your reviews on the onkyo txnr1009 and the marantz sr7005 love action movies do not listen to much music any thoughts thanks dow

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