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It’s similarly state-of-the-art when it comes to audio processing. Not only does it decode HD audio (Dolby True HD, DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus) but it also features Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX processing. Both enable you to connect front height speakers and achieve a vertical soundfield, but Audyssey’s tech can also generate front width channels, expanding the front soundstage even further. However, with seven channels to play with you can’t run surround back and front height/width channels at the same time.
Given the SR7005’s high-end positioning and Marantz’ esteemed audio heritage, it comes as no surprise to find some high-grade circuitry under the bonnet. The brains of the operation is the 400MHz Sharc processor, which handles the HD audio decoding and the range of Audyssey modes. The SR7005 also features current feedback circuitry with Marantz HDAMs (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules) that can reproduce HD audio in high-fidelity. And like the SR6005, the SR7005 can also upscale video signals to 1080p thanks to the Anchor Bay ABT2015 chip.
There’s plenty more to get your teeth into, including an app that enables you to control the receiver from your iPhone or iPod Touch, plus the SR7005 is one of four Marantz products to support Apple’s AirPlay feature with a firmware upgrade available from the Marantz website for around £39. This enables you to stream music from iTunes to the SR7005, as well as accessing artist information, album art and elapsed/remaining time info. A great feature list then, but some home cinema die-hards may bemoan the lack of THX certification and nine-channel amplification.
Audyssey’s Auto Setup feature makes it very simple to get the optimum sound settings for your room. We’re sure you know how these work but there’s a microphone in the box that picks up test tones emitted by the receiver from up to eight different positions, then the receiver analyses the signals and sets the appropriate levels. Once these settings are in place, Audyssey’s MultEQ, Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ modes automatically keep tabs on the sound properties.
Also making life easy is the inclusion of onscreen menus, which use basic-but-functional graphics and a straightforward layout. They contain a mind-boggling array of tweaks – there are no less than 25 pages devoted to them in the manual – and quite simply leave no stone unturned. Highlights include detailed picture adjustments and manual speaker settings in case the auto settings aren’t to your liking.
The remote is a little cluttered, particularly towards the bottom, but most of the regularly-used functions are easy to find and the display window at the top showing the selected control mode is a nice touch.