Marantz SR6008 – Performance
After spending a few days in its company, we’ve fallen in love with the SR6008 in a big way. It’s a beautiful-sounding receiver, reproducing our favourite movies and music with spine-tingling sophistication and blistering power.
The best demonstration of its power is Pacific Rim on Blu-ray, which isn’t Hollywood’s finest hour dramatically but provides an outstanding workout for any sound system. As two Jaegers square up to Otachi and Leatherback off the coast of Hong Kong, the SR6008’s immense soundstage easily communicates the size and heft of these colossal figures.
The scene is exciting, expansive and packed with detail. As helicopters shuttle the Jaegers into position, the chop-chop-chop of their blades and bleeping electronics inside the Jaeger cockpits are clear and prominent. Then, as the robots are dispatched into the sea, they hit the ocean floor with a deep, visceral thump and a splash of water that doesn’t sound spitty or harsh.
Dynamic shifts are expertly handled too. When Leatherback suddenly bursts through the ocean’s surface, it does so with a fast, forceful explosion of water, then clobbers its tail into the robot with a vigorous clank. The monster’s roar has enough of a rasp to keep you on your toes but doesn’t strain or distort.
But that’s what’s so impressive about the SR6008’s sound – even when it’s flexing its considerable muscles during a hyperactive action scene, everything sounds smooth and controlled. There’s excitement in spades but your ears don’t take a battering at loud volumes. That’s the Holy Grail right there.
We’re also impressed by the way dialogue cuts through the carnage, and how it precisely maps out effects or steers them around the room with aplomb.
Switch over to something more nuanced like Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men on Blu-ray, and its natural, realistic presentation suits the movie perfectly. Theo and Kee’s nerve-shredding escape from the farm is brought to life by the Marantz’s lucid reproduction of the eerie sound design.
And true to form, Marantz tops off this terrific performance with stunning stereo music playback. With the stripped down live acoustic recording of Frank McComb’s Remembering Donny Hathaway it easily captures the intimacy and soulfulness of the performance. The piano solos are clean and agile, while McComb’s voice has an absorbing purity. The SR6008 also teases out the faint background voices of the crowd.
Should I buy the Marantz SR6008?
Whichever way you slice it, the SR6008 is a fantastic AV receiver that ticks all the boxes. It’s easy on the eye, jam-packed with features, remarkably easy to use and offers a potent, detailed and refined sound.
That said, even with its discounted sub-£600 price tag there are better bargains to be had elsewhere. The Onkyo TX-NR626, for example, throws in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (but no AirPlay), while the Pioneer VSX-923 gets you eight HDMI inputs and HTC Connect support, both of which can now be found for under £300.
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But neither can match the SR6008 on sound quality, which makes it a must-buy if performance is your priority.
The SR6008 is a fantastic receiver in every respect, offering killer sound, extensive features and a slick operating system.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 10
|Audio Processing||Audyssey DSX, DTS Neo:X|
|Dolby Pro Logic II||Yes|
|DTS Master Audio HD||Yes|
|Composite Video In||4|
|Component Video In||2|
|Component Video Out||1|
|S/PDIF Optical In||2|
|S/PDIF Coax In||2|
|Stereo Line In||6|
|Stereo Line Out||1|
|iPod Dock||Via USB|
|Power (Watt)||185 per channelW|