As for the features we haven’t mentioned yet, how long do you have? Let’s start with the basics. The on-board power amplifier supplies 110W to each of its seven channels, and of course it decodes Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks in its sleep – as well as any other flavour of Dolby Digital and DTS you care to mention.
And if you’re after 3D sound to go with those 3D pictures, then the on-board Dolby Pro Logic IIz processing will add a vertical dimension by creating front height channels, which can be used instead of surround backs. Marantz has generously supplied speaker terminals for both the front height and surround back channels, which means you don’t have to keep moving speakers around the room.
Of course, like other incarnations of Pro Logic, it’ll also expand stereo sources to virtual 5.1 or 7.1, which is great for watching TV programmes in surround sound. The SR6005 also features Pro Logic IIx and regular Pro Logic II, which you might prefer to use if you don’t want to faff about with front height channels.
Another key feature, particularly for surround sound newcomers, is the Audyssey Auto Setup mode. In conjunction with the supplied setup microphone and test tones, this function analyses your room’s acoustics and selects the optimum settings. It takes readings in six different positions to guarantee the best results for all seating areas. After the levels have been set, Audyssey’s MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume modes kick in, and like some sort of UN peacekeeping team they police the sound output, keeping it in line with the Auto Setup results by correcting problems, as well as levelling out the volume differences between different sources and programmes.
If all this autonomy sounds a little suspect, then you can manually tweak the Audyssey settings, or turn it off altogether and optimise the sound yourself using use manual settings. The alarmingly comprehensive array of sonic tweaks in the setup menu will keep audiophiles happy as a pig in muck, but with such detailed control it can get complicated, so if you’re not au fait with this sort of thing then we suggest sticking with the Audyssey settings.
It’s worth noting here that the SR6005 doesn’t feature Audyssey’s DSX, which does a similar job to Dolby Pro Logic IIz – that’s reserved for the SR7005. Denon’s AVR-1911 is equipped with both technologies, but in all honesty you only need one of them. Also missing is the networking functionality found on the SR7005.
The SR6005 also features the M-DAX listening mode, designed to boost the quality of MP3 and WMA playback. The unit also boasts 1080p upscaling courtesy of the on-board Anchor Bay ABT2015 chip, which also provides a whole host of picture adjustments, including contrast, brightness, chroma level, hue, DNR and Enhancer.
All of these tweaks are made using an onscreen user interface, which makes life so much easier than using the front display panel. It’s fairly basic in its design, superimposing blocky white text over the picture, but it’s incredibly easy to follow, presenting options in logical sections and moving between them quickly. The remote features a fetching brushed metal finish and display window at the top showing the selected control mode. It’s also backlit, and although it’s teeming with buttons the sensible layout makes it easy to use.