Stick Inception in the Blu-ray deck, settle down with a pack of popcorn and you’re in for a treat. The SR7005 is a masterful performer, delivering the sort of power, poise and refinement you’d hope for at this price. The way it blasts out the movie’s jaw-dropping action scenes with gut-wrenching force and tight, neighbour-bothering bass is impressive enough, but behind all that muscle is an amazing home cinema brain at work, shaping, placing and projecting the effects with such care and authority that you’ll be held captive for the entire running time.
As Cobb and Arthur attempt to extract from Sato in the opening scene, the action is electric. The ‘earthquakes’ are deep and deafening, lending a real sense of menace and excitement, and when it cuts to the baying crowds outside the apartment the shouting voices and smashing windows sound crisp and forthright. It never lets up for a second, orchestrating every action scene with effortless aggression and tons of detail. This is an AV receiver with real fire in its belly and the results are utterly intoxicating.
But it’s equally articulate with Inception’s many talky bits, making voices sound crystal clear but with plenty of body behind them. We’re not saying it’ll make the movie’s plot any easier to get your head round, but you can certainly hear the words coming out of the actors’ mouths. The clearly-reproduced background ambience and mood music make every scene atmospheric, plus it digs out every last speck of sonic detail from the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack.
It’s no slouch with music either. It keeps the pop-funk stylings of Jamiroquai’s Rock Dust Light Star in the pocket, tackling the basslines, drums and vocals with a tightness and fluidity that you don’t get from most budget amps.
The SR7005 is the sort of AV receiver that makes you want to kneel before it and worship. It’s that good. 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.
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