With the SR7005 Marantz is now a home cinema supremo
Techradar: I confess that I have never really been excited by Marantz’s AV receivers. They were never ahead of the features game and always aired too much on the side of sonic caution for my liking. Safe, reliable, solid and about as exciting as endurance snail racing.
When the SR7005 arrived I brewed a really fresh cup of Horlicks, put my slippers on and settled down for an evening of light entertainment.
I should have known something was different the moment the SR7005’s curvy-sided fascia came out of the box, like Angelina Jolie emerging from the lake in Beowulf.
Based on the successful styling of Marantz’s high end hi-fi equipment, this multichannel receiver is utterly gorgeous. The curves are in all the right places, different fascia textures, brushed knobs and that unique circular display make our previous favourite super-models from Pioneer look as if they have had a good thrashing with the ugly stick.
And just when you are thinking that the display window is going to prove a little petite for comprehensive menu display, you drop down the front flap to reveal a bigger main display. That is so cool.
And then there is the features list. No longer the stripped down, audiophile device of previous Marantz receivers, the SR7005 is right up there at the cutting edge of AV tech. Based on the latest generation 32-bit SHARC processor from Analog Devices, it handles all the regular HD audio formats as well as Audyssey MultEQ XT room EQ, Audyssey DSX height/width processing and Dolby Pro-Logic IIz height channels.
It remains a seven-channel amp, which means running height or width channels will require binning rear-back speakers, but at a claimed 125W per channel who is complaining?
Very much a network-ready receiver, the SR7005 offers a dedicated iPod/Phone input, IP addressable and web-access interface and Marantz’s bespoke M-Xport interface to hook up to its optional R X1010 Bluetooth module.
The networking side is hardwired Ethernet with vTuner net radio and direct access to your Napster and accounts.
Apps to go… soon
In development and, alas, not available for this review is a seductive iPhone/Touch app that will control the SR7005 from your Apple device – ideal for when the dog has eaten the relatively mundane remote handset supplied.
The 6-in 2-out HDMI connections all have 3D compatible V1.4a spec, and there is an Anchor Bay upscaler to work some hi-def magic into your SD DVD collection and video material.
Under the hood, Marantz has gone to town to ensure the SR7005 shakes off the older, rather sedate sound and can drive an action movie as fast, if not faster, than any competing device.
The power amplifiers are a current feedback circuit with a whopping transformer power supply for high current on demand. There are a bunch of hand-selected components that would make the most anorak-wearing of hi-fi aficionados nod appreciatively.
Much attention has been lavished on separate power supplies for each key audio section and extensive internal shielding to avoid electrical interference. There’s also a Pure Direct mode that closes down all superfluous circuits and features, such as the display.
The SR7005 is a whole lot of receiver for the money and, in technology and features alone, has leapfrogged forward to join the leading pack. Back this up with Marantz’s audiophile expertise and this receiver has the potential to be a real winner.