New A/V Receivers from Marantz

September 7, 2006

Marantz SR8001Marantz recently unveiled their 01 series of surround receivers which range in price from $549.99 to $1999.99, all totaled there are 5 new receivers in the line and as predicted none include HDMI 1.3. Several of the new receivers however facilitate 4 HDMI inputs, compared to the standard 2/3 HDMI inputs found on many other A/V receivers.

First up in the 01 line is the SR4001 Dolby Digital EX/DTS ES Surround Receiver, which retails for $549.99 and includes:

• 80 Watts x 7 Channels All Discrete Amplifier Stages
• HDMI (v1.1) Repeating: 2-In/1-Out
• On Screen Display
• 3 Assignable Component Inputs
• S-Video to Component Up-Conversion
• 2nd Zone Audio Output (Same source)
• Dolby Headphone
• IR Flasher Input
• Learning Backlit Remote

Next up in the series Marantz offers the SR5001 XM Ready Surround Sound Receiver, which retails for $749.99 and offers features such as:

• HDMI (V1.1) Repeating: 2-In/1-Out
• Dual Component Outputs
• XM-Ready with Discrete IR Commands
• Up-Conversion to Component
• 2nd Zone Audio Output (Individual source)
• Stereo/Mono Switching for 2nd Zone
• Lip Sync. Control
• RS-232C Control
• IR Flasher Input
• DC Trigger Output
• New Shallower Chassis (<16”)
• 90W x7-Ch Discrete Amp.

Moving up a little farther into the 01 line we have the ZR6001SP with “DAvED technology” (Digital Audio via Electrical Distribution) DAvED is a multi-room audio distribution standard, which allows for plug and play multi-zone operation. The R6001SP retails for $1299.99.

• 90 Watts x 7 Channels
• Simple Set-up Menu and new Cursor Controlled Advanced Menu
• 7 Channels of Discrete Amplification (SA ready – Current Feedback)
• Video Up/Down Conversion
• 32bit DSP with 192 kHz/24-bit D/A converters for all channels
• Variable Crossover Points
• Detachable power cord
• HDCD decoding
• Pure Direct Mode
• Multi-room /Multi-source Audio with discrete commands

Pushing up into the upper tier of the 01 series, A/V receivers is the SR7001 THX Select2 Surround Sound A/V Receiver with a suggested retail of $1399.99. Features include:

• THX Select2 Certified
• HDMI (V1.2) Repeating: 4-In/1-Out
• Up-Conversion (w/TBC) to HDMI with 480I/480P Converter
• Current Feedback Amplification
• 2nd Zone Audio/Video Output
• Audyssey Auto Calibration
• Dolby Virtual Speaker 2
• XM-Ready with Discrete IR Commands
• IR Flasher Input
• 2 DC Trigger Outputs
• New Shallower Chassis (<16”)
• 110W x7-Ch Discrete Amp.

And last but by no means least is the ‘01’ series flagship surround receiver, which weighs in at a hefty 33lbs. The Marantz SR8001 THX Select2 Surround Receiver retails at $1999.99.

• HDMI (v1.2) Repeating – 4 In, 2 Out
• Up-Conversion (with TBC) to HDMI with 480I/480P Converter
• Current Feedback Amplification
• XM-Ready with Discrete IR Station Access
• Assignable Dual Component Outputs
• 2nd Zone (A/V) and 3rd Zone Audio Outputs (Individual sources)
• IR Receiver In and x2 IR Emitter Outs
• 2 DC Trigger Outputs
• Audyssey Auto Calibration
• Toroidal Transformer & Copper Plated Chassis
• New Shallow Chassis (<16″)
• 125W x7-Ch Discrete Amp

So with Marantz’s 2006/07 receivers laid out we can see as mentioned at the beginning of this post, no HDMI 1.3 capable receivers from Marantz this year but again don’t fret. HDMI 1.3 isn’t as mission critical as some make it out to be. HDMI 1.3 has two very specific advantages over previous versions that may or may not mean much to you in the long run.

If a new display purchase isn’t in the cards for several more years, then I wouldn’t have any trouble recommending receivers equipped with HDMI at versions as low as 1.1. HDMI 1.3 allows for an increased color depth, as high as 48-bit to be exact. However as many of today’s current displays don’t even reach full 10bit color depth, much less the low end 30-bit color depth of HDMI 1.3’s increased capacity.

I think its easy to see that it could be several more years before 1.3’s full potential is reached. And of course you’ll probably find next-gen surround receivers to better match those new displays when the time comes.

Likewise HDMI 1.3’s other advantage over previous versions won’t be fully realized without source devices capable of transmitting compressed Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD. Currently some Blu-ray and all HD DVD players are capable of internally converting the advanced audio formats to high bit-rate digital PCM and transmitting that signal over HDMI 1.1.

The SR4001 is listed as “Now Shipping”, while the SR5001 and SR7001 indicate “Shipping Soon”. The flagship SR8001 is denoted as “Coming Soon!”. If Marantz follows through with their typical product launch time-frames, all models in the 01 series should be available sometime in early October to mid November.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Surround Sound