Marantz SR7007 review

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 |

I am pleased with the new offering from Marantz. The Marantz SR7007 is really awesome, I give it full marks for features, looks, ease of use, performance and value for money. The way it powers even demanding speakers to perform is truly spectacular. It is also one of the best receivers with multi-room capabilities, and the ZONE 2 HDMI makes it easy to send full HDMI signal from any HDMI source to a second room.

Marantz is one of those companies that will probably be around as long as there are people to hear music and who want to enjoy it at home and after many years of giving the world some of the best Hi-Fi equipment, and being pioneers in the home theater industry, they are still innovative and continually fine tune and develop the equipment, staying ahead of the curve every time they change a model number. And this is the case with the Marantz SR7007.
The Marantz SR7007 came to me in the usual square box. Opening the box revealed a surprise : an instruction manual – with just four pages! Even better, it is four pages of Large print, easy to read under any conditions, and really easy to follow.

The accessories are standard: Manual, Instruction CD, Remote with batteries, FM Cable and Auddyssey mic.

The remote has the same look as the user friendly Marantz SR7005, only a few buttons changed to accommodate the expanding multi-room functions.

First I carefully investigated the back panel and found three HDMI Outs. Yes, an impressive three HDM outputs.

I read and followed the instruction manual.

In short it said the following:
1. Unpack
2. Plug in TV HDMI on HDMI Out 1
3. Plug in power cord
4. Follow on-screen instructions.

I thought it could not really be this simple? What if the wires accidentally touch each other, which can cause a short? But Yes, they have made the setup Simple and Safe. When you go to what they call “Setup Assist”, the amplifier itself switches off, leaving you with an instruction menu. From there you can choose language, speaker connection/calibration, Input setup and Network setup.

 Now you just need to follow the instructions on the screen with no danger of shorting out cables.

 While the Marantz SR7007 only claim to be a 7.1 surround sound amplifier, it is possible to achieve an 11.2 configuration. This is done by sharing power from its surrounds and surround backs to sister pairs.

 When doing a more custom setup, with Zone capabilities, the onscreen menu is easy to understand. The onscreen menu makes it easier to do a more custom set up, which is necessary to get more optimum use out of the room and the equipment. Getting to the settings are easier, understanding which settings will achieve better results, take practice.

To add the Blu-Ray player is a simple matter of plugging it in to the relevant HDMI input and the HDMI Zone 2 out to a tv in your preferred zone, and as quick as that, you will have a picture.

Now at the same time you will be able to add any HDMI source to the receiver and play it in your main zone, at the same time as the Zone 2 output, this giving you 2 separated HDMI sources running to two different Zones at the same time.

Now you have the choice of watching two completely different things at the same time – bliss and peace for all members of the family!

So setup and gadgets impress. What about performance? To test the units’ power in a 5 channel setup, without using the Bi-Amp and Bi-Wire capability. I loaded a John Mayer live Blu Ray. I stood in the middle of the room, lights off, and closed my eyes. It felt like I was there at the concert. I heared the whistles of fans from behind, the screams of admiring fans. It creates a wonderful ambience really, I have heard many systems with this same live disc, and this just has such depth in the sound. The singing was perfect, I love the way it recreates the moment.

I then got a WAV. track from my NAS drive, to test the streaming ability. I  chose a classical piece with nice low-end, quick and sharp acceleration on the violin. The Marantz SR7007 handled it with absolute authority.

Next I played the intro from movie Transformers 3, and from the start, the intro sounded stunning. The music is clear, yet not dominating, Optimus Prime’s voice could clearly be heard over the rumbles of thousands of emotional mechanical robots shooting the living galactica out of each other. I could hear the dialogue all the time, the balance between the background and the point of actions is excellent, and the mood the director wanted to create was very obvious.

To conclude, you expect that Marantz must produce something good, but they do so consistently model to model, year on year with astonishing consistency. The Marantz SR7007 sets the bar, and continues the proud heritage of the Marantz brand.