June 14, 2010
Marantz has been going at it for over 50 years producing audio equipment. Like any company that’s been bought and sold over the years, they’ve had their share of up and down cycles. Lately it seems Marantz is back on the up cycle, releasing a series of high-performance receivers that have the critical features everyone wants while packing the punch necessary to drive a full surround system to theatrical levels.
I was interested in checking out their middle-of-the-road product, the SR6004, which retails for $1,249. At this price manufacturers must choose the right balance of performance and features. My job was to see how well Marantz executed this delicate balance while holding true to their strong audio-focused heritage.
The SR6004 is what I call a midsized receiver. It doesn’t take a forklift to move, yet it has a solid feel to it which implies a decent sized power supply to amply drive a full 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration. The SR6004 employs a class A/B power amplifier design and is rated for 110wpc x 7.
The back panel is laid out quite nicely. It’s not a cluster of connections like you find on many other receivers these days partly due to the absence of S-video connections. There are binding post connections on all nine pairs of speaker terminals, four HDMI inputs and dual HDMI outputs. The SR6004 doesn’t have the typical boxy feel you get with most receivers. Instead it sports some sexy curves, giving it the feeling of a high-end gear not dissimilar to their beautifully crafted two-channel reference gear. The front panel has an array of buttons and inputs.
It certainly isn’t the most feature-laden receiver in its price class, but the SR6004 has the most important performance ones expected in today’s market such as full Dolby TrueHD / DTS HD decoding and Pro Logic IIz post processing for front height channels. Unfortunately you can’t simultaneously use back channels and height channels even with external amplification for a full 9.1 setup like some of the higher end competitor models provision for.
The Yamaha and Onkyo receivers, for example, have a huge advantage over the Marantz in that they are both networking receivers that allow music streaming from sources such as Rhapsody and Pandora (Onkyo only). The Marantz, however, has the ability to link up with its Bluetooth receiver to stream music from any capable Bluetooth device provided that it’s within line of sight and a distance of 30 feet.
The RC007SR remote control is fully backlit by simply pressing pressing the right side button. Ergonomics are good as the remote can be controlled an operated using a single hand. There is a central circle pad of buttons allowing for easy navigation through the menus of the OSD.
It’s also important to note that the SR6004 is equipped with only seven internal power amplifiers. Thus, during speaker setup if you enable “Front Presence” and “Surround Back” speakers, the SR6004 will send signal to only one of those respective speaker groups depending on the post processing being selected (i.e. PLIIz will enable the front height speakers, while PLIIx or Dolby EX will enable the surround back speakers).
The Marantz SR6004 offers analog i/p and component to HDMI upconversion but no ability to adjust picture settings or noise reduction as some of its more expensive competitors. The SR6004 is equipped with three zones of audio. The main zone provisions for 5.1 or 7.1 which can be assigned for front height or surround back channels, zone A for secondary analog audio and A/V switching (no HDMI) and Zone B for digital audio output only.
Click here to read the full review and continue on with listening and viewing tests, on Audioholics.com.