PSB VisionSound 300 Speaker System and Marantz SR8500 A/V Receiver HT Labs Measures: Marantz
Ratings: Marantz SR8500 A/V Receiver
Build Quality: 95
• Copper-plated chassis shields the sensitive circuitry
• The SR8500's fully discrete audio circuitry costs more than most integrated circuits
• It sounds expensive.
• Almost as many features as Marantz's higher-priced receivers
• A/V synchronization control maintains lip sync for all sources and flat displays directly via the remote
• Marantz's own Room Acoustic Calibration auto-setup system eases hassles for home theater newbies
• Its big, warm sound flatters PSB's VS300 speakers
• Dolby Headphone processor is a big plus for headphone users
• You can reconfigure the surround back channels as an additional set of remote speakers
• Intuitively designed menu system is one of the best we've seen
Overall Rating: 94
The SR8500's rare fusion of friendly ergonomics, versatile system integration skills, sleek styling, and high performance is hard to beat.
SR8500 A/V Receiver, $1,300
Dealer Locator Code MARFive channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 110.9 watts
1% distortion at 121.6 watts
All channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 80.6 watts
1% distortion at 97.1 watts
Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–2.28 dB at 10 Hz;–0.71 dB at 20 Hz
–0.09 dB at 20 kHz;–0.52 dB at 50 kHz.
Analog frequency response with signal processing:
–2.32 dB at 10 Hz;–0.73 dB at 20 Hz
–0.05 dB at 20 kHz;–27.02 dB at 50 kHz.
This graph shows that the SR8500's left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1-percent distortion at 142.4 watts and 1-percent distortion at 168.2 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1-percent distortion at 216.9 watts and 1-percent distortion at 244.6 watts.
Response from the multichannel input to the speaker output measures –2.00 decibels at 10 hertz, –0.63 dB at 20 Hz, –0.09 dB at 20 kilohertz, and –0.54 dB at 50 kHz. THD+N from the amplifier was less than 0.027% at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –76.75 dB left to right and –77.77 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with 2.83 volts driving an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with "A" weighting was –94.18 dBrA.
From the Dolby Digital input to the loudspeaker output, the left channel measures –0.48 dB at 20 Hz and –0.02 dB at 20 kHz. The center channel measures –0.61 dB at 20 Hz and –0.15 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures –0.65 dB at 20 Hz and –0.21 dB at 20 kHz. From the Dolby Digital input to the line-level output, the LFE channel is +0.35 dB at 20 Hz when referenced to the level at 40 Hz and reaches the upper 3-dB down point at 97 Hz and the upper 6-dB down point at 108 Hz.—MJP