Marantz SR5009 AV Receiver Review


Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $899

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth built in Analog multichannel ins and outs
Minus
No HDCP 2.2

THE VERDICT
Though it lacks the latest UHD video future-proofing, this mid-line Marantz delivered great sound and solid value.

D+M has a leading role in the audio/video receiver market. It’s actually an amalgamation of two former companies with markedly different (though both distinguished) histories. Denon, born in 1910 and known for a time as Nippon Columbia, was originally a manufacturer of gramophones and discs in Japan. Marantz, in contrast, was born in the U.S.A. in the early 1950s when Saul Marantz of Kew Gardens, New York, started building preamps in his home.

After numerous corporate permutations (which included a three-decade relationship between Marantz and Philips), Marantz and Denon merged in 2002 into what is now called the D+M Group. In 2014, the pro divisions of both brands were acquired by inMusic Brands, a maker of DJ equipment. However, the consumer divisions continue to market AV receivers and other audio products under the D+M umbrella.

Atmos, No. Triple Wireless, Yes.
The SR5009 ($899) is one of three new Marantz AV receivers, also including the more powerful SR6009 ($1,299) and Dolby Atmos–capable SR7009 ($1,999). No, the 7-channel SR5009 doesn’t include Atmos decoding—with the exception of Onkyo, which offers three 7.1-channel Atmos-compliant models, AVR makers have chosen to focus their initial Atmos efforts on 9- and 11-channel models that can drive a minimum of four height speakers along with the basic 5.1-channel configuration. But this receiver does offer what I call the wireless triple threat—Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth—and they’re all free of awkward extra-cost dongles. That potentially saves you hundreds and boosts our value rating.

Marantz receivers have a unique convex-curved front panel with a small porthole display. Some models augment the porthole with a larger display hidden behind a flip-down door, though this receiver does not. If you depend on the front-panel display, the porthole’s modest size might be a limitation. The buttons (for sound mode, zone, dimming, etc.) that normally would be behind the door are instead beneath the porthole in plain view, reduced to slivers to avoid marring the clean visual design.

This $899 receiver offers a fuller back panel than, say, a typical $600 model does. There are eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, version 2.0, but minus the HDCP 2.2 digital rights management used for UHD. This is hardly unusual for most 2014 AVR models, but it isn’t an easily ignored omission, either. While it’s hard to know exactly what ramifications this might have for the passthrough of Ultra HD content, it’s clear that at least some future streams and probably the upcoming UHD Blu-ray Discs (now scheduled to appear by the end of 2015) will be encoded with HDCP 2.2, and even HDMI 2.0-compliant models today that lack this latest copy-protection scheme would likely block such signals. The impact of this on your buying decision will depend on how critical you deem future-proofing for UHD video switching.

Also present on the SR5009 are three HD-capable component video inputs and one output. Some of our readers have expressed concern about the disappearance of analog multichannel interfaces from sub-$1,000 receivers. They will be glad to find the 7.1-channel input and 7.1-channel output (with two monophonic subwoofer connections) on this one. The multi-ins would play nice with the multi-outs on your high-res SACD disc player, and the preamp-outs would allow the receiver to serve as a preamp/processor, feeding a separate multichannel power amp. Stereo analog inputs (four) and digital coaxial/optical inputs (two each) are reasonably plentiful, so this receiver will support your two full racks of legacy components, though changing the litter boxes for your 30 cats is still a responsibility you must bear alone.

With Denon and Marantz sharing the D+M stable, it’s no surprise that the SR5009 and some Denon receivers have several traits in common, including the graphic user interface (with its good-looking and highly readable font) and the slightly simplified remote control. Both brands supply cardboard microphone stands for use during auto setup, a helpful plus. Despite these similarities, the two brands have traditionally had different cosmetics and (in my experience) voicing, with Denon typically offering a more “clinical” sound and Marantz a more “euphonic” one. More on that later.

The SR5009 is rated at 100 watts per channel with two channels driven. Another Marantz tradition is to maintain 75 percent of rated power with five channels driven; see our measurements to find out whether this model measures up to that yardstick. Room correction is MultEQ XT, Audyssey’s second-best system—and I consider Audyssey’s second-best to be very good indeed.

In addition to AirPlay and Bluetooth, this receiver can use DLNA via Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections to grab music from a PC, network attached storage drive, or USB external drive. That includes high-resolution files such as DSD; FLAC, and WAV up to 192 kilohertz and 24 bits; ALAC and AIFF up to 96/24; and lossy MP3 and AAC. Gapless playback is supported for all formats, not just for the Apple-approved ones, and Marantz says this is an exclusive (glad I asked!). A sticker on the front panel celebrates the presence of Spotify Connect audio streaming.

COMPANY INFO
Marantz
(201) 762-6500
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
trynberg's picture

Mark, can this receiver stream 5.1 24/96 flac?

Mark Fleischmann's picture
According to the brochure, it can stream FLAC up to 24/192. 5.1 is not specified so my best guess would be stereo. But I'll ask Marantz to make sure.
trynberg's picture

Thanks, Mark. I really wish receivers would do this so I didn't have to use a PC or BD player to do so.

Mark Fleischmann's picture
Marantz confirms: DLNA and USB streaming limited to stereo only, no 5.1.
red5goahead's picture

So why should I choose the Marantz SR5009 instead a X3100W?

Btw I'm really interested about the Marantz , I've a Sr4400 since 10 years.

Pongaselo's picture

I replaced a recent 23 series Denon with the SR5009. I have designed a 9" two way floorstanding speaker utlilizing the venerable Dynaudio D-28 with Dynaudio's matching 9" woofer. After bending the pair to my way of listening ( massaging the overpowering midrange into a thing of beauty), I was unable to use this speaker with the Denon as it went into protection mode unlike the 2308 that it replaced. The Marantz seems to love the Dynaudios and I have never achieved a system with the flexibility and performance that the SR5009 has brought to my setup. My boss and freinds don't want to hear my exultations any more, Its that good.

Having said that, I can come to the point of my comment. The video processor on this receiver is something special. My fellow enthusiasts and I have a considerable collection of video on DVD. Some of truly poor quality with horrible blurring etc. The video section of the SR5009 does an unbelievable job of rendering clarity and depth to good DVD quality videos and the recopied from VHS movies are truly amazing in terms of how much the video is improved. I have never experienced this level of improvement with my Oppo handling the job.

Associated equipment: Panasonic DMP-BD500, Panasonic TC-60AS530U, Panamax M4300EX, B&K ASW-610, Polk Audio CS2, Paradigm Stylus 370 V.4, Dynaudio Custom Fronts, Dragonfly interface to Mac Pro music server.

jgonzo's picture

Mark,

Thank you for the thoughtful review. I'm in the process of reconstituting my home theater after a bit of time away from the hobby and was wondering if you could shed some light on the manner in which you rank performance and how the 1-5 star scale ought to be interpreted.

In particular, you heap praise upon this receiver, but award it 4.5 stars. While you also write highly of the Sony STR-DN1050, you words seem to prefer the Marantz, yet the Sony is given 5 stars. My assumption is that a given star rating is assigned relative to the price point of a given product (i.e., the Sony sounds fantastic for a 600 dollar receiver), but as someone who is shopping for a receiver now, but very, very concerned with amplifier performance for two channel listening, should I read these rankings to suggest that, in your opinion, the Sony performs better on audio material?

Thanks for your help.

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