Marantz SR7005 A/V Receiver Page 3

The comic pleasures of Death at a Funeral, with a star-studded cast including Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence, were more subtle. I liked the way the orchestra punctuated plot milestones with low-level pizzicato bubbling beneath the dialogue. Audyssey’s low-volume modes would have been unnecessary had it not been for a real-life storm that began roaring outside my New York windows—one that had thousands of uprooted trees bashing parked cars not far from my neighborhood. I had to use Dynamic EQ/Volume, again with the latter at its medium setting, just to hear the dialogue above nature’s tantrum. The highlight was “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations, rechanneled in surround and bursting out over the end credits.

Bold as Love
When an A/V receiver as good as this slides into my rack’s guest berth, my listening choices get bolder. I wanted something to play loud and picked Who’s Next on vinyl. As with all of my music demos, Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume were turned off (entirely) and MultEQ XT on (most of the time). I cruised along at 85 decibels according to my SPL meter, the reference level defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and promulgated by Dolby and THX. This may be normal for some listeners but it’s on the loud side for me. Keith Moon’s drums were as explosive as I dared to hope, crashing on the shore like a series of tall, percussive waves. What surprised me was the tunefulness of John Entwistle’s bass. It wasn’t any higher in the mix than it should have been, but it was endlessly powerful, and the precision of its pitches, combined with Entwistle’s melodic prowess, reminded me that he had practically turned bass into a lead instrument. I loved the old-fashioned sound of Pete Townshend’s guitars, both the valve-amped electric and the close-miked acoustic, sculpted with the analog tools of their day. The system’s resolution highlighted the various forms of processing and doubletracking that massaged the vocals—although without diminishing the emotional catharsis of Roger Daltrey’s memorable scream in “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” This was the best-ever Who’s Next presentation in my listening life.

I was still feeling bold, so I chose an album that’s always puzzled me to see if I’d like it better. James Blood Ulmer’s Tales of Captain Black features a quartet consisting of the electric guitarist, his early mentor Ornette Coleman on alto sax, Coleman’s son Denardo on drums, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma on electric bass. I’d last heard it shortly after it was released in 1979 and therefore had never heard it in surround via the Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode, with room correction, through a tubed phono stage—or through the ears of a more experienced listener. Finally I “got” this album: The surging melodic fragments arising like jets of hot steam from Ulmer and Ornette, Denardo’s responsive drumming, and most of all, the tireless melodic inventiveness of Tacuma, yet another lead bassist. Here was another heartening demonstration of how technology can transform our relationship with music and bring us closer to it, right against its beating heart.

The music industry, probably in its death throes, has been releasing massive CD box sets of classical music in slim paper wallets at a low per-disc cost. I was glad to have acquired Glenn Gould: The Complete Original Jacket Collection before it almost instantly went out of print. I was on my second journey through it as I was writing this review. Not quite at random, I chose disc 46 (out of 80): The Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol. 4, circa 1973, with sonatas 11 and 15 and the Fantasia in D Minor. My boyhood experiences with Gould led me to expect a light, slightly opaque sound, with overtones cut short by his clipped phrasing and minimal pedaling. Once again, for the third consecutive time, this system (and probably a fresh CD remastering) helped me hear it in a new way. The inner detail and sonority that I’d always assumed were missing suddenly appeared, subtle but definitely present. Dynamic gradations multiplied, shedding fresh light on Gould’s tendency to recompose well-known works. Close-miking and DPLII resulted in an in-the-piano sound, which is probably closer than Gould and his technical help intended. But I quickly got used to this, came to prefer it, and ultimately was reminded that Gould’s soundscapes were rooted more in the studio than in the concert hall—so this up-close, hyper-revealing sound was entirely in keeping with his aspirations. For the third consecutive time, the Marantz AVR, its Audyssey enhancements, and my Paradigm speakers knocked me flat.

The Marantz SR7005 is the kind of A/V receiver that wins applause. The company has reconciled its distinguished twochannel heritage with the latest features that home theater buffs expect in an AVR that sells well into the four-figure range. In the time I spent with this model, not for a moment did it ever lack the performance or the listening options I expect in a pricey AVR. In fact, considering all the goodies it provides, and at this level of sonic accomplishment, this A/V receiver may be underpriced. Well done.

(201) 762-6500

Christina Marlowe's picture

I recently purchased the Marantz SR 7002 A/V Receiver. Excellent in most every way but one huge, glaring and irritating oversight by both myself and Marantz. I use a Mac computer and my new Marantz Remote controllers are NOT compatible; therefore, much to my dismay, I cannot use many of the features of the receiver. I found it appalling that Marantz does not include a Mac-compatible program, thus rendering my remotes utterly and completely useless. I contacted Marantz and told them that manyalso of their would-be customers would, by virtue, use a Mac computer, but to no avail. If I had done my homework thoroughly, I never would have purchased this incompatible receiver. GREAT sound, though...

soldier38's picture

I recently purchased this receiver as a replacement for an somewhat worn Onkyo sr803.I upgraded from this receiver (which was not bad when it was new) because I wanted dual sub outputs, more hdmi inputs, Pandora radio and of course good sound quality. After extensive research and comparing different brands and pricing, I thought the sr7005 and Denon 4311 would give me what I was looking for in quality and also set me up for future upgrades. I decided on the sr7005 because of the history of the company and the fact that I found it for a great price. I have to say I got more than I bargained for. Sound quality is the best i've heard and it offers all the features I wanted and more. I was hoping you guys would do this review. It gives me a professional opinion and lets me know that I made the right choice. Thanks HT mag.

swimND's picture

Mark: Having reviewed both the Marantz SR7005 and the Yamaha rx-a2000, was there one you found to SOUND better? I assume that most of your setup was the same when you listened to both. Can you offer some thoughts on the differences between the two?

Jose D gamez's picture

I have bought this new receiver as an upgrade to my old SR8200. I auditioned this receiver vs the Arcam600 side by side, and let me tell you: there is little difference if any as sound quality goes, this new receiver stands up to the best. Not being THX certified and less weight was a concern,but... according to Marantz, they did not do THX certification because it costs money, they wanted to keep it affordable.I am planning to use an additional three channel amp with this receiver. Really high end.

mike1's picture

my friend has this avr and last saturday when i went to his house we watch movie n i had a headache for 2 days.i wish i can buy this avr, sound from that is big WOW.

suterp34's picture

Is this reciever .2 ready? I would like to be running two subs without having to spit 'Y' the LFE cable.

PACoug's picture

Bought mine for $800 from a guy who lost his job before he was able to equip his HT. It was new unopened in the box, but I don't get the warranty. For half price I'll take the risk.

This is my fifth Marantz HT receiver and the best yet. Has great midrange and the high end is smooth.

But what sets this thing apart is its advanced bass management. This receiver replaced a 7001 that finally went into shutdown after years of good service. That 7001 had stunning bass. I have twin RBH passive subs driven by matching RBH amplification; that's 4 high-quality aluminum woofers moving a mountain of air. When Russell Crowe shouts "Let fly!" in Master and Commander and the cannons commence, the old 7001 produced bass control that was inspiring, and a depth I couldn't find anywhere else in a standalone component for less than $2k.

Well, its replacement has gone one better. Perceived depth in soundtracks I've listened to many times over the years is far better with the 7005. Precise control of the woofers even puts the 7001 to shame. When you're operating this much woofer, you tend to get paranoid about boominess and johnny-one-note woofer performance. I put an old Holly Crowe CD in my Marantz CD player coming through my Number Cruncher, because the string bass on that recording can truly separate the refined men from the boomy boys in the subwoofer department. Never have I heard those bass lines that clean except on a pair of well-driven Sennheiser 650s. Wish I still owned those.

All the rest of it, the extra HDMI inputs, 3d support, ARC, robo-modes for every mood, all of it is just gingerbread. The sound quality here makes the movie and music experience so engrossing that I'll never regret this purchase.

LIFE_IS2's picture

I recently bought the SR7005 receiver and could not be happier. Thanks for the recommendations. I have always been a H.K. fan but didn't have good luck with my AVR2600. I went to try out their newer models but felt the were so light in weight comared to my older HK receivers. Do ya'll feel that HK has lost some quality and how does the newer models by HK perform to the newer models of Marantz in the same category as far as price goes? Thanks and GREAT ARTICLES