Marantz SR8002 A/V Receiver Setup & Tests

Setup & Testing
The SR8002's input setup menu is pretty basic and easy to understand. For each source, like TV or DVD, you can select whether the input is HDMI or component video with coaxial or optical digital audio.

I did run into a bug while setting up my DirecTV high-definition DVR. Initially, the Marantz refused to recognize the DVR's HDMI signal. I switched to component with optical digital audio, which worked, but I wasn't happy about it. A few weeks later, as I was messing around with the setup menu and trying again, I got it to work. Don't ask me how I did it, other than intentionally trying wrong settings and then switching back°like I said, "messing around." A call to Marantz confirmed that the HR20-100 DVR I use might not have wanted to accept the Marantz as a social partner in the HDCP dance. Why it finally did, I'm not certain, but it was the only bug I experienced and the problem never recurred.

The SR8002 employs the Audyssey room-correction system, which relies on test tones built into the receiver and the provided microphone to take readings from up to six listening positions in your room. The entire process is quite fast and easy to do, with onscreen prompts directing you each step of the way.

The measurement results are used to set the EQ in one of four ways. The first is Audyssey's attempt to find an EQ curve that provides uniform response at all six measured locations. Second is "Front," which uses the test results to equalize your center and surrounds to sound as close as possible to the front left and right speakers.

"Flat," the third option, attempts to do what the speaker designer and the laws of physics failed to°obtain a flat frequency response from all your speakers. The final mode is called "Preset," which gives you access to nine rather coarse frequency bands from 63Hz to 16kHz. I'd say the first mode was the best of the active EQ options, but my speakers are matched closely enough in timbre, and my room is only slightly toward the lively side of neutral, so my preferred EQ setting was generally "off."

I was very impressed with the Marantz's FM tuner design and performance with both analog and digital HD Radio stations. (Despite having a 14-foot yagi antenna mounted on the roof of my house, which sits at an elevation of 991 feet above sea level, many tuners I've tested have behaved like I had attached a 2-foot piece of corroded wire.)

The SR8002 brought in 30 analog and digital stations that I was interested in saving to its 60 available presets. Where it not for my well-bred taste in music, I'd doubtless be complaining that even 60 presets wasn't enough! Stations as far as 60 miles away in Islip, Long Island, came in clear enough to be received in stereo. The bonus is Marantz's remote, which has an extensive menu of soft-button options that made preset assignment and navigation a breeze.