PSB VisionSound 300 Speaker System and Marantz SR8500 A/V Receiver At A Glance & Ratings: Marantz

At A Glance: Marantz SR8500 A/V Receiver


Processing Modes: Dolby: Digital 5.1, EX, Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Headphone DTS: DTS, ES, 96/24, Neo:6
Other: SCS Surround II, HDCD
THX Certification: Yes
Audio D/A Converter: 24-bit/192-kilohertz
Number of Amp Channels: 7
Power Rating (per channel): 125 watts, into 8 ohms
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Dimensions (H x W x D, inches): 7.25 x 17.3 x 18.25
Weight (pounds): 33.1
Price: $1,300

Video: DVI (2), component video (4), S-video (4), compos- ite video (4)
Audio: Coaxial digital (3), optical digital (3), 7.1-channel ana- log (1), stereo analog (3)
Video: DVI (1), component video (1), S-video (2), compos- ite video (2)
Audio: Coaxial digital (1), optical digital (1), stereo analog (2), 7.1 preamp (1), subwoofer output (1)
Additional: RS-232 (1), 12-volt trigger outputs (2),D-Bus/RC-5 (4), IR (2)

These listings are based on the manufacturer's stated specs; the HT Labs box below indicates the gear's performance on our test bench.

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

Value: 94
• It sounds expensive.
• Almost as many features as Marantz's higher-priced receivers

Features: 92
• 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

Performance: 94
• Its big, warm sound flatters PSB's VS300 speakers
• Dolby Headphone processor is a big plus for headphone users

Ergonomics: 94
• 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.

General Information
SR8500 A/V Receiver, $1,300
Marantz America
(630) 741-0300,
Dealer Locator Code MAR