Marantz SR8002 A/V receiver - First Look

Marantz SR8002 A/V receiver - First Look

Marantz SR8002 A/V receiver - PreviewAmong the mainstream home theater component vendors, none has been more renowned than Marantz for its products' musicality. Some of these sweet-sounding equipment include various products in the K.I Signature-series--tweaked by its brand ambassador and audio guru, Ken Ishiwata. The SR8002 is another strong example of its music-first philosophy judging from what we have gathered so far. Here's our first impression of its self-proclaimed audiophile A/V receiver.


Like the recently reviewed Onkyo and Denon A/V receivers, this Marantz is future-proof with onboard Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD surround sound decoding. The latter two are data compression-free formats which output sound rivaling studios' master soundtracks played back in cineplexes. That said, you will need a bitstream audio-enabled player such as the Samsung BD-P1400 and Toshiba HD-XE1 to tap on these capabilities. For those on high-def CDs, there's an inbuilt HDCD decoder which readily extracts the extra resolution encoded in these audio discs, too.

Marantz SR8002 A/V receiver - PreviewThe SR8002 is also one of the rare gems at this price to ship with a massive and efficient toroidal transformer. This should give the integrated 125W x 7 audio amplifier plenty of "clean" reserved power to reproduce the full dynamics of the above-mentioned HD sound. Other purist touches include high-grade audio components, an anti-inference copper plated chassis and gold-plated binding posts for enhanced connectivity. In addition, there is provision for front channel speaker bi-amplification and an option to power down video circuitry to improve music playback.

To put you in complete control over the receiver, Marantz is bundling two separate remotes in the package: A primary LCD and secondary controller. Both have learning functions as standard with the former having an edge in terms of a huge display, macro programming and key backlighting. Convenience aside, the SR8002 sports a generous suite of A/V jacks centered on four HDMI 1.3 inputs and two corresponding outputs--all with 36-bit Deep Color-compatibility. There are equal numbers of sockets for component-video adding up to 12 HD-ready terminals at your disposal.


For its audio prowess, the SR8002 lacks an equally compelling video-processing under its hood. There is no 1080p video upscaling which may be a potential bottleneck for users of legacy standard-definition equipments, though interlace-to-progressive conversion is adequately covered here. To further nitpick, this receiver is only outfitted with a lower-end Audyssey MultiEQ automatic audio calibration system. Compared with the XT equivalent utilized by its competitors, it measures only up to six listening positions and equalizes sound using lower-resolution filters.


At S$2,599 (US$1,709.87) a piece, the Marantz SR8002 is neck-to-neck with the feature-packed Onkyo TX-SR875 and S$200 (US$131.58) pricier than the network-enabled Denon AVR-3800. This makes it less enticing for the value-conscious crowd especially with the glaring omission of a HD video scalar. Having said that, we are pretty sure there is a market for this receiver, particularly for those with equal emphasis on music and movie playback without the budget or space for a processor-power amplifier pair.