Marantz SR7009 Home Theater Receiver Review
Marantz is on one heck of a roll. Over the past five years I have had the opportunity to evaluate a slew of their products, from reference-level hifi to entry-level home theater. Some products I liked more than others, but all offered very good performance and value. Some particular favorites were the entry-level PM/CD5005 combo, and just last month the fantastically good $799 HD-DAC1. Their flagship streamer and reference series SACD players/DSD DACs are absolutely superb.
Marantz does the rare thing in today’s market, straddling the line between audiophile, two-channel products, and state of art multi-channel home theater. And they do it very well. At all price points. Marantz sent me the new flagship SR7009 receiver, equipped with their very latest technology. Retailing for $1999, the SR7009 is a 30 Lb beast that, when removed from the box, impresses from the get go with its presence, build quality, and classic Marantz styling.
There are so many features packed into the SR7009, it is mind boggling. We will discuss some of them in detail, but here are the highlights:
- 9-channel amplifier
- 125 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD, with 2 channels driven
- Dolby Atmos processing for use with in-ceiling or "height" speakers for more enveloping surround sound; compatible with 7-, 9-, or 11-channel setups (11 channels requires an external stereo power amp)
- Audyssey "Platinum" speaker calibration and system optimization includes:
- Built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, free Internet radio, and music services and built-in Bluetooth for wireless music listening with smartphones, tablets, and compatible computers
- Front-panel USB input for connecting an iPod®, iPhone® or thumb drive
- Plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device or a networked computer (PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution; DSD up to 2.8 MHz .dsf files)
- DLNA certified for streaming music with compatible devices and computers
- three-room/three-source output
- Marantz's Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) offers improved dynamic range and detail while reducing noise
- Phono input for connecting a turntable
- Ethernet port for wired network connection
- RS-232C, remote, and 12 volt-trigger connections for use with external controllers
- 1/4" headphone output
- Built-in HD Radio™ tuner
- AM/FM tuner
The above list is reduced from a far larger list, so you can see that Marantz pulled out all the stops, and the SR7009 is clearly worthy of being their flagship one box solution. The top of the Marantz home theater mountain are the mighty AV7702 multi channel processor/preamp and the MM8077 multi-channel, 150 wpc power amp separates.
Set Up & Listening
Set up for the SR7009 was the same as the previous Marantz AV receiver I reviewed, and similar to the Denon AVR-X3100W. After all HDMI and speaker connections are made, I used the supplied microphone to calibrate Audyssey. I am a big believer in Audyssey and its ability to make a room sound great, even if it is not optimal acoustically.
The SR7009, was embedded into the same home theater framework as previous AV receivers with one huge difference. Marantz also sent me a complete set of Definitive Technology BP-8060 home theater speakers. No sub required due to the built-in powered woofers. Cabling was QED and Kimber. Sources were an Oppo Bluray player, a Toshiba DVD player and recorder, and a Western Digital HD DVR supplied by Time Warner Cable. All sources were steered through HDMI, and a Vizio 55 inch screen took care of video obligations.
The primary thing I recognized first was the brilliant picture quality. HDMI switching was momentary, with no slack time. Utilizing multi-station source material from HD cable channels and Blu-ray sources demonstrated the SR7009 to be an amazingly skilled entertainer. It controlled the woofers of the Def Tech speakers with precision and epic movie soundtracks were just that...epic! Overall sonic impact was among the best I have heard with movies and TV shows.
On multi channel musical material, the SR7009 was really out of this world. I splurged just recently on a stack of Elvis Presley DVD’s, including Elvis On Tour, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is, and the 40th Anniversary of Aloha: Live Via Satellite. They looked and sounded fantastic via the SR7009, with multi-channel sound as believable as I have heard in any system.
Getting around to testing out all the SR7009’s capacities is virtually impossible since there is not much it won’t do. Airplay worked extraordinarily well with Apple gadgets, as did Bluetooth music streaming. Spotify sounded great (a premium account is needed). DLNA streaming was simple as pie. These features are controllable by the terrific Marantz app. The capacity to utilize system and home networks truly opens up various entryways for products like these, and Marantz takes full point of interest.
The $1999 Marantz SR7009 is a one-chassis amusement wonder. It can serve a family's every conceivable need. On top of all that it features classic Marantz design. Make no mistake, the power of economies of scale allows Marantz to produce a product like this for an affordable price. I hate to label any product future proof, but this top-shelf home theater receiver may be the closest thing.
Highly recommended for state-of-the-art home theater installations.