bike trailer Marantz SR7005 Audio Video Receiver
I picked up a refurbished unit last month to replace an aging HK that was developing a feedback issue(s) on the analog inputs and then the digital inputs started picking up some white noise maybe from the video board.... Paid 899.
We have a 3D panasonic plasma, polks front, surround and center, klipsch for the wides (the height speaker set up was not liked by all), sony center speakers for the back surrounds and a cherwin vega and polk subs. I ran the microphone set up and enjoyed the new sound for a few days. Loud and clean but it was still lacking....it still had a harsh digital sound that seemed overworked......I blamed the player so clicky-clicky on amazon.
The settings for this reciever are limitless so I picked up a new panasonic blu-ray with 7.1 analog outputs with 32bit DAC chips and a 8 gang analog snake. It brought more separation and clarity to the mids and bass response using the 7.1 input on the marantz.....but oh the drama...
With the amp set on 'auto' it would always revert back to the hdmi input or worse yet, no sound when playing on the old(er) Sony blu-ray. Everyone was mad at me because it was to complicated) lol. The solution was a manual set up. 7.1 soundtracks go in the panasonic player and 5.1, SACD discs or anything with a dts symbol go in the Sony. Easy.
Used the set up program a few times while changing up the speaker placement. It's close. I like a little less mid range so I use the manual EQ for music and movies. This amp is truly amazing with the different speaker configuration. Most of our movies are 5.1 so we use the wide setup on this amp. This feature is my favorite.
We also have an apple tv box but compressed music is not my cup of tea. I can't comment on the correction software or marantz AirPlay upgrade. The apple box is useful to render what resides on your home network or iTunes account.
This was a refurbished unit and the firmware update was a non event.
Another remote.....that has to be pointed at the unit....sorry, no. A new Logitech harmony is on pre-order. Changing between apps on the iDevices is like work so the harmony will make it seamless. Innovating innovation.
The experience; the first audio format I played was a SACD version of dark side of the moon on the Sony. The remaster of the great gig in the sky was amazing. The zeppelin celebration day was ok for a live recording but we haven't tried any blu-ray audio CDs yet. Tom Petty is ordered and looking at David Grohls 'analog mixed' sound city studio tribute. The signal to noise ratio for this reciever let's you hear the music as close to what the artist intended.
Movie soundtracks are really what this reciever special. Anything layer down with 5.1 let's you use the wide setting for a soundstage with presence. When the punks drive up and gun down Ben Affleck in Smoking Aces, the wide setting lets you hear the car drive past then back up as if it was in your own living room. the earth imploding in the avengers will make your house think it is really happening. If there is a helicopter in a scene, the marantz will let you know. The amplifiers in this unit pound out some seriously tight bass.
There are a lot of amps on the market but everyone has their own preference to sound quality. The main reason I looked at this particular unit is that it is manufactured in Japan not a communist country. The second requirement was DNLA compliance. Every setting on the amp can be configured from the network using IE home group. HDMI Is no brainier but it took me a bit to configure everything correctly. For example, the Panasonic needed to modified to 7 channels (analog or digital) vs the 2ch/5.1 downmix which is the standard setting when hooked to a two speaker TV. Also, I found using the bitstream output sounds much better than the pulse code modulation when transferring music data into an emotional experience....
Pros; This is a powerful amp for our listening environment. Tool never sounded so good. It can support a wide range of inputs.
Cons; it takes some tweaking if you want to take full advantage of the diversity this reciever has to offer. HDMI makes stuff 'work' but there is more waiting below the surface...