Processors

Marantz AV7701 7.2 A/V Preamp/Processor

ARTICLE INDEX

The Marantz AV7701 On The Bench

Data was gathered from the RCA outputs of the AV7701 with Audyssey and other features disengaged with a 2V signal. The CD input was utilized as the Multichannel input bypasses Audyssey and is less likely to be used in real world use.

With a 1 kHz test tone, we see that the 2nd and 3rd harmonics are all around 95 dB below the fundamental frequency. There is an odd noise spike way out at 65 kHz, but that is test setup related, as it appears on every chart. I ran this test in regular, Direct, and Pure Direct modes, with results that were all within the margin of error for the test device, so I didn't see any benefit on the bench to the other modes.

With the 10 kHz test tone, we see the 2nd and 3rd harmonics are much higher, at around 80dB below the fundamental frequency. THD+N is a little higher than with 1 kHz, but overall the spectrum is well behaved.

On the 60 Hz + 7000 Hz IMD test, the Marantz has a decent 0.03% IMD, though this is much higher than with the previous AV7005 model.

On the 19000-20000 Hz IMD test, we see a B-A peak that comes in around 95 dB below the primary tones. Once again, it is a good test result, but not up there with the best of the best.

With Audyssey and everything else disengaged, the frequency response is very flat out to 20 kHz, and then it has a slow roll-off until around 70 kHz where it accelerates. The initial spike at 60 Hz is power line noise and can be ignored.

Here's the interesting graph for our readers, and this isn't a problem specific to the AV7701, but to all current Audyssey receivers and processors. The DSP used by all of them to handle Audyssey processing requires that you downsample the signal to 24 bit, 48 kHz, so all information beyond that is lost if you use Audyssey. So if you're playing back a Blu-ray disc with a 24/96 soundtrack, or listening to a lot of high resolution downloads, you might want to consider performing some A-B comparisons of Audyssey on and off to see which you prefer. I imagine for a lot of people, the benefits of room correction out-weigh the loss of some resolution, but I also think it is something that everyone can test themselves. Hopefully we will see someone implement a DSP that does Audyssey at 24/192, because from my discussions with Audyssey it can work at that sample rate, it is just up to the vendor to use a more expensive DSP to implement it.

For video bench tests, I recommend disabling the video scaling inside of the AV7701. Enabling it causes a loss of chroma resolution and a change in color space, and so I recommend disabling it for the best performance. You lose the ability for menus to overlay content and only get a black background instead, but you maintain the best possible video signal.

Overall on our bench tests the AV7701 does well with no major issues, coming in at the same level or a little ahead of the $2,000 level receivers that I have tested as I would expect.