Processors

Marantz AV7701 7.2 A/V Preamp/Processor

ARTICLE INDEX

Conclusions about the Marantz AV7701

When it was released, the AV7005 fit into a very nice niche. There was very little below it in the processor segment, and going above it cost 33-50% more. The AV7701 manages to maintain that well placed position. There are some products in the $800 realm now, but those lack streaming features, Audyssey, balanced outputs, and other features found on the AV7701. Moving above the AV7701 adds a lot to the price, and so it remains in a price class all its own.

Despite having that level to itself, Marantz didn't rest on their laurels and improved upon the AV7005 with better streaming support, a much nicer GUI and setup routine, more inputs and outputs, and little touches like gold plating those connections. I didn't find any area that was worse than the AV7005 at all, unless you really need more composite connections for your retro video game system collection, and the improvements are ones that I am happy to see. The one area I really did hope to see was Audyssey XT32 support, but that is relegated to a more expensive class of preamps.

If you're after a home theater processor, the Marantz AV7701 is a very good choice. It has all the inputs you would need, even a phono connection, and has added very nice networked audio and streaming support as audio moves from physical media to a PC or the cloud. It is as easy to setup as any processor I've used, and it had a soundstage that was completely enveloping. I recommend visiting a dealer to listen to one today.