Receivers

Marantz SR6003 7.1 A/V Receiver

ARTICLE INDEX

Movie Performance

In case you couldn’t tell, I was extremely satisfied with the sound quality with 2-channel and surround music through the SR6003. As such I had high hopes for movie sound, and I was not disappointed. I’ve been feeding my Samsung BD-P5000 a steady stream of Blu-ray releases lately, including Kung-Fu Panda, Wall-E, The Orphanage, Transformers, Cars, and most recently, The Dark Knight. Lossless audio via HDMI bit-stream from all of these discs was simply superb in all cases, whether the source was uncompressed PCM, Dolby TrueHD, or DTS-HD Master Audio. The Marantz exhibited all of the great traits it showed in music listening; excellent detail, neutral tonal qualities, excellent dynamics, pinpoint imaging, and expansive sound-staging. Dialog intelligibility was excellent on all test discs.

I do have a significant issue revolving around high bit-rate playback that I feel I must share. The Marantz cannot apply Audyssey processing to lossless audio sources. I did question Marantz about this, and here is their response: “Less is more. In all Marantz products, the underlying philosophy is that the less processing the better, which means the better the sound. This is even more relevant when you get into the higher resolution formats.” While I do believe that minimal manipulation of the source is a good thing, the advantages of Audyssey seem to far outweigh the cons unless you have an acoustically perfect room. Being that many of the SR6003’s competitors have this capability, I feel that this is a very big oversight on Marantz’s part. Even though lossless soundtracks sounded very good as is, I can only imagine how much better they’d be with Audyssey processing.

Another issue I have with the SR6003’s movie playback is that the only way to turn a 5.1 source into 7.1 is to turn on Dolby Pro-Logic IIx or Dolby Surround EX processing. This appears to be a contradiction to Marantz’s belief in avoiding unnecessary processing. I also tested out the “HT-EQ” feature, which is supposed to counter the excessive brightness in many film soundtracks caused by studio engineers mixing for the movie theater environment instead of your home. It seemed to work as advertised, and took the edge off on a few discs that I played.