Receivers

Marantz AV8003 SSP and MM8003 8-Channel Power Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

Hooking up the AV8003 and MM8003 was similar to the setup of any other processor and amplifier. I connected them using their balanced outputs and inputs, and the Marantz Remote Control cable to trigger the power amplifier automatically. The only non-standard connection was the Ethernet cable for the receiver, but I believe this will be standard for almost all receivers in the next couple of years. The Marantz components were not as deep as some gear I have had in the past, making it easier to route cables behind them once they were positioned in my AV rack which was a nice bonus.

Marantz AV8003 and MM8003 Review

Once everything was hooked up, I proceeded to configure the inputs of the Marantz using the on screen display which was as very simple white text on blue background interface. It was very functional for performing the setup but with companies like Denon and Onkyo moving to a much more graphical OSD to assist in the setup and configuration of their components I can imagine that Marantz might want to update this in the future. After assigning out HDMI inputs to my components (and in the case of my Nintendo Wii, assigning a Component Video input and configuring the video conversion settings for it), I was able to rename all of the inputs making daily use far easier than generic names like Video 5.

For speaker configuration, I pulled out the included Audyssey microphone, plugged it into the hidden front panel of the AV8003, and let Audyssey run through the detection of speakers, determination of crossovers, and frequency response for all channels. While the setup of Audyssey is pretty simple, there is a very well maintained guide that is kept at the AVS Forum that provides additional details for how you should properly configure your subwoofer first to help maximize the benefits that Audyssey provides that I highly recommend. The Marantz detected all of my speakers and crossovers correctly (something that Audyssey has gotten much better at from earlier implementations), and the AV8003 let me view the curves that Audyssey had found.

Marantz AV8003 and MM8003 Review

Many receivers and processors include a version of Audyssey, but not as many let you see a graphical EQ of what corrections Audyssey will provide, or choose between the different curves that Audyssey supports. The AV8003 let me choose between four different modes: Audyssey Standard, Flat, Front L+R, and None, as well as view the corrections that Audyssey would provide in all of these cases. I chose to go with the standard Audyssey curve, but as you can quickly switch between curves from the AV8003's remote control, it was easy for me to compare the different modes and decide what I preferred later on.