Marantz SR6005 A/V Receiver Review
Sponsored by Accessories4less
Sponsored by Accessories4less
AC4L Price: $499.99
This review is going to be a bit different as the review itself will be focusing not only on the quality and performance of the Marantz SR6005, but on the quality of service provided by the VAR that sells it. Big box stores were at one time the only option for a majority of people looking for a deal on a high quality product and often times that "deal" wasn't so great. In the late 90's however, that trend took an exciting turn as on line retailers began to battle it out for sales supremacy and one time big box giants such as Circuit City eventually couldn’t hang.
But this isn’t about those guys; this is about a comparatively new market that was born out of one of the millions of opportunities that the internet had to offer in the late 90’s. For the most part, the refurbished equipment market was untapped and limited to big box and manufacturer outlet stores making the product less accessible by the average consumer. But with the dawning of the internet age came an opportunity to reach millions of potential customers for this market and one of the companies that led that effort was accessories4less.com.
Accessories4less was founded back in 1997 with a $10 spool of wire and an account on eBay; 14 years later, owner Mark Sabbarese has built Accessories4Less.com into one of the most recommended, if not the most recommended, and well respected sites to purchase manufacturer warrantied reconditioned A/V gear on the internet. The key is direct dealing with the manufacturers as opposed to using 3rd party reconditioned gear. This business model has allowed Accessories4Less.com to offer a substantial value to their customers as each unit comes with a minimum 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Additionally, Accessories4Less.com offers each customer a 30 day prepaid defective exchange, which includes all shipping costs, as well as a 30 day return policy. Nearly all customers’ emails, both before and after sales, are answered by Mark Sabbarese himself and are one of the biggest contributors to the success of Accessories 4 Less and their unmatched customer service and after sales support.
The main reason I agreed, ok maybe the word is "jumped at the opportunity", to do this review was because I have some experience dealing with Mark and AC4L from a customer service perspective. Last year when I bought an Onkyo TX-NR1007, I realized that the unit wasn't going to be able to perform the way I wanted it to and needed to trade up to the 3007. I was well within my 30 days so Mark simply sent me a shipping way bill for the 1007 to be returned and once I delivered the unit to the carrier and sent him the tracking number, the 3007 was shipped to me the same day. Mark understood my need to have a receiver in place to continue movie reviews and that time lost was potentially impactful to HTS and I very much appreciated the help.
Unboxing and Setup
Packing of the receiver was as one should expect. Factory refurbished units are packed at the factory and are given the same treatment that new models are given. The internal bracing is form fitted foam (say that three times fast) and all of the manuals, the remote, cables, batteries and antenna were all sealed in bags and placed in a position so they would not slide around during shipping. This is one of the benefits of dealing with a vendor that deals directly with the manufacturer and not a third party.
Setup was as straightforward and simple as any receiver setup these days. I connected the speakers and other components and was up and calibrating within 30 minutes or so. I used two different setups to test out the SR6005. The first was to displace my Onkyo TX-NR3007 in my home theater and see how the SR6005 faired as a processor. I plugged in the calibration mic and the Audyssey MultEQ setup screen popped up as expected. After running through the six position calibration I leveled each channel using my Galaxy meter and jumped in to start listening.
I noticed immediately that the sub seemed to be running a bit hot so I backed off a few decibels and went back to listening but that didn’t really remedy the issue so I broke out the laptop and connected all of the pieces to run some REW sweeps and quickly realized that I had left the DSP1124 in bypass mode which obviously led me to equalize the sub properly. I had to add seven filters to the DSP in order to smooth out the bass in the room, which I found odd considering I only need to use my Onkyo; but this isn’t a major issue by any stretch. Once I had the basic calibration completed and everything looked good so I went ahead and broke out the XTZ as a comparative and found similar results.
The results were very impressive to say the least. While I wouldn’t say that the overall fidelity was vastly superior to the 3007, I would say it wasn’t trailing it either. The bass was commanding and the SR6005 handled the overall dynamic range gracefully and accurately. The only real complaint I have against the SR6005 vs. the TX-NR3007 is the video processing. The SR6005 uses the Anchor Bay ABT2015 while the Onkyo uses the HQV Reon-VX. I have little doubt that the ABT2015 could have been adjusted to bring up the video quality as there were plenty of setting that could have been changed in the menu however; I didn’t spend any time working on that. I don’t buy receivers for their video scaling abilities.
After running through several of the usual suspects in my Bluray and audio library including; War of the Worlds, Cloverfield, Battle Los Angeles, Dream Theater, Jesse Cook, Jaco Pastorius, Bella Sonus and Queen, I am convinced that the SR6005 would be tough to beat in its A4L price range. My reasoning is fairly simple; I could not hear a discernible difference in the sound quality vs. the much more expensive Onkyo.
Marantz claims 110/190 watts of continuous power at 8/6 Ohms respectively and I have no doubt that each one run independently is able to do so. This is plenty of power for the average surround setup in a small space however; the hardcore out there will seriously want to consider more power to push some of your setups. I am thinking something along the lines of the SR7005 would do nicely.
Connectivity features as they relate to interoperability between devices is fairly limited to the A/V connections as the SR6005 is not a network receiver. Basically that means no Internet radio, software updates or live streaming of Windows content without having some sort of HTPC or other device that can do those things attached. Still, it isn’t without commonplace connectivity options such as Bluetooth and USB, but those are not what I would call terribly robust.
The interface for the iPod/USB connection is a little clumsy and the Bluetooth capabilities rely on the RX101 wireless adapter which can be purchased for $100 and only enables the ability to stream from another device. With all of that being said, that doesn’t make this a bad value. Personally I have one concern when it comes to my receiver and that is whether or not the unit can reproduce the content I am pushing to it.
Additionally, I find that the lack of 9.2 support in the majority of receivers to be somewhat disappointing. I have gotten very used to having the additional channels via Audyssey DSX and it is evident in key reference scenes that it was missing on the Marantz. Now, the SR6005 does provide the connectivity for 9 channels however; you can only use the rear surrounds or the front highs but not both simultaneously. It was reassuring to receive a checklist in the box from Marantz of what items were tested to ensure the functionality of the unit. That little addition will make me wonder going forward about the companies that don't include that simple checklist.
It is also worth noting that Marantz integrates an HD tuner right into the unit. This would be an additional $100 device for my Onkyo if I really wanted HD radio in the house. I would love to have it, but not for the additional cost. It occurred to me that I have done a lot of comparison between the SR6005 and the TX-NR3007, but that's not really a fair assessment because of the way I use my 3007 and the two different classes that these units are in. It would be more accurate to compare the SR6005 to the Onkyo TX-NR709. They both have the same power and the connectivity is similar, though the 709 does have one additional HDMI input and network connectivity. But the Marantz has the built in HD tuner and more importantly to someone like me, the Marantz has a built in 12 volt trigger for a remote display which Onkyo reserves for the Integra line. Add to this the incredible audio quality and for $30 less, I would have to give a strong edge to the Marantz.
I used two separate systems in two separate environments while doing my listening tests.
- Axiom M80 fronts, VP180 Center, QS8 Surrounds (side and rear), M3 front wide and an EP800 Sub.
- BENQ W6000
- Crown XLS-1500
- Sony PS3
- Apple TV V2
- Panasonic BD-80K
- Infinity SS 2003 Fronts
- Infinity PC251BK Center
- Paradigm PDR 10 V.3 Sub
- Apple TV V2
I started my listening test with ‘The Incredibles’ saucer chase scene as it is an extremely dynamic scene with plenty of activity going on all around and the Marantz was spot on throughout the scene delivering a balanced and clean reproduction of the audio. The action that takes place never drowned out the dialogue and the surrounds never sounded strained trying to match the upfront action.
The next movie was captured with my review of the Blu-Ray "Mars Needs Moms"
I would easily say that the 1080P AVC-1 transfer for Mars Needs Moms is a reference level presentation through and through. Black levels are inky and infinite providing an incredible amount of depth. Shadow delineation is perfect and has an equal depth effect on the sepia tones in the bowels of the Mars underground. Primary colors pop with vividness and present a wonderful contrast to the occasional drab tones in the before mentioned underground. Secondary hues are a bit muted, but only in comparison to the brighter primaries. The overall pallet of color is nothing less than gorgeous from the greens and blues of earth to the red and sepias of Mars and the wild primary colors of the underground dwellers. Resolution is perfect and textures are equally defined as layer upon layer of architecture, clothing, landscapes and facial features come to life in this bold presentation. This is the type of thing we have all come to expect from Disney in this day and age and it really is quite a wonderful site to behold.
I found the audio to be a bit lacking when compared to the video presentation. The LFE was fairly scarce and limited to spaceship launches and a couple of rumbles. I would like to point out that the directional effect of the surrounds is flawless and created some great listening. There is a scene early on when Milo and his mother are walking in the house and as his mother enters, you can follow her voice from the left-center to the left front to the left surround to the left rear surround and finally over to the right rear surround. I thought the effect was very cool and played it a couple of times just to experience it again. The overall surround channel presentation was no slouch either and provided plenty of sound to give those channels a good workout. Dialogue reproduction was definitely on par with the rest of the presentation as well and didn’t suffer from any loss during the action scenes. Definitely a better than most presentation, but I would have preferred a bit more LFE.[/quote]
Once I decided that this was about as good as I was going to get it to sound, I moved on to the music and was again surprised to hear how clear the audio was. It was something that I just didn’t expect from a $500 receiver. I will say that when I performed my stress test using the Infinity speakers, I did notice some mild breakup during one of my staple demos; the drum intro on Judas Priest Painkiller. Keep in mind I ran this test full bore and I am not 100% convinced whether it was the speakers or the receiver or a combination of both, but I do know that I did not experience it when I performed the same test using the same speakers with one of the Crown XLS amps for powering the mains.
What impressed me most throughout my time with the SR6005 was sound quality. I have heard many receivers in this price range and several of those were Onkyo models from accessories4less and in my opinion, the Marantz just flat out sounds cleaner and less colored than some of the other models I have heard. Even compared to some of their Denon brethren, the Marantz still comes out ahead.
The Marantz SR6005 can easily match, and in most cases best, the majority of receivers in the same price range when it comes to audio fidelity. The quality of the audio that came out of my speakers was clear, balanced, extremely dynamic and at times authoritative. I can also say without reservation that when I go to replace the Onkyo with separates, the Marantz AV7005 will be at the top of my check out list. The SR6005 is a great sounding AVR with somewhat limited extras that are now common on many of today’s network receivers however; it is very important to note that I truly believe to obtain this level of audio quality from many of today’s receivers you would need to double the price that the SR6005 can be had for on Accessories4less.com. To be honest, I never use the extras on the network receivers. I've tested the functionality to ensure there were not any issues, but I have other components that do all the things that some of these receivers boast and my components do it much more efficiently and with better quality. As I look at my next unit, I am convinced that separates is the way to go and as I said earlier, The AV7005 will be at the top of that list. However; those looking for a robust and elegant looking receiver, The Marantz SR6005 produces outstanding audio and the Accessories 4 Less price makes it an unbeatable value.
Please use the Marantz SR6005 Receiver Review: Discussion Thread for Questions and Comments
This was a giveaway unit compliments of Home Theater Shack and Accessories4less!