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Hey folks, figured I'd drop in and do a brief write-up of what I experienced with my recent component upgrade; I replaced my AVR head unit with a bigger model. As the title says, I went from a Marantz NR1402 to a Marantz SR6007, as I am revamping the system in the bedroom, and plan to move the NR1402 there.

I knew there were some functional things I wanted in the SR6007- dual zone audio (so I can eventually wire up some outdoor speakers), Built-in Airplay (I'd been using an Apple Airport Express to get airplay into my system previously), and pre-amp outputs, as I have a Marantz MM9000 5-channel dedicated amp laying around from a previous system.

I've got a fairly small room which is FAR from ideal; the system is located in a corner, and the couch is not fully parallel with the system. I've got a bay window on one wall, a fireplace on the next, and closets and doorways on every other wall, but it's the room I've got to work in (California house prices suck!).

The speakers are: MartinLogan LX-16's for L/R, MartinLogan ElectroMotion C2 center, MartinLogan FX surrounds, and a Power Sound Audio XS-15 subwoofer. I love these speakers, and I'm pretty sold on the folded-ribbon tweeter technology (Yes, ML is not the only manufacturer using it, but I think they've done a terrific job making use of it).

The sound was sweet and detailed before. I have a quirk, I like listening to my music in "multi-channel stereo" mode; I'd always liked the sensation of being "in the middle" of music that a decent(ish) car stereo would give, but between the sound equipment quality and the windows, that experience is always compromised. With the system before, I could turn on multi-channel stereo mode, and be enveloped in the music. The treble from the system delivered beautiful detail, while never being fatiguing. The PSA subwoofer is an amazing piece of equipment, being capable of delivering insane bass and never sounding as if it was struggling or not quite keeping up during the most demanding passages.

So, I swapped in the new AVR and ran through the new Audessey calibration. I poked around, and discovered a new piece of functionality. Where before I'd been using JRiver Media Center on my PC with FLAC files and Airfoil for windows to punch the music over to my receiver, The SR6007 is a DLNA renderer. This means that JRiver sees it natively, and I can simply say "Play to Marantz" with the Gizmo android remote control app. A bit of tweaking on the JRiver DLNA settings allowed it to send the FLAC files directly to the Marantz, which supports the FLAC format (and all sample rates/bit depths!) natively. That was a bonus I hadn't been counting on, and streamlining the control of where my sound goes so I don't have to walk over to my computer was really nice.

Several things have changed; I've gone from 50 watts per channel to 110 watts per channel, All of the FLAC decoding and audio timing is happening inside the Marantz, where before I was always a bit nervous about the quality of the oscillator inside the Airport Express- I may have had some jitter in the audio signal before. There are different A/D chips in the new Marantz, and the 6007 has Audessey MultiEQ XT rather than plain Audessey MultiEQ, which gives substantially higher resolution in "tuning" the sound to the room and speakers.

And, on to the listening results. I listened to a broad range of tracks; Genesis Firth of Fifth, Dire Straits The Man's too Strong, Muse Second Law, Miles Davis Four and More + My Funny Valentine, Daft Punk Tron Soundtrack, Dusty Springfield, Rodrigo Y Gabriella 11:11, Rage against the Machine, Sneaker Pimps, and Oysterhead.

The sound went from sweet and detailed to... revealing. Before I'd hear the music, and it sounded fantastic. Now, if any sins were committed in the recording/production, I hear them in addition to the music. My guess on where this comes from is the additional power flowing to the speakers. These speakers were capable of even more than what I was hearing before.

The other audible change was in the coherency of the sound; the placement is better, the sound field is more even and I no longer hear occasional bits where I can place them coming from a particular speaker. Before I'd occasionally "hear" the rear speakers. They've fully disappeared into the sound field now. Vocals tend to float just above my head in the sweet spot, and it's absolutely transcendent.

At the end of the day, the Marantz SR6007 is a fantastic unit. While they've made some changes to their sound processing under the hood, they're still producing a sound that I love, and at this point, I don't even feel compelled to test out the MM9000 dedicated amp- this system is delivering more than I ever expected for the money I've spent.

Cheers
Ikarius
 
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