By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Mahwah, N.J. – Marantz is bringing DTS Neo:X post processing to its SR series of networked A/V receivers (AVRs) for the first time along with second-zone digital audio, all-zone stereo output, and compatibility with Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT computing devices.
The series also gets its first 9.2-channel AVR and an HDMI video select feature that lets users mix any audio source with any HDMI video source.
The three new models in the series, due in stores this month, are the $899-suggested SR 5008, $1,199 SR6008, and $1,999 SR7008. They replace 2012 SR models and will join the carryover 7.2-channel SR7007, which maintains its $1,799 price and was the previous top model in the SR series.
In launching the new models, Marantz is also expanding its current feedback and HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) amplifier technologies to all three models from last year’s two. The technologies provide extremely high slew rate with high dynamic range and a wide bandwidth, the company said.
Second-zone HDMI output and InstaPrevue expand to two models from one. InstaPrevue lets users see all connected HDMI sources simultaneously in multiple picture windows.
The HDMI video select feature appears in all three models, Marantz said.
All-zone stereo output, appearing in all three models, automatically syncs up all audio zones and plays the same source in all zones with one button press.
Second-zone digital audio appears in the top two models and delivers digital audio over coax, fiber or HDMI, said product manager Paul Belanger. Only AVRs from sister brand Denon offer such a feature, he noted.
Audyssey DSX appears in the top two models as in the previous line, and DTS Neo:X appears in the top two models for the first time.
Like their predecessors, the new SR models all feature 4K up-scaling, Apple AirPlay, Internet radio, the Flickr photo-streaming service, and the Pandora, Spotify and SiriusXM music-streaming services. Like before, they also feature DLNA 1.5 networking to stream music and pictures from a networked device, control from Android and iOS apps, front-panel Made For iPod/iPhone/iPad USB port, optional Bluetooth adapter and a trio of Audyssey technologies. They are Audyssey MultEQ XT, which provides automatic room acoustic measurement and correction; Audyssey Dynamic Volume, which levels out spikes in volume when commercials come on or sources are switched; and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which processes audio signals to provide tonal balance at low listening levels.
All three continue to offer HDMI standby passthrough as in the 2012 line, but now the AVRs ship with the feature as the default mode. The feature lets users pass cable-box audio and video through the AVR to a TV even when the AVR is in standby mode.
At $1,199 model, Marantz adds DTS Neo:X and Audyssey DSX post processing. In the $1,199 SR6008, users can use DSX and Neo:X to add either a pair of front-height speakers or pair of front-wide speakers to a typical 5.1-speaker setup, Belanger said. The 9.2-channel SR 7008, in contrast, delivers a full 9.2-channel implementation of both technologies, enabling the addition of front-wide and front-height channels simultaneously. With Neo:X, two of those additional channels can be used instead for back-surround channels, Belanger noted.
All three new models also offer seven HDMI inputs, 7.2-channel preamplifier outputs, 7.1-channel analog Inputs, 4K Ultra HD up-scaling and passthrough, Dolby Pro Logic IIz post-processing to add a pair of front-height channels, I/P and RS-232 control, and Control4 certification.
The 7.2-channel $899 SR5008 features one HDMI output and is rated at 7x100 watts into 8 ohms with 0.08 percent THD. Its predecessor had six instead of seven HDMI inputs.
The 7.2-channel $1,199 SR 6008 ups output to 7x110 watts and adds Neo:X, Audyssey DSX, InstaPrevue, and dual HDMI outputs that can be configured either to send the same HDMI video source to two different displays in the same room or send two different HDMI sources simultaneously to two displays in separate rooms, the company said.
The $1,999 9.2-channel SR 7008 steps up output to 9x125 watts and adds three HDMI outputs, two of which are dual simultaneous outputs to send the same picture to two displays. The third HDMI output provides for second-zone HDMI output to send a second HDMI source to a separate display. The SR7008 also steps up Audyssey acoustic-correction technology to MultEQ XT32, making it the first Marantz AVR with the technology, said Belanger. The SR7008 is also Marantz’s first AVR with Audyssey’s Sub EQ HT Dual subwoofer calibration system and Audyssey LFC, which prevents low-frequency sounds from disturbing people in adjacent rooms.
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