I don't know about you, but how something looks when it's not on is just as important to me as its performance. Trivial? Maybe, but these things occupy a space in your home, in your life, and you see them everyday and have to live with their aesthetics.
It helps that even though the Marantz is a big, brutal slab of a metal box, it uses a minimalist design at the front and looks rather lovely in brushed silver, marking it out as somewhat different to the standard AV design criteria.
Set up is an absolute doddle, even if some of the terms used could be better explained as to their differences and consequences, and Audyssey is markedly more accurate than my previous Yamaha's YPAO room correction. Thankfully, the menus are relatively straightforward and the remote is clear and logical in its layout. As is the modern way, you don't get a paper manual and end up having to read it all online as a download. But it helps that it doesn't go on and on endlessly, the Marantz is fairly minimal with its options and the emphasis seems to be one of user-friendliness and sound quality above all else.
And sound quality is its trump card. It is beautifully judged with plenty of raw power when you need it, but also possesses a clarity, detail and refinement that is totally unexpected in such a huge beast. Watching a modern blockbuster with all its mayhem on screen and in the soundtrack for two hours can often leave you with a headache, like you've been pummelled around the head non-stop. But the Marantz has a warm, sweet and musical sound that never sounds harsh, always sounds composed and controlled, is wonderfully judged and utterly immersive.
My set up is rigidly old-school at "only" 5.1, but the sound field was taller, wider and deeper than my previous Yamaha. The performance was completely room filling, yet it was clean and smooth and really brought the hugely enjoyable "Guardians Of The Galaxy" soundtrack to life. Yet it can also do subtle and understated with equal skill, so if 18th Century costume dramas are your thing with their emphasis on script, dialogue and characterisation, then the Marantz would likely be equally rewarding and satisfying.
To be honest, once you get to the £1000 mark and above, I'm not sure how different these AV amps are from each other. But what I can say with confidence is that the Marantz is one of the very best of its type. My room is 15x10 and the Marantz filled it with ease with plenty to spare, if your room is twice the size and you prefer quantity over quality then maybe this is not the amp for you. I've worked my way through quite a few of these amps over the years and can honestly say that this is the best I've heard yet for its price and performance, and I intend to keep it for as long as I can.
We are blessed in these times with equipment capable of performance in the home that could only previously be dreamed of. From TV's to speakers, from amps to disc players, we need never go back to the cinema to be transported out of our lives and into another plane of existence. The Marantz is the modern definition of Home Cinema and I really can't see too many buyers feeling dissatisfied with their purchase.
Marantz SR7011 User Review
Power, finesse and looks all in one box.Review of Marantz SR7011 AV Receiver by Derek S-H, Feb 8, 2017.This item was purchased for £949 from Peter Tyson in 2017. The reviewer still owns this product.
Value For Money10