Processors

Marantz AV7005 7.1 A/V Processor

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The AV7005 shares the new look of the Marantz AV components this year. The front is very clear, with just a power toggle, controls for volume and source selection, and a round display showing the current input and volume level. Hidden behind a panel is a larger LCD with more information, front panel inputs including HDMI, and additional controls. With the panel shut, it's a very clean look that many people will want to display instead of hiding inside of an AV rack. Thankfully, Marantz kept the AV7005 depth a little shallower than normal components, which I've found makes it much easier to slide in and out of a rack while hooking up cables.

Build quality on the Marantz is good and the unit feels nice and solid. When I removed it from the box it was much lighter than I expected it to be, but I've been reviewing a lot of receivers recently and when you remove the amp section you lose a lot of that weight. The selection of inputs and outputs on the Marantz is well rounded, with 6 HDMI inputs, 2 HDMI outputs, balanced and unbalanced outputs, a 7.1 analog input, a MM phono stage, Ethernet, HD Radio, and plenty of composite, component, and RCA stereo inputs. One thing missing is S-Video inputs, but those are quickly becoming extinct on all receivers and processors out there. I also would have liked to see a stereo XLR input, but the lack of one didn't cause any issues.

The most common complaint on the previous AV8003 was the inability to do Audyssey processing on TrueHD and DTS-MA bitstreams. I always felt this was a bit overblown, as you could simple send the audio as PCM instead and it could perform Audyssey on that, but for some people it was a deal breaker. On the AV7005 this is no longer an issue, and it can use Audyssey MultEQ on virtually all digital sources. It won't work on 24/192 bitstreams but it can handle 24/192 content if it is sent as PCM. As there are only a half dozen 24/192 Blu-ray titles out there this shouldn't be a limitation at all in real world use. One thing to note is that the AV7005 will not accept native DSD audio over HDMI, so your player will have to convert it to PCM first, or you will need to use the analog outputs of your SACD player.