Marantz SR5004

The Marantz SR5004 AV receiver is another of their products to be released recently and hits the shelves at a level entry price range, making it the 4th unit from Marantz to do so. Why are they offering so many examples in such a small price band, and what does this unit have that the others do not – why are you going to buy this one? Well allow us to assist, as we carefully remove the Marantz SR5004 from the box and take it on test, so that you the potential consumer can decide whether or not to rush out and buy one.

Marantz SR5004 Receiver

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Design

The arrival of the box always gets everyone interested, like bees around a honey-pot as we removed it from the box, and did a double take. This unit is virtually identical to their SR5003 with only a couple of distinguishing features, one being the fact it says SR5004 on the lid! However, we did like the SR5003, so we obviously like this too. It is one of the Marantz works of symmetry, with only the bottom line of controls breaking rank and looking less than perfect. It has connector sockets on the front, one on headphones which we can understand, although that said in most cases you are looking at one seriously long headphone wire or sitting with your nose virtually on the TV screen as the AV receiver is likely to be under the TV in the corner of your room. This is another curvy offering with the molded glass-resin compound at either side of the aluminum central panel in a styling two tone black, which really is a lovely touch.

Features

The major selling point of the SR5004 is the fact that it has bluetooth technology, but not as a standard out of the box feature so don’t be mislead. You will have to spend a further $130 on getting the bluetooth module. It comes as standard on products further up the ladder, but for a receiver at level entry such as the Marantz SR5004, it would have been unusual to get it as standard. However, if you purchase the module you can connect bluetooth devices without the need for wires, which could be useful, but then there is a USB port as standard on the SR5004 which means that you can connect iPods and MP3 players, and for those with a compatible iPod you have the added bonus of using the remote control for the AV receiver to control it. Information can be displayed on the screen – which is pretty cool for level entry stuff and normally found higher up the tech spec line.

This is a 7-channel receiver and again, the people at Marantz disappoint, giving only 90 watts per channel, which is alright for a small set up but could prove problematic in a large space. However, it is no fatal error. The Marantz SR5004 has a huge amount of technology packed neatly in it, and we were pleased to see the inclusion of even more Audyssey technology, with MultiEQ already featuring in the Marantz line up. This box has added Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume as well as the regular stars – Dolby TrueHD and Pro Logic plus their favorite master audio, DTS-HD – all of which are known to perform at outstanding levels when handled correctly, and Marantz seem to have sorted that perfectly.

In our tests, all the formats we tested gave rise to excellent performance. Blu-ray was not a problem. The picture was crisp and clean with no jagging or instability. Using the iPod gave us a luscious depth of sounds, rich in level. Whether we played classical sounds or modern death metal, there wasn’t any trace of distortion even when we whacked the sound up to annoy the neighbors!

Bottom Line

This is a good product that we did like but it struggles to find a market place, as the more expensive version comes with some added functionality and bluetooth adapter already in the box. There is a lower priced Marantz AV receiver that has more watts per channel as compared to the SR5004. So, other than being bluetooth compatible and having slightly more technology on board, it doesn’t really pack a standalone punch that is going to make you want to run out and get this one. This is really quite disappointing as we generally enjoy Marantz’s contributions. The SR5004 is a little bit lost and not really for us.

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