on October 11, 2011
I've always been a fan of stereo audio reproduction. However, after buying a set of Bowers & Wilking CM8's about 6 months ago, I've started to notice that the room setup and acoustics are equally important as your audio reproduction chain. For me that became manifest when using the CM8's (which is a highly transparent and revealing speaker) in an apartment with all concrete walls and solid floor and ceiling. The sound in my pure stereo system became like a tin can. It felt constrained and the speakers sounded way smaller than their size (or what I heard from them in the store for that matter).
As I knew changing the acoustics of the room would be a no-go (as my spouse wouldn't be too thrilled in having all sorts of room treatment), I became interested in the possibilities of using the room correction features in AV receivers. Also, I wanted to get a warmer sound than the class-D Rotel amp I was using giving me. This is the story I brought to my HiFi store.
And it took me all but 5 minutes to become convinced of the Marantz SR6006. It was the first receiver they recommended to me. And immediately the sound characteristics grabbed me as the kind of the sound I was looking for. Mind that I'm not one to want to hear every bit on a CD, I want to hear the music first and foremost. I've auditioned a lot of receivers and also pure stereo amps (costing way more than the SR6006), but came back to the SR6006 every time. Simply because I enjoyed it's sound the most. I used purely classical CD's (Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto 2 and Vivaldi's Four Seasons) as reference. So I chose to go with the Marantz. I also added a REF subwoofer mainly for movies.
When I took the system home, after using the Audessey setup, I for the first time heard my speakers give a coherent sound in my not so perfect for listening living room. Although setting up Audessey correct takes time and meticulous actions, the result is well worth the investment. (there are great guides on the internet for setting up Audessey, but just remember to setup your speakers as small and make sure the sub is not set too loud). Ever since I've been very, very happy with sound of the entire system. Although I do not doubt that a very expensive pure-stereo setup in a dedicated and acoustically tuned room will sound better, I think we should be wise to recognize that most of us are not in the luxury to create a dedicated listening room.
If your room is (from a HIFI point of view) compromise between sound and function, room correction in the latest generation of AV receivers can really help you. Together with the warm sound of the Marantz makes for a very pleasant combination guaranteeing hours and hours of musical pleasure.
I do noticed some quirks. I.e. it took me some time to get Airplay to work (firmware upgrade was required). After the firmware upgrade it has been working flawlessly though. Also, if you choose to use Audessey (would be my recommendation), then you need to override the receiver specific settings such as speaker size and LFE settings and cross-over. Please google the Internet for suggestions.
All in all, the Marantz is for me a great solution for music in my imperfect room listening at below reference sound levels. I highly recommend it.
Note: the review is mostly about stereo music reproduction. However, I've also viewed several movies such as The Dark Knight to get an idea about the impact of the receiver in reproducing multi-channel sound. In my 2.1 setup however, I cannot give a real review there other than that it sounds great (I have no real reference in this department).
Note 2: I stated getting a sub-woofer primarily for movies. In the meantime I've noticed that using it for music gives good results in my setup. Especially with genres that benefit from ample base (i.e. dance music).
on October 7, 2011
In summary, this is the best recevier I have personally ever owned or "heard" for that matter.
This is the third receiver I've owned and the first one over 1000 dollars. My other systems sounded nice from what I could tell (A digital panasonic around ~300 and a ~500 dollar JVC), but I needed something with HDMI inputs and dual outputs so I could do a single HDMI run to my new Optoma HD33 3d projector as well as display a mirrored signal to my 46" samsung LCD for the kids and for shows during the day.
As such, I was primarily shopping receivers with dual video 1.4a HDMI output so I could send my HTPC and PS3 signals to both my 46" LCD as well as the Projector.
I was looking at the Denon 3312 and the Onkyo NR809, but decided to go with this one based on reviews elsewhere comparing the three. Most said that the sound quality of this one was the best in their opinion. I don't have the time to really go and find a place to audition them so I figured I would give it a shot and am happy I did.
The 1080p picture coming from my PS3 looks just as good or better than a direct connection to the monitors. I demoed Tangled 3d and Lord of the Rings Blu Ray and the theatrical sound experience was so much more immersive and pleasing than my other receivers. I really really enjoyed the experience. My wife noticed the quality too and commented on it. She noted that she could even tell a significant difference in the audio quality of the streamed NETFLIX movies she was playing for the kids.
In general I would say the voices are more realistic and stand out in general, also subtle sounds that I never noticed before such as background music, wind, rain, other effects etc are distinct. All kinds of music is very pleasing to listen to regardless of source, even the network streamed stuff. I'm very happy with the sound.
The setup is easy and straight forward. The Audyssey mic setup was easy as well. I've only done manual setup of my speakers in the past, so I found this very handy and as far as I can tell it did a great job too.
I tried out the network streaming of pandora and it works flawlessly. I just logged in once (and it remembers it) and it shows all my channels. The quality sounded really nice for only a 128bit wma stream. I then pointed the receiver to my media server (it found it without issue) and played some .mp3s off of that without issue.
I then downloaded the Marantz ipod/ipad app to my ipad and put in the IP address of the receiver, it found it and listed "SR6006" as an option. I selected it and then played around with most all of the settings. It seems to work pretty well. I could pause and start the music (still in pandora) and skip tracks and move to different media inputs and it even has an on/off button.
Lastly, I noticed that after I turned it off and then on the 2nd time, that it prompted me that there was a firmware update available direct from the "network/ipod" menu. So I selected that I wanted to get it. It hung on a menu saying "searching update" for about 20 minutes and never resolved. So I pulled out and then restarted the machine again and selected the update again. Again, it just hung there. So the third time, I just went into the receivers menu and manually found the location for firmware update and selected it from that menu. This time, it hung there for about 10 seconds and then prompted me to select whether I wanted to continue with the firmware update. I selected that I did and then it proceeded to update. The TV screen went blank but you could see the update on the little middle window on the device itself. It took about 10 minutes and updated without issue.
These are all of my first impressions after just playing with it this morning. Great product overall and a nice match for my new 120" 3D home theater setup! I'm excited to play with it some more this evening. I plan to try out airplay from my ipad.
on September 6, 2011
Looks beautiful, sound on my system is better than ever. Love the fact that the menu comes up on the TV...I am used to having to page through on the receiver itself. The receiver told me to upgrade firmware and I did with no problems. Menu took a little time to get familiar with, but now I have it under control. This replaces my Harmon Kardon AVR 630 that I have had for a few years, and what an upgrade. A tip...the Audyssey mic is in a white box, that is in the styrofoam itself. I searched all over for it, then called the seller to tell him it was not included in box, he told me where it was "hidden"...he said he get's the question "frequently".
Also to get this receiver set up on my Harmony 1100 remote I had to tell the remote it was a SR6005..I guess they don't have the SR6006 in their database yet.
on November 20, 2011
I have had this unit since last Wednesday and I am very happy with the sound quality. I upgraded from the Marantz SR6003 so that I can get networking. I suggest to go with the setup defaults unless you know exactly what you are doing. For example, I had to switch the speakers to small from large after running Audyssey. The Audyssey setup went very well and was accurate other than the speaker size. Be sure to read the manual (on CD Rom). The manual is very complicated with endless adjustments. If you want to operate the unit via a browser, be sure to change the internet network set up to on; otherwise, the unit will hang on commands. The internet radio link to the vTuner site was a challenge. It took me two days to figure out how to connect the unit. You have to type in the MAC address exactly how it is on the unit (all caps and no hyphens). It will take a while for the unit to register on the site. Give it 24 hours or so.
I do not have any negatives so far. If I do, I will update this review.
on July 23, 2012
Marantz is one of those vintage brands in which one can't help but be interested. When I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of HDMI inputs on my Yamaha RX-V1600 I started looking for a reasonable replacement without breaking the bank.
My needs were simple, great sound, at least 6 HDMI inputs to accommodate all my sources, and it absolutely had to include Airplay for convenience.
I'm more of an audiophile than videophile so the audio performance was the biggest concern when looking for the replacement for the Yamaha. Given its lineage, the SR-6006 is an immediately attractive model for me.
When the SR-6006 arrived, the initial set up was a breeze. I run my system using only 3 front speakers and no surround. I have a pair of Definitive Technology BP-8060st's and a Definitive Technology CS-8040HD center channel. I'm using Audioquest type 4 speaker cable for all speakers Auidoquest HDMI cables for all connections. I also had replaced the stock Marantz power cord with a 1 meter Audioquest NRG-2 power cable.
Once everything was connected I started the automated set up program. While the automated set up program walks your through connecting each speaker step by step, it saves a ton of time and aggravation just making all your connections before running the program. Connecting the Audessey mic to the front panel jack on the receiver is straight forward. To keep things consistent I installed the mic on a portable photo tripod I adjusted to roughly head height for myself while seated on the couch in front of the system. Clicking next started the automated set up process for using the Audessey room correction program. Walking through the subsequent steps is simple as can be. The program recommends measuring the room in at least 6 listening positions in order to get the most accurate measurements. I measured 4 listening positions as they were the most likely I (or anyone else listening) would be in. The tripod was placed on the level floor behind the all four positions.
The test tone generates 6 short bursts of broad spectrum tone to measure treble, mid, and bass output along with room reflections. Measuring all four positions took about 15 minutes including the calculation time once measurement was complete.
Now that the receiver was set up, my first test was stereo audio. I figured if it can handle stereo well, then the movie sound should be equally well done. When critically listening I like to use well-recorded music my favorite of which are the music tracks included on the Stereophile test CD 3. I queued up Rollin' & Tumbling' by Doug Macleod. This is a great acoustic blues track. HOLY CRAP. The guitar resonated like he was in the room with me. The metal slide against the wirewound strings was clearly audible. The sound stage was spacious but the overall sound intimate with Doug clearly out front and the band close behind and to the sides. And the best part, the brushes on the snare drum really sounded like brushes instead of the usual hiss that seems to come from lesser receivers.
I also listened to a number of regular mp3's via the Airplay feature streamed from my iPod Touch. Very simple to use and the tracks sounded great. I moved through tracks from older mono Chet baker recordings to some more current Shiny Toy guns tracks downloaded from the iTunes store. All in all the Marantz handled all genres of music brilliantly. I can't say enough about how great this receiver sounds!
For the video test I loaded up the Blu-Ray of Blood Diamond. It has a number of dynamic sequences that quickly switch from normal conversation to outburst of gunfire and explosions. The Marantz processed he DTS sound track with great aplomb. I incredibly impressed with just how clear the dialogue was. The channel separation was fantastic as well. There was very little audible crosstalk between the speakers in very dynamic scenes. The picture was close to flawless at 1080p/24 from my Playstation 3 (which is use primarily as a blu ray player) to the SR-6006 to my 50" Panasonic P50G25 Plasma.
There are a few cons that are worth mentioning. First, at times there is a significant lag when switching between inputs on the receiver. Regardless of which source I'm switching to and from, whether HD radio tuner to the Airplay or vice versa there has been at times up to a 15 second delay for the receiver to complete the switch.
The next con is the included remote. While the glowing buttons are handy for about the first 10 minutes after the lights go out during a movie viewing it quickly becomes useless.. As this price point a back-lit remote would have been appreciated.
Lastly, while the "port hole" design is aesthetically pleasing, the lack of larger display on the unit is at times frustrating. The required use of the on screen display to make certain adjustments makes sense when the TV is already on but when listening to music it is annoying to turn the TV on to make an adjustment.
All in all the Marantz SR-6006 will satisfy your inner audiophile for an incredibly reasonable price.
on June 6, 2012
I purchased an Onkyo TX-SR608 last year (along with various DT and Polk speakers) under the idea that I would make upgrades to my system each year. The Onkyo has been having increasing issues where it cuts out briefly (like a reboot) and comes back on. The speakers are doing their job so I decided I would replace the Onkyo with this years upgrade fund. This Marantz receiver has been on my shopping list for sometime. After reading several reviews and seeing the $799 special price at Amazon I purchased the SR6006. It was quite easy to swap out and setup. The most time consuming piece of the project was reprogramming my Harmony One. The sound difference is hard to describe, it's 'cleaner' and voice are more defined, they don't seem to fade into the background/music. The real difference is in the HD picture. It seems noticeably clearer and more 'crisp' on HD channels and DVD's. The sound through my back speakers (running 5.1) is VERY nice and noticeably louder. I'm using Definitive ProMonitors in the back, Pro Center 2000 in the center, and Polk TSi 400's bi-amp'd and Polk PSW505 for a sub. I'm really enjoying this new receiver, though I'm not sure I appreciate it enough to pay full retail for it. Next up, some DT BP8040's.
On a sidenote, I got my Marantz SR6006 from Amazon seller Onecall. We had some issues with the shipping that were incredibly frustrating to me. So much so I told Fedex to return the package to the vendor. Paige with Onecall went so far above and beyond on the customer service side that she not only calmed me down, she got Fedex to make a 2nd delivery attempt on a Saturday. Not sure how she did what she did but it was pure magic and well beyond the means of most customer support personnel. The price from Onecall is good, really good, BUT the customer support is extremely top notch. This review should and would have gone way different had it not been for some extremely good customer service by Mrs. Paige. I would definitely buy from Onecall again and I would recommend them to anyone! They truly work to make their customers happy.
on June 27, 2012
At the discounted price of $800 this is an extraordinarily good buy if you are looking for the best sound quality in an AVR.
I am coming from an older Arcam AVR. Arcam is pretty much the best sound/audio quality you can get but they are not cheap. I had purchased my older Arcam used and now wanted to upgrade to get the latest True HD decoders offered with blu-ray. But the lowest priced Arcam is $1800 and out of my budget.
I have been going through $1000 range AVRs from Denon, Onkyo, etc and kept them each for a few weeks and ended up returning them not being pleased with their sound/audio qualities. One dimensional overpowered boomy bass, lackluster unmusical midrange. Some people think these units are good because of the startling "boom" they get from explosions and gunshots when watching action movies. I find it unrealistic and distracting. Most of a movie is voice and music track and was quite dissatisfied with these mass market units.
When this Marantz dropped in price I ordered it and have had it for a week and am delighted by its audio sound quality. Musical midrange with excellent separation of instruments. Lots of inner detail where you get a more palpable sense of strings being plucked on guitars or the bow being moved across a violin. Drums and bass have individual notes. Voice quality is very good and dialog in movies in very clear. Creates a great immersive sound field in movies. In some ways it outdoes my 10 year old Arcam particularly in the highs where bells, cymbals are clearer and more dimensional.
Takes a good 48 hours of playing before the electronics start to settle in and the audio quality improves. At first it will sound a bit constricted and one dimensional (much like the mass market units even after they had been played for several weeks). But hang in there...
on February 20, 2012
This receiver is awesome!! Airplay works great, love Pandora and the Internet radio, you have over 19K radio stations from all over the world, just from the internet. HD radio sounds awesome also. Blu-ray discs sound amazing although I suggest you just use pass-thru on the video if using PS3 or a top rated blu-ray player. The upscaling on the blu-ray seems to make the picture brighter, although it does a great job of upscaling component video and my FIOS DVR box via HDMI.
Playing Battlefield 3 on PS3 if great, the explosions and sound effects you can hear from this receiver will blow your mind. I could not get over the detail of the sound and I have cheap but decent Sony speakers, can't even imagine what this thing will sound like when I get some good speakers.
For those who are hesitant about having to use the on-screen display, don't let that keep you from buying it. With the internet radio, PANDORA, etc. you will want the OSD, as it makes it much easier to navigate everything.
There are a lot of tweaks so make sure to read the manual. You may be frustrated at first but once you learn how to setup your system properly, you will not be disappointed!
on February 5, 2013
I bought my SR6006 in July of 2012. When I first ran the speaker set up test (using the included mic), the unit shut down 3/4 of the way through the test...there after, approximately once a week, the unit would shut down after 30 min or less of use. The back left corner on the top of the unit would be incredibly hot to the touch. I was on the road for work quite a bit during this period but finally had time to resolve this troubling situation.
I did some research on the web and found that this unit was prone to overheating and that was causing the shutdowns. I called their support line for help and was recommended to contact Interwest Electronics for a Warranty repair. I brought the unit to them for repairs on 12/13/2012 and was told, at the time, this would take approximately a month to complete. I walked into the shop on Friday (2/1/2013), it is on my drive home, and asked for an update. After a delay, I was told that my unit's paperwork had been lost and it would be "next" up for repairs. I asked for clarification on what that meant and was told he didn't know how much longer the current repair would take and thus, could not tell me how long mine would be to repair.
Got a call from the repair guys on Monday, they can't find anything wrong with the unit.
They want to keep it under load for another day and if they can't find anything wrong with it, I get to take it back home.
This $829 receiver has so far been a huge disappointment. The two previous receivers I have had, Denon and Sony, for almost 15 years are still going strong and they were both less than 1/2 the cost of this unit.
I bought Marantz because my AV geek friends told me they were the best high end receivers on the market. My experience has not come close to that level. So far, I have an intermittently performing unit that has spent almost 25% of the time I have owned it in a shop.
My email to Marantz support on 2/1/2013, outlining this situation, has gone unanswered outside the auto-response.
My 15 year old Denon sits in my AV stack, chugging away happily awaiting its replacement's return.
on August 8, 2012
UPDATE Nov 2013 - Still love the sound, but it's been in the shop for warranty repair twice. First time was because of a software glitch. Second time was for another software glitch and the HDMI board gone bad. The repair tech told me HDMI boards are sensitive no matter the brand of receiver (the one in my Integra went out twice before I dumped it, and once in my Panasonic flatscreen, so I tend to believe him). And the customer service rep at Marantz (yes, they do actually answer the phone - and with little delay) advised me not to upgrade the software when prompted. They've had problems.
For years I've been a big fan of the spacious sound of B&K receivers, which though expensive, are (or were) top of the line. In my opinion, B&K hasn't kept up with the feature advances of other brands, so I replaced my latest (a $4000+ AVR707) with an Integra 7.8 receiver (Onkyo's upscale line) about 3 years ago when a software glitch, coupled with B&K's failure to respond to my emails and voice messages for help, frustrated me to no end.
While the sound of the $1000+ Integra was okay, it failed to wow me like B&K's. Last year I bought my son a Marantz HDMI-only receiver and was very impressed by the sound quality. So when lightning blew out the Integra's HDMI circuit for a second time (please buy a surge protector not only for your power circuits but as important for the incoming cable), I opted to replace it about 4 weeks ago with the SR6006 on the strength of my son's receiver and the user reviews here. I have been delighted.
With the Audyssey dynamic eq engaged, the sound equals the spaciousness of the B&K, and timbre of piano, violin and cello is superb. It took some patience and time to set up, and experimentation to get the sound I wanted (for example manual adjustment of speaker volumes after running the Audyssey setup) but you don't have to do it often (if only once) and is well worth the time invested in reading the operating manual thoroughly.
I also like the fact that the SR6006 upscales the incoming video to 1080p to take full advantage of my plasma TV. Olympic games have never looked better. On the flip side, I agree with other reviewers that the display on the receiver is worthless, but not a reason in my opinion to deduct a star.
Very happy with this purchase at milepost one month and would recommend to family and friends. If that ever changes, I promise to report.