For the last 55 years, Marantz has made quality its number one priority. While other receiver manufacturers have often scrambled to be first to market with the latest, greatest features, Marantz has remained quietly patient, waiting out the inevitable bugs and limitations of brand-new technologies. The result of the company’s patience is a legacy of remarkably well-made, solid products that, to the delight of their owners, have a way of performing flawlessly for years and years. Today, Marantz offers a suite of state-of-the-art receivers that, true to its tradition, have been thoughtfully designed to offer today’s latest audio decoders and video processing in combination with their legendary high-end sound. Positioned toward the upper end of Marantz’s A/V receiver offerings, the $1249.99 SR6004 represents a tremendous value by offering uncompromised sound, incredible connectivity and an intuitive user interface in a very attractive package that is consistent with Marantz’s history of high style/high performance products.
Out of the Box
A well powered and well constructed amplifier is, generally speaking, going to be heavy. Big power supplies, copper chassis’ and capacitors are weighty components, so it is difficult not to begin judging a receiver the moment you pick it up. The SR6004’s 28lb heft is admirable, but it is the fact that it is clearly concentrated in the power supply section of the receiver that is exciting.
The jet-black SR6004 is very attractive, as electronic components go. Marantz has always made elegant looking products and this receiver carries on that tradition. The remarkably clean face of the unit is suavely curved on the left and right hand sides, softening the appearance of this gentle giant.
Packaged with the receiver is one back-lit, multi-function remote control; a microphone for Audyssey’s calibration software; a Bluetooth wireless receiver; an antenna (or aerial, if you prefer); some batteries; and a user manual that is thicker than most state-history textbooks.
The Marantz SR6004 is very competitively featured. We immediately noticed four HDMI 1.3 inputs and two HDMI outputs. Component video and composite inputs are plentiful, but there is just one S-Video connection available and it is on the front panel. Marantz omitted the S-Video connection from the bay on the back of the receiver in order to reduce clutter increase ease of setup. We are extremely pleased to see that Marantz’s on-screen interface is output via HDMI (along with component and composite options), a convenience feature often overlooked by other receiver manufacturers. The SR6004 will upscale all video sources to 1080p and output it through one of its two HDMI connections using on-board video processing from i-chips. Another notable video feature is the SR6004’s ability to output a component video signal that is synched with the second zone audio output. This essentially enables the user to offer full A/V capability to two rooms with different sources simultaneously, so now you can enjoy DVD screenings of District 9 in one room while the kids watch SpongeBob in the other. Perfect!
The SR6004 offers all the latest audio decoders, including Pro-Logic IIz for “height speakers” that add to the vertical surround field for more realistic effects. You can enjoy uncompressed audio from Blu-Ray discs, hi-resolution multichannel SACDs, DVD-Audio… you name it, and the SR6004 has you covered. Marantz has even included their proprietary M-DAX processor to restore high frequencies to compressed music for significantly better sound from your iPod or iPhone.
Other special features include a Bluetooth wireless receiver to allow wirelessly streamed music from your Bluetooth device; a USB input that works with your iPhone as well as most other portable music devices; XM/Sirius radio capability; and an Infrared receiver that allows you to hide your equipment in one room and control it from another.