Marantz’s new pre/pro will slam your home theater into the next decade

If you’re one of those nitpicky home theater enthusiasts looking to check off that laundry list of every major feature available from an A/V system, Marantz has you covered. The second coming of the company’s already-loaded AV7702 Pre-processor was this week, towing just about every option you could ask for to fill out your home theater room — except maybe a robot companion to fetch you fresh beverages.

Say hello to the AV7702mkII, priced at a cool $2,199.

Tucked behind Marantz’s familiar aluminum faceplate and obligatory porthole are a plethora of features to bring you up to date on all of the new audio and video options available now, as well as those coming down the pike in the near future. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, there are a lot of new ways to play the A/V game these days.

On the audio side, the new AV7702 offers support for every available format for 3D and object-based surround sound on the market. As you’d expect, the unit comes standard with Dolby Atmos support, at up to 7.2.4 channels (that’s seven surround, four overhead speakers, and up to two subs) or 9.2.2 channels. In addition, the pre is upgradeable to DTS’s version of object-based surround, DTS:X via firmware. And, for a fee, users can add Auro-3D and the Auromatic upmixer plug-in for up to 10.1 channel sound from the system’s 11.2 channel XLR, or 13.2 channel RCA pre-outs.

High resolution audio streaming (of course) comes standard, with support for multiple file formats at up to 24bit/192kHz resolution (as well as DSD files), and the system offers 32-bit digital to analog conversion on every channel. There’s also a phono input for vinyl fans, alongside Airplay, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support with Spotify Connect and Pandora built in.

Oh yeah, and there’s video, too. The mkII offers the obligatory eight HDMI inputs (seven in back, one up front) for a device of this stature, along with three HDMI outs. The unit also upscales 1080p HD to 4K UHD at the highest (60Hz) rate. And new this year is HDMI 2.0a support, which means the AV7702mkII will support High Dynamic Range content from the forthcoming cast of 4K UHD Blu-ray players to provide unprecedented contrast and color shading.

Of course, all of those bells and whistles are essentially worthless without a top-end amplifier to, you know, actually put out sound. Marantz has you covered there as well, with multiple choices, including the 7-channel MM8077 ($2,399), which pushes a claimed 150 watts per side; the MM7055 5-channel amp ($1,199), at a claimed 140 watts per channel; and the MM7025 2-channel amp ($800), also offering 140 watts per side.

Yup, high-quality A/V gets pricey fast. That said, for those looking at a future-proof, multiple-component system to usher in the next era of home theater awesome, Marantz’s AV7702mkII is a choice place to start. The device is slated to become available this October.

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