This is a review of the Marantz SR8001 THX Select2 Dolby Digital Surround Sound Receiver
This receiver came out in late 2007 but was available to the public in 2008. Original MSRP was $1999 in 2008. You could have picked one up for about $1400 from most internet stores like Amazon.
Famous Marantz build quality
Easy to program remote
Duel HDMI outputs
Easy setup and configuration
Auto calibration off on some settings
1.2 HDMI output but 1.1 HDMI inputs
RS232C not gold plated and will rust in high humidity
Old fashion on screen menu
It comes with a silver finish as well but I think the black is much better looking. I had a silver receiver and it was great when it came out because it was "different" but the black just looks much better and is ageless. Plus it doesn't show the finger marks. With that being said, I was a little disappointed with the finish on this unit. It has a high gloss finish that does show the finger marks easily. It wipes away easily as well but with this range receiver and it being a Marantz, I expected better. Of course, you really don't buy a receiver based on how it shows finger prints. Where it counts, this receiver does shine.
It comes with a great microphone that will automatically calibrate your speakers both in position and tone. It does need to be very quiet when you are setting up their automatic calibration feature. The mic is that sensitive. You connect the mic from the front panel and choose auto calibrate and that's it. You have to position the mic in six different places. The first position should be your main listening position and the next 5 are other seating arrangements. Once that is done, it does take some time to calculate everything for your setup; about 5 minutes. If you do it again, it takes a shorter time.
You can review the settings once it is completed and make manual adjustments which I did need to do. I thought the auto calibration settings were very bright. I had to increase to base and change the equalizer settings to some of the speakers. I also raise the crossover frequency. It detected my left and right as small. Maybe they are small according to Marantz's standards but I got much better deep sound when I switched them to large. I have them hooked up to the Atlantic Technology 350THX 5.1 speakers and I added two bookshelf Pioneer speakers that I had from an old system. It calibrated each speaker accordingly and was very close to my listening preferences.
It did calibrate more on my left front speaker and had to adjust it so the image sound was more centered. This could be due to the configuration of my room. I do like the fact it will let you adjust all the settings manually. Their auto calibration is a great place to start your customization for your home theater.
It comes with two 1.2 HDMI outputs and 4 1.1 HDMI inputs. I don't understand why Marantz did this. It doesn't make any sense to me why the outputs are 1.2 when you can only input 1.1. The duel outputs are a great bonus for when you have two sources like a overhead projector and a TV in the same room. They cannot be used to duel output at the same time.
The remote is nice but a little outdated. It is very easy to navigate and program. It accepted all program signals including the Xbox 360 remote signals. One thing I do not like is the fact that the LCD screen on the remote stays on constantly. Why?? This drains the batteries. I guess they thought you need those buttons. They should have put in a feature to timeout the LCD screen on the remote. This is really a minor grip since the sound quality is really nice.
They do need to update their onscreen menu. I felt like I was looking at an old DOS screen. Big bulky block white letters on a blue background screen. They should look at Sony and Yamaha to see how onscreen menus are done.
Most of the connections are gold plated so they won't corrode but the RS232C is not. It will rust if it kept in a humid room for an extended amount of time. I guess Marantz didn't want to spend more money to gold plate it.