Audioholics: Call us cynical, but our radar is always on full alert for clones. We’ve seen so many brands that have taken another product, made cosmetic changes, slapped their faceplate on it, and charged much more than the original. Don’t believe us? Check out this $3,500 Blu-ray player from Lexicon that was essentially an Oppo player with a $3,000 greater price tag.
So, at first blush, we thought that something similar was going on with Marantz and Denon. Both companies are owned by D&M holdings, so it wouldn’t be unusual. Many consumers have brand loyalty even if the guts of a product are the same as a different product from a different manufacturer. Often, they’ll tweak some of the features and (certainly) the cosmetics which is more than enough to justify buying from the preferred company.
As long as the prices are similar, we are okay with that.
But with the new Marantz ’07 SR Series receivers, they are not. The new ’13 Series IN-Command receivers from Denon range from $200 to a whooping $600 less than the Marantz offerings. Marantz better be bringing more to the plate than just a prettier box for that kind of scratch. First, we’ll address the similarities.
From a feature standpoint, the two receiver lines are the same. They all have discrete amplification, 4k upscaling, Audyssey MultEQ XT, multi-zone support, 3D, Apple AirPlay and other streaming support. They all have the same number of HDMI inputs and outputs at their respective price points, nearly identical power (within 5 watts per channel), and many of the same options. So, why the extra cost? First lets take a look at the $849.99 SR5007 versus the $649.99 Denon AVR-2113CI.
Aside from the obvious cosmetic differences, the back reveals just where your $200 is going. While the Denon has a single subwoofer output (and Zone 2 RCA outputs), and Marantz adds not only a second subwoofer output, but also full 7 channel outputs for integrating an external amplifier. While the Denon has a single component video input and no output, the Marantz has two inputs and an output. It also bumps up the number of digital audio inputs from one of each type to two making it a much more versatile receiver. In fact, if you compare the SR5007 to the more comparatively priced Denon AVR-2313CI, you’ll find a very similar rear panel except the Denon still doesn’t have the 7.2 channel analogue outputs (the Denon only has the Zone 2 outputs and dual subwoofer outputs).
We’ve often thought of Marantz as the premium brand, and with the new SR line, Marantz seems to be taking it to heart. The next receiver in the Marantz arsenal is the SR6007. This $1199.99 receiver sports everything the Denon AVR-2313 has but much, much more. All the streaming and functionality is on board but you’ll find connecting up the Marantz to be a lot easier.
Again, the 7.2 channel analogue outputs are on board but the Marantz also adds a pair of speaker terminals for making switching configurations on the fly much easier. Like the Denon AVR-2313, the Marantz has dual HDMI outputs but is also has 7.1 channel inputs (for integrating legacy gear), a phono input, and five watts more per channel.
The Marantz SR7007 is the one in the line that most resembles the Denon counterpart – the AVR-3313CI. It is easy to see how the two receivers are using many of the same modules. The also have the same power rating (125 watts per channel) and all the same streaming and upconversion/scaling options. The Marantz sports seven HDMI inputs and three outputs. One of those outputs can be routed to Zone 2 for true two zone/two source support. As you can see from the picture at the top of the article, the SR7007 front panel flips down to reveal an additional display for when that little portal on the front or the GUI is not enough.
Really, glancing at the back, there appears to be little difference between the two receivers except for higher quality speaker terminals, a few proprietary connections and an additional component video input on the Marantz version. The Marantz SR7007 also has 7.1 channel analogue audio inputs for integrating legacy gear that the Denon AVR-3313CI is missing. The number of speaker outputs is the same (11 pairs), analogue and digital audio inputs and outputs, and even composite video inputs and outputs.
Yes, the comparison between the new Marantz and Denon lines is apt – they share a lot of the same features such as Apple AirPlay, 3D pass-through, 4k upscaling, Audyssey MultEQ XT, and more. But lots of receivers have these features. What distinguishes the Marantz offerings from the rest of the crowd, is the number and types of connections. These are receivers for those that aren’t first time buyers. These are for those that might have (or plan on having) external amps. For owners of legacy gear that either don’t want to or can’t afford to upgrade. The new ’07 SR series receivers from Marantz are truly high end offerings for discerning buyers. Solid build quality, great cosmetics, and generous power offerings are all hallmarks of Marantz A/V receivers that they appear to be continuing with the new 07 series of A/V receivers.
For more information, please visit www.marantz.com.