Marantz AV7005 or SR7005

Dear all,

Perhaps this post is useless by now after some years, but in case anybody has the thoughts of buying one of these machines second hand, go for the AV7005. Although on paper they should be almost similar, the 1:1 test showed a clear difference.

Dont understand me wrong, the SR7005 is a fine machine and for those who have a decent set of speakers, it will do the job fine. But if you have more demanding speakers and also likes to listen to stereo (and obviously also the ears for it), skip the SR and go for the AV.

I mainly focussed on stereo listening and when using the SR just as a processor so connected via the RCA pre-outs to the same speaker/external amplifier setup (and the AV7005 also via RCA), there is quite a big differents in staging and clairty. The SR sounds less clean, even a bit compressed and has an unpleasant deeper vocal peak / accent.
Changing the RCA’s for the balanced XLR on the AV7005 and also to the power amps, again a significant improvement. Much more detail, clairity, faster and controlled attack and overall depth.

As my Infinity Epsilon front speakers need bi-amping in combination with the external servo bass controller, I cant run them fully on the SR as there is no way to connect the controller. Therefore tested the SR built in amplifer on the mid-high part, while the bass was powered by my normal amps. Although the built in amps have for sure enough power, they have problems with complex speaker loads (as my Infinities have) the described compression was much stronger and the mid bass was not controlled at. I love Tracy Chapmans fast car song and started this fine but when the drum kicks-in the voice was not pure anymore.

In surround mode, the difference was less and would do the job for me fine.

So although the external differences are just the balanced xlr and a different transformer for the AV7005 (7 channels power-amp + RCA pre-outs SR7005), the stereo sound image is a deal-breaker.
The idea of change was because the Parasound multi channel poweramp have problems with the speaker relays and volume knobs. And as the SR was offered for a very low price, I thought that it would be a great deal. kick-out the extra poweramp and make it easy.
BUT no way ! The AV7005 is back on his place and will I revamp the Parasound amp. (in my test the Marantz amps of the SR are good, but not better than the old and solid Parasound)

For those who are interested in my system
Marantz AV7005 processor
Dune media player + Music PC + setupbox
4x Vincent SP991plus class-A mono power amps
Parasound HCA806 multi channel power amp
Infinity Epsilon front speakers
Infinity overture 1 for surround

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