The general educated consensus is that the Arcam AVR-300 is the most musical AV receiver available for US$2,000 or less. I was all set to invest in said receiver when through osmosis, rather than a concerted effort at discovery, I hear that the new Marantz SR-75000 and SR-8500 receivers are garnering rave reviews for both HT and 2-channel use. Now, Marantz is not a brand I would ordinarily have added to my shortlist (shame on you, some may say), primarily because past reviews of Marantz products have been nothing special to write home about. However, I have now been reliably informed that the engineers at Marantz have gone back to first principles, as it were, and rediscovered their musical roots. This regenerated effort has produced the aforementioned receivers, at a more affordable price level than the Arcam, I should add. In short, I am intrigued. Hence, assuming someone more enlightened than I has already done the donkey work, I would appreciate any comments on, a) the new Marantz receivers in general, and, b) a direct comparison of the SR-7500 or SR-8500 with the Arcam AVR-250 or AVR-350, particularly with respect to stereo performance.
My very unscientific guess is that unless you truly have audiophile "golden ears" you are unlikely to hear a significant sound quality difference between a 7500 or 8500 versus the Arcam.
Right now though if I were in the market for a receiver I'd go to UBID.com and bag one of the sr8400s for $400-600, absolute steal. With the savings you can invest in better speakers, sub, or DVD/CD player and would be more likely to hear much more of an improvement that way.
Edster922, after reading your posts on another thread, I did some research and after doing so visited UBID to submit a bid on the SR8400. I won't know until 5-17 when the bidding closes. That was an outstanding recommendation on your part and I thank you for it whether or not I end up with the receiver.
Haven't really thought that far ahead. I'm in 55th place in the bidding right now which is still a "winning bid" but there is a limit above which I will not go. I'll let you know if I acquire the 8400.
Umboppa, to answer your question the SR8500 is receiving raves right now. I just read a review in "The Perfect Vision" that said it is the best sounding and most musical receiver (in stereo) under 2k. I recall recently hearing a Marantz SR8400 driving a Magnepan home theater in a mostly satisfying way. If you know how power hungry Maggies are then you know that is quite an accomplishment.
So, Edster, what does it cost to ship a 5400 from Ababala to Pasadena and what are you going to do with it when you get your 8400? Dale is not the only one lookin' for a good deal!
Thanks Arthur for your response and for returning this thread to the original question. May I politely suggest to John, Dale and Edster that they discuss UBID and the like on another thread rather than usurping mine. Any responses to my ORIGINAL post will be gratefully received. I am particularly looking for first hand accounts. Thank you.
I'm sure we'll give your polite suggestion all the consideration it deserves. It seemed to me that your inquiry was answered.
It seems to me, Dale, that I have got 2 pertinent responses out of the 10 posted here. Then again, you may have answered my initial post and forgot to submit the message (I only got your post about UBID). If so, I look forward to receiving your comments specifically pertaining to my request. To repeat:
I would appreciate any comments on, a) the new Marantz receivers in general, and, b) a direct comparison of the SR-7500 or SR-8500 with the Arcam AVR-250 or AVR-350, particularly with respect to stereo performance.
I just setup my Marantz SR8500 and am running a HT with AV123 Rocket speakers. This setup blew away my high expectations for both HT and two channel. Completely satisfied and am glad I didn't over spend.
Did you compare the Marantz SR8500 to any other receivers before you bought it, Jim?
I listened to several brands at the Sound Room (local HI FI). I noticed a large difference when comparing the Marantz to some less expensive units. When running the SR8500 against the Yamaha RX-Z, the SR8500's case was cool to the touch while the Yamaha was HOT.
At the end of the day, I was the most impressed with the SR8500. In addition to the sound, I really like the DVI support on this unit. Also, since I have 6ohm speakers, the Sound Room thought the SR8500's amp would be a better fit than others <$2K.
Hope this helps.
I owned a Yamaha RX-Z1 before I got my SR8500 about six months ago. I too agree that as well as running cooler than the RX-Z1 the SR8500 also has a more naturally balanced sound. Before I got the SR8500 I auditioned the AVR300 and Rotel RSX-1056. Although, to me, the Arcam sounded slightly better than the Marantz and Rotel, I did not like the look of the other 2 so I went for the Marantz because of the sound, features and appearance.
Even without any room equalization (at least no user configurable one) the SR8500 sounds better with my Def-Tec Mythos One speakers than receivers I have used before (HK DPR1001, Yamaha RX-V3000 and RX-Z1).