Marantz SR6003 review: Marantz SR6003

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Typical Price: $2,199.00
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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent surround sound. Great stereo sound for the price. Beautiful cosmetics. Easy to use.

The Bad Have heard better music replay.

The Bottom Line Marantz is back in the game with its SR6003 receiver &mdash it features up-to-date audio decoding, superb sound and drop-dead gorgeous looks.

9.0 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Apr '09

Design
The SR6003 receivers from Marantz have gone for a different look than previous designs. It's curvier, more sophisticated, and yet also much simpler. You'll only find two dials on the fascia of the SR6003 — volume, and input selection. All of the other controls like the Menu button and direction buttons are hidden under a damped flap. The amp comes in two colours — classic black, and "New Silver" which is actually closer to Rose Gold.

In the centre of the receiver is a wide LED display, and the most "Denon-looking" yet. Of course, there's a reason it looks like this — both manufacturers are owned by the same company. That's not to say it's a poor display — anything but, and it's certainly easier to read than the equivalent Sony, for example.

The remote is quite functional, but perhaps not the most stylish the company has ever released. We still have fond memories of the almost porcelain-finished remote shipped with the older SR7200. While the new version is a learning model we'd still plump for a Logitech Harmony One , which is now available for under AU$200 online.

Features
The SR6003 is a fully featured receiver, and given that it’s available for two-thirds of the price of the similarly specced Rotel makes it very good value indeed. Power output is high at 100W x 7, though knowing Marantz this is likely to be conservative as well. Needless to say it should power all but the most esoteric of speakers.

As a modern receiver it supports the latest HD standards — Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio — and while there are still only a handful of players that can output these streams natively, the list is definitely growing. While these formats are still relatively new, being able to offload them to a high-quality DAC will have a better result than relying on the decoders of a budget player.

We were a little disappointed to see the receiver only offers the bare minimum of three HDMI V1.3a inputs — which will fill up really quickly — but it does offer two outputs. This means you could connect both a projector and a plasma at the same time.

The SR6003 features a colour on-screen GUI. But it's not as pretty looking as the Sony STRDA5400's menu, and it's really just replacing the traditional black background with blue and sharper text, but it's easier to use than those on both the Sony and Rotel. We really liked the ability to view each source and their inputs on a single screen, and to change them on the fly. This makes set-up a breeze.

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