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Marantz unwraps first 2020 AV receivers with 8K upscaling

The company's new high-end 8K receivers start at $1,100 and include features like auto-naming inputs and a new preamp mode.

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The Marantz SR8015 is a 13.2-channel receiver and will debut in the fall for $3199

Sound United

CES 2020 may have seen the introduction of actual 8K TVs but sadly the content is still nonexistent. Yet that doesn't stop companies from announcing support for 8K: First it was Denon, and now it's fellow Sound United brand Marantz.

Marantz has revealed its 2020 line of AV receivers at prices between $1,099 and $3,199. The cheapest is roughly twice as much as our Editors' Choice Onkyo TX-NR696, but Marantz aims to justify the outlay with higher-end features aimed at the latest equipment, including TVs with 8K resolution

Unlike the Denon AVR-S960, which was announced last week and only offered 8K passthrough, the Marantz SR series can also convert (or upscale) existing HD and 4K video to 8K. International pricing isn't currently available, but $1,099 converts to approximately £875 or AU$1,580.

The value of this feature is dubious, however, because 8K TVs have their own on-board scalers that are likely to work as well, if not better, than one inside an AV receiver. The Marantz receivers will also pass through 4K/120Hz video and include support for HDR formats, including Dolby Vision and the newer HDR10 Plus.

Marantz 2020 receivers

Name SR5015 SR6015 SR7015 SR8015
Price/Availability $1,099, £899 (September) $1,599, £1,149 (September) $2,299, £1,599 (July) $3,199, £2,799 (August)
Number of amplified channels 7 9 9 11
Power (2 ch) 100 watts per channel 110 watts per channel 125 watts per channel 140 watts per channel
HDMI ports 6 in, 2 out 7 in, 3 out 8 in, 3 out 8 in, 3 out

The receivers will decode most formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (DTS:X Pro for the '8015), but If you're interested in Imax Enhanced support, you'll need the SR6015 or better.

The receivers offer support for the HEOS multiroom format in addition to Apple AirPlay 2 and Roon Tested. All the models include an integrated phono preamp that includes the company's HDAM technology. 

One feature that should ease setup hassles is HDMI Auto Input Rename, which, as it suggests, names the input according to the source's HDMI information. We've seen a similar feature on TVs but this is the first time I've seen it on receivers.

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The SR8015 back panel

Sound United

The SR6015 and above models also include a preamplifier mode, which enables users to add their own power amplifier. The feature, borrowed from sister-brand Denon's X-series receivers, disconnects the receiver's internal amplifiers when the external preouts are used. The company says such a setup results in less distortion.

The prices of Marantz receivers have gone up in the last few years -- the new range is at $200 more expensive than 2018's range, for example. The preamp feature in particular, however, should really appeal to AV hobbyists looking to upgrade to better amplification for their stereo speakers in the future.