Marantz SR4001 AV-receiver
Among connoisseurs of high-quality sound, Marantz brand has become the legend for a long time and truly takes one of the honorable places in the "hall of sound fame". Over the course of its long history this Japanese manufacturer has gained the reputation of uncompromising company, always paying high attention to the quality of its products.
SR4001 is only the second from the bottom in the hierarchy of Marantz, but it already has a number of branded technical solutions. First of all, we should note a fully discrete construction of all seven channels of power amplifier. It is a rarity in our time of integrated circuits. A special attention was paid to power supply unit, assembled on the basis of a massive EI-shaped transformer. The receiver's functionality is in perfect order: there are HDMI switching (1.1 version) and video converter. In addition to the main decoders of multi-channel sound there is a rather forgotten algorithm of digital filter - HDCD. The lack of auto setup of sound parameters by microphone, which has become already an essential attribute of the devices of such level, slightly spoils the impression (it appears in SR4002 - the model of the next season). The remote control is attached, which has backlit of buttons and the ability to program buttons for control over different devices of other companies and to train them.
The quality of sound from analog audio inputs is very high. Few of the competitors could play all musical material so brightly and subtly and, in addition, do this with exemplary lightness and almost without any blots. The Japanese receiver could play the standard program so well that it can be easily compared by quality with not a budget stereo amplifier. Analog, without any wrinkles sound of SR4001 receiver is unusually linear and natural, with correct overall tonal balance and perfect resolution over the whole range.
We can refer to small minuses only a little lack of composure of lower bass, which sometimes wasn't felt. Keeping other representatives of this brand in mind, the special attention during listening was paid to the dynamics of playing. It is not extraordinary, of course, but quite decent even for devices of higher class. There were no difficulties with this aspect of sound. Stable and confident work of the receiver at any volume levels, up to critical, with full absence of audible distortions is a valuable quality of the receiver.
It is amazing that switching to digital input only adds transparency and intelligibility to sound, improving already exemplary stage. Generally, the changes are so insignificant that there is no sense to describe them. I think it's meaningless to want more from the receiver of this price category, and SR4001 has everything you need. And even more.