The SR8002 IS a serious attempt by Marantz to take on the best top-end receivers at this price. And by that, we mean the Onkyo TX-SR875. Despite the hefty price tag, no one can complain about features. We could list each one, but it would take far more space than we've got here.
Rest assured, the SR8002 is as well equipped as most people will ever need; more specifically, it is right at home with the full range of audio standards available on Blu-ray. This receiver also has a pair of switchable HDMI outputs, which will let you connect say, a projector and TV at the same time.
The SR8002's build quality is as good as you'd expect for the money, and the remote is a fair bit more intuitive than many we've tried. Our only criticism is aimed at the receiver's input selector, which feels slightly imprecise in use.
A claimed power output of 7 x 125 watts suggests plenty of scale and authority, and the SR8002 has a solidity and punch to its presentation that's rare. This is an AV receiver that takes everything in its stride, from the shoot-outs in Training Day to the full-scale battles of Lord of the Rings. Importantly, composure is never compromised, even at high-volume levels.
Power and panacheNow, if all this makes this Marantz sound like something of a beast, it is; but it's a beast that's about as house-trained as Lassie. Pushed hard, the top-end stays smooth and refined, while the midrange has a hint of warmth that's rare in the world of multichannel amps.
More after the break
Play a movie with a low-key soundtrack such as The Proposition and this Marantz is right at home, making the most of vocal nuances and small-scale effects of the kind that create an atmosphere rather than make your windows rattle.
The good news continues with music, where the company's reputation of making fine, musical-sounding kit remains intact.
Why does the SR8002 fail to get all five stars? Compared with the class champ - yes, that popular Onkyo TX-SR875 we mentioned - the Marantz lacks a little in the way of insight and dynamic contrast. The Onkyo offers a slightly clearer view into whatever it is reproducing, and costs £300 less.
Even so, the SR8002 should be high on any shortlist. It has a broad range of talents and should work well in a wide range of systems. All in all, this is a very good receiver.