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Marantz SR7015 8K AVR Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Marantz SR7015 "8K" 9.2 channel Home Theater Audio/Video Receiver (AVR). It was purchased new and kindly sent to me by a member. The SR7015 costs US $2,300 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

Not much to say about the design of the SR7015 as it looks like Marantz AV products for years back:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR 8k Dolby Atmos Review.jpg


Sorry for the tape. I try to keep test unit as close to new condition as possible so did not take it off and operated the unit using its remote.

Here is the back connections:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR 8k Dolby Atmos Multichannel Rear HDMI Connections Back panel R...jpg


I sent the measurements you are about to see to Marantz (part of Sound United) and they were kind enough to confirm that they agree with their testing.

AVR DAC Audio Measurements
As usual, we start with our dashboard testing the internal DAC using pre-out on the AVR. I run this test two ways: with the amplifiers on and off. Leaving the amps on usually causes them to clip and drag down the performance of the pre-out:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers On Audio Measurements.png


You can see signs of the amplifier getting unhappy with very high harmonic distortion content. I put the unit in Pre-amp mode (in Amp Assign submenu) and these were the results:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers Off Audio Measurements.png


While we get a 5 dB improvement in noise and distortion, the SINAD which represents both is still a very disappointing 80 dB. This drops the SR7105 in the bucket of "poor" performance with respect to AVRs and DACs tested:

Best 8K AVR Review.png


Denons using similar architecture are far better and indeed class leading in my measurements as you see above.

Sweeping the digital samples to see where the optimal output level is for this AVR we get:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR SINAD vs output distortion and noise Audio Measurements.png


We see that the optimal output level is around 0.7 volts which is quite low. If you are buying an external amplifier make sure its sensitive is no higher than 0.7 dB or you will suffer from degradation of the internal DAC and buffer stage in SR7015.

Notice how having the amp on and off makes little difference until you approach 2 volts. The degradation is a function of the buffer/gain stage of the unit. I have indicated the volume level where this degradation occurs (73). So if you are at or below that, you would get significantly better performance (approaching CD's 16 bit dynamic range).

Testing the DAC reconstruction filter shows the same disappointing slow response we see in other Marantz AVRs and Processors:


Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR DAC Filter Audio Measurements.png


The consequence of this is that if we allow wider bandwidth for the test, THD+N/SINAD suffer greatly compared to the dashboard which uses the audible band:
Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR THD+N vs Frequency Audio Measurements.png


Further evidence is in spectrum of a 10 kHz tone:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR 10 kHz FFT Filter Audio Measurements.png


We see the usual harmonic distortions at multiples of 10 kHz but also very tall spikes at the 10±44.1 kHz as indicated. You won't hear these fortunately but technically it is is not nice to have them.

Another disappointing area is jitter:
Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers Off Jitter HDMI Coax Audio Measurements.png


We tend to think "bits are bits" but clearly the analog output of the unit is impacted depending on which digital source we use: HDMI and Coax. Each has their own induced jitter components which shows lack of design hygiene in producing a clean clock/reference voltage. Fortunately once again audibility is not a problem as levels are quite low.

Linearity is OK for an AVR (but poor for even a cheap desktop DAC):

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Linearity Audio Measurements.png


Exponential rise typically indicates noise intruding in the measurement even though I highly filter the output of the AVR for this test.

Finally, 32-tone signal simulating "music:"

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Multitone Audio Measurements.png


AVR Amplifier Measurements
I prefer to use analog input for my amplifier measurements because we can then compare the amplifier performance with that of stand-alone amps. But I need to make sure the analog input is not digitized or subjected to other degradations. Fortunately such is the case here if you don't use any digital processing or use Pure mode. Here is analog input:
Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Measurements.png


And Coax:
Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers Coax Measurements.png


Typical of other Denon and Marantz, overall control of distortion and noise is very good:

Best AVR Amplifier Review 2020.png


And well above average compared to 120 or so amplifiers of all kinds tested so far:
Best Multichannel Amplifier Review.png


So the rest of the tests will be with analog input starting with frequency response:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Frequency Response Measurements.png


And signal to noise ratio:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers Coax SNR Measurements.png


That's decent result.

Here is power into 4 ohm:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Power into 4 ohm Measurements.png


And with allowance for higher distortion and burst power:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Max and Peak Burst Power Measurements.png


And 8 ohm:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Power into 8 ohm Measurements.png


Testing for frequency sensitivity across full power spectrum we get:

Marantz SR7015 Home Theater AVR Amplifiers CD Power into 4 ohm vs Frequency Measurements.png


For a class AB amp, I like to see tighter clustering of the graphs indicating less sensitivity to frequency. As it is, performance drops fair bit at 5 kHz and higher.

Conclusions
Like clockwork, the performance of Marantz SR7015 tracks other Marantz AVRs we have tested. They take the excellent platform used in Denon sister products, and modify them to produce objectively worse performance by good bit. Distortion is sharply increased and extremely slow DAC filtering causes lots of ultrasonic noise, making any intention of playing "high-res" audio moot. Company feels subjectively the modifications improve the sound of the unit. With no controlled listening test demonstrating that, and measurements showing the opposite, I don't think the changes are wise or merited.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Marantz SR7015. I highly suggest you stick with the Denon counterparts instead.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

We thought we enjoy the fruits of our labor by making eggplant parmigiana using the tomato sauces we had canned and peppers we had frozen:

Tomato sauce.jpg


Oh man did that come out great! The flavor was so much better than canned tomatoes. Had not two, but three helpings of it! :D

It was also so quick to make given the fact that the tomato sauce was already reduced during the canning process.

Still recovering from shock of expenses for last year so donations are appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Matias

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#3
Well I guess that my next AVR will be Denon then. Thanks.
 

Dj7675

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#4
This is not good for the price. Couple of questions:
1-How much would SINAD improve (or would it?) if a proper filter was allowed as an option?
2- @amirm are there any plans yet for a SR8015?
 

ririt

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#5
how to explain such disappointing measurements especially when compared with the one of the SR 8015 provided by Audioholics?
Denon AVR displayed a much better homogeneity from the 3700 to the 6700...
 

Harmonie

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#7
Those big & hefty super (or rather not super) amps.
It gives me just another good reason to stick with MUSIC and stay away from video.
I just don't like mixing both.

Thank you Amir, always enjoy reading the tests and your killer conclusion sentence.
 
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#9
Was really hopeful that these would be a worthwhile upgrade over the previous generation.
 

LTig

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#10
Sweeping the digital samples to see where the optimal output level is for this AVR we get:

View attachment 86251

We see that the optimal output level is around 0.7 volts which is quite low. If you are buying an external amplifier make sure its sensitive is no higher than 0.7 dB or you will suffer from degradation of the internal DAC and buffer stage in SR7015.
Should be Volt.
Needless to say, I can't recommend the Marantz SR7015. I highly suggest you stick with the Denon counterparts instead.
This happens when a company designs for audiophile buzzwords (discrete HDAM output stage, soft AA filters, warm sound, ...) instead of doing proper engineering.
We thought we enjoy the fruits of our labor by making eggplant parmigiana using the tomato sauces we had canned and peppers we had frozen:

View attachment 86282

Oh man did that come out great! The flavor was so much better than canned tomatoes. Had not two, but three helpings of it! :D
Yum yum :)
 

Dj7675

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#11
Wow, look at that teeny weeny display.
Hopefully in the not too distant future they can do something different in regards to the display. In the upper end models for both Denon/Marantz it would be nice to see TFT touchscreens.
 

Matias

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#12
Wow, look at that teeny weeny display.
It has a larger auxiliary display hidden under the lid, but I suppose it assumes you are going to set up everything using the TV anyway.
My AVR is 10 years older, the SR7005, and has a very similar front appearance.


Marantz_SR7015_Gallery_3.png
 

Gedeon

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#13
Most external power amps have around 29dbs gain and 1.2v sensivity. If an owner doesn't go beyond 75 in volume level... ¿ Where is the real issue ? ¿ Could audible problems be expected ?

Of course the performance is below other models. Not arguing that by any means.
 

MZKM

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#15
Most external power amps have around 29dbs gain and 1.2v sensivity. If an owner doesn't go beyond 75 in volume level... ¿ Where is the real issue ? ¿ Could audible problems be expected ?

Of course the performance is below other models. Not arguing that by any means.
If you are using this as a preamp, then sure you can get ~90dB SINAD at around 1.2Vrms.
However, I’m sure most owners are not using external amps and the majority that do are using cheap amps for the extra 10/11 ch surrounds. After shelling out $2300, very few are going to invest considerably more money to externally power their fronts.
 

peng

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#16
Amir, did you measure IMD, and DR? By the way, I find it strange that it measured poorer than the SR6014 for the 2 V test, or did I interpret something incorrectly.
 
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#18
This is lower than expected from my view. I have a SR7011 and looking to upgrade for Auro 3D. Sadly may have to go the Denon way.

Thanks Amir for the test and the member who sent it.
 
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#19
Hmmm. Stereophile.com just quite favorably reviewed Denon's AVC-X4700H, available for just over US 1,800.

They didn't do the comprehensive battery of bench tests but praised the subjective listening experience.

Looks to me like Denon is competing with Marantz on quality and price. No bench tests but certainly the kind of review to spur me to hit the buy button if I needed a new AVR.
 
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amirm

amirm

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