Marantz NR Series - Affordable Price, Small Design, Big Sound

Many out "there" have indicated that many receivers on the market are indimidating and bulky with the connections and configuration required to acquire accurate clear and crisp sound.  (For example, the New Denon AVR 4311ci).  It really isn't as difficult as perceived however I can understand the intimidation for those who are new to the Home Audio hobby.  It's been my experience that configuration of home audio is a learning experience that requires some science and much acquired personal preference.  For this reason, it can make the journey a lot simpler if you start entry level and move your way up as your experience level increases.

Nearly all Home Theater receiver manufacturers develop "Entry Level", "Mid-Level" and "High-end" products whose price points and features are increase with.  These days many of these manufacturers are engineering products to meet the consumers increasing needs for space and price savings and ease of use.  I think the most important thing that new consumers aren't aware of is how these manufacturers list their specifications and power ratings.  In many cases these numbers are misleading. For example, "Sony 1000w 5.1 stereo"=False and misleading.  If you have no idea what I'm getting at here, Do yourself a favor and understand the meaning of TRUE POWER ratings before making any decisions. 

The reason I bring up the topic of TRUE Power is that this product is developed by Marantz who is a well known manufacturer who underrates their specs and have been producing some of the best audio reproduction and accuracy as long as I can remember.  Again, I mention this because its 50w output may appear low but I guarantee that the sound this receiver will create crisp accurate sound that will destroy many similar entry level receivers whose output is higher.

Marantz NR Series

This is a 7 Channel home theater receiver in a Slim Design Chassis.  Its about 4 inches high and 13 inches deep, making it fit nearly anywhere while maintaining the best sound in home audio by Marantz.  Comparison to my Yamaha which is 10+ inches high :(

Marantz NR-1501
Here's some vital specifications on the Marantz NR 1501
  • 7 ch Discrete Analog Amplifier (50 watts x 7) 
  • HDMI 1.3 x4 Inputs / x1 Output
  • Decoding of Dolby TrueHD, dts-HD Master Audio
  • Video Converter for All Analog Sources to HDMI
  • Independent Audio Board for Improved Sound
  • Simple Set-up with MRAC Auto Calibration
  • Component Video x3 Inputs / x1 Output
  • Analog Audio Inputs x5, Digital Audio Inputs x3

  • Marantz Remote D-Bus In/Out Jacks
  • Detachable Power Cord
  • On Screen Display for Setup through HDMI out
  • Glow Key, Precode Remote Control
  • Available Option Rack Mount Kit RMK1501NR

Marantz NR-1601 

This is the model just up for those who are looking for a little more. It retains the slim steel chassis and all the specifications of the 'NR-1501' range but also includes upconversion from composite inputs to HDMI, advanced bass management features and Audyssey MultEQ auto calibration.

The NR-1601 also has HDMI 1.4 ports for full 3D support and adds extra Dolby processing modes with Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Virtual Speaker which creates a virtual surround sound experience from just two speakers.  Heres a demo video to show you a little more on ProLogic IIz

For the slight price difference, this Marantz NR-1601 would be a good idea if you're planning on moving up to 3D or if you're using any analog devices that require up-conversion.  The front USB port is a massive feature that can prove valuable as well these days.

In conclusion, the Marantz NR Series is a top of the line, "entry level" choice for those looking for the best sound.  Many receivers out there are pitching a vast array of features but quality?  I'll say again, take a look here in the section about TRUE POWER.

So yes, the Marantz NR Series receivers do have a basic feature set but they have the necessary decoders and the connectivity to do everything you require to view and listen to all HD Audio and Video today and tomorrow.

There is no question.  This receiver will satisfy you're needs and beat the competitors at this price range with regards to sound quality.