Marantz SR-96 A/V Receivers

SR-96

110W x 3, 90W x 2 rear, THX

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
-cc   Audio Enthusiast [May 29, 2005]
Strength:

Power, runs cool, sounds great through 6 channel direct.

Weakness:

Sound lacks definition through normal inputs. It's good, but not great.

I use this with my sources feeding into the 6 channel direct. Used this way, the sound is excellent, the famous Marantz detailed, warm, "laid back" sound. Superb for critical listening to music and movies. However I found that sources fed through the normal inputs were not nearly as good, it is lacking in delicacy. FM sound is quite good. The receiver has lots of power and runs cool. I'm very please with it the way I use it.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
alarm2018   AudioPhile [May 26, 2004]
Strength:

Sonic performance, flexibility, power.

Weakness:

No digital format, mono sound option???? Best quality only can be heard from 6ch input, and if stereo selection modes used the quality reduces greatly (so as the volume), only one pair of front speakers.

Since I've purchased this receiver, I've realised how much stereo I can dig out of my current system. The THX proved its quality and 6-channel input made this receiver future-proof. The only thing that I prefer my old receiver than this one is the lack of passive subwoofer output, since it's very important due to system power calibration. But since nowadays every AV receiver does not include passive subwoofer amplification, this is still a competitive power source provided with a good digital decoder. When paired with my B&W DM110 I found out the bass was not great, but since the new Wharfedale arrived the bass restored and the soundfield focused further. Also the item was bought second hand, so it was a real bargin. During demo the demonstrator wrongly short-circuited the 2 speaker terminals, and the safety system on the receiver activated and the power halted. Afterall the performance is first rate and it does go very loud. Grab one if you have a DVD player with Dolby Digital and DTS internal decoding, cos why waste the equipment if you got them?

Similar Products Used: Technics SA-EX 700
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Sharmad   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 18, 1997]

Well put together and warrantied unit, but rather weak in power! Adding AC-3 makes it confusing... Better of with the SR-880!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Tony Lai   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 08, 1999]

>Well put together and warrantied unit, but rather weak in power!>Adding AC-3 makes it confusing... Better of with the SR-880!

firstly. this guy has no clue. The SR-96 has massive, massive power
and I've owned the Onkyo TX-DS747, Kenwood KRX-1000THX and the Rotel
RB-985THX. The SR-96 is capable of some truly shattering power swings
and some incredibly subtle music detail as well. Obviously it takes
much of its pedigree from the excellent Marantz integrated amps.
The 110Wx3/90Wx2 will easily outperform the vast majority of newer
receivers. Does 750W power consumption mean anything :-)

It could do with some work in ergonomics but then it's not a Japanese
receiver and thank god for that. Minus one star for the ergonomics.

Adding AC3 is confusing? Only for simpletons like this guy. I use
a Technics SH-AC500D DD/DTS and it's a great match. Only get the
SR-880 if you have less money, don't want THX or don't want to
upgrade. The '880 is vastly inferior to the SR-96.

T.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Ed   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 01, 2000]
Strength:

Sound, Value, Digital Ready

Weakness:

Out of Date, Limited Component Inputs/Outputs

If you're looking for something that does a good job with two channel music and can handle pro logic and dolby digital well, this may be the one. I've got the SR-96 hooked up with a DVD with a built in DD decoder (Toshiba 3109). There are no digital inputs/outputs, but the sound is great for both movies and music (I use it for about 80% music/20% movies or TV). You can find refurbished and demo units in catalogs or used in classifieds or at on-line auctions. For under $400 you can get a unit that was near the top of the Marantz line a few years back.

System:
Marantz SR-96
L/R Speakers: Def Tech BP10B
Center: Def Tech C1B
Surrounds: AR17
Sub: Def Tech Prosub 200

Similar Products Used: Denon, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RFZ   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 20, 1998]

Very nice unit especially with the RC-2000 remote control. THX certified, plenty of basic power with 110x3 and 90x2 can be upgraded with external amps for all 5/6 channels for even more power! The provision of the 6ch external decoder input for Dolby Digital and DTS (and perhaps even others) is a feature that defies obsolescence. Five audio/video inputs (with S-Video) can accomodate all but the most extravagent HT components. Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ty Stinson   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 1998]

After auditioning several other receivers in this price range, I have settled with the SR-96. This unit clearly blows the competition away. The Harmon unit that esentially is the same on the inside is still no comparison after acounting for the RC-2000 and gold plated terminals along with the bolder aesthetic presence. The powerful 110 watts across the front are more than enough to perform in any size living room, and the rear 90 watt channels are as clean as can be, though serious critics may want to upgrade the rear channels for use with Dolby Digital. S-video switching and dubbing features make every day operation a breaze. This unit is about to be, or already is replaced by the SR-880. Esentially the same unit but with less wattage and with Dolby digital built in. Even with less power, this unit is great for Pro-logic but again for serious users, I recommend upgrading all of the channels on the SR-880 for serious Dolby Digital use.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ken Duoba   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 07, 1999]

I had a SR-96 on loan from my local dealer for a month as I awaited the arrival of the MA-700 monoblocks I had on order. During that time, I was also able to try out a number of other receivers, including the SR-880 and Yamaha's 2095. (The MA-700s were proving hard to find, so I started wondering if I might have to abandon that idea and get a better receiver instead.) In the end, I decided to wait, as the MA-700s are rather good. However, of the receivers I listened to, the SR-96 tempted me the most.
The SR-96 is at its best in stereo. It is a very musical receiver, with a smooth and bright sound (which is quite similar to many of Marantz's integrated amps). Unlike many similarly priced receivers, this brightness is not harsh--rather, it sounds open and detailed. Inevitably, at higher volumes, the treble hardens and loses some of its smoothness--which makes careful partnering important. I have mostly Mission 700 Series speakers in my HT setup (704s, 70c2 and 70as), and these can get a little harsh in the treble at high volumes, and so must take part of the blame. However, using the MA-700s to do the grunt work there is less noticeable hardening, so it is not just the speakers. Bass is fairly punchy and controlled, though not as prominent as with, say, the 2095 (with full-range speakers, this is a good thing!) There is also plenty of power, especially in stereo.

For home theatre, I preferred the Yamaha, especially for action movies. It brings out more detail, especially through the surround channels, and its overall sound is better suited to HT (the Marantz is a bit too smooth here, which makes some scenes sound artificial). However, soundtracks sound better on the Marantz. I don't find any of the DSP modes on either receiver particularly useful, except the THX mode on the SR-96 and the Enhanced Pro-Logic/DD/DTS modes on the Yamaha--these are quite good. Neither has THX Re-Eq for DD sources (unless you use an external processor with the SR-96 that has this feature).

The SR-96 has a fairly good set of features for a Pro-Logic only receiver, with a six-channel input, plenty of audio and AV inputs (with S-video) and pre-out/main-in couplers for all channels (the six-channel input and main-ins are separate). This last feature is something I particularly like--it means that no matter what you do in terms of external processing, you can still use the amplifiers in the SR-96 any way you choose. The display is bright and clear, with large lettering. Even with bright sunlight in the room, it is still easy to read (whereas that on the Yamaha becomes almost impossible--something that annoys me immensely). The OSD is also quite simple and intuitive to use.

As a mixed audio/HT receiver, I think this is one of the best. It's not a particularly cheap way of getting a DD system, but its performance in stereo is a cut above many similar products. I would certainly take this over the newer SR-880 (which I thought was a bit too bright). However, it is worth having a serious look at some of the newer Denon models, such as the AVR-3300 and the AVR-3800. For HT alone, there are other receivers I would choose over this one (in particular the Yamaha 2095).


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Mic   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 29, 1997]

At $1099.00 you cann't beat it, and for $520.00 I added the DP 870 and have a 510 watt RMS AC-3, THX DPL receiver that kicks ASS. It's not perect but I can still add DTS and/or anything that comes up that feeds into 6 channels.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Chuck   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 1997]

Nice unit, but Marantz needs some serious lessons in ergonomics!!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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