“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter Google Plus instagram pinterest

Marantz SR8012 Bench Tests & Conclusion

By
APX585All measurements were conducted using our Audio Precision APx585 8 Channel HDMI Audio Analyzer.  The Marantz SR8012 was defaulted to high-impedance mode (8-ohms or more).
 

For more information about how we measure power amplifiers, please see:

Basic Amplifier Measurement Techniques

Marantz SR8012 AV 11.2CH Receiver Bench Test Results

Preamplifier Measurements

SR8012 Inside2The SR8012 is capable of outputting 4.5Vrms unclipped from the multi-ch preamp outputs which is more than 2X voltage drive needed to make most external amplifiers reach full unclipped power.

Editorial Note about Preamp Mode:

I was unable to do a preamp frequency sweep exceeding 1.2Vrms as it tripped the protection circuits since the power amps were still engaged and exceeded full rated power (140 watt/ch, 8 ohms, Av = 29dB). Unfortunately, Marantz doesn't offer a preamp only mode to disconnect the power amp from the circuit if you're using only external amplification. This is something I'd like to see ALL receiver manufacturers offer that include preouts to avoid this very problem I noted. It would also be more energy efficient as well. We will be testing this on receivers going forward and lobbying the manufacturers to include a preamp mode if they already don't. Please note it's unlikely you will ever run into a problem driving external amplification as normal program material doesn't behave like continuous sinusoidal sweeps like what was used on my bench tests.

At 1Vrms, the FFT of the SR8012 was good but I was surprised at the 3rd order harmonic byproduct that was about 3dB higher than I observed on the Denon AVR-X3300W prior but it was very low at .0018% THD. Still the noise floor (-140dB) of the SR8012 was exceptional as you can see in the FFT below, almost -20dB lower than I measured on the Denon AVR-X3300W.

SR8012 FFT 

Marantz SR8012 Preamp Out FFT Distortion Analysis @ 1Vrms

 SR8012 Frequency Response

Marantz SR8012 Frequency Response - Pure Direct

The -3dBpt of SR8012 preout outputs is 61.6kHz which is plenty wide for high resolution but not too wide to allow excessive noise ingress.  CH-CH deviation was excellent at +- 0.102dB from 20Hz to 20kHz for all channels. As indicated earlier, the subout defaults to LFE crossover setting (120Hz) for 2CH sources unless you go into advanced 2CH setup and change it.

SR8012 SNR 

Marantz SR8012 Signal to Noise Ratio (1Vrms) - Pure Direct

The SR8012 preamp output exhibited a low noise floor (92dB unweighted, 100dB A-wt) with 200mVrms input drive and 1Vrms out. This is excellent.

Power Measurements

Using our Audio Precision APx585 8-channel HDMI analyzer, we conducted a full barrage of multi-channel amplifier tests on Marantz SR8012 using three methods all of which were taken at < 0.1% THD + N:

  • Continuous Full Power Bandwidth (CFP-BW) from 20Hz to 20kHz into 8 and 4-ohm loads (up to two-channels)
  • 1kHz Power Sweep vs Distortion (1kHz PSweep) - popularized by the print magazines, this is an instantaneous power vs. distortion test at 1kHz. The problem with this test is it often masks slew-related and or frequency response problems some amplifiers exhibit at the frequency extremes, and thus inflates the measured power results. It does provide an instant gratification number for consumers to argue over on the forums, so we are now incorporating this test to please the masses.
  • Dynamic PWR - 1kHz CEA-2006 Burst Method testing. This is a dynamic power measurement adopted from the car industry similar to IHF method only a bit more difficult for an amplifier and more representative of real musical content.

Keep in mind most review publications don't do continuous power measurements and they usually publish power measurements into clipping at 1% THD + N. Our measurements are very conservative as we use a dedicated 20A line with no Variac to regulate line voltage.  We constantly monitor the line to ensure it never drops more than 2Vrms from nominal, which in our case was 120Vrms. 

For more info on amplifier measurements, see:  The All Channels Driven (ACD) Test

 SR8012 Continuous Sweep

Marantz SR8012 CFP-BW (2CH) Power Test - 8 ohms

With two-channels driven, the 140 watt/ch rated SR8012 delivered 148.8 watts/ch for full bandwidth 20Hz to 20kHz at < 1% THD.

 SR8012 Psweep

Marantz SR8012 1kHz ACD (7CH) Power Test - 8 ohms

The SR8012 was able to muster and impressive 96 watts/ch at 1% THD and 86 watts/ch at 0.1% THD with 7CH driven. This should be plenty of power for all but the largest and most demanding home theaters.

 SR8012 Dynamic PWR

Marantz SR8012 Dynamic (2CH) Power Test - 4 ohms

The SR8012 performed well for CEA 2006 short dynamic burst tests by delivering 336 watts/ch with 2CH driven at 4 ohms and over 165 watts/ch with 7CH driven at 8 ohms.

# of CH Test Type Power Load THD + N
2 CFP-BW 148 watts 8-ohms 1%
2 CFP-BW 215 watts 4-ohms 1%
1 1kHz Psweep 155 watts 8-ohms 1%
1 1kHz Psweep 131 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
2 1kHz Psweep 224 watts 4-ohms 1%
2 1kHz Psweep 183 watts 4-ohms 0.1%
*5 1kHz Psweep 105 watts 8-ohms 1%
*5 1kHz Psweep 95 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
*7 1kHz Psweep 97 watts 8-ohms 1%
*7 1kHz Psweep 86 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
2 Dynamic PWR 200 watts 8-ohms 1%
2 Dynamic PWR 336 watts 4-ohms 1%
7 Dynamic PWR 165 watts 8-ohms 1%

Marantz SR8012 Power Measurement Table 

*Note: It wasn't until after I completed these bench tests did I realize I accidentally used my 15A outlet instead of my 20A outlet to do the power tests. The SR8012 would likely deliver about 5-10% more power with 5 and 7CH driven if a dedicated line was used for these tests.

Marantz boasts their 70% guarantee which implies their receivers will be able to deliver 70% of the 2CH rating with 5CH driven. In the case of the SR8012, that would be 98 watts which my tests confirmed (95 watts x 5, 0.1%, 105 watts x 5, 1%).

They actually sent me their test results (tabulated below) which came out a little higher than mine, likely because they regulate the line voltage and I don't and also because I was using a shared 15A line as noted prior.


Total output power(W) CH Rated output power(W) output/ch(W) Ratio(%)
SR8012 570 5 140 114 81.4
SR8012 695.8 7 140 99.4 71.0
*1kHz THD+N=0.05%

Marantz Power Measurements of SR8012

For those wondering how much more powerful the SR8012 is over the next model down in their lineup, the SR7012 is able to deliver 90.5W x 5ch (72.4% of 125W) at THD+N =0.05% according to their test results.

 SR8012 FFT 1watt

Marantz SR8012 FFT Distortion Analysis (1 watt, 8 ohms)

There is no denying the SR8012 produces respectable power for an AV receiver, but I wanted to see how cleanly it does so at low power, where it spends most of its time.  The 2nd order harmonic residual dominates and is about 95dB below the 1kHz fundamental, which is a good result. I was surprised to not see the 3kHz odd order be the dominant factor since it was during the preamp FFT test but I'm not complaining, it’s just inquiring.

 SR8012 XTALK

Marantz SR8012 CH-CH Crosstalk (1CH, Undriven)

The channel-channel crosstalk was excellent for a multi-ch receiver, especially one packing 11 channels of amplification. With ACD except for the one under test, the SR8012 provided > -60dB of CH-CH isolation.

Downside

As good as the SR8012 is, I do have a couple of nits to pick, with the first being the no-frills remote that just feels cheap and has too many little closely-spaced buttons to cause confusion in a dark room. Remember when receiver companies actually put forth good remote controls? The reality is most people are using 3rd party remote solutions these days so this gripe holds little importance in those instances.

Marantz SR8012 Remote

The other thing to note is this receiver runs very hot, especially with Eco mode switched to off. This is to be expected considering Marantz is stuffing 11 channels of class AB amplification into a chassis sized for seven amplifiers, something all too common in the advent of Dolby Atmos. I would recommend giving the SR8012 plenty of ventilation and using Eco "auto" mode.

Lastly, I'm not a fan of Marantz overstating the power output of this receiver. This has become pretty common place since the advent of Dolby Atmos inclusion into AV receivers and manufacturers stuffing as many channels into the same sized and chassis. Marantz has the SR8012 listed as 205 watts/ch all over their website and marketing literature but unless one reads the fine print, they would never know this is a 1%, 1CH driven figure. The actual power per FTC 2CH driven at low THD is 140 watts/ch. Let's keep it real guys.

Conclusion

SR8012 CopperWhen Marantz introduced the SR8012 at the 2017 CEDIA Expo, I had high hopes that they were serious about making a top-notch AV receiver with a meaty amp section again. The SR8012 brings me back to my fond memories of the SR18 from yesteryear. The build quality is top notch as can be seen with the large torodial power supply, and dual heatsinks with monolithic amp construction and premium grade parts throughout the chassis. It has plenty of power to drive all but the most difficult speakers in the largest of rooms. In those cases, you could always make use of the pristine preouts to power up to external amplification.

The user interface of the SR8012 is speedy and intuitive with tons of configurability options for speaker layouts, power amp and input assignments. HEOS was easy to configure via their App and it did a good job managing my streaming music sources throughout the home before I installed a dedicated Control 4 system.

Most importantly, the Marantz SR8012 produced excellent sonic results in every mode of operation I tested it in. For a dollar short of $3k, you're getting a true 11.2CH integrated solution that supports the latest in 4K UHD video, including IMAX Enhanced, and ALL three immersive surround formats along with some very useful multi-room and music management capabilities. The SR8012 is only rivaled by its bigger corporate cousin, the AVR-X8500H that sports 13 channels of amplification and processing but costs an extra $1k. If you never plan on expanding beyond 11.2 or 7.2.4, then the SR8012 is ALL the receiver you'll ever need and should prove to be an excellent centerpiece in an upscale home theater for many years to come. If you're looking for a modestly priced AV receiver that is a master of all domains, this one is your ticket. Highly recommended.

Do you own this AV receiver or plan on getting one? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Frequency Response LinearityStarStarStarStarStar
SNRStarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (8-ohms)StarStarStarStar
Measured Power (4-ohms)StarStarStarStar
Multi-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Two-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Network FeaturesStarStarStarStarStar
Video ProcessingStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ManagementStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Ease of SetupStarStarStarStarStar
Remote ControlStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarhalf-star

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile

Recent Forum Posts:

JulioR posts on June 28, 2019 01:30
Although it seems something already forgotten the subject, I want your opinion about the operating temperature for the case of using it in, for example, a basic configuration of 5.1 channels. Would it continue to be as high as they describe it or would it be significantly reduced?
Phase 2 posts on April 12, 2019 12:57
PENG, post: 1310618, member: 6097
My guess is, a matter of marketing strategy, cost, and that they may believe a single component does not define the final sound quality (see Marantz response to HTHF/Dr. Rich). Imo the last bit makes little sense, because why then spend so much on the HDAM and DAC, in the case of their D&M flagship? The cost between using that Renesas LSI for preamp vs using some better MSI or SSI chips are just a few dollars at the most, given their purchase volume. Denon's x8500h and presumably the Marantz AV8805 might have finally addressed that concern, but I would not know for sure because the service manuals are understandably not available to the public.
Thanks PENG!
PENG posts on April 12, 2019 12:31
Phase 2, post: 1310616, member: 87062
PENG, why would they all do that? Also why are some pre-amps better (sounding) than others? Also why do they have say for, treble, bass tone controls +- 6 or at 50hz for the bass tone control? Back before all of the AVR thing, use to have a (loudness) button on the front display panel. Just trying to gain some knowledge here.

My guess is, a matter of marketing strategy, cost, and that they may believe a single component does not define the final sound quality (see Marantz response to HTHF/Dr. Rich). Imo the last bit makes little sense, because why then spend more on the better DAC chip in their D&M flagship AVR/avp. The cost between using that Renesas LSI for preamp vs using some better MSI or SSI chips are just a few dollars at the most, given their purchase volume. Denon's x8500h and presumably the Marantz AV8805 might have finally addressed that concern, but I would not know for sure because the service manuals are understandably not available to the public.
Phase 2 posts on April 12, 2019 12:18
PENG, post: 1310610, member: 6097
That is true as the preamp section can degrade the signal. Unfortunately, as Dr. Rich called them out(including D&M, Yamaha, some Onkyo/Integrated) a few years ago, that they typical used LSI (large scale ICs) in their AVRs, AVPs, and even the lower range integrated amps for volume control/preamp, rendering their audio specs more or less the same if used as prepro/preamp, in pure direct mode.
PENG, why would they all do that? Also why are some pre-amps better (sounding) than others? Also why do they have say for, treble, bass tone controls +- 6 or at 50hz for the bass tone control? Back before all of the AVR thing, use to have a (loudness) button on the front display panel. Just trying to gain some knowledge here.
PENG posts on April 12, 2019 11:52
Phase 2, post: 1310599, member: 87062
Better higher quality pre-amp? It all starts with a good pre-amp.

That is true as the preamp section can degrade the signal. Unfortunately, as Dr. Rich called them out(including D&M, Yamaha, some Onkyo/Integrated) a few years ago, that they typical used LSI (large scale ICs) in their AVRs, AVPs, and even the lower range integrated amps for volume control/preamp, rendering their audio specs more or less the same if used as prepro/preamp, in pure direct mode.
Post Reply