Marantz SR-96 as Amplifier?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Orson, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. Orson

    Orson Auditioning

    Dec 24, 2002
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    Hello All!

    Just getting into Home Theater and would like to know if my plans make sense or not:

    I bought and then sold a JVC RX-6008 because it was junk.
    I then decided that I had to have a THX certified unit, not for the processing but for the amplifier section. To that end, I purchased a "new-old-stock" Marantz SR-96.

    I am using a DVD player with 5.1 out for DD decoding and it sounds excellent (compared to the RX-6008). However, I am planning a move to DSS and have no digital inputs. I knew this before purchasing the SR-96 and had decided that a nice preamp mated with the THX amplifier would be a good solution.

    Given this background the questions are:

    How much does a THX certifed amp section really matter?

    Was it smart to buy a receiver with a THX certifed amp just to use it as an amp? (5 channel THX amps are very expensive)

    Do the later model receivers have better amplifiers than the models from the SR-96 genre, or are they essentially the same?

    If I ended up with $600 invested between the SR-96 and a good preamp would it be worth it? Would it be as good as a modern unit that costs $500 - $700?

    Any preamp recommendations in the $300 - $500 range?

    Am I whacked? (i.e. too obsessive)


  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Jul 2, 1999
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    I've used non THX amps that are excellent. I've used THX amps that are excellent. Lack of THX certification tells you little if anything about the sound quality of an amp. So, the answer to your fist question is: THX cert is not a guarantee of excellent sound quality.

    Hard to say if it was smart or not. Only you can answer and the answer may change as time goes on.

    In my humble opinion, the 92 probably has as good or better amps than current Marantz.

    $600- $700 can buy some good stuff. The Harmon Kardon AVR 525 seems promising, but some how it seems like HK stuff has more than its share of design defects.

    It may be a little late for this, but the Kenwood 6070 is THX, delivers an honest 92 watts to its 6 powered channels simultaneously, has Circle Surround, and can be had from an authorized internet dealer for about $440.

    I think the crux of your situation is what pre-amp you mate the SR96 with. I used a Technics SH-AC500D for some time and it sounded fine. These pop up on ebay from time to time usually for less than $200.


    Welcome to the forum and Happy Holidays!
  3. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 2, 2001
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    The SR-96 may lack on board 5.1 capability but otherwise it's still an awesome receiver. It's amp is 2 ohm stable with headroom galore, approaching 200 wpc across the front channels if memory serves. The pre-amp is first rate as well and finding a replacement equal to it will be costly. Instead, look for a Marantz DP-870 5.1 decoder to dock with it. It was made for the Sr-96, and does a great job. Your remote is already programmed for it and you won't lose any of the 96's capabilities. (Like multi-room.)And of course, it will provide you with a optical input. I've seen them on various used gear websites for as little as $150.00. Good luck and enjoy the holidays!

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