Marantz Keeps 'em Separated
Marantz has been the industry's #4 hitter in delivering high-end, single-box AVRs that sound great for some time. In Q2 of 2008 Marantz gets outside that single-box with the AV8003 preamp/processor (pictured above) and MM8003 multichannel amplifier.
The AV8003 is going to be loaded with the latest in meaningful features, including HDMI 1.3 switching (4 in/2 out), Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, XM and Sirius and Ethernet streaming for networked audio and video throughout the home. It even has a set of XLR stereo inputs for high-end audio apps like SACD.
The brute of this pair is the MM8003, a 150x8 amplifier with XLR inputs, and the kind of overdone build quality one would expect from Marantz. No prices were given, but Marantz is bringing these separates to the market in the second quarter of this new year.
It's nice that we've been getting AVRs with next-gen audio decoding, but for many of us the separates can't come fast enough.