Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I have run both in my home theatre, own MRX-1120 borrowed SR8012
I own the MRX-1120 for a year now, and recently borrowed a friend's new Marantz SR8012 for a few days before he installed it for himself (good friend!), so we compared both running in my theater room with my Dolby Atmos speaker config (5.1.4) using Focal Aria speakers and a JL subwoofer (1,500W). As I use banana plugs, and could place the SR8012 beside my MRX-1120 we also easily switched between the 2 receivers to listen to the differences only moments apart.
Comments that ARC is superior to Audyssey XT32 are of course accurate. BUT IT's A PAIN, and in my opinion it is NOW only marginally better; which means to me it is not worth the pain ARC puts you through. Perhaps because my room is well treated with Primacoustic panels, the difference between ARC and Audyssey is not as significant as past experiences.
The Marantz is overall much simpler to operate and has many more features. For my money, after real-world testing- the MRX-1120 should be sold at a bit lower price than the SR8012. I would regret spending the extra money for a Receiver that is much more difficult to operate and has some reliability issues (yes, warranty of 3 years gets it fixed, I've had to do that).
I can also use more of the Marantz features in my place; especially Phono input, but also including analog video input (although I have Dolby Vision 4K player AND Apple TV 4K setup, friends still require that I play Vanishing Point from LaserDisc once in a while on my Panasonic LX-200). I'm also an Apple household, so while I did put an Apple TV 4K on the MRX-1120 - it is still a benefit that the SR8012 has Apple Play for quick song playability.
I'm wanting to sell my MRX-1120 and get the Marantz SR8012 primarily for usability and loaded features. The sound treatment from the latest Audyssey XT32 doesn't kill the mid-range as it used to, at least wasn't our experience in a sound panel treated room.
At the pricing, with Marantz SR8012 costing less and is SO MUCH EASIER to work with, I'd recommend the SR8012.
(some may ask at the ease of use statement, Anthem menu system is terrible, Flash updates must be done by USB stick (i.e. download from web on your laptop/desktop, unzip and ensure the USB is clean of any other versions of updates, remove USB from your PC and head for MRX-1120, insert USB and then power everything up, run the update utility through menus or through front panel button combinations, wait for some time and through some reboot etc.; as to ARC it is run external to your receiver, so either run a version that isn't any better than Audyssey automatic mode on your iPad etc. then find your receiver on the network and upload the final results to the receiver; or run more advanced manual mode with software on your laptop and their included (excellent) mic with tripod stand then also get onto same wifi as your receiver and upload final results to your receiver = unnecessary PAIN)
To recap, sound is a smidgen better from MRX-1120 using properly run manual ARC; but really, the extra $$$ and overall user experience is not worth it.