We have tried the Marantz NR-1200 stereo receiver!

Marantz-NR-1200 amplifier

Saul Bernard Marantz, musician and photographer, is associated with the Marantz company, founded in 1953, which has been making an unstoppable breakthrough in the audio products market since its inception. For Marantz engineers, the most important considerations are the excellent sound quality and the high-quality components used for manufacturing. The NR-1200 integrated radio amplifier weighs 7.9 kg and has a graceful, elegant design.


NR 1200 silver

The Marantz amplifier has many extra features that make it almost like a home theatre device. The first moment you switch the NR-1200 on, the device wants to connect to the television right away, and you have to use the remote control to prevent it from that. There are standard buttons on the front panel below the large display, and large control dials on the left and right sides of the display. On the back you can find RCA, Ethernet, optical and coaxial inputs, as well as 4 pairs of speaker outputs.

Lots of features!

Marantz back panel

In addition to the usual audio inputs, the NR-1200 also has 5 HDMI inputs that support HDCP 2.3, 4K Ultra HD 60 Hz video, 4: 4: 4 Pure Colour sub-sampling, HLG, High Dynamic Range (HDR10) 21: 9 VIDEO, 3D and BT.2020 signal transmission as well. It also supports the 24 bit / 192 kHz audio format, DSD compatible, up to 2.8 or 5.6 MHz resolution. Blu-ray players, set top boxes and game consoles can also be connected to the amplifier. The ARC (Audio Return Channel) also allows the transmission of audio from the TV, requiring only 1 HDMI cable. It mixes surround formats to 2 channels. You can also listen to digital radio stations with the built-in DAB + tuners. Thanks to the MM phono input, vinyl records can also be played, and Marantz’s HDAM phono unit provides clearer, more detailed sound. With the HEOS module, there is no obstacle to music streaming, via Spotify, Amazon music, Tidal, or even Tuneln Internet Radio services.

NR 1200 remote control

Of course, Bluetooth, Wifi and Apple AirPlay 2 connections should not be missing from the amplifier’s functions. With Bluetooth Out, you can move freely in the living room while listening to music. Various voice control features are also available, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri.

High sound quality, wide dynamic range

Nr 1200 inside

Optimized DAC circuits increase the dynamic range and result in a better signal-to-noise ratio. Excellent parts were used in the manufacture of the NR-1200. With 75 watts (8 Ohm) of power per channel, it produces sound in even larger rooms. The symmetrical right and left power amplifiers are centrally powered, so certain functions have independent coils, the power transformer is separated from the amplifier circuits, preamplifier, wireless module and front panel display, significantly improving channel separation, reducing crosstalk, resolution and clarity will also be better.

Testing the amplifier’s sound quality

We paid a visit to a rock music fan in Pest County who asked us to test the Nr-1200 radio amplifier installed in the living room of a family house. We also performed acoustic measurements while there, based on which we recommended the owner acoustic treatment of the walls and ceiling with sound-absorbing and diffuser panels completed with the necessary bass traps for the corners.

We started our test with Bon Jovi’s concert tour Live at Madison Square (2009). We paired the receiver with Dali Epicon 8 speakers. It conveyed a precise, sharp, clear, full sound with an extremely wide range of dynamics. However, we could’t experience real sensations, the sound didn’t convince us being right in the middle of the crowd in front of stage.  But this of course, isn’t such a serious mistake, especially when you consider that it’s not a home theatre, only a radio amplifier, although it is almost misleading because of its myriad features.

We continued with another concert film. The Nirvana band released a 66-minute DVD entitled Unplugged in 2007. While listening to the record, we had clean, full-bodied sounds, a detailed and intense, airy musical experience. As far as the above mentioned lifelike sensations go, we experienced the same here as in the case of the Bon Jovi concert, we had some sense of lack.

We also chose music from Spotify lists, and listened to Jason Derulo’s recent hit Take you Dancing. There was no problem with the clarity, dynamics and details of the sound, but we found the high and middle ranges to be duller, weaker than they needed to be. We also tried this with another streamed piece and noticed the same symptoms.

We also tested the amplifier in Blu-ray quality for the romantic movie Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke, released in 2019. Knowing the fact that the NR-1200 is only a radio amplifier, the quality of sound was rather a positive surprise. The dialogues were clear and tuned, we were able to get a nice and full bodied sound.

In summary

With its many functions, the Marantz radio amplifier stands out from other similar category radio amplifiers. Both the components and the housing are of high quality, the optimised circuits guarantee clear sounding and wide dynamics. Aside from a few minor “symptoms” noticed, this audio device is absolutely a good deal. Due to its affordable price and many features it is equipped with, the NR-1200 can be the favourite amplifier of many.


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