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Marantz DV-9500 (1 Viewer)

Ken Arnold

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In response to the request of EricRWem from another thread, here are my observations of the Marantz DV-9500:

This comes after my purchasing and returning a Denon DVD-3910 because the picture wasn't nearly as good as my Zenith DB-318. The 3910 also dropped sound 3 times during my test passages in The Matrix. (Another member had asked if anyone had experienced this as his 3910 dropped sound during DTS material.)

Of the 6 dvd players I currently own, the Kenwood 6050 also bears mentioning as IMO it's the best for the money non-upscaling player I've seen. When I first set it up, I experienced a noticable improvement in sound quality as well.

Then I purchased the Zenith DB-318 and was impressed with the upscaled picture quality (through component) over the Kenwood 6050, but sound was lacking by comparison.

Then I briefly danced with the Denon (didn't want to miss my 30 day return window) and made the observations mentioned.

Doug_H (another forum member) recommended the Marantz 9500 as it was getting excellent reviews. This player stunned me. It is being sold by a high end audio site for it's DVD-Audio and SACD abilities, but it's the best all around player I've seen. The picture upscaled through HDMI - converted to DVI and run into my Mitsubishi WS-73713 TV was astounding! On the thread where this discussion started, several members were "shocked" and "speechless" :) that I stated the Denon 3910's picture was simply not even comparable to the 9500. I'd place the picture of the 3910 between my Kenwood 6050 and the Zenith DB318 - and I mean right in the middle. That's not too bad since the 6050 has the best picture I've seen in 480P (upscaled to 540P by my Samsung DLP 43" and Mistubishi RP 73").

I feel I did experience a bit more detail in sound from The Matrix on the Denon 3910 than the Marantz, but on DVD-Audio and SACD I'd rate it a tie. I tested both of these players on my Sunfire Ultimate and Denon 4802 reciever's by the way.

The menu's are clean and easy to follow, with two little quirks. One, selecting "Downsampling On/Off" refers to 96K/48K digital output. Normally I think of this as downsampling to stereo over analog outputs which I do so I can play DTS/DVD-Audio, etc. in stereo on my patio (Zone 2). Not so! When I switched it to "off" and put 96K to my receiver, the sound became all it should be.

The bigger quirk is playing DTS CD's. There is a menu setting for downsampling to "Stereo" or "LF/RF" (I believe that's the correct letters - I'm not in front of it). The latter means converting DTS CD material to Prologic II!

I was frustrated at seemingly being unable to play DTS CD material through this wonderful new player. Then it occured to me to go direct through the pre-outs and of course that worked. Trust me (or ask Doug_H!) You've never heard the Steely Dan Goucho DTS CD like you will on the Marantz 9500/Sunfire Ultimate combo! Guess I should mention the speakers tested - Both player/receiver setups were tested with Magnaplaner 1.6's and M&K 750's.

As to the picture comparison - don't take just my word for it - ask Doug_H also, a rather seasoned forum member who saw both setups at my house.

Here's a quote from a review/comparison at: Home Theater Hifi

 

gregD

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
420
Neat... I had high hopes for this player when it was announced.

The video specs / test result numbers at Secrets seem to fall short of the best, but the write-up suggests this piece is at least a worthy candidate to take home for serious testing.

Now if they can just shave about 500 off the msrp...
 

EricRWem

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Jun 4, 2004
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Adrik
I agree. Both the Marantz 9500 and Onkyo 1000 would do a lot better at say...a $1799 MSRP?

That would open the door up to more 11-16 vanns.com $1447 Onkyo 1000 sales and the like. I still can't believe an authorized dealer got away with that. :D

I hope Onkyo really looks over that time period, the buzz, and the increased sales from it and takes note. I also hope other companies were noticing something like that.
 

Brian L

Senior HTF Member
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3,299


Out of curiosity, what content where you sending to your AVR at 96K?

I have been having some difficulty sending 96K to my NAD 762 via my Denon 1600. Curious what titles you were using.

Best Regards,

BGL
 

JohnnyG

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Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,522
Ken, I think you might be confusing (or interchanging) the term "downsampling" with "downmixing".
 

Richard_B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Messages
137
The 9500 sure looks like an impressive player. I just don't like the fact that it's lacking firewire for the price of admission. I would also like to see either a 2nd HDMI connection or a HDMI and DVI connection, that way you could run the DVI or HDMI to your TV and then use other HDMI like you would use firewire for DVD-A and SACD. Anyway it sure looks like a well built player.
 

Lewis Besze

Senior HTF Member
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Jul 28, 1999
Messages
3,134
Yeah the Marantz is 2k and I also would want I link,especially since it uses an older generation incomplete BM probably sourced from Denon.
 

Ken Arnold

Agent
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Apr 4, 2001
Messages
43
Location
Austin, TX
Real Name
Ken Arnold
Sorry guys - been busy. Since I put the Sunfire Ultimate and Magnaplaners in the living room, all my (4) systems get the hand me downs. Lots of config work.



No, the Marantz doesn't do this either. I also miss the "autostart" option on my little Zenith. This feature would find the first large track and start there - gets you past all the FBI Warning and preview crap.

But for unsurpassed picture and sound, I can live without "autostart.":D
 

ManojM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 13, 2002
Messages
242
Just hooked up my review sample of the Marantz 9500 day before yesterday. Have only watched "Troy" with it so far, but am really stunned at the quality of the picture set at 720p via the HDMI port. Have not listened to the audio yet.
 

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2000
Messages
5,723
Manoj! :) I'd be curious how you rate this guy vs the Onkyo 1000. The Marantz didn't do that well for video on Secrets. (Unfortunately, they haven't looked at the 1000 yet.)
 

ManojM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 13, 2002
Messages
242
Kevin,
Actually the way I read the Secrets site, it did do fairly well. I think the few tests it failed were not as important as the ones it passed. Again, I have only seen one movie on this machine, and I have just hooked it up. I have not even calibrated the display to it. I was just struck how clean, sharp, and beautiful the picture was- very, very Krell DVD Standard like, which is quite the compliment indeed. Time and more material will tell if the machine holds up with different material, but out the gate it is a signficant improvement over the DV8400 DVI out.
 

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