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New Universal players - Denon 2900 (&3900) vs Marantz 8400 -best? (1 Viewer)


Aug 10, 2000
I see lots of positive speculation/anticipation about the new Denon 2900...and even some talk about the forthcoming Denon 3900 as well. But also due around late April, or May, is the new Marantz 8400 Universal player(See info/specs below. The Marantz 8400 has generated seemlingly very little buzz compared to the Denon 2900. But I would expect the Marantz might be "better" for
DVD-A/CD/SACD audio; but I'm not sure which unit will have the edge in video performance.

Although the D&M corporation owns both Denon & Marantz, I believe these two products (2900 vs 8400) were developed completely idependently of one another. But I wonder if the new Denon 3900 (ETA Fall 2003) will be based on previous Denon product(s), or possibly on the Marantz 8400...or a completely new independent design effort. Anyone know - DenonJeff?

Anyone have any definitive info on the relative merits of these 3 units?

Marantz 8400 specs:
On the heels of the extremely successful and rave reviewed DV-8300 comes the DV-8400. The DV-8400, our second generation universal disc player, has some considerable advantages over the
DV-8300. First and foremost, the DV-8400 comes with improved sound quality. The all copper chassis provides improved shielding and reduced noise, while a new shorter signal path and higher quality
parts deliver improved SACD, DVD-A, and CD playback. Second, the DV-8400 comes with RS-232C for system control. As if those added features weren’t enough, we have also added a DVI output to
the DV-8400. This exciting new product will begin shipping in late April.

DV-8400 Single disc player highlights:

· RS-232C ( for system control-not upgradeability)

· Redesigned Audio section (Shorter signal path and strategic parts upgrades)

· Pure Digital Video output (DVI w/HCDP)

· Plays: DVD, two-channel and multi-channel SACD, DVD Audio, CD, CD-RW, MP-3, DVD-R and DVD-RW

· Progressive scan with 3:2 pull down

· Identical, discrete multi-channel audio circuit paths

· Marantz proprietary HDAM for all six channels

· 24-bit 192 kHz audio DACs by Cirrus Logic

· Separate power transformer for audio signal path

· Built in Bass Management for SACD

· Full copper chassis with double layer bottom plate

· Zero impedance copper ground plate for analog multi-channel output

· Fine tunable “video adjust” capability

· Video Off and Display Off functions for the purist audio playback

· User friendly on screen menu

· Width: 17 5/16 (440 mm) Height: 3 1/2 (89 mm) Depth: 12 1/8 (307 mm)

· Famous Marantz Three-Year Warranty

MSRP: $1699.99

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Dec 9, 2001
I think the first big reason why people aren't talking as much about the Marantz is the MSRP. The Denon is $999; Marantz, $1699.

Another potential reason is the video section. Denon has been stating that the 2900 has been built completely from the ground up and is chroma bug free. They have worked with Stacey Spears to ensure that it will pass all of Secrets tests, I imagine the same will be true of the 3900.

Nothing has been said of the video section in the Marantz but I know the 8300 is based on a Pioneer deck and the Pioneers haven't fared too well in the Secrets benchmark tests for video performance.

As far as audio performance...we'll have to see but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the Marantz bests the Denon here.

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Aug 3, 2000
The audio performance for the Maranatz 8300 was never ever questioned. But yeah, will the 8400 have the chroma bug?

And these are a red flags IMO:

· Built in Bass Management for SACD
· 24-bit 192 kHz audio DACs by Cirrus Logic
How about BM for DVD-A? And, I don't know nothin' :), but I know that the original 47a, what the 8300 is based on, got poor reviews for audio in general and had Crystal/Cirrus DACs, but when they switched to Burr Brown DACs for the 47ai, the complaints disappeared.

I *hope* both players don't have these problems; competition is always a good thing. :)

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Dec 9, 2001
After our meeting with Stacey at CES, and reviewing the Shootout results, our engineer went back to Japan, with the intent on designing units that pass every test Stacey could throw at it. Will have to wait and see what the results are on the 2900 as Stacey will be receiving one very shortly to test...


Jeff Talmadge
Product Manager
DENON Electronics (USA), Inc.

This comes from this thread at AVS: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1

This is on the first page of the thread which is fairly long. It now looks like they may be having trouble with at least the Y/C delay. Jeff said Stacey will have the definitive results shortly. From the way Jeff is talking, I get the impression they may continue working on some refinements as unit production continues. Could be completely wrong here too... Anyhow, it might be worthwhile to wait a month or two just in case.


Stunt Coordinator
Jun 26, 2001
but I know that the original 47a, what the 8300 is based on, got poor reviews for audio in general and had Crystal/Cirrus DACs, but when they switched to Burr Brown DACs for the 47ai, the complaints disappeared.
that's not quite right... the issue that was complained about was SACD playback (and rightly so, although it was by no means as terrible as some people were making it out to be), the reviews for DVD-A (and CD, for that matter) playback were actually all positive. the use of Burr Brown DACs in the 47Ai apparently really didn't help in improving the SACD playback of the unit so much as providing consumers with a justification (along with the firewire output and BM) to purchase a unit released so quickly after its predecessor...


Supporting Actor
Feb 25, 2002
Most of the audio problems with the 47a stemmed from the analog stages (post DAC). This is where the 8300 improved things.

Sanjay Gupta

Supporting Actor
Jun 30, 1997
Real Name
Sanjay Gupta
Why does this player not have a firwire (digital) connection for DVD Audio and SACD, specially now that the industry has agreed upon a standard?


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