Software Upgrade For Marantz Sr9200 And Sr8200

Jeff Harlow

Auditioning
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Aug 6, 2002
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Announced on Marantz Europe Webpage. I wonder if/when it will be available in the US!?

SOFTWARE UPGRADE FOR ‘FUTURE-PROOF SR9200 AND SR8200 AV RECEIVERS

Marantz, one of the world’s leading premium brand of sound and vision products, are pleased to announce a unique software upgrade for its highly acclaimed SR9200 and SR8200 AV receivers. For just 300 euro (SRP), owners of these two receivers will be able


THX Ultra 2 compatibility The upgrade of the SR9200 delivers uncompromized multi-channel playback in accordance with the latest THX Ultra 2, widely considered the ‘reference standard’ for home entertainment. THX Ultra 2 decoding technology delivers a stunning 7.1-channel configuration from any source. It provides a more uniform soundstage for music and movie for every listening position in the home cinema. The Ultra 2 standard ensures that there is no signal deterioration by the receiver for today’s wide-bandwidth sources, including DTV and progressive-scan DVD.
Both the SR9200 and SR8200 AV receivers gain SRS Labs’ latest Circle Surround II (CS II) multichannel decoding; an impressive 6.1 channel configuration from any mono, stereo, matrix encoded or previous Circle Surround encoded audio material. Further software enhancements include the application of ‘Precision Decoding’ for DTS/DD. This technology achieves the equivalent of 32-bit resolution by passing the signal twice through the receiver’s 24-bit digital signal processor (DSP). Precision Decoding realizes a more accurate signal processing and a higher sound quality for both Dolby Digital and DTS sources.

Uncompromized reproduction quality The upgrade also embodies two firmware enhancements, a new RS-232c protocol that improves the interfacing with AMX and Crestron. The firmware update also enhances the speed with which the receiver recognizes the type of input signal to virtually eliminate audible delay on the output. The hardware upgrade brings the AV receivers in line with DTS 96/24, ensuring the sound quality is true to original 24-bit, 96 kHz source materials. The original CD is a 16-bit medium sampled at 44.1 kHz, but increasing the bit depth improves dynamic range, while higher sampling rates allow a wider frequency response. DTS 96/24 is carried on DVD-video and in the video zone of DVD-audio, and enables 5.1-channel sound with optimum quality full-motion video for music programs and movie soundtracks.

Upgrades of the SR9200 and SR8200 can only be obtained via authorized Marantz dealer. These high-end AV receivers are specifically designed as future-proof elements for people who wish to stay ahead of developments in sound and vision. The upgrade protects the investment owners have made in home cinema and endorses our commitment in providing the latest technology, re-enforcing our premium customer service at affordable prices.
 

Edward Schatz

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Jan 6, 2003
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I forgot to mention how excited I am for no more audio delay! Such a fantastic receiver marred by that damn delay....
 

TommyL

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May 27, 2002
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sweet! anyone else find the rc3200 using batteries like mad? I want to use rechargables...anyone using them for this thing? energizers last about 6 days...and I rarely use the damn thing! tom
 

Edward Schatz

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Actually my battery usage is pretty good. It's when stuff touches the remote and leaves it on for a while it goes dead. I contacted my dealer about the upgrade today and he had not heard anything yet. Makes sense, as it's not on the Americas Marantz page. I am going to contact Marantz directly tomorrow to get the story on when we'll see this.
 

ChrisDixon

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Nov 20, 2001
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This is good news, as I have been skeptical in the past as to whether they would actually live up to the "future-proof" claims. The audio delay is barely perceptable with my configuration, so that is not a big deal for me. The question will be: are the extras worth the ~$275 (if pricing is the same here in the US)? My guess is that the "precision decoding" and RS-232c enhancements will not produce obvious results, but I could be wrong. Can anyone comment on CSII? Who am I kidding, I'd probably get it just to be current and to support the process. I am a little disappointed that they aren't including HDCD decoding since there is a firmware upgrade.

Tommy: I don't usually use my RC3200 because I have another remote that I am used to and like better (I prefer actual buttons to touch screens with menus). What does trouble me, however, is its tendency to completely lose charge without any apparent reason. I have my remote in a closet (with nothing on top of it). For about a week, the charge stays at full when I've checked it. Then a day or two later, the batteries are completely dead. It's almost as if it spontaneously turns itself on and stays on.

In any case, I am now even more convinced that I made the right decision with my choice of the 8200. With all of the new receivers being underpowered or having hiss/hum problems, it seems like we have the best of both worlds: a stable, well built unit that sounds great and can be upgraded to help curb our upgraditis.

Chris
 

Cary P

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Jun 21, 2000
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124
I am a bit surprised by this, given Marantz' unresponsive customer service of late.

This is definitely good news, I wonder if Marantz will eventually have a software update for the 7300 as well?

I was just about ready to give up hope on Marantz ever responding to their customer's needs and requests, but maybe now I will give them a second chance.

Cary
 

John Garcia

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The 7300 already has the features mentioned, the 8200/9200 are just receiving the same treatment. I was looking at the 7300OSE, because it already has a number of features I wanted, but now the 8200 looks a lot more attractive
 

Edward Schatz

Second Unit
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Jan 6, 2003
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I talked to the Marantz rep today and they said the upgrade is coming to the U.S. Obviously, it has not been announced yet. The announcement should be coming shortly. Just keep checking the website he said.
 

PeterCB

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Nov 5, 2002
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Why is nobody questioning why Marantz is charging almost $300 for the software upgrade when Rotel has been providing theirs for free?
 

ChrisDixon

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Nov 20, 2001
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Forgive my relative lack of knowledge, but I'm still a little unsure of whether "firmware" implies software only or if there might be some upgrades to the circuitry. If it is a software only change, I am a bit surprised about the price. You can buy a decent used receiver for $300. My guess is that some stereo shops might do it for much less than the SRP though.

Chris
 

Edward Schatz

Second Unit
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Jan 6, 2003
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415
Because no one cares. I am happy to have my problem solved. According to many people, the delay is not a problem but I view it as one. It is getting fixed. I will pay the 300 dollars in the hopes that it solves my problems with the receiver and ensures future updates. By paying them to do it, perhaps they will update the receiver more and keep it more in line with ever changing standards. Onkyo charges for their upgrades, and DS989 is a fantastic receiver.
 

Edward Schatz

Second Unit
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Jan 6, 2003
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415
Chris, if you read carefully, some of the hardware has been changed. The hardware upgrade is in regard to bringing the receiver to full compliance with DTS 96/24, or so they say.
 

Yee-Ming

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my recollection of terminology is that "firmware" is software that is "hard-coded" onto chips. however, there are chips (EE-PROMs, I think) whose "firmware" can actually be changed, by appropriate commands being entered and the new software being uploaded. (EEs please correct me if I'm wrong). I suspect this is what's taking place, which was the whole reason for the RS232 connection in the first place.

The firmware update also enhances the speed with which the receiver recognizes the type of input signal to virtually eliminate audible delay on the output.
this, IMHO, in and of itself justifies the upgrade
in my setup the delay is maddeningly apparent and bugs the hell out of me when I'm going through menus, or reversing scenes to catch missed dialogue. not too sure about the rather pricey cost, though
I shudder to think what it'll cost here.

I have another issue with the 3200 though: whilst I don't have the battery drain problem that some of you seem to have, in my case it either "hangs", or "crashes" and resets itself. when it "hangs", it just stops working, and the only way to fix it is to disconnect the batteries, which resets the remote. when it resets, all settings are lost, eg time/date revert to start of 12am on 01/01/2000 etc. since I never programmed it for use as a universal (I just struggle with 5 remotes on the coffee table :b ) it doesn't bug me as much as it should, but it is still annoying, especially since this precludes me even bothering to try programming it, in the knowledge that this work could be so easily lost (and wasted).

any thoughts?
 

Lynn Little

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I'm a Tech Specialist. A small part of my job is upgrading firmware on color copiers/color printers. BTW, most of time, these upgrades are not to add features, they're to fix bugs.

In the old days, I stuck EPROMs in an EPROM "blanker" for 6 hours, then used an ancient DOS program to "burn" the newer version programming into the EPROMs. You then swapped these EPROMs with the ones in the color copier/color printer being upgraded.

Newer models are "flashed". I hook a laptop up to the color copier/color printer, then download the new firmware to the color copier/color printer. Much easier.

Those are the basic procedures. Neither procedure cost much at all. Look at these scenarios:

1) This "upgrade" requires hardware changes and adds features not originally on the receiver; that's a real upgrade.

2) This "upgrade" requires NO hardware changes and adds features not originally on the receiver; that's a real upgrade too, but should cost less.

3) It's a bug fix. Whether or not it requires hardware changes, it should be FREE.

IMO, $275 US seem's like a semi reasonable price for scenario #1. IMO, $275 US seem's like a high price for scenario #2. Like I said, scenario #3 should be free...
 

JohnFF

Agent
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May 9, 2002
Messages
44
The 8200 upgrade shouldn't require a THX license. The THX Ultra 2 upgrade is only for the 9200.

Has anyone done this upgrade yet? How long did it take and were there hardware changes (other than stickers!)?

I'm hoping this upgrade provides mode-selectable channel levels so I can boost my LFE for HT and keep it in line with the mains for music.
 

Yee-Ming

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looking at the Marantz (Europe) website, it announces the new SR9300 and SR8300. since I have the SR8200, I can only comment on the differences between it and the newer 8300.

seems to me the main thing is the inclusion of the items that are part of the upgrade that was just announced, e.g. Circle Surround II. the only other difference I spotted (and comparing to the 8200's specs from memory) was the power rating: the SR8200 claims 120W per channel, the SR8300 claims 130W.

so IMHO, once you get the upgrade, you're good to go. a claimed additional 10W doesn't make much difference to me, since I don't have 4 ohm speakers and can't listen loud anyway (apartment living...)
 

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