AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: La Madera, New Mexico
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I, too, was blown away by the sound of the 9004. The reliability, not so much. Had to get it fixed once, maybe twice, at great cost in time and shipping, though at least it was under it's good three year warranty
Also it was always VERY finicky playing movies--just wouldn't play some of them.. Maybe because we rent BluRays from Netflix, maybe the laser was never adjusted quite right, who knows. Way too irritating for me, and my wife hated it.
When I bought my SP3, I replaced the Marantz with an OPPO 103, and run all sources digital to the Bryston. Still some kinks to work out with the SP3, but basically way more dependable and, like you, I find the SQ to be pretty much the same, very high quality.
It may just be you got a good one, I got a lemon. I'm very glad you're happy with your unit--I have no knocks on it's audio or video quality at all.
(As an aside, though, the OPPO is WAY faster loading BluRays...)