Greg Rogers Marantz VP-11S2 WSR Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 181 Old 04-23-2008, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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My Marantz VP-11S2 review will be posted on the Widescreen Review subscriber's website Friday 4/25 at noon (Pacific Time). I'll hang out here for a couple of hours after it is posted to respond to any questions or comments. Please do not post questions here before the review is posted on the website (I will have to ignore those questions - simply so that doesn't happen).

I would suggest that you test your access to the WSR subscriber's website this week, and call WSR if you have any access problems that need fixing. They typically get hit with last minute calls for web subscriptions when the more popular reviews are posted. This will be a Friday so it may be difficult to get any access problems fixed before the weekend if you wait until the last minute.

As usual the review is copyrighted material from Widescreen Review and it should NOT be reposted anywhere. WSR will stop posting my reviews early if they get reposted. So please don't spoil these opportunities to read the reviews in advance of the print edition.

My special thanks to Mark Haflich, our fellow AVS Forum member, for loaning me a VP-11S2 for this review.

Greg Rogers
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post #2 of 181 Old 04-24-2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregr View Post

My special thanks to Mark Haflich, our fellow AVS Forum member, for loaning me a VP-11S2 for this review.


Ditto that thanks Mark, so we can read the review
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post #3 of 181 Old 04-24-2008, 09:04 PM
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My pleasure.

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post #4 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 11:54 AM
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But how is this going to be a biased review, if the company didn't get to first hand pick the absolute best one they had avail to send you... j/k

But I wouldn't be surprised to find out if some companies send out better then the average projector of the same model to the reviewers.
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post #5 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys. The review is up at the WSR Subscribers website.

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post #6 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:14 PM
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The CR figures look rather similar to my own. Yours being sligtly lower than mine at the upper end and slightly better at the bottom. Mine being 8480 and 2050 respectively.

I look forward to digesting the whole review.

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post #7 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:15 PM
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Greg, thanks for yet another incredible review!

You mentioned the excellence of the Konica-Minolta lens.

1. What criteria do you use to judge lens quality?
2. What makes this lens better than, let's say, the lens used in the RS-1/RS-2 (if you even think it is better)?
3. How do you judge the quality of the lens independently from the rest of the display system?
4. How important do you personally feel that lens quality is in the overall judging of image quality?

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregr View Post

Hi Guys. The review is up at the WSR Subscribers website.

I've only read small parts, but looks like another great review.

As far as the 11S2 vs the RS2, my understanding is that you need an external processor to get the colors where you like them for the RS2. And to try a higher than 2.2 gamma with the 11S2 would also require an external processor, as you said. Have you tried the 11S2 with an external processor with higher gamma and if so, can you give your impressions that way?

BTW: I'm happy to see your results support (at least IMO) what I was pushing more than one DLP manufacturer to understand a while ago about whether they should push for higher ANSI CR or higher on/off CR, from where they were (if they could only improve one).

Thanks,
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post #9 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:24 PM
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You mentioned the 11s2 did not include the newer 2.4 gamma curve similar to the 15S1.

How do these two projectors compare when the 15S1 uses this gamma? Do you think the addition of the 2.4 gamma curve would create much better image depth for the 11s2?

Did you measure the audible noise of the 6x color wheel?

Thanks again for another great review!
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post #10 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

Greg, thanks for yet another incredible review!

You mentioned the excellence of the Konica-Minolta lens.

1. What criteria do you use to judge lens quality?
2. What makes this lens better than, let's say, the lens used in the RS-1/RS-2 (if you even think it is better)?
3. How do you judge the quality of the lens independently from the rest of the display system?
4. How important do you personally feel that lens quality is in the overall judging of image quality?

Thanks again!

Lens quality primarily determines the amount of chromatic aberration (CA) (color fringing) that you see. It also has a big influence on image sharpness and clarity. Color correction in the lens affects the ability to optimally focus each of the red, blue, and green images simultaneously, so that affects image sharpness and clarity. A lens can also cause geometric distortion. Those are probably the main factors when judging lens quality. The lens is very important because it can potentially degrade the image in each (and a few more) of those ways. I think the Marantz lens is better than the RS2 particularly in regard to color correction and perhaps a small edge in CA.

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post #11 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregr View Post

Lens quality primarily determines the amount of chromatic aberration (CA) (color fringing) that you see. It also has a big influence on image sharpness and clarity. Color correction in the lens affects the ability to optimally focus each of the red, blue, and green images simultaneously, so that affects image sharpness and clarity. A lens can also cause geometric distortion. Those are probably the main factors when judging lens quality. The lens is very important because it can potentially degrade the image in each (and a few more) of those ways. I think the Marantz lens is better than the RS2 particularly in regard to color correction and perhaps a small edge in CA.

Do you mean what you see from test patterns or what you literally see on the screen from a normal viewing distance? Thanks for the explanation!
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post #12 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

As far as the 11S2 vs the RS2, my understanding is that you need an external processor to get the colors where you like them for the RS2. And to try a higher than 2.2 gamma with the 11S2 would also require an external processor, as you said. Have you tried the 11S2 with an external processor with higher gamma and if so, can you give your impressions that way?

If you are really concerned about color accuracy I think you need a external processor with CMS for both projectors. (However, the VP-11S2 is closer to accurate without a CMS.) I didn't have time to try an external processor for higher gamma with the 11S2. (It's a lot of working setting up and measuring gamma curves accurately.) I did spend quite a bit of time comparing the RS2 (with gamma's from 2.2 to 2.5) to the 11S2 with its 2.2 gamma however.

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post #13 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for always taking the time to make yourself available to the AVS community and to WSR for permitting it to happen.

Another great review.

I was surprised that the on/off contrast wasn't higher. As feared, DC4 is only an incremental improvement.

Has DLP hit a wall?

Also, many have been excited by the new home theater projectors from Planar, which use a dynamic iris and light modulation to increase contrast ratios. Will you be reviewing one?

I am also curious about your response to Bob Sorel's question about lens quality.

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post #14 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregr View Post

If you are really concerned about color accuracy I think you need a external processor with CMS for both projectors. (However, the VP-11S2 is closer to accurate without a CMS.) I didn't have time to try an external processor for higher gamma with the 11S2. (It's a lot of working setting up and measuring gamma curves accurately.) I did spend quite a bit of time comparing the RS2 (with gamma's from 2.2 to 2.5) to the 11S2 with its 2.2 gamma however.

Thanks Greg. If I missed it in the article please let me know and I'll look further, but can you comment on the 11S2 with 2.2 gamma vs the RS2 with 2.2 gamma? I know the 11S2 gamma is a little lower right out of black (Marantz projectors mostly come out of black fairly quickly from what I've seen) and I don't recall if the RS2 has a 2.2 gamma with a little more kick at the beginning.

--Darin

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post #15 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew P View Post

You mentioned the 11s2 did not include the newer 2.4 gamma curve similar to the 15S1.

How do these two projectors compare when the 15S1 uses this gamma? Do you think the addition of the 2.4 gamma curve would create much better image depth for the 11s2?

Did you measure the audible noise of the 6x color wheel?

As I said in the 15S1 review, it doesn't really have a high enough full-field contrast ratio to use its 2.4 gamma curve. I've talked to Dan about the VP-11S2 gamma curves, and encouraged him to lobby the factory to change the lower value gamma curves to something like 2.25, 2.30, 2.35, 2.40 with a little gamma roll-off near black.

I measured the audible noise with the 5x color wheel. The 6x was noticeably different (different frequency content), but I don't think it was a full dB louder.

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post #16 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawguy View Post

Thanks for always taking the time to make yourself available to the AVS community and to WSR for permitting it to happen.

Another great review.

Ditto. Thank you Greg. Another great review. We appreciate the long hours you put into your reviews. Very thorough.

Ok whats next? Poor Greg would never sleep if we had our way
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post #17 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:40 PM
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For what it is worth, I have used a 2.4 and 2.5 gamma with the 11s2 generated by a Lumagen Radiance. Of course it increases image depth but I can't quantify how much. Its significant but at these gammas there is some loss of real dark low IRE detail. I think a on/off CR of 2x what the 11s2 has would be needed to use a 2.4 with no negative effects. It is however usable and to me preferable to 2.2.

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post #18 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew P View Post

Do you mean what you see from test patterns or what you literally see on the screen from a normal viewing distance? Thanks for the explanation!

It's a lot easier to see lens quality differences with test patterns than real images. With real images you need certain types of content to be present to see particular differences, but with test patterns you can call up exactly the type of image needed to see each potential issue.

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post #19 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Please keep questions to 1 per post. It is much easier for me to answer that way. Thanks.

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post #20 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:57 PM
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4020:1 and 2360:1 were your numbers for the 11S1.

Hey, what happened to that post?
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post #21 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 12:59 PM
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Nice review! Thanks!

In your comparison to the RS2, what scenes did you find that the 11s2 was superior to the RS2 (due to betyter mANSI contrast)?

Thanks!

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post #22 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

Thanks Greg. If I missed it in the article please let me know and I'll look further, but can you comment on the 11S2 with 2.2 gamma vs the RS2 with 2.2 gamma? I know the 11S2 gamma is a little lower right out of black (Marantz projectors mostly come out of black fairly quickly from what I've seen) and I don't recall if the RS2 has a 2.2 gamma with a little more kick at the beginning.

The RS2 "Custom" gamma curves are very flat, but you can manually dial in a lower gamma (as you may choose) at the near black levels. The RS2 Normal gamma curve (about 2.1) did not have a roll off near black. The RS2 Theater 2 (about 2.1 in the middle) rolled off near black and rose up at higher levels.

When the RS2 at 2.2 was compared with the 11S2 at 2.2, the image depth in bright scenes favored the 11S2 and in darker scenes favored the RS2.

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post #23 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

For what it is worth, I have used a 2.4 and 2.5 gamma with the 11s2 generated by a Lumagen Radiance. Of course it increases image depth but I can't quanyify how much. Its significant but at these gammas there is some loss of real dark low IRE detail. I think a on/off CR of 2x what the 11s2 has would be needed to use a 2.4 with no negative effects. It is however usable and to me preferable to 2.2.

I think you would need to create a custom curve with a lower gamma near black to use a 2.3 or 2.35 gamma with the 11s2. That is what I recommended to Dan.

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post #24 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok whats next? Poor Greg would never sleep if we had our way

Turns out I don't sleep now. Hopefully I can get the Planar next.

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post #25 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal87 View Post

4020:1 and 2360:1 were your numbers for the 11S1.

Hey, what happened to that post?

That's what I remembered. Slightly better than a 2x improvement for the 11S2.

Did a post disappear?

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post #26 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:10 PM
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Something I never fully explored was the V-stretch mode as this was set by someone else.

Does this allow fully customizable AR control in both axes or is it preset only or variable in the vertical only. If its variable, how many memories are there?

If its both axes, do the numbers correspond to restore geometry if required?

Thanks.

Nice to see you managed to slip in a product placement for your HDG-4000.

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post #27 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post

Nice review! Thanks!

In your comparison to the RS2, what scenes did you find that the 11s2 was superior to the RS2 (due to betyter mANSI contrast)?

Thanks!

I would give a slight edge to the 11S2 in some of the racing scenes in Grand Prix. There is one scene early in the film (in Monte Carlo) when the cars are racing through the streets and there is hill filled with buildings and lots of detail behind the cars. It's a shot from a distance, the scene is bright, and there is lots of fine detail. That's the kind of scene that the 11S1's higher m-ANSI contrast and higher MTF brings out more image depth.

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post #28 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:16 PM
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With the Lumagen you can of course create custom gama curves. Same with the Sony's alone BUT. The average AVS bear and the above average AVS bear are very hesitant to construct their own curve because they really don't know what they are striving for. Most would rather just use something the manufacturer creates because the only real authorities are the manufacturers and the professional reviewers. No disrespect intended here, just the reality of the market.

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post #29 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregr View Post

I think you would need to create a custom curve with a lower gamma near black to use a 2.3 or 2.35 gamma with the 11s2. That is what I recommended to Dan.

What gamma would you recommend at near black? I can try this out with the Radiance. Can set 10% for now, 5% some time in the future.

Quote:
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That's what I remembered. Slightly better than a 2x improvement for the 11S2.

Did a post disappear?

Yes, the one where you thought you were 2x the contrast of the 11S1.
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post #30 of 181 Old 04-25-2008, 01:35 PM
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gregr
Thanks for the review.
Today most or all projectors are limited to 10-bit processing as you mention about the Gennum 9351 chip. How do you see projectors taking advantage of 10,12 and 16 bit 4:4:4 Deep color modes. When will we see the first video chips pushing from 10 bit towards 16 bit, is that far into the future. This would be relevant especially if you had to have an external CMS.

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