Official marantz nr1501 slim receiver owners' thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 353 Old 10-14-2009, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Mine is arriving this afternoon and will set it up and begin to post impressions.



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post #2 of 353 Old 10-14-2009, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I purchased the NR1501 intending to use it in the future for a bedroom. In large part, I jumped on it because the price was so attractive (sale from dealer) and there have been so few options for short-in-stature receivers.

The receiver is about the height of a full-sized blu ray player, but the length of a normal receiver. It's got a very heavy, solid feel to it - to the point where its weight relative to its size is a bit misleading. The unit is attractive and would fit nicely in a bedroom armoire or tight bookshelf.

Connections and setup were rather easy. The traditional five channel setup offers banana plug screw caps with the surround backs relegated to crimp terminals. Why this was chosen is beyond me. Unlike its larger Marantz bretheren, the 1501 does not have audyssey callibration. Instead it uses a flat, saucer shaped mic (same as my Onkyo TX SR705 from memory) and Marantz's MRAC callibration system. The MRAC has the same speaker level, size and distance settings.

The setup menus are sparse and very similar to those in my SR-6004. They include a slightly more simplistic input selection that allows you to assign digital input and name to input.
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post #3 of 353 Old 10-14-2009, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Marantz rates the NR1501 at 50 watts per channel with 0.08% THD. Marantz has some history of relatively conservative power ratings (the 100-watt 6003 was bench-tested to put out 110 watts to five channels). Considering the NR1501's Height (4"), Weight (19lbs), power consumption (250watts), and efficiency with an AB amp design, I was a bit worried that its sound might be a bit anemic.

I set up this receiver over the weekend in two test environments: one in a 14x 16 bedroom using bose cubes and a velodyne sub with a 7.1; and one in my current study setup (5.1 + plus heights) with polk towers and sonance thx in ceiling surrounds and centers.

Before anyone derides my first test for using bose cubes, please think about the need/application for these receivers - subtle, small av presence is generally dictating its use. Folks are looking for a small profile reciever and definitely not the prototypical av rack with large freestanding speakers. This receiver is destined for bedroom and office setups with its size and power and felt bose cubes are probably more realistic than giant towers.

I hooked it up to a denon dbp-1610 blu ray player (with two channel burr brown dacs) via hdmi and two channel analogue to the cd input.

Bedroom with Bose: In running a few blu ray movies, I found dialogue clean and crisp. The Marantz adequately powered the Bose/Velodyne setup at reasonable levels without fatigue or noticeable clipping even when turned up slightly above what I would consider normal levels. The size of the room probably masked the power limitations of the 1501 - simply put, it did not need to be that loud to create a very reasonable experience in the room (keep in mind I was sitting mid bed to still allow for some surround back presence). The unit ran warm after about twenty five minutes, but never got hot hot. Two channel music was not as warm as I hoped, but I blame that largely on the no highs and no lows bose.

Study: The 1501 surprised me a bit here. I expected it to peak early and struggle pushing the larger speakers, but the 1501 appeared to have more power than half my speakers' rating. Power remained crisp and the receiver only struggled when the volume began to reach what I would consider "loud" levels of movies with all channels being driven.
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post #4 of 353 Old 10-14-2009, 08:18 PM
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I have mine coming on Friday with the Definitive Tech Mythos SSA50, but won't have everything set up until early next week. I look forward to your review.
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post #5 of 353 Old 10-15-2009, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaSD View Post

I have mine coming on Friday with the Definitive Tech Mythos SSA50, but won't have everything set up until early next week. I look forward to your review.

I unpackaged it late last night and haven't had time to play with it. Plan on exchanging it with the Sr6004 in my bedroom and see how much difference I can hear.
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post #6 of 353 Old 10-15-2009, 07:52 AM
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This is nice looking unit. Too bad it doesnt have preouts .
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post #7 of 353 Old 10-15-2009, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuan209 View Post

This is nice looking unit. Too bad it doesnt have preouts .

or just a zone two...
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post #8 of 353 Old 10-16-2009, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuan209 View Post

Too bad it doesnt have preouts

Quote:
Originally Posted by winston9332 View Post

or just a zone two...

Either of those options would require more back panel space and circuitry, making it bigger, which would defeat one of its design goals.

Supposedly it's the first of a new line of products, so one can hope that there will be follow-on AVRs (and maybe a pre/pro?) with more connection options. Now if mine would only show up....

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post #9 of 353 Old 10-16-2009, 04:35 PM
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Is it just me, or does this thing have the most confounding remote ever conceived?
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post #10 of 353 Old 10-16-2009, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Either of those options would require more back panel space and circuitry, making it bigger, which would defeat one of its design goals.

Supposedly it's the first of a new line of products, so one can hope that there will be follow-on AVRs (and maybe a pre/pro?) with more connection options. Now if mine would only show up....


I think pre-outs could have easily been implanted. Do we need inputs for VCRs and such? I know some do, but for goodness sake, it is 2009.
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post #11 of 353 Old 10-16-2009, 08:41 PM
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I am considering this unit for my next upgrade as I prepare for blueray. My other choices are a Denon 1910 or Pioneer 1019.

I'd love to hear some detailed thoughts and impressions on the NR1501.
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post #12 of 353 Old 10-19-2009, 11:20 AM
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I'm with MuaySteve.

I'd really like to hear some impressions of this receiver. It's number one on my list to replace my 15 year old Denon due to it's form factor.
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post #13 of 353 Old 10-19-2009, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverendrun View Post

I'm with MuaySteve.

I'd really like to hear some impressions of this receiver. It's number one on my list to replace my 15 year old Denon due to it's form factor.

just updated 2nd and 3rd post.
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post #14 of 353 Old 10-19-2009, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the updates Winston.
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post #15 of 353 Old 10-20-2009, 10:06 AM
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Winston,

Thanks for posting your initial impressions. Of course, I have a few questions

Traditionally Marantz receivers have been described as sounding "musical" (whatever that means -- less "edginess" than Pioneer receivers is my personal impression). Does this receiver seem like that?

What does the front panel display show about the active channels? I'm used to receivers which have a separate LED for each of the channels being decoded, but the manual seems to show that the NR1501 doesn't have LEDs for that and its description of the text display is quite vague.

Does it indicate when an HDCD bitstream is being decoded? There doesn't seem to be a separate indicator for that as there are for the various Dolby and DTS encodings.

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post #16 of 353 Old 10-26-2009, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Traditionally Marantz receivers have been described as sounding "musical" (whatever that means -- less "edginess" than Pioneer receivers is my personal impression). Does this receiver seem like that?

Concur - receiver is warm and not bright like denons.

What does the front panel display show about the active channels? I'm used to receivers which have a separate LED for each of the channels being decoded, but the manual seems to show that the NR1501 doesn't have LEDs for that and its description of the text display is quite vague.

No active channel display.

Does it indicate when an HDCD bitstream is being decoded? There doesn't seem to be a separate indicator for that as there are for the various Dolby and DTS encodings

Do not think there is. have not connected anything save bd player via analogue and hdmi.
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post #17 of 353 Old 10-29-2009, 12:17 PM
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Winston,

Thanks for the clarifications.

I picked up my own NR1501 yesterday and installed it last night. The sound is great!

I haven't tried all of its features yet, but here's an initial summary. I tend to be a "glass is half-empty" type of person.

When power was first applied (after recabling), the receiver turned on fully. This could be an issue after power outages. I'll be upgrading the power strip this evening (the current one doesn't have enough outlets) so I'll find out then if it happens again. [edit]After losing power, it came up in standby mode. [/edit]

Although there are no individual lights to show the active channels, some information is shown when you press the "display" button several times on the remote. It steps from the current "input device" information display to the volume level, surround sound decoding and then digital input signal type. Among the signal types is "dolby digital" which sometimes includes the number of channels.

The volume display is an arbitrary scale from MIN then 1, to 79 and then MAX. Different levels do not seem to be associated with different digital inputs. (I haven't tested analog inputs yet.) The TosLink output from my TV seems to be significantly louder than the HDMI output from my BD player. I set it to about 25 when watching TV, but had to turn it up to about 35 while listening to a CD and briefly watching a disc. [edit]I.E., TV PCM is louder than TV DD, which is louder than BD and DVD PCM and DD, including DVD TosLink.[/edit]

There may be a problem with Dolby Digital decoding on my unit, but I'm not entirely sure yet. There are several digital channels included in my cable TV subscription which include DD audio. Using the TosLink connection from the TV (its only output), my ancient Pioneer receiver showed several of them as having full 5.1 surround sound. The 1501 claims that they are only "dolby digital 2ch". However, at the moment I have speakers connected only to the three front L/C/R channels. (I've also disabled the others in the receiver's setup.) The 1501 might be downconverting and displaying the results. I'll check BD and DVD DD signals tonight. I'll have to get some more speakers for the bedroom before I can verify if there's a TV DD problem. I'm reluctant to try it with the not-so-efficient 4 ohm speakers that are in my main system. [edit]BD HDMI and DVD rf DD show just "dolby digital" when a 5.1 audio track is being played; "dolby digital 2ch" when only 2 channels.[/edit]

When I played an HDCD CD in my BD player (Pioneer BDP-120) its HDMI bitstream output was identified by the receiver as PCM. I dunno if the HDCD bits are getting through or not. (It still sounded great, though. )

HDMI audio was decoded even when the TV was turned off. I seem to recall reports that the AV8003 disables audio in that situation. [edit]The sound goes off briefly when the TV is turned off.[/edit]

My one DTS CD was decoded fine, although the 1501 doesn't seem to provide the option of selecting DTS music or DTS theater modes (there's an equalization difference between them). DTS ES was detected and decoded on the one BD I have with that.

I haven't tried the Marantz proprietary speaker configuration setup yet. I don't think there's much point until I get additional speakers. Maybe next week.

p.s. The blue HDMI indicator LED is annoyingly bright compared to the rest of the indicators. The over-all front panel brightness can be turned down in 2 or 3 steps, though, which helps somewhat. [edit]The LED doesn't dim, but does go out when the display is off.[/edit]

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post #18 of 353 Old 10-30-2009, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Winston,

The volume display is an arbitrary scale from MIN then 1, to 79 and then MAX. Different levels do not seem to be associated with different digital inputs. (I haven't tested analog inputs yet.) The TosLink output from my TV seems to be significantly louder than the HDMI output from my BD player. I set it to about 25 when watching TV, but had to turn it up to about 35 while listening to a CD and briefly watching a disc. [edit]I.E., TV PCM is louder than TV DD, which is louder than BD and DVD PCM and DD, including DVD TosLink.[/edit][/edit]


hi,
are you able to set a volume enhancement/reduction for each input? my harman kardon has this feature.
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post #19 of 353 Old 10-30-2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakelock View Post

hi,
are you able to set a volume enhancement/reduction for each input? my harman kardon has this feature.

There seems to be only one volume setting. It stays the same and has to be manually adjusted when switching among inputs.

I just now reread a copy of the manual that I'd downloaded. The setup GUI for each input device does not include a volume setting. You can set the device name; associate an optical or RF digital input with it; select auto, HDMI, digital or analog audio input; specify the type of surround-sound processing to be applied; and set the amount of delay for lip-sync.

A copy of the manual is available from Crutchfield's Web site at
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-9hNqd3k...tz-NR1501.html
I thought I'd downloaded the manual and the spec sheet from the Marantz Web site
http://us.marantz.com/Products/2926.asp
but now I can't find those links there, although they do have a link to a YouTube video.
http://www.youtube.com/Marantzamerica#p/u/0/olfU4RyYAvQ

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post #20 of 353 Old 10-30-2009, 07:29 PM
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Will the NR1501 be OK with Definitive Tech ProCinema 600 5.1 speakers?
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post #21 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nboemio View Post

Will the NR1501 be OK with Definitive Tech ProCinema 600 5.1 speakers?

I think they should be OK. According to the DefTech Web site, those are 8 ohm speakers with a sensitivity of 88db. The fronts I'm using are a pair of Klipsh KG2-WO, which are 4 ohms and about 90db. They're in a relatively small bedroom with half of the walls covered by bookshelves. Of course, your room and sound level preferences might be quite a bit different from mine.

Maybe Winston can give some more details about his environment.

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post #22 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 06:22 PM
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Just wanted to chime in here since I've had this puppy for a couple weeks now. This is my first A/V receiver, so I have nothing to compare it against. I'll admit I bought it entirely based on the form factor and Marantz's reputation. After a few mis-steps during setup (including a faulty subwoofer cable) I can say I am completely satisfied with the sound. My speaker setup is the klipsch HD theatre 500.

Glad to see lots of other owners posting here!
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post #23 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

I think they should be OK. According to the DefTech Web site, those are 8 ohm speakers with a sensitivity of 88db. The fronts I'm using are a pair of Klipsh KG2-WO, which are 4 ohms and about 90db. They're in a relatively small bedroom with half of the walls covered by bookshelves. Of course, your room and sound level preferences might be quite a bit different from mine.

Maybe Winston can give some more details about his environment.

Sheetrock walls, 8' ceilings, and seagrass over floors. no direct obtrusion, but remember i tested this in a spare bedroom...sitting on a bed! Figured a lot of folks will end up using this receiver in a bedroom setting.
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post #24 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by winston9332 View Post

Sheetrock walls, 8' ceilings, and seagrass over floors. no direct obtrusion, but remember i tested this in a spare bedroom...sitting on a bed! Figured a lot of folks will end up using this receiver in a bedroom setting.

When I get it, it'll actually be in my living room. But it's a NYC apartment, so not really big.
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post #25 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nboemio View Post

When I get it, it'll actually be in my living room. But it's a NYC apartment, so not really big.

didn't mean it as a knock, but it's sold on its size and small profile, which tends to bring it to smaller rooms like bedrooms or offices.
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post #26 of 353 Old 10-31-2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winston9332 View Post

didn't mean it as a knock, but it's sold on its size and small profile, which tends to bring it to smaller rooms like bedrooms or offices.

No worries! Did not take it as a knock.
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post #27 of 353 Old 11-01-2009, 10:06 AM
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Thank you for everyone's input on this receiver. I haven't been able to find much on it.

I am considering upgrading my Sony STR720 receiver to this new Marantz slim design receiver. I need a receiver that can fit into a bookshelf. Height has always been a problem and this Marantz is only 4 3/16 in., two inches shorter than my Sony receiver.

I will be using the receiver with a Pioneer Plasma, PS3, Toshiba HDA30 player, Yamaha all region/Pal Hdmi DVD player, Motorola HD cable receiver and Kef KHT 1005.2 speaker system.

Other than the size, would this be considered an upgrade. Here in Canada the cost would be $725.00 retail Cdn. and there are only a couple of stores in my area that carry it with a no return policy

I am concerned about the 50 W per channel. I will be using it in a 5.1system with small Kef speakers (egg shape) and I have upgraded the sub to a 10" Velodyne.

The other thing I need to confirm is it's compatibility with the PS3.

I just want to confirm that since my PS3 does not bitstream, will I be able to output Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio over PCM with this receiver?

If anyone sees any problems with this setup please feel to comment. I don't know that much about Marantz and the name only came up when I was searching on the internet for smaller receivers. Thanks
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post #28 of 353 Old 11-01-2009, 09:08 PM
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I notice that on the back of the NR1501 there is only a pre-out for the sub woofer. Does this mean I can't use a wireless transmitter for rear speakers? I thought this needed to plug into pre-outs? Is this right? I'm a newbie on this stuff so I apologize if it's a dumb question.
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post #29 of 353 Old 11-01-2009, 09:59 PM
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Hi i am getting this Marantz soon.Now i have a Samsung plasma,Comcast Hd receiver ,PS3 and a Sony wireless headphone.Now i wanted to be able to listen to the TV without turning on the TV because i could be in my bedroom kitchen or study or believe it or not the rest room,so i wanted to be able to listen to perhaps HD radio or anything without the TV on so i have the SONY head set connected to optical out on the Comcast and not TV .
Now shall i connect the comcast HDMI out directly to the Samsung or shall i go through one of the Marantz HDMI inputs and out from Marantz into the Samsung.Pls advise.
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post #30 of 353 Old 11-02-2009, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fstevens View Post

I am considering upgrading my Sony STR720 receiver to this new Marantz slim design receiver. I need a receiver that can fit into a bookshelf. Height has always been a problem and this Marantz is only 4 3/16 in., two inches shorter than my Sony receiver.

I will be using the receiver with a Pioneer Plasma, PS3, Toshiba HDA30 player, Yamaha all region/Pal Hdmi DVD player, Motorola HD cable receiver and Kef KHT 1005.2 speaker system.

Other than the size, would this be considered an upgrade.

For the quality of the sound, I think the answer is "yes". However, this might not be noticed with such small speakers. Also, the power rating of this Marantz is significantly less than the power rating of your Sony. You probably won't be able to drive your speakers as loudly. Also, it might have problems with the loudest sounds.

Quote:


Here in Canada the cost would be $725.00 retail Cdn. and there are only a couple of stores in my area that carry it with a no return policy.

You might ask the question differently: if they can provide a loaner for in-home testing. In the U.S., Marantz equipment is usually sold by specialty audio stores which often have such a service.
Quote:


I just want to confirm that since my PS3 does not bitstream, will I be able to output Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio over PCM with this receiver?

If the PS3 can decode TrueHD into PCM and send it over HDMI, it should work fine. (Optical and RF S/PDIF connections don't have adequate bandwidth.)

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