Blu-ray player review: Marantz UD 9004The most expensive player we've ever reviewed
For 6,000 USD it seems fair to expect the best, and the Marantz UD 9004 very nearly delivers. Fellow D&M Holdings manufacturer Denon is still top in our list of the highest-rated players with the DVD-A1 UD. But the Denon player only beats the UD 9004 by 0.2 points out of 10. As you can imagine, therefore, we're far from disappointed with the Marantz: excellent picture quality, excellent sound quality, even excellent build quality what's not to love?
Well, admittedly, we did have a few small niggling complaints: The price, for one, is huge, especially since most mid-range players now offer Blu-ray playback that's nothing short of perfect. How can anyone justify spending literally 10 times as much on the same picture quality? We also found the loading times too slow and we mean the you-can't-be-serious, just-kill-me-now kind of slow. Loading the Blu-ray release of Iron Man, for example, took two and a half minutes. Say again? Yes, 150 seconds worth of twiddling your thumbs.
Then there's the operating power consumption, which, at 58 watts, means the Marantz is only less greedy than one other device the PlayStation 3. To be fair though, the kind of people that spend 6,000 dollars on a Blu-ray player might not care all that much about the power bills a bit like monster-truck drivers.
The thing is, the Marantz UD 9004 outputs such perfect Blu-ray pictures that its playback quality barely comes into question. And it earns plenty of praise elsewhere: DVD up-scaling, perfect! Full speaker management system, of course! Multiple screening against electronic interference, check!
One interesting difference we found between this and Denon's top player is the emphasis the Marantz places on high-quality analog audio outputs. Where SA-CD outputs uncompressed via Denon Link on the DVD-A1 UD, the Marantz UD 9004 compresses the signal via HDMI and only gives its best results via analog cinch unusual, perhaps, but who are we to argue? These guys very clearly know what they're doing!Read the full review of the Marantz UD 9004 at Televisions.com. Any comments on the device or our review are most welcome.