Finally got a copy of Star Trek to play properly and all the way through on the Marantz, so it seems the issue was crappy copies -- read "scratched"-- from Netflix. To be fair to them, most discs I've gotten from them play fine.
Still continuing to be impressed with this player as it breaks in.
Here is an interesting sidebar from the review of the UD9004 in the current issue of TAS:
"The UD9004's complexity cries out for a simple menu
structure supported by plenty of on-screen and on-paper
user guidance. Unfortunately, there is none of this. The
player's on-screen menu selections are obtuse, and neither
the interactive explanations nor the manual provide much
help. To take but one example: Is the best SACD playback
achieved with Source Direct set to On or Off?
50kHz or 100kHz? The provided instructions are
confusing and contradictory. After some experimentation,
I found that On: 100kHz delivered the best sound in my
system. But beware, because this setting affects others in
unintended and non-obvious ways.
There are also cases where the options are clear
enough, but choosing the best one still requires trial and
error. For example, several parameters, in different places,
are available for configuring the UD9004 for stereo
rather than multichannel operation. Yet each one sounds
different. I achieved the best stereo sound by specifying
a multichannel system (counterintuitive, I know), then
setting a size of None for every speaker other than the
Finally, the UD9004 is one of the few components
I've encountered that absolutely must be fed inverted
AC polarity. Substituting the (non-inverting) stock cord
with an audiophile unit reaps the usual benefits; but
inverting polarity makes an even bigger difference. This
configuration, which I tried because other Marantz players
have benefited from it, graced the UD9004 with more air,
less grain, tighter bass, and allowed rhythms to relax into a
solid groove rather than sounding rushed. Granted, these
are unusually large effects for such a seemingly small
change, but they are real. Consider it part of the adventure
of getting the Marantz optimally configured..."
Now, I tried the reversing polarity trick, where the only option for doing that--unless I have this completely wrong-- is in the setup menu for XLR. I did notice an obvious difference, but my experience does not conform with that of Alan Taffel, the author of the piece. when I reversed polarity, the soundstage seemed to collapse and a great deal of the sense of air left the room. Perhaps my overall polarity is the opposite of Mr Taffels, but I certainly disagree with his assessment.
I have read elsewhere of the importance of maintaining the same polarity between all components. This is the first time I tried it, because it would otherwise involve reversing a lot of wires and seems like more trouble than it's worth. Meanwhile, I far prefer the sound of my system the way it is, thank you very much. But I was impressed by how much different the sound was, and would be curious if any of you other owners had tried this.
As far as his other suggestion of setting the system to multichannel and all other speakers to "none" haven't tried that yet, and don't want a setup where I have to go into the menu every time I listen to some other type of music, or watch a movie, though I may get curious enough to try it at some point.
The review is very favorable, BTW, and you guys may enjoy reading it.
That's it for now.....