|Marantz DV9500 Universal Disc Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources CD Players|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 August 2005|
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The DV9500 is Marantz’s latest universal disc player, situated at the top of their line. The player boasts an impressive set of features in both performance and convenience. At $2,099, the DV9500 is not cheap, but there is much to set it apart from the $300 universal disc players found at your local retailer. Upon lifting the box, I immediately noticed that the DV9500 was a lot more substantial than most other single-disc transports at 18-and-three-quarters pounds. Once I opened the box and removed the player, which measured a fairly standard 17-and-one-sixteenth inches wide by four-and-a-half inches tall by 15-and-one-eighth inches, it was apparent that a lot of effort went into making sure that the chassis was solid and free of resonant chatter.
Some of the DV9500’s numerous convenience features include the ability to read the following formats, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD-stereo and SACD multi-channel, DVD-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, SVCD, VCD, MP3 and JPEG discs. I think this should cover just about any five-inch disc format. While the player is technically called the DV9500 Progressive Scan Universal DVD Player, it is capable of outputting not only 480p, but also 1080i and 720p. This is a highly significant feature. The DV9500 has multiple video outputs, including HDCP compatible HDMI, Component Video, S-Video and Composite. On the audio side of things, the player can internally decode DTS (including DTS 96/24) and Dolby Digital, has adjustable lip synch delay, is the first single-disc player to feature Dolby Headphone, bass management and delay with DVD-Audio and SACD (SACD signals must be converted from DSD to utilized this feature). Other features include RS-232 and RC-5 connections.
The DV9500’s performance features include a chassis that’s built upon a damped double layer bottom plate, which is designed to provide a stable platform for the transport mechanism and circuits. The transport is a new mechanism engineered to provide precise tracking. Marantz has provided a huge new feature – dual transformers to minimize channel-to-channel interference or cross talk. The analog audio circuits feature high current High Definition Audio Modules (HDAM) and a zero impedance copper grounding plate. The DACs are 192kHz/24-bit and true DSD processing is used for SACDs. Video performance is assisted by a 216MHz/14-bit video DAC and a separate 10-bit video scaler with 3:2 and 2:2 pull-down. A special Noise Shaped video circuit is also incorporated to help minimize video noise.
In short, this is a universal disc player with a scalable HDMI output that can handle just about every format and is designed to do so without compromise.
Set-up and Connection
Connecting the DV9500 was fairly simple. I used Monster Cable’s M1000 DAV HDMI cable to connect the DV9500 to my Marantz VP12S4 projector. The other outputs of the DV9500 – 5.1 analog, via Monster Cable M550i and digital audio, via Monster Cable Ultra Series THX 1000 – were connected to a Krell HTS 7.1. There are several menus offering numerous adjustments and options that allow the user to tweak both audio and video performance. I did all of my critical viewing through the HDMI output set to 720p and my projector set to native mode, so that the DV9500 was the only component doing the video processing.