|Marantz DV9500 Universal Disc Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 August 2005|
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I had some issues with the remote. I am a firm believer that any remote that is intended for use during a movie, such as that of a home theater processor or video source, needs to be easy to use in the dark. The remote that comes with the DV9500 is not backlit and is unintuitive. Thankfully, the buttons are of different shapes, and with regular use, you can learn to use it in the dark. The remote fell short of the superb design achievement found in the player.
I was excited about the prospect of playing the epic Tommy from The Who, but unfortunately it wouldn’t play in the Marantz. I am unsure if this was a disc issue or a player problem, as this is the only SACD player I currently have for testing purposes. In this day and time, it's not uncommon to have a couple of discs that act funny in a player. Unfortunately, this nuance was found during the last day of the review, so I didn’t get a lot of time to test additional copies of the same material.
Another item I would have liked to see in this top of the line DVD player is some sort of high-resolution digital audio output. The HDMI output does not transmit the digital high-resolution tracks from SACDs or DVD-Audio discs. Some other high-end players, such as the Denon 5910, have made provisions for outputting the high-resolution digital audio tracks, which would provide for more future flexibility, something I would like in a long-term investment piece such as this.
The Marantz DV9500 is a universal player in the truest sense of the word. It will play darn near anything that goes on a five-inch disc. Its packaging is solid, reminiscent of players cost two and three times more. Marantz spared no expense in such details as the use of dual transformers to assure perfect channel separation. Compared to other players in its class, the DV9500 provided a better video picture and more refined sound for all formats tested. Movie and music players have come a long way over the last couple of years. The fact is that the Marantz DV9500 is a better-sounding and looking player than players that had cost five times more just a few years back. If your player is dated or incapable of playing the more modern formats, perhaps you are ready for a huge step up in performance to the DV9500. It’s a solid performer and excellent value.