Marantz DV6500, review

February 6, 2005

voomThe Marantz DV6500 sits at a somewhat unusual price point, with a suggested retail of $599.00. Given this many would expect features like up-conversion, HDMI or DVI outputs and alike. Interestingly none of those features are included, but what do you get for your $599.00? Let’s take a look, DVD-Video/Audio, SACD Playback, Front Menu Control Cursor Keys and a DTS Decoder are among some of the features of the 6500. Ok fair enough, but what about SACD and video playback performance? Let’s take a look.

First a little about the player itself, the DV6500 bears a striking resemblance to the Denon DVD-1910, even down to their remote controls. As D&M holdings owns both brands this isn’t all that surprising, but the two players are substantially different. The menu system was plain but functional, with SACD controls kept to a minimum as the choice was a simple stereo or 5.1.

Marantz DV6500 features at a glance:

• Plays SACD, both two and multi-channel, DVD Video, DVD-Audio, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, VCD 2.0, WMA and JPEG discs
• Progressive Scan output with 3:2 pull-down
• 54MHz 10-Bit Video DACs
• 192kHz 24-Bit Audio DAC’s
• Bass Management for both SACD and DVD-A
• Pure Audio Mode
• Dolby Digital Decoder Built-in
• Built-in DTS Decoder
• Menu Operation from the Front Panel
• Optical and Coaxial Digital Outputs
• RC-5 Jacks for Connection to other Marantz Products
• RC-5 based Remote Control
• 3 year limited warranty
• Dimensions: 17 3/16″W x 2 1/2″H x 8 1/4″D
• Weight: 5 lbs


Video Performance:
I started off per usual with Digital Video Essentials. The first couple of minutes of the opening credits looked quite good, I noticed decent black level and detail, however once I got to the flag sequence, I noticed an ever so slight amount of ‘jaggies’ in the waving flag. This observation isn’t meant to slight the 6500 as my latest direct comparison was the Denon DVD-1910 which has a DVI out, where the 6500 does not. This jaggedness wasn’t overly pronounced, and minimal enough that I could overlook it.

Moving on to I-Robot, which is one of the better looking transfers added to my DVD collection of late. Here again the opening sequence looked good, but the CGI effects might have lacked a little transparency compared to my 1910, likely attributable to the latter’s DVI connection over the DV6500’s component only output.

Moving onto something I was a little more familiar with I chose Gladiator, and skipped forward to the ‘Emperors Arena’ scene. Here I noticed slightly less color saturation than previously noticed with other DVD players, but nothing I’d call a showstopper. There was still a good amount of detail and overall viewing enjoy-ability.

SACD performance:
Lastly I wanted to check out the DV6500’s SACD abilities, so once again I pulled out my only SACD title, ‘Beck Sea Change’. I still haven’t found an overwhelming need to switch to SACD, especially considering the format omits some of my favorite titles. Anyway, I gave it a whirl and I’m comfortable saying the 6500 is light years beyond the Samsung HD941 in SACD playback, but I’m not sure the same could be said in comparison to the last SACD capable player in my system to Denon DVD-2910. The 6500 was still quite good with the SACD’s.

dv6500.jpg

Summary:
Overall if you’re looking for a good SACD player and DVI/HDMI video outputs aren’t mission critical to you, by all means give the Marantz DV6500 an audition. You just may find what you’re looking for.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under DVD Player Reviews, Reviews


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