By Dick Tan
Marantz’s latest Hi-Fi and AV range includes two Bluray Disc players the UD 5007 and the more premium UD7007. Preferring to describe these players as “Universal” on account of their ability to play virtually every version of the silver disc (SACD, DVD-AUDIO, CD, DVD and of course Bluray) the two Marantz players are priced at the higher end of the Bluray Disc player market retailing at RM2,700 and RM3,390 respectively.
Looking almost identical with the exception of a slightly higher front panel for the UD7007, both models claim exemplary audio and video performance that are perceptively better than the run-of-the-mill-players competing at today’s cut-throat prices.
In short these players are meant for the serious AV pundits with access to large, high performance digital TVs and/or front projection systems.
Deciding on which is the machine for you, apart from the obvious difference in price, is how much one is prepared to pay for marginal increases in audio and video performance.
For your money’s worth the UD5007 appears to be a very well engineered machine that eschews unnecessary frills with connectors one would expect to find in any mid-priced Bluray Disc players.
Extra care has been taken to ensure that the transport mechanisms are fully isolated from any internal or external vibrations and that the audio and video segments are as separate as possible to reduce any chance of signal crosstalk.
The UD7007 offers all the above, of course, but with a few differences that the videophile, or more importantly, the audiophile in the videophile, will consider significant.
In addition to the gold-plated phono analogue output sockets the UD7007 features a set of XLR -type balanced connectors.
There are also two HDMI outputs compared to one on the UD5007. The dual HDMI connectors allow users to separate the audio and video portion of a high def AV signal, routing directly, one to the amplifier and one to the display. The other difference, although of less significant value is the inclusion of a coaxial digital audio output and a R3232C port.
As no direct comparisons were made between the two it is difficult to say if the extra features of the larger UD7007 would have made any differences to justify the latter’s high cost.
We did however managed to procure the UD5007 for a short period of time and were impressed enough to conclude that if you are looking for a top-performing BD player and willing to pay the higher cost normally associated with higher end units, the UD5007 should be at the top of your must-try list.
Would the more expensive UD7007 have made a difference? Perhaps, but one thing is for sure, no self-respecting audiophile would opt for the UD5007 without first checking out the bigger UD7007.
In a nutshell, the Bluray visual performance is pin sharp with loads of shadow detail and yet organically smooth. On a top notch display, one is able to perceive the fine differences in detail usually missing in cheaper mass market players.
Admittedly, the difference in visual detail, though certainly perceivable, is subtle. But in the rarefied air of high performance audio and video systems subtle differences are often translated as “significant”! When partnered to larger, higher performance display systems the benefit is clear (pun intended).
Audio performance in both multichannel and stereo is equally impressive and is essentially on par with most standalone CD players costing the same or even more. It is obvious that the Marantz audio pedigree is at work here.
To be sure there are bound to be other BD players out there somewhere that are sure to clip both the Marantz in both audio and video performance but it won”t be by a big margin and will certainly cost a heck of a lot more.
The UD5007/UD7007 and other Marantz products can be viewed at the coming KL International AV Show 2013, July 5 – 7 at J.W. Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
For additional information contact :
Wo Kee Hong Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd