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  1. #1
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Marantz VC6001 - first impressions

    Hey folks.

    I ordered a Marantz VC6001 dvd changer from accessories4less on Fri. and received it this morning. Price was great. Standard delivery by FedEx was reasonable and super fast. The deal included a free HDMI cable as well. Sounds great so far, huh?

    Back in the day when I used a 32" Sony back-breaker CRT, I had a Pioneer Elite dvd changer that just excelled for its time and technology. I became extremely comfortable with the convenience of a 5-disc changer. I could load up double and up features (same director, same genre, same actor, etc.), or, if I didn't know exactly what I wanted to watch (which happens all too frequently) I could load up 5 completely different movies and skip 'til I found what I wanted to watch without leaving the couch.

    Then came the Panasonic plasma and the Toshiba HD-A2 player. The picture with HD-DVDs and sd dvds blows me away every time I use this combo. The Toshiba is my first upconverting or upscaling dvd player. (It also plays that dead format, if you remember.) The only problems I experience are the Toshiba loads terribly slow and its build quality does not instill confidence. Otherwise, I'm always impressed with the picture this player produces with regular dvds. But being a single disc player and extremely slow to load I began to long for the days when I could load up 5 of whatever I wanted.

    To re-live the days of comfort, convenience and couch surfing for as long as I could hold my bladder, I searched for a 5-disc changer that would upconvert or upscale standard def dvds as well as the Toshiba player. In fact, I thought that a higher-end machine might even better the Toshiba. My search concluded with 2 choices - the Marantz VC6001 and the Denon DVM-2845CI. Of course that doesn't mean I was able to audition each of these players. I've seen the Denon in person and I've read every review imaginable about the current generation Denon and Marantz players. The best I could find was a review of the single disc Marantz player that the VC6001 is based on - the DV4001.

    The Marantz comes in about $100 cheaper than the Denon. Accessories4less is a Marantz authorized internet dealer. Their standard shipping via FedEx is cheaper than audioadvisor's. Their deal included a free HDMI cable. It seemed that the Marantz from Accessories4less was the best choice. A4L came through like a champ with ease of purchase and fast (amazingly fast) shipping. I hooked up the player this morning, went through the video setup to compare the player's auto HDMI ouput selection to user-selected 720p which is appropriate for my Panasonic plasma. Both selections appeared grainy and with little or no contrast/definition in darker scenes. It really reminded me of watching a movie on the Panny with my old Pioneer Elite non-upconverting changer. Needless to say, my initial impressions are not favorable. I had to rush off to work (so I could post this). This evening I'll play around with the settings a little more and try the HDMI cable I'm using with the Toshiba in place of the freebie that came with the Marantz. If there's no improvement, it's going back. Not sure how Accessories4Less handles returns. I'd rather not find out, but things will have to look much better tonight. If you're aware of a changer that excells with dvds, I'd like to hear about it. I may be trying the Denon soon since I can get it from a local B&M about an hour away, but I may be adding Yamaha and Sony's changers to the list of potentials too.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Sony has a 300 disc DVD changer that also plays SACD and, if I remember correctly ,
    DVDA(not sure tho)
    It also uses what is rarely used in players, a title screen that comes with DVD's.
    I had a five disc sony changer that used this title screen and it was really cool.
    Integra also has a version of the 300 disc changer.
    i agree that a DVD changer is great, especially for music video, you can play music video
    collections at random and its like your own VH1.
    If you want a changer why not go for it and get a 300 disc player?
    Its great for storing DVD's also.
    just remember, DVD isn't going to look as good after watching HDDVD for awhile.
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  3. #3
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    Sony has a 300 disc DVD changer that also plays SACD and, if I remember correctly ,
    DVDA(not sure tho)
    It also uses what is rarely used in players, a title screen that comes with DVD's.
    I had a five disc sony changer that used this title screen and it was really cool.
    Integra also has a version of the 300 disc changer.
    i agree that a DVD changer is great, especially for music video, you can play music video
    collections at random and its like your own VH1.
    If you want a changer why not go for it and get a 300 disc player?
    Its great for storing DVD's also.
    just remember, DVD isn't going to look as good after watching HDDVD for awhile.
    Hey Pix, thanks for your comments. I don't watch hd-dvds that much. i don't have a big library of hd-dvds but I have a ton of dvds. have 2 copies of a couple titles. did some comparisons yesterday and last night between the Marantz and Toshiba with 2 copies of the same movie running while switching back and forth between hdmi inputs. I boxed up the Marantz and I'm sending it back. I did think its audio quality was better, but I'm shopping based on video.

    I sort of changed courses and am thinking about getting an Oppo 981HD based on the praise it's been getting for its upconverting abilities. I can at least watch 2 movies back to back by simply switching hdmi inputs and save some money to go toward my stereo/music only system.

  4. #4
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Hey Pix, thanks for your comments. I don't watch hd-dvds that much. i don't have a big library of hd-dvds but I have a ton of dvds. have 2 copies of a couple titles. did some comparisons yesterday and last night between the Marantz and Toshiba with 2 copies of the same movie running while switching back and forth between hdmi inputs. I boxed up the Marantz and I'm sending it back. I did think its audio quality was better, but I'm shopping based on video.

    I sort of changed courses and am thinking about getting an Oppo 981HD based on the praise it's been getting for its upconverting abilities. I can at least watch 2 movies back to back by simply switching hdmi inputs and save some money to go toward my stereo/music only system.
    So kindly tell me..what are the problems you don't like about the Marantz?

    frenchmon

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    The XA-2 uses the Silicon Optix Reon chip which is a very difficult chip to beat for standard DVD upconversion. You may not find any changer to compete. However, the Oppo, be it not a changer, but upconversion should be on par. Here's a review of the XA-2 that mentions a comparson in one area of the 980hd.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/video-player...-32074339.html

  6. #6
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    So kindly tell me..what are the problems you don't like about the Marantz?

    frenchmon
    Hey, frenchmon. My goal was to find a multi-disc changer that upconverts standard definition dvds for display on my plasma hdtv as well as my Toshiba HD-A2. In a head-to-head comparison with the Toshiba using the same movie playing in both machines at the same time while I switched back and forth, the Toshiba was smoother (more film-like), more accurate with colors, and better with details in dark scenes/shadows. The Marantz looked only slightly better than my old non-upconverting dvd player on my hdtv. The Marantz does add SACD and DVD-A which I thought would be nice to have only if the Marantz's picture with standard def dvds was satisfactory. It wasn't. I didn't test the Marantz's multi-channel music abilities, but its audio with movies is good.

  7. #7
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    The XA-2 uses the Silicon Optix Reon chip which is a very difficult chip to beat for standard DVD upconversion. You may not find any changer to compete. However, the Oppo, be it not a changer, but upconversion should be on par. Here's a review of the XA-2 that mentions a comparson in one area of the 980hd.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/video-player...-32074339.html
    Thanks for the link, Mr. P. I have the entry-level HD-A2 (no "X"). Considering that the XA-2 was Toshiba's "flagship", the Oppo player is probably what I'm looking for. I'm about to throw in the towel on finding a changer. I guess I'll have to get off the couch between flicks.

  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Hey, frenchmon. My goal was to find a multi-disc changer that upconverts standard definition dvds for display on my plasma hdtv as well as my Toshiba HD-A2. In a head-to-head comparison with the Toshiba using the same movie playing in both machines at the same time while I switched back and forth, the Toshiba was smoother (more film-like), more accurate with colors, and better with details in dark scenes/shadows. The Marantz looked only slightly better than my old non-upconverting dvd player on my hdtv. The Marantz does add SACD and DVD-A which I thought would be nice to have only if the Marantz's picture with standard def dvds was satisfactory. It wasn't. I didn't test the Marantz's multi-channel music abilities, but its audio with movies is good.
    Just wondering...did you go into the Marantz settings? The Toshiba can only go to 1080i while the Marantz supports 1080p. Did you play it without setting the settings? The default is not 1080p. What and how high can your TV go with the resolution? I have the Marantz and find it hard to understand its no better than a standard player. One other note...I read on another thread that the Toshibas in there earlier stages had problems with Samsungs and their HDCP. Is your TV HDCP compatible? All Marantz are.

    frenchmon
    Last edited by frenchmon; 05-27-2008 at 11:00 AM.

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    Frenchmon makes a good point, and depending on the age and type of TV, typically HDTV's convert the incoming signal to their native resolution. So you could get better results running 480i or 480p to the TV and letting the set do the upconversion. It bares some experimentation. My TV is only 1080i and it will not accept a 1080p, so this may or may not have been the problem with the Marantz. I tried 1080p and I got a blank screen with a message telling me the TV don't accept 1080p.

    I know there's disagreements on what upconversion can achieve but my Sony tube HDTV does amazing things with a VHS, it's the best I've seen. I'm also impressed with what my BD-P1200 does with standard DVD. I have an LG upconverting DVD player that doesn't look as good as my Denon 1600 doing 480p. BTW, no additional charge for the extra babble.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Thanks for the link, Mr. P. I have the entry-level HD-A2 (no "X"). Considering that the XA-2 was Toshiba's "flagship", the Oppo player is probably what I'm looking for. I'm about to throw in the towel on finding a changer. I guess I'll have to get off the couch between flicks.
    HOLD THE PHONE
    Yamaha has a changer, the 961, for 459, five disc, has FAROUJA tech and a few other video processing technologies.
    AND DVDA and SACD.
    Looks pretty nice for a DVD player, and I am going to check it out
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  11. #11
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Frenchmon makes a good point, and depending on the age and type of TV, typically HDTV's convert the incoming signal to their native resolution. So you could get better results running 480i or 480p to the TV and letting the set do the upconversion..
    Absolutely. With a lot of older tech (read 2 years or more, snort) you end up with multiple redundant conversions. I've found that alot of "upconverted signals" look like washed-out anime...not a real improvement. Thanks for sharing though, 'flier.
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    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  12. #12
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Alright guys, I purchased my tv early fall last year. It's a Panasonic TH-50PX75U. Its resolution is 1,366 X 768. I generally feed it a 720p signal. I went into the Marantz's advanced video menu and set the output to 720p. I compared the 720p to the Marantz's 1080i, 1080p, and "auto" settings. The picture never smoothed out from its grainy look. Shadows and dark scenes lacked detail. Skin looked blotchy.

    My Toshiba HD-A2 HDVD player presents a very natural, film-like picture with regular dvds on my set. Read ericl's review linked from the aa home page. If I can't get that or better from another player, it's going back. I'm thinking that another player is in order because I don't particularly trust the Toshiba's build quality, it's main purpose is for a dead format so support may be non-existant soon, and it loads at glacier-like speed. I thought if I was going to replace or supplement it, then why not go for a changer like I had in the days before hd.

    BTW, if you have a Marantz VC6001 (frenchmon), you should post a review or at least comments somewhere. I spent many hours searching and couldn't find a single user comment.

  13. #13
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Alright guys, I purchased my tv early fall last year. It's a Panasonic TH-50PX75U. Its resolution is 1,366 X 768. I generally feed it a 720p signal. I went into the Marantz's advanced video menu and set the output to 720p. I compared the 720p to the Marantz's 1080i, 1080p, and "auto" settings. The picture never smoothed out from its grainy look. Shadows and dark scenes lacked detail. Skin looked blotchy.
    Sounds like you still have some setting problems. While I have the player and not the HDTV, I have spoken to those who have the player and the TV who said it had an out-standing picture.


    BTW, if you have a Marantz VC6001 (frenchmon), you should post a review or at least comments somewhere. I spent many hours searching and couldn't find a single user comment.
    I don't have it hooked up to a HDTV so I can only tell you what another person has said...that it had an out-standing picture. As far as the sound, its outstanding. It does have a few things I don't like but can live with.

    1) This changer is not totally a Marantz player. It made by Philips and is the same as a Yammie changer. Both companies (Yammie, Marantz put in a few of there own machanics and face plate. I don't think Marantz really makes changers anymore, rather they be CD changers or DVD changers...only single drawer players.

    2) You can not play a disk and change disk at the same time.

    3) The tray does not rotate so you can change the disk....The trays back two disks... number 4 and 5 are 1/3 covered when tray transports out...some have complained that they have a hard time getting the two back disk out...I have no problems getting them out.

    4) If you load more than one DVD into the tray, after the previous DVD ends, the palyer does not auto-matically advance to the next DVD you must push start on the remote first which I think is silly. But it does advance all CD's and superaudio disk and DVD-A disk. Go figure.

    Besides these problems, I think its a very good universal player that plays about every kinda disk you throw at it. As I said, it has very good sound quality and others have said it has very good picture quality on 1080p. You are the first I have heard has a problem with up conversion. I am willing to bet you have a setting problem some where.


    frenchmon
    Last edited by frenchmon; 05-30-2008 at 12:16 AM.

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    One thing about taking others word for performance you have to know, or have some idea, what their point of reference is.

    Dean are you using a pretty good HDMI cable?

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    Some interesting posts re: DVD players/changers.
    I'm looking for a new DVD changer because my 2-1/2 yr. old Yamaha DV-C6770 is acting up - losing the video portion while playing a DVD. Yamaha says it needs repair. Fortunately, I have an extended warranty on it otherwise it would cost me $100. to get it exchanged thru Yamaha's exchange program. I'm waiting to hear what I have to do to get it repaired thru the extended warranty.

    IMHO, I don't know that I'd buy Yamaha again. The transport (changer tray) is EXTREMELY slow to open. I had read reviews with this complaint before I bought the unit. I didn't think it would matter that much - it does matter because it really is VERY slow. Also, I'm not happy that the unit needs repair after only 2-1/2 yrs. It doesn't get a lot of usage.

    I also want a changer and upconversion in my next unit. After reading about Marantz I don't know that I'd buy that either. Dean, did u try changing the settings before u returned the Marantz? I've also heard that Denon units don't last long.

    Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  16. #16
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpgray
    Some interesting posts re: DVD players/changers.
    I'm looking for a new DVD changer because my 2-1/2 yr. old Yamaha DV-C6770 is acting up - losing the video portion while playing a DVD. Yamaha says it needs repair. Fortunately, I have an extended warranty on it otherwise it would cost me $100. to get it exchanged thru Yamaha's exchange program. I'm waiting to hear what I have to do to get it repaired thru the extended warranty.

    IMHO, I don't know that I'd buy Yamaha again. The transport (changer tray) is EXTREMELY slow to open. I had read reviews with this complaint before I bought the unit. I didn't think it would matter that much - it does matter because it really is VERY slow. Also, I'm not happy that the unit needs repair after only 2-1/2 yrs. It doesn't get a lot of usage.

    I also want a changer and upconversion in my next unit. After reading about Marantz I don't know that I'd buy that either. Dean, did u try changing the settings before u returned the Marantz? I've also heard that Denon units don't last long.

    Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for sharing re: your Yamaha. I did attempt some adjustments with the Marantz. The only things that were not identical as I ran my Toshiba and the Marantz simultaneously into the 2 HDMI connections on my Panasonic plasma (and switched back and forth between the 2 players using 2 copies of the same movie) were the hdmi cables used.

    Personally, I prefer the rotating carousel on my old Pioneer Elite changer. The disc positions do not rotate with the Marantz. I could've lived with that however if I could've gotten the clear picture I was looking for.

    I'm thinking of giving the Pioneer Elite DV-58AV single-disc player a try or maybe one of the Oppo models. There's a brick and mortar retailer about an hour from me that carries Denon and Pioneer Elite. Hopefully, I can audition the Denon changer and the Elite player.

  17. #17
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I love the marantz!

    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Thanks for sharing re: your Yamaha. I did attempt some adjustments with the Marantz. The only things that were not identical as I ran my Toshiba and the Marantz simultaneously into the 2 HDMI connections on my Panasonic plasma (and switched back and forth between the 2 players using 2 copies of the same movie) were the hdmi cables used.

    Personally, I prefer the rotating carousel on my old Pioneer Elite changer. The disc positions do not rotate with the Marantz. I could've lived with that however if I could've gotten the clear picture I was looking for.

    I'm thinking of giving the Pioneer Elite DV-58AV single-disc player a try or maybe one of the Oppo models. There's a brick and mortar retailer about an hour from me that carries Denon and Pioneer Elite. Hopefully, I can audition the Denon changer and the Elite player.

    I honestly think you got a bumb player and your problems are not common to all concerning the Marantz. Mine sounded good and had an excellent picture right out the box. I've talked to others who have this player and all they can say is that they love the picture via HDMI. It does have a few problems like slow loading but for what it can do, this player is great. I just wish you could have sent it back for another Marantz player...Accessories4less stands behind what they sell. The VC6001 is the same as the DV6001 eccept the DV6001 is not a changer. Its got wonderful reviews in the review section of Audioreview as well as other places.

    frenchmon

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