The Marantz models are cleverly designed. But the new Blu-ray drive and the top model of the semi-high AV amps have other qualities, as shown in the test.

You would have the space for an AV receiver, then but no more for a Blu-ray player? Or you are even more slim models? Marantz provides exactly the right for you – with the NR-series AV receivers, which are as high as a typical player and thus more elegant and light-footed. While these models – such as the not at all stingy are here tested no. 1603 – with features or performance. It is almost equal to large BD drive UD 5007, the duo is as high as one of the bigger receivers. Or the two stand side by side flounder-flat.

AV receiver No. 1603

The most important innovation on the receiver – in addition to technical improvements and extended facilities – inside the ergonomics. Marantz has an exemplary and consistently cleaned up and simplified the handling of AV Amps this equipment thoroughly. This begins with the disappearance of most of the buttons on the front and the remote control and ends with the newly structured menu?. A concise, clear-speaking German Erstein direction menu helps to fit the new acquisition step by step with detailed text and graphical representations of the system. The entschlackte remote control is also in everyday life. Example surround modes: Had you previously heck himself through long lists of all the available decoders, there are now only four buttons for “Movie”, “Music”, “Game” and “Pure”. Particularly ambitious can modify the pre-selection of the modes anyway.

It lacks the No. 1603 not to comfort and diversity – on the contrary. He plays the most popular audio formats on the network as DLNA or UPnP client and Internet radio, it reproduces music via airplay of portable Apple devices; You can clamp these directly to the front USB port, where they play music while charging the battery. Who would like to control the combination of Marantz by Smartphone or tablet computer, can the app for iOS or Android download is free.

The receiver to the audio return channel for the sound of the TV dominates all common 3D HDMI features, and his Video processing delivers super stable and crisp sharp scaled analog video to HDMI converted. Only by CVBS, the images tend to slight excess sharpness. Two of the seven power amplifiers can be used for bi-Amping of the stereo speakers for the rear surround speakers or a second listening zone. Preamp outputs for stereo and of course the subwoofer. Despite the half height: Full team on board.

Blu-ray player UD 5007

The player also follows this principle of mini MAX UD 5007. A look on the sparsely stocked back feeds the presumption, the player have been wanting little outfit – far. The developer eliminating all connections used already practically nobody. Basically, the normal user required for this player only three cables: power, HDMI and network.

Interior lacks nothing: the UD (universal disc) disc plays everything that fits into the gently sliding drawer by CD and SACD and DVD-audio and DVD-video to Blu-ray with their derivatives by BD-live to 3D. Also here is a network player, he can play but also audiophile formats and resolutions such as FLAC compared to the simple variant in the amplifier up to 192 kilohertz, even in 5.1 surround sound, as well as video in high resolution. New integrated were three online movie services. In Germany, of which currently only YouTube is released; the network video rental Netflix and VUDU are not yet active in this country.

The player’s revised remote control acts exemplary tidy and uncluttered. During the test the Marantz combination proved themselves the buttons of the amplifier on the master cylinder of the player. You need to always only a remote control, with several command generators, in practice eliminates the usual juggling.

No. 1603/UD 5007: picture quality and sound

In the duo, Marantz receiver and player make a good figure. Both are available in black or Silver-Gold. Inspiring a confidence HDMI cable to the communication of the two included for picture, sound and control the player. For standard audio as FM, MP3, iPod or Internet radio reaches the receiver as a source, when it comes to the watch or listen claim, takes over the player.

The image quality of Blu-ray and DVD or streamed films is good also for the large-area projection: crisp-sharp, detailed and helpful. The digital audio quality moves on the high level, the testers expected: with clearly defined spatial figure, sparkling dynamics and musicality to the fellow rocker always refreshing – no matter whether a high-definition disc or a CD only rotated. The Mediaclient elicits still flowing rhythms even filthy MP3 files.

At the NR 1603 startles the uninitiated might that “only” 50 watts per channel are specified. But this means only 3 dB quieter than 100 Watts. Thanks to the thick transformer in the power supply, the power amplifiers in the listening room itself with multi-channel action not out of breath came. Sound was somewhat less solid compared with the Denon AVR 1912 (for testing), for the Marantz amp with noticeably better midrange resolution and more sense of space and the dimension of the instruments sounded much airier.

With its beautiful design and revised facilitated handling NR is the Marantz 1603 perfect for the living room as a relaxing music machine with discreet surround sound system to the large TV.

The UD 5007 also hardcore – home cinema operated easily next to the living room. Sharp appearance and dynamic sound performance are its clear benefits.

Smartphone & Tablet – marantz remote app

The AV receiver like the Blu-ray player can feed itself not only via network (DLNA or UPnP) with music. For iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) or Android tablets/smartphones is available a complete remote control via touch screen with the free “marantz remote app”. Internet radio and music by the streamer of the receiver can be presented together with the covers, and metadata. The Blu-ray player allows no direct control of the network, it receives commands via HDMI-CEC-code of the receiver.


Marantz No. 1603 and UD 5007 in the Test