We’re already huge fans of Marantz’s high-end Blu-ray spinners – in particular, the UD8004 and UD9004. So if the mid-range BD7004 was a racehorse, you’d back it to the hilt.
Stuck in the blocks
It’s something of a surprise, then, to find that first impressions aren’t great. The 7004’s loading drawer feels a bit flimsy, and loading is a little sluggish.
But now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the good news – and there’s a lot of it.
The BD7004 is Profile 2.0-enabled and Ethernet-equipped. It can bitstream or internally decode high-definition audio formats over HDMI or an eight-channel analogue output. File support includes AVCHD and DivX HD, and there’s an SD card slot on the front panel.
Performance is stunning, too, with both Blu-ray and DVD images impressing. It paints a rich picture that bursts with life – it’s vibrant, but not garish – and there’s great depth to the image, aided by pin-sharp edge definition.
Review continues after the break…
The BD7004 also has real sonic presence. Whether it’s an explosive multichannel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack or a CD being played through the dedicated stereo output, the 7004 displays a fine balance of detailed, sparking treble and weighty midrange and bass.
There was no guarantee the BD7400 would be able to continue Marantz’s recent achievements. But it’s done just that, and gets a well-deserved ‘Hot Buy’ rosette.