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Marantz VP-15S1 review

With its punchy picture, ease of set-up, sharp edges and lack of noise, this Marantz is an obvious five-star buy Tested at £6000.00

5 Star Rating

Our Verdict

The ’15S1 offers a truly stellar performance – it’s the one to get if money’s not a concern

For

  • Combines incredibly sharp and detailed pictures with very punchy whites and an impressive black performance
  • creates pictures with real sense of depth

Against

  • Colours are ever-so-slightly on the pale side of neutral
  • £6000 is pretty expensive

Since this Marantz received its First Test treatment, when it was priced at £5500, it's gained £500. The company mentioned something about the strength of the Euro having an effect on this; but we know little about such things, so we nodded and smiled and switched on the Blu-ray player.

The entertaining Cars provides one of those wonderful ‘wow' moments –the Marantz really is that impressive. Much like the JVC DLA-HD100, it offers incredibly well-defined edges and a nicely judged colour palette.

The Marantz also offers excellent fluidity as the cartoon racers zip around. Where it beats its rivals is in detail recovery and white punch: as the camera pans around the stadium, you can make out a jot of finer detail, and the flash bulbs are just brighter.

The VP-15S1 continues to impress when we switch to a live-action Blu-ray, in this case the cowboy epic, 3:10 To Yuma. Once again, we're seeing just a tiny bit of extra detail compared with the JVC DLA-HD100, with the craggy cowboys appearing even more grizzly.

The landscape scenes also reveal that the Marantz creates a breathtaking depth of field, giving a real sense of three-dimensionality. As for colours, the VP-15S1 is just a bit paler than the JVC.

Quality comes at a price

Again we opt for the Training Day DVD as our final test, and the Marantz seals its place in our hearts. Detail levels are marginally the best on test, while white-punch throughout is extremely good indeed.

Moreover, the image is so clean and stable that it almost gives the impression of being high-definition – and remember, this is the same 576i source that the JVC and Sim2 D80E have the slightest trouble in deinterlacing. As before, colours are slightly pale next to the JVC, but they're still realistic and natural.

Where live-with-ability is concerned, the Marantz is very similar in size to the JVC, and its protruding lens means a permanent mounting is essential. In terms of connections, it has two HDMIs and two component inputs, making it marginally the best on test.

Criticising the VP-15S1 is extremely hard to do, but it does have one problem: the JVC DLA-HD100 gets very close on performance and significantly undercuts it on price.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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