We're in a rainswept Vilamoura in Portugal today, reporting live from the Marantz 2010-11 product launch. We'll bring you the news as soon as we get it, so here are the highlights so far:
• New slimline NR1601 AV receiver coming, will be 3D HDMI 1.4a compatible
• All new Blu-ray models will be universal and 3D-Ready
• Ten models for 2010-11 will have iPhone/iPod digital audio compatibility
• New Marantz receiver models will have improved graphical interface with iPod/iPhone
• Nine new Marantz models will have M-Xport modular input allowing connection of laptops, iPods, Bluetooth devices etc
• Marantz M-ER803 £900 Blu-ray receiver has similar facilities to M-CR603 plus built-in Blu-ray
• On to stereo products: Marantz CD5004 CD player is £220, and PM5004 amplifier £250. Both feature new sound tuning
• Marantz PM7004 amplifier is £550, revives Marantz Tri-Tone Control (designed to make the best of compressed music). Marantz invented Tri-Tone control in the cassette age, allowing adjustment in the 900Hz range
• PM7004 has bass, mid and treble adjustment, preamp and power amp connections
• Marantz Brand Ambassador Ken Ishiwata explaining how different USB cables can sound. "Try it and you'll be shocked," he says
• NA7004 Network Audio player is £699, DLNA v1.5 certified, has digital iPod in, DAB tuner, M-Xport. Also has three digital inputs (optical, coaxial, USB), so can be used as a DAC
• Marantz NR1601 slimline receiver is £500, HDMI 1.4a, four in/one out, 3D and audio return, HDMI passthrough in standby
• Marantz SR5005 receiver is £700, four in/one out HDMI 1.4a, audio return, USB with iPod digital, M-Xport for wireless Bluetooth module RX1010
• Marantz SR6005 receiver is £900, Anchor Bay video scaling, new GUI
• SR7005 also has Audyssey DSX, DLNA 1.5, internet radio, USB iPod digital, M-Xport – and moving magnet phone too!
• £1400 SR7005 takes styling cues from KI Pearl models, very small front display, smaller screen hidden behind drop-panel on front
• Marantz SR7005 also Windows 7 certified, offers control via web browser, even remotely
• Marantz AV7005 7.2 channel processor/preamp and MM7055 five-channel power amp/MM7025 stereo offer XLR balanced connections
• Marantz UD5005 BD player is £450, 3D-ready, has DLNA 1.5 networking for audio and video streaming
• Marantz UD7005 Blu-ray player is £800, has Anchor Bay processing, 32-bit audio DAC
• 3D upgrades for Marantz products expected December, may be earlier
• Ken Ishiwata: "As a company we have to adapt. We have adapted our total range, with universal Blu-ray and iPod connectivity. We will establish a unique position in the market, without forgetting our core values."
* KI Pearl range has been "very successful, but many people wanted a similar sound at a more affordable price," says Ishiwata. So there's a new Marantz KI Pearl Lite line-up, again a combination of SACD player and stereo amp
• Unfortunately Ishiwata can't demonstrate the Marantz KI Pearl Lites, as they're currently sruck in Portuguese customs
• Marantz KI Pearl Lites on sale in August at £999 each
• Apparently the Pearl Lites were originally going to be called the Juniors, "but in a bar one night with our UK dealers, we renamed them!"
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