Vendor View : Marantz Rewards Loyalty, Recognizes ChangeOctober 2009 By Nancy Klosek
Marantz America recently introduced a series of new models in various lines and categories to underscore what Phil Cohn, senior vice president of sales and marketing, called its “continuing commitment to the A/V specialist and the custom installation channel.”
The event was held at New York City high-end electronics retailer/installer Park Avenue Audio.
The models included two universal Blu-ray players that round out a four-model Blu-ray line, three new A/V receivers including one custom-oriented model that is just 3 1/2 inches high, and new hi-fi Reference series models including the limited-edition PM-KI integrated amp, part of the “Pearl” series commemorating the 30th year of engineer Ken Ishiwata’s contributions to Marantz component design.
The flagship UD9004 universal SACD/Blu-ray player ($6,000; available this month) features an audio section based on the company’s top-end Reference SA7 CD player, said Kevin Zarow, vice president of product development and marketing. Its Vertical Stretch feature provides an “anamorphic experience” when used for movie viewing, via its Silicon Realta video processing chip. The universal model UD8004, at $2,300 (November availability), primarily differs from its sister model in chassis build and in its audio section, he added.
Marantz has endowed the SR6004 ($1,250) and SR5004 ($850) A/V, due out in August and September, respectively, with Audyssey’s Dynamic Volume and EQ features, which were not found in the models they replace, along with Dolby Pro Logic’s new IIz “height channel” processing. The 6004 comes with a USB front input and the RX101 Bluetooth receiver ($130), which is available as an add-on for the 5004.
The model NR1501, which just began shipping, is the company’s response to installer requests for a svelte receiver that is easy to place in tight spaces. It is just 3 1/2 inches high and less than 16 inches deep and its chassis size matches the recently introduced custom-market-focused BD7004 and BD5004 standard Blu-ray players.
In the Reference series, sound quality continues as the design focal point, said Cohn. Added to that range is the PM15S2 integrated amplifier ($2,500; available this month), and the PM-KI “Pearl,” available in September for $3,600.
Cohn said that the Marantz front-projector line was in the “mid-range planning stage” and would remain as is through the end of the year.
Marantz is supporting all of these introductions with a series of tools including a new Reference brochure, and has launched a Marantz America Facebook page to “engage the end user and drive more traffic into stores,” Cohn said.