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Marantz VP12 S3 Has arrived...

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Paul D, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Paul D

    Paul D
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    My Marantz VP12 S3 is here!

    George from Sound an Vision(Bolton) has managed to get me one of the first units in the Country!

    These projectors will not be fully available until january, so all thanks to him for getting me this one.
    Oh and at such a good price!

    I'm just off to have a quick demo in my cinema room, and will post back with my findings.

    I will be using my Barco 808s as a comparison, and will be assessing both their strengths and weaknesses etc.

    Should be fun!:smashin:
     
  2. theritz

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    Welcome to the bright side, Paul !

    The 12S3 is supposed to be seriously nice, be very interested in your judgement of how it performs against an ISF'd Barco.


    Sean G.
     
  3. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Just a update (intermission?:D)

    The PJ took about three minutes to setup.

    Plug in

    Point lens at screen

    Turn on

    With test pattern: lens shift - Zoom - Focus

    Right i'm ready to start.

    First up the Marantz:-

    Note this review is "out of the box", ie no adjustments.

    On a blank screen ie no input, there is a slight glow.
    This is bright enough for me to see the remotes on the table.
    NOT a good sign!

    Swallow hard as i prepare for the rainbows!

    Switch on DVD player - Pioneer 868i via bandbridge profigold component leads. (Audio Quest 10m HDMI lead arriving tomorrow)

    Ok let's get sadistic..... pick a dark and murky film = Dinosaur(caves scenes etc)
    First thing i notice is some weird dithering on the "texture" of things, like the dinosaur eggs at the start.
    Next i noticed a "heat haze" effect wobbling the picture slightly.

    SH*T! have i just made a £7-8,000 mistake?

    Is this the dreaded dithering everybody talks about DLP?

    Really worried, i decided to pause the film.
    The picture goes solid...

    So...it isn't the projector! "Phew!"

    I carried on into the jungle scene fully expecting the grey mist to some degree.

    Err but there wasn't any.
    The shadow detail has to be seen to be believed.
    Because i was concentrating so much on black levels(i was worried), it suddenly hit me just how much detail, sharpness and clarity is on offer.

    I skipped a few scenes, and stopped on the desert one.
    Jesus i was nearly blinded.
    Then it hit me!
    I hadn't adjusted the lamp power or the Iris.

    As you may have guessed, it was in full lamp mode iris off!
    Since the black levels were fine anyway, how much better could they be?

    I tried the four combinations:-
    Lamp high - Iris open = Very bright
    Lamp high - Iris closed = Bright contrasty
    Lamp low - Iris open = Bright Smooth "spot on"
    Lamp Low - Iris closed = Dulled lacking some shadow detail great black level

    I will be sticking with "spot on"!

    I didn't actually notice any fan noise in high lamp mode, but switching to low mode it goes even quieter.

    Ok time to pull out Finding Nemo.
    I know it will look good, so just cannot wait any longer.
    Again you will be able to guess the results!
    I won't go on because wow is over used on this forum.
    But i will say that i didn't realise nemo is supposed to look so real, with a real almost metallic look to his scales. I just thought he was supposed to look cartoony orange.
    Not numerous shades etc. ;)

    Okay okay, something more real world next.
    Gladiator is a film i know well, so should bring me back to reality. And remind me of my insanity!

    Ok the spinning "brown" world at the very start of the DVD normally can look a little posterised. And i was sure a digital "bulbed" projector would make this even worse.
    But no, it was clean as whistle.
    On to the film.
    The opening battle, had all the texture and hues i have become used to with my Barco CRT.
    In fact it was uncanny how identical it was.
    Black levels and shadow detail actually seemed better.
    This has to be added to the extra detail, and i was lost into the film.
    I had to keep reminding myself to skip sectors, and get on with the audition.
    Scene after scene was the same.
    The PJ has a range of hues and subtleties that are just NOT digital.

    Did i mention the REDS?
    OK BLOOD!

    Colours out of the box are spot on, with nothing pushing etc.
    I have only turned sharpness down.

    I was fully relaxed now, this was a keeper.

    RAINBOWS! I forgot the bloody RAINBOWS!
    Or lack of them.
    Tried a couple of head shakes, no.
    Flick the eyes, no.

    Found them!
    They were hiding.
    I needed a black or dark background, then some nice and bright white text. Then a shake or flick of the head/eyes will reveal them.
    Or just use the white setup grid!

    I have found some very slight "dithering" ( at least i think it's dithering!) on a graduation from blue to black in Nemo.
    But need to check if this is DVD player, PJ or disc!

    I won't bother comparison to the Barco, as i was going to mention about it's better blacks etc.
    But other than when there is zero light showing in a scene, the Marantz is either equal or better.
    The CRT still has better spot point brightness. Ie if there is a smaller bright object in the scene, CRTs can go beautifully bright.
    Bear in mind that my CRT, although very good isn't a good as the 9" liquid coupled models. (Cine 9/1209s/G90 etc)
    Oh and the fact that my Barco is worth about £5,000 less than the Marantz, bears well for the fact that the cinema buff on a budget would still be better going the CRT route.

    My decision to go digital over a better CRT was partly convenience, partly wife driven.
    I wanted to get back to film watching rather than image watching.
    The wife wouldn't use the PJ when i wasn't there, just in case she cocked it up.
    I was also worried about spending £9-10,000 on a 1209s (plus a better scaler), then having trouble selling it on when cheaper 1920x1080 projectors start shipping in a few years.

    I was trying hard to think of a way of describing the Marantz S3 without resorting to "God dang" "WOW" "Jesus".
    So i will just say:-
    As vibrant as my Panasonic plasma.
    As smooth as my CRT.
    As detailed as........errr ummm....... just "god dang!" oops! :D

    Paul..... happy man.
     
  4. GaryG

    GaryG
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    Thanks for you feedback Paul.

    I tried replacing my BG808 with an NEC LT150 a couple of years ago. I was knocked out by the sharpness of the picture, the brightness, the convenience, the size etc but the dreaded 'rainbows' and to a lesser extent 'dither' put paid to that idea, maybe the time has come to look at the latest batch of DLP's, don't know if I could handle the depreciation on the latest projector's though.

    I would be interested in hearing you opinions in a couple of weeks when you've had time to 'acclimatise' to the new projector.
     
  5. Paul D

    Paul D
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    I know what you mean Gary.

    First impressions can always be misleading.

    Only after one has spent some time with something will the true "picture" emerge! (sorry for the pun!)

    I will be spending tomorrow having a play about with the settings.

    I have had countless viewings of all sorts of projectors, and have a good idea of what i like and dislike from an image.

    I was just so worried that i might have made a major mistake, so it is a relief that the image is so good "out of the box".

    I have found that no digital projector up to now, shows "Mikey" from Monster Inc properly.(Virtuoso may do this accurately as well)
    Ie he should be yellowy green, and not lime/blue/fluorescent green etc.
    He should have loads of shades of yellow/green.
    The Marantz shoes hues of yellow/green i didn't even know were there!
    Same thing from Gladiator, shades of purples/blues reds on peoples robes that i didn't know were subtly different etc.

    The only time i'm reminded it is digital, is when there is zero light in the scene.
    It does glow slightly.

    I'm not a supporter of either camp. (CRT v DLP v LCD)
    I just want an image i'm happy with, ie one that doesn't do anything to annoy me.

    One major bonus of the bulbed PJ happened when the wife came in.
    She asked had the PJ arrived etc.
    And within two minutes we were sat there watching a film, and without me wanting to mess!:clap:

    I do feel guilty that i am now a "Lamp Man"!:suicide:
     
  6. theritz

    theritz
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    ..................... no need for that - for 10k you're entitled to expect the best and it sounds like you've got it. If you've got the time some A/B screenshots comparing some revealing scenes between the Barco and the S3 would be very welcome - I suspect you'll be busy with your back-catalogue for a while though !

    Sean G.
     
  7. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Hi Sean
    I will post some screeshots soon.

    I paid around £7000 for my S3 as part of a package of goodies.
    I think they normally go for around £7500-8000 though.

    I have just re-read my above post and it sound as if i'm bashing other digital Pjs which i'm not etc.
    It's just after you have had a CRT, you get used to very subtle differences in colour shades.
    Until the Marantz came along, each time i demoed a digital PJ, i just kept noticing how limited some PJs can be in this area.

    It was seeing the Immesive Virtuoso that started me thinking about making the switch, i liked it very much.

    Tonight i'm connecting the HTPC, so would imagine it should get even better. (TheatreTek DVI etc)

    :smashin:
     
  8. Kramer

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    Congrats - sounds nice :smashin:

    1:1 via DVI should show significant improvement (if that's even possible ;)).

    Kramer's just a little jealous....... :)
     
  9. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Ok, ive tried TheatreTek with 1-1 mapping via DVI.

    Not overly impressed at the moment!

    Windows desktop is indeed very sharp, as you would imagine.

    But i'm having a problem with posturization(colour banding) in general.
    I think this may be a VGA driver issue etc.

    Also in TT i'm seeing a similar effect with background shots having large areas of colour posterising and moving etc.

    I seem to remember Jeff mention something about this at the "Event2".

    Ie VMR or DVIX needs adjusting or turning off etc.

    The Pioneer via component is giving a better image at the moment!

    I'm still waiting the arrival of my 10m HDMI to DVI cable, so i can try the 868i at 1280x720p.
    I assume this will give my the 1-1 mapping sharpness of the HTPC and the artifact free image the Pioneer is giving via component.

    I predict that the whole HTPC side will then be shelved, with the PC used for surfing and games only!

    I have taken plenty of screenshots, and will post them as soon as Max Spielmanns has processed them straight to CDRom.

    I have saved one roll of film for some Component v DVI shots from the 868i etc.

    The VP12 S3 has been so good that i'm starting to get a little cocky!
    ie just strolling into the cinema room, firing it up. Safe in the knowledge, any film put on will be shown at it's best.
    It really is hassle free cinema...:smashin:
     
  10. Messiah

    Messiah
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    We've been telling you that for ages :D
     
  11. gandley

    gandley
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    lookin forward to some screenies, wont get mine till after xmas
     
  12. Grubert

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    fulabeer, when you receive the HDMI cable, please post the results. Nobody has tested the 868AVi's digital output over a 10m run yet.

    Also, could you please check whether the "16:9 compressed" mode works on DVI with 720p resolution. Apparently the Denon A11 doesn't.

    TIA.
     
  13. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Ok, i have some screenshots but think they stink!
    They don't even give a slight resemblence to how good the image really is!
    They don't even approach the detail level available.
    But i did say i would post some etc.
    I will upload the full resolution shots to Yahoo photos and post the link here.
    Bear in mind the Barco shots were on 200 speed film, the S3 on 100 speed.
    First up will be the S3 shots, then the Barco and so on for comparison:-
     
  14. Paul D

    Paul D
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    S3
     

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  15. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Barco
     

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  16. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Barco
     

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  17. Paul D

    Paul D
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    S3
     

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  18. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Barco
     

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  19. Paul D

    Paul D
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    S3
     

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  20. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Barco
     

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  21. Paul D

    Paul D
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    S3
     

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  22. Paul D

    Paul D
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    S3 (no Barco comparison)
     

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  23. Paul D

    Paul D
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  24. GaryG

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    Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures Paul, my email notifier has been popping up and down like a yo-yo.

    To my eyes the S3 pictures seem to have an 'orange' look to them is this due to the exposure of the camera? It's interesting the level of detail that is apparent that's not in the Barco pictures, are you aware of this difference when watching the films or is it just the exposure of the camera?
     
  25. Paul D

    Paul D
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    I feel the pictures have a red push, which isn't in the real picture.
    I think this is down to Max Speilmanns scanner, as i do have a cheap film scanner and the red is less pushed on it.
    There is also a lot on info lost in the white areas on these pictures, yet the S3 is stunning in white area detail.
    I was reluctent to even post these shots as they are doing no justice to the S3!
    The absolute immense detail is lost to these shots including the picture smoothness.
    I needed to get closer to the screen, but the PJ isn't ceiling mounted yet, so this is impossible without getting in the light paths way etc.
    Honestly, the actual image i'm getting is so clear and detailed with the most subtle of colour differences shown that i don't think it is ever going to be possible to recreate them on film.
    All i can do is offer anybody interested a live demo, and they would then see why i a least tried.

    IF YOU CAN GET A DEMO AT A MARANTZ DEALER AFTER XMAS......GO MAKE THE APPOINTMENT!

    Even if you don't buy(or even thinking of buying), it will not be a waste of your time...:smoke:
     
  26. gandley

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    fulabeer

    thanks for taking the time to post,

    looks great
     
  27. GaryG

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    I'm very sensitive to rainbows. I visited the Bristol show and could tell a DLP projector in the brief couple of seconds it took to walk past the door to the room. Only one projector made me stop and walk into the demo, the Sim2 300. I spent several minutes looking at the picture and was very impressed, I would have liked to have seen it in a head-to-head with a crt. Did you get chance to compare the Marantz with the Sim 2?
     
  28. Messiah

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    Hi paul

    Those screeneies from the S3 look amazing. Would be interesting for me to compare with the 10k. Unfortunately my digital camear always darkens the image quite significantly so I will fire her (z10k) up over the weekend and compare directly with your screen shots.

    Nice work. Guess you won't be going back to CRT now then :)

    Neil
     
  29. Grubert

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    Congratulations, fulabeer. Please post your results with the HDMI-DVI cable as soon as possible. You'll be the first person to test the Marantz S2 or S3 with the Pioneer 868's digital connection.
     
  30. dealmaker

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    Hi Paul,

    A couple of questions if I may:

    What's the throw ratio on the Marantz? I'm thinking of buying one of these to replace my Sony VPl VW10HT - I seem to recall that you had one of these once as well?...if so how do they compare!!!??

    Did you look at the Sim2 300 range of projectors as a comparison - I had considered one of these also but cant fit it in my room because of the stupidly long throw lens on them.

    I'm now contemplating the Marantz or the forthcoming Samsung which is meant to be around the same price or slightly cheaper.

    Thanks
     

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