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Marantz VP12-S3 owners?....question...

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dealmaker, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Guys,

    If you have now owned the VP12-S3 for a while, knowing what you now know about the performance of the projector, would you still have bought it?

    I'm looking to buy the S3 in the near future and have, on several occasions, come close to purchasing only to hear of "an issue" of one sort or another.

    Along with the S3 my shortlist also includes :

    Samsung SP-H700A - (if it ever appears)

    Projectiondesign Action! model1 Mk2 - (if I can establish the throw ratio of the new 7 segment wheel model!)

    Are there any other HD2+ models I should be considering (which have relativley short throw ratio i.e less than 1.7 - ruling out SIM2 models)?

    Also is the Marantz a seven segment colour wheel PJ?...if not is this a potential issue - probably to be addressed on the S4 model?

    Thanks
     
  2. gandley

    gandley
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    the marantz does have a 7 segment colour wheel.

    after just demoing both the marantz S3 and sim2 300xtra

    i found the marantz was a little too dim and to get the claimed 3800CR the brightness falls a fair bit below 700ANSI.

    Which is fine if your room is completely light controlled.(although i still think it was too dim)

    Nice pic though, but i could not see any diff other than brightness when compared with the sim2 300 xtra.

    Both amazing PJs, but in the end the sim2 for me seemed to have the edge, plus i got it cheaper than the S3


    (not compared side by side but with same DVD player)
     
  3. Messiah

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    TBH, although I love my S3 I think it is overpriced now with some of the newer models available. Saying that though it does, IMO, still give one of the best images I have ever seen from a digital pj (I have a light controlled room but even with curtains open - late afternoon- it is still perfectly waychable).

    Had the ProjectionDesign on demo for a few hours and afraid would not give it house room. Looked like a plastic toy, with loads of light spill, tons of heat (just wonder how long that plastic case will last) and did not handle pans too well. If it were priced sub £3k maybe I would think differently but at a similar price to an S3 it is, IMO, way way overpriced.
     
  4. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Guys,
    Thanks for the feedback - I currently use a Sony VPL VW 10 HT which in cinema black mode is probably putting out about 700/800 ANSI on an 8 ft VuTec screen with a gain of 1.2

    My room is partially light controlled - in that I have curtains and black out blinds - I don't have any problems with the Sony except when it's really sunny in mid-summer, and even then I just need to pull the curtains a bit tighter!....and close the blinds in the adjacent kitchen.

    If the view is that there are better projectors out there - what else should I consider?

    Only caveat is that I have a fairly square room so I need a projector with a fairly good throw i.e SIM2's are out but something with the throw of the Sony is in!

    Thanks
     
  5. gandley

    gandley
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    How much distance is there between screen and front of the PJ max ?
     
  6. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Hi gandley,

    Subject, of course, to the size (front to back) of the prjector the max amount I have from screen to lens is 4000mm - the room is slighty longer but that's the limit of where the PJ can be ceiling mounted - my Sony 10 HT is mounted about 3700mm and easily fills the 8ft screen with loads left over.
     
  7. gandley

    gandley
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    the marantz does look like your best option then, it is a very good unit.
     
  8. Paul D

    Paul D
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    I own the S3 and cannot fault it.
    Marantz do aim for the lowest black level and the compromise is the slightly lower lumens.(Compared to the Sims and Infocus etc)
    But it is more than bright enough on my 80" wide screen, giving plasma like brightness.

    I went for the S3 because at the time there were some issues with the Sim equivalent to the S3 (concerning the use of six versus seven segment wheels). There was also firmware issues, but these seem to be completely resolved.(hardware and firmware)

    Infact, i have been very impressed with Sims involvement (A Roser/RTFM) on these forums. Their continued support here and the advancement of their latest models, would make Sim a primary choice if i was in the market for a new PJ.

    But i cannot see any point in the near future that i will be changing the S3, and that's just not like me!
    Normally i buy something and enjoy it, but still have my eye on the next upgrade. With the S3, although not perfect(no PJ is) gives me everything i could want from a PJ except total black level.:smashin:
     
  9. gandley

    gandley
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    Fulabeer,

    any news on when HDMI scalers will become available?

    or Any you have your eye on
     
  10. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    Guys,

    Thanks for all the responses.

    The comments made here have prompted me to hang on for a while and see what the new Sharp XVZ12000 and Toshiba MT800 are like....don't want to spend £7k of my hard-earned until I've measured up the competition fully!
     
  11. gandley

    gandley
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    Very wise, but

    S3 is regarded as better than the sharp 12k, the AVS forums show this, as there are a few issues or somthing with the sharpe 12k.
     
  12. Paul D

    Paul D
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    Gandley
    I have my eye firmly on the new Lumagen ProHD etc.
    Jim over at AVS has been totally candid about what it will and what it won't do.
    And from the sound of it, it pretty much does everything!

    I really hope it lives up to expectations, as it seems incredible for the price it will be selling at.
    They are working on getting it to fool an HDMI output DVD player into thinking it's "DVI" input is really "HDMI".
    Either way it's supposed to work with an HDMI-DVI interlaced signal, in RGB mode.
    I'm awaiting Gordons findings with his beta unit etc.

    I'm also thinking of finally getting my SKY+(Mark 1) box modded to SDI as this is an option on the Lumagen.

    I look forward to your report on your new "baby" when it arrives!:smashin:
     
  13. tbrar

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    Dealmaker, I am not sure if you have seen this but Widescreen Review recently put the S3 through its paces, I have attached a link to the review here (hopefully the link will work)

    Its a very detailed review, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. An interesting finding from the reviewer related to the S3 brightness when used in high contrast mode (which is my preference). It was found then when calibrated to D65 in low lamp/high contrast mode the PJ produced a brightness level which, according to reviewer - in the reviewers enviorment, just exceeded SMPTE recommended standard for digital Cinema. However, whether this is bright enough for you is down to personal preference and your enviorment.

    Also points of interest were the relative inacuracy of the auto-calibrator :eek: and the reviewer stated that the improvments derived using of the HD2+ in conjunction with the seven segment wheel as 'hard to overstate'.

    Like the other S3 owners have stated, I am over the moon with the PJ. If I were to buy a PJ today, then I would still buy the S3, however if my room could accomodate a longer throw I would also look at the Sharp 12K and the Sim2's.
     
  14. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    tbrar,

    Thanks!...WOW, I know reviews are'nt the "be all and end all" but that report reads really well.

    The big winner for me are the statements re brightness and the fact that the standard model will sit smack bang in the middle of my sweet spot from a throw ratio perspective. In fact I could mount the Marantz in EXACTLY the same postion as my Sony VPL VW10 HT - so no moving cables/fused spurs etc. etc. and I guess the Marantz is going to give a much better picture that the Sony (which always run in Cinema Black mode) and be much quieter to boot!

    Curious about your comments vis-a-vis the SIM2 and the Sharp - I too would look at the SIM2 if it would work in my room (which it definatley won't - unless I went for the three chip model with an short throw lens - circa £27k!! :eek: )...but I'd understood that the Sharp also definatley had a shorter(er) throw lens?

    If this isnt the case then I can discount it...don't know about the Tosh though?..guessing it will be bettered by the Marantz.

    So the Marantz is currently favourite.......only niggling doubt in my mind now is the forthcoming (imminent?) Samsung which also looks good on paper!

    I think this is the longest I've ever deliberated over an upgrade!
     
  15. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Unfortuntaley I do not know the exact throw of the Sharp, however I am basing my comments on reports over on AVS when the S3 and the 12K have been compared quite alot.

    Going by these reports, one of the deciding factors between the two has usually come down to the PJ throw requirments, with the Sharp having a longer throw than the S3. As my room is particularly small (311cm long), the S3 is the best bet (also the Sharp wasnt available in the UK when I bought the S3 - actually is it now ?). I did begin to look into the Sims, but were quickly ruled out for me due to their throw, which it sounds like is the case for you.

    However, if I were you I would definatley look into the Sharp as it may work for you and I believe its a little more cost effective than the S3 (in the US anyway).
     
  16. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Dealmaker, a review of the Sharp 12K carried out in 'Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity' can be found here. I have not read it (yet!), but should help in your investigations.
     
  17. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    tbrar,

    Thanks I've now read it, and from further research was able to find that the Sharp has an effective throw ratio of circa 1.79 to 2.44 - far too long for my room unfortunatley - the Marantz has effective throw ratios of 1.46 to 1.70 (with the standard rather than "long throw" lens option)...so the Marantz ends before the Sharp begins!

    So I can now totally rule out the Sharp!!

    Down to Marantz or Samsung?? !!
     
  18. dealmaker

    dealmaker
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    tbrar,

    Yes you might be right...no sign of the Samsung on the US market yet so it wont be here for at least six months (if in fact it is ever officially launched)

    The Marantz is here and now and is available, I understand, for a number beginning with a SIX!
     
  19. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Dealmaker, I deleted that last post on the Samsung just as you were obviously replying to it !. Last I heard though, Joe Kane delayed realease as Samsung were looking to utilise the HD2+ instead of HD2, though this was some time ago...
     
  20. gandley

    gandley
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    A pic from an 300xtra, i use this to compare in demos as has great contrast from black to her face
     

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  21. gandley

    gandley
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    Next a pic from an S3 to compare brightness in calibrated conditions
     

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  22. gandley

    gandley
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    same pic now with 300 Xtra calibrated
     

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  23. tbrar

    tbrar
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    Nice pictures Gandley... I guess the issue for me is not the quality of the Sim PJ, which is undoubtedly very decent, rather that their throw requirments rule it out.
     
  24. gandley

    gandley
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    There nothing init, both are awesome projectors, with superb images. Detail reproduction is exact in both, which as you can see is stunning. (if it wasnt the throw difference i would hate to make a choice between these 2)

    sim2 just exhibits a little more brightness, and it leans towards blue a little, where as the S3 leans towards red as can be seen by skin tones, but again this is minimal.

    I went for the sim2 coz of the better brightness and it fits my room perfect, if the marantz`s throw fits your room, i woudnt hesitate to buy it.
    avland have it for £6899 and it would be worth a call to audiovisiononline to see if they can better that.

    you can up brightness on the marantz to match the sim2, but it might not yield a better pic. as you can see it is wonderful.

    Good luck with your choices. but for short throw PJ you wont better the S3 at present.
     
  25. dealmaker

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    Gandley,

    Thanks for the pictures and the advice.

    It looks like SIM2 are alienating themselves from a fair number of potential customers - most of whom can't accomodate the longer throw ratio of their range of projectors.

    I now know of 5 individuals on this forum who would probably purchased SIM2 PJ's but were forced into shorter throw options.

    I personally cant justify £25k for their 3 chip machine, especially as I'm a fairly light user.

    As such then it looks like the Marantz is the best option in the short-term.
     

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