Marantz DV8300 Universal DVD/SACD Player
Back in the Stone Age of Digital Audio (circa 1990), discerning audiophiles paid big bucks for elegant-looking CD players. Today the emphasis is on performance rather than looks. Most DVD players are visually boring, and their lack of heft hardly inspires confidence. Sometimes I yearn for the days when a player's quality could literally be weighed.At least outwardly, the Marantz DV8300 is a return to those days. Its black, brushed-metal faceplate and 14-pound weight suggest a solidity that has largely vanished from today's digital-disc players. But this isn't your father's CD player. It's one of an entirely new breed of "universal" machines that play an array of discs, including DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, stereo and multichannel Super Audio CD, CD-R/RW, and DVD-R/RW. The DV8300 even plays MP3 discs and provides onboard multichannel Dolby Digital/DTS decoding. One of the many logos that adorn the player's faceplate is the THX Select emblem, which certifies that it meets certain technical and performance specifications for video playback. While that logo and most of the others are simply printed on, the SACD logo is proudly displayed on a raised gold-colored metal badge, suggesting a focus on Marantz's audio heritage. The words "Super Audio CD" are also spelled out on the disc drawer.
Check it out: In the Lab