Marantz Professional Turret Test & Review

Marantz Professional Turret

You can see them more and more often: DJs who present themselves live in the net of their fan base. Live streaming from clubs, bars, record shops and even from your own home is no longer a rarity. However, if you want to deliver a professional result in picture and sound, you usually have exactly two options: Either you cover yourself with loads of expensive equipment or friends with camera, light and sound are asked for help. But honestly, who likes to rely on others all the time? And the money that you would have to invest as a DJ in the necessary equipment for film, you prefer to put in new music. It is not only a question of money, but also of space! Where to go with the whole gear? Okay, then just “just” filmed with the phone.

The Marantz company has recognized the spirit of the times and developed a tool that combines various devices and provides you with high-quality components for a professional presentation: the Marantz Professional Turret.

This is an all-in-one broadcasting tool that lets you stream and podcast in picture and sound without the need for additional equipment. And best of all, it’s a pretty laid-back, self-contained, intuitive, space-saving, compact, and cost-effective system. We have put the device through its paces.

Details

After opening and unpacking the box, the contents are in front of me: there is the heart of “Turret”, there are three color filters, a power adapter, a USB-C cable, a USB-C to USB cable and a manual. The first impression is solid and the appearance is definitely professional! Here is no billoplasty gossip in front of me, but a high quality processed product. The Turret itself has a comfortable weight – heavy enough for the necessary stability and still portable. That said, I could easily transport this device for mobile use in a larger backpack on the bike through the city in a loose backpack. However, the format is a bit cumbersome because none of the components can be unscrewed. It would be helpful if at least the base and also the swivel arm of the microphone could be temporarily removed from the rest of the part.

Marantz Professional Turret – compact and space-saving broadcasting system

All components of the Marantz Professional Turret at a glance, including color filter and manual

Processing and visual appearance

By design, the product is minimalist and reduced to the essentials. In front of me is a cylindrical, slender and nearly 50 cm high object. It consists of elegant high-gloss plastic and is predominantly black. Only here and there are interfaces copper-colored accents set. The cylinder stands on a sturdy rectangular base made of matt black metal and is about 20 cm long, 18 cm wide and has rounded corners.

The camera is integrated in the upper, movable part of the cylinder and can be rotated almost 180 degrees to the right or left. A LED light ring is mounted around the camera and the associated color filters can be easily exchanged. However, the material of the filters seems a bit fragile to me. This is a rather thin plastic, which gives the impression as if it breaks through quickly, if you are not sensitively enough when changing the color temperature.

The microphone holder with fine-meshed pop-protection sits on a metal swivel arm, which in turn feels very sturdy and can be easily moved in all possible directions without fear of it breaking off immediately. The microphone is relatively light and has a rectangular shape, with the edges again nicely rounded, giving the whole thing an elegant appearance.

Below the microphone, which can also be easily and well moved up or down, there is a pad switch to switch between 0 dB or -10 dB depending on the recording situation. A narrow strip of light on the microphone indicates the recording status. This is not only practical, but also looks quite casual. All of the main controls on the turret are located on the front of the tower, ensuring good and immediate usability.

There are three knobs that are well made and can move well – not too loose, not too tight. Two push-buttons for switching on and off for camera and microphone as well as an output for the headphones.

The power adapter is connected in the lower segment on the back and there are also the ports: a USB-C socket for connection to Mac or PC, two USB 3.0 sockets (internal hub) and an aux output. All in all, the device makes a solid well-made impression and visually this system is definitely also very appealing. A likeable tool that makes you want to try it out right away. But let’s take a closer look at the individual features and components of this broadcasting system.

Marantz’s free-standing, all-in-one broadcasting system also looks good and impresses with its appealing design and solid construction

Marantz Professional Turret Microphone

This is a cardioid condenser microphone. The package is packaged in a 14 mm diameter capsule: The manufacturer cites a sensitivity of -34 dB ± 2 dB (0 dB = 1V / Pa @ 1 kHz), a maximum sound pressure of 132 dB (THD: 0.5% 1 kHz) and a frequency response of 150 – 15,000 Hz. The microphone sensitivity can be selected manually via a switch on the underside of the microphone, depending on the recording situation 0 dB or -10 dB. A built-in preamp in the tower facilitates monitoring and during the recording or streaming session you can monitor the microphone signal latency free. There is a headphone volume and monitoring control for each.
Marantz Professional Turret Test Marantz Professional Turret Condenser Microphone

Marantz Professional Turret - mic

A warm-sounding condenser microphone with popping protection …

Marantz Professional Turret - microphone

… makes a good and appealing sound when recording with the turret

Preamplifier

Marantz has integrated a preamplifier, which, according to the data sheet, provides full service: THD <0.009%, signal-to-noise ratio> 100 dB and a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz, an RMS output power of 130 mW and an impedance of 30 ohms. In my headphone that sounds pretty good anyway.

Marantz Professional Turret Camera

The camera has an autofocus design with Full HD 1080p video compatible with the latest Skype version. It supports Full HD video recording (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels). Likewise, Turret has automatic low-light correction and is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or later, and Mac OS 10.6 or later (HD 720p on FaceTime for Mac or other supported video calling; Full HD 1080p video recording with QuickTime Player ). The camera is also supported by Chrome OS, Android v5.0 or higher (with supported video calling clients). The camera angle is manually adjustable.

Marantz Professional Turret

 

Small but powerful: the camera with full-HD video capture features Marantz Professional Turret Full-HD

LED ring light

In order to give the video stream a visual impression, the camera is surrounded by a LED ring light. This has a diameter of 100 mm and a color temperature of 5600 K, which balances the daylight. The light is not only dimmable, but comes with two additional attachable discs to change the color temperature as needed: 7000 K or for a warmer atmosphere 3000 K.

Marantz Professional Turret

An LED ring light with three filters ensures the right light and the right color temperature

Design and usability

Without much instruction, the thing is on my desk and connected to my laptop. For this I do not even have to look into the manual. Beginners, however, will find a pretty simple step-by-step guide here for both audio and video setup. However, I’m more of the intuitive type and the Marantz tower explains itself with its really user-friendly design almost by itself. With the help of the signal light in the microphone, I see if I’m “on air”, because it flashes red, as long as I do not have the micro button turned on and am in “Mute Mode”, otherwise it lights up blue. Also with the camera there is a warning light, which signals with blue, that it is in operation. That’s pretty helpful. The microphone can be brought quickly with the swivel arm in the desired position and all controls I can easily and if necessary even with left and by the way operate, since these are all in good reach forward on my “transmission tower”. The handling is so great!

Marantz Professional Turret

All control modules are within reach ……

Marantz Professional Turret

that makes broadcasting a breeze!

Marantz Professional Turret Sound Quality

Of course, as I frequently prepare for radio broadcasts and podcasts, I am extremely curious about how this system sounds to Marantz. After all, it’s also called “Professional”. Using the USB cable, I first connect the device to my MacBook Pro running Mac OS El Capitan 10.11. Then I open Ableton Live, create an audio track and as the Marantz Turret pops up promptly in my sound settings, I just have to select it as a sound source. Then I start the first recordings and since I am in a normal environment, I have previously set the sensitivity of the condenser microphone to 0 dB; -10 dB is needed to reduce the overall microphone volume whenever the sound input is so loud that it overrides any part of the audio signal chain.

Marantz Professional Turret

Since there are different recording environments, Marantz has not failed to provide a switch on the micro, with which the sensitivity can be adjusted

Marantz Professional Turret

 

I am pleasantly surprised by the result. It sounds warm and everything I say is precise and clear, the volume stays constant. However, I feel the recording as a bit quiet and because I have a dark voice and of course I’m totally spoiled by my professional radio equipment, as something too dull. But this can be easily optimized in the Ableton with EQs and Compressor as well as some room reverb. Anyone who does not have such pre-loaded ears will be more than satisfied with the result and with pre-produced podcasts, the sound in any audio program can be adjusted to their own requirements and listening habits.

Since I want to know how the microphone behaves in live use, I ask my friend to communicate with me through Skype and FaceTime. Both applications automatically detect the broadcasting system, both as an audio and video source, making it easy to configure the Marantz. For comparison, I once use the laptop-internal microphone and then the turret.

The reaction of my friend: “This is a difference like day and night!” So that I can convince myself, we change the rooms and workplaces and now he presents me the two variations. In fact, by comparison, the internal mic that I used to think was quite passable, thin and synthetic. By contrast, the Turret’s condenser microphone makes the sound full, warm and overall much clearer and somehow more expressive. Transparent is probably quite good. So great!

I’m curious to see how the interplay of audio and picture shows. Of the fact that the camera is better than what is behind the mini-lens of my laptop lid acts, I can actually go out already. But let’s see …

Camera

I would like to record an audio video sequence for this purpose and since Quicktime is the only software on my computer that can handle this, I use it. The configuration is a little trickier, because Quicktime is no longer factory-preset and it takes me a while to figure out where to switch from internal to external camera. When this problem is resolved and I start recording, I already hear over the headphone that I have to deal with latencies here.

Normally the buffer size can be set in the preferences of the software, but in Quicktime it is not. My computer is otherwise powerful enough, so the problem must be elsewhere. And this is where the mix control on the turret comes into play. When recording, I turn the knob completely to Mic to increase the mix of unprocessed audio from the microphone directly to the headphone output. Now the latencies are barely perceptible. Come on, record!

The result is initially independent of the picture a total distortion of my audio track. One hardly understands what I am saying, because I sound like a robot who has swallowed a shaver! Oh great, that’s not possible! Strange is just that there was not this problem when Skypen and the transmission with FaceTime. The solution costs me a lot of nerves and time. I have to change my operating system. But what’s the name of it: “Never change a running system ?!”

Although many of my friends had problems with El Capitan, everything went smoothly for me, so that’s the last option after all. But lo and behold, after I’ve installed macOS High Sierra for what felt like ages, suddenly everything runs like clockwork.

The sound is great, almost no latency is more noticeable and the picture is razor sharp. As a precaution I once again hold a sheet of text in front of the lens and here I see how fast autocorrection and autofocus even the smallest text after a few seconds of blurring finely legible images. I am amazed! And with the integrated LED light, I can illuminate the picture so that I look good without having to put on the mask.

Here I have some impressions in picture and sound for you. Do not be afraid, the spark of blue under my eye is not the result of the wrong color filter, but the last optical remnant of a bicycle accident;)

Compared to the internal cam, the picture is much sharper and with the light and the matching filter, what at first might seem a little too coarse, blurs beautifully. The performance of the camera is also convincing!

Conclusion (4.5 / 5)

There are many arguments in favor of the Marantz Turret. First and foremost, there is a professional broadcasting and streaming tool that combines all the necessary technical components, namely camera, light, microphone, preamp, pop filter and tripod in one system. It is compact and space-saving and due to the light weight also suitable for transport. Okay, a bit cumbersome maybe, because the foot and swing arm are fixed and not for unscrewing, but with the right bag or a big backpack that’s no problem. In addition, one drives this device now not daily through the area. Probably one uses the transmitting tower so also predominantly in one place and for occasional employments elsewhere the mobility is guaranteed in each case. On top of that, the workmanship seems sturdy and solid, so that you have a lot of fun with careful and proper handling. The sound from the micro is transparent and warm and the camera delivers a pin sharp picture, which can be optimized with light and filters.

If you want to record regular podcasts, present yourself to your crowd in the video blog or live on Facebook, you have a reliable tool at hand here. With a retail price of less than 300 €, you can not say anything. The price-performance ratio is unbeatable. In addition, it is still cheaper than if you would buy all the parts in the appropriate quality individually. I’m definitely excited and almost wistful that I have to return the review sample. We could have a lot of fun together. The Marantz Turret is a great promo tool for DJs, producers, musicians and artists! Professional, handy and intuitive to use. Thumbs up.

Pro

  • Price-performance ratio
  • All-in-one solution (light, picture, sound)
  • Compact design
  • High-quality
  • Handy size
  • Intuitive usability
  • High-speed USB for fast data transfer at low latencies

Contra

  • Tower and foot part not separable

Marantz Professional Turret

All-in-one Broadcasting System: Marantz Professional Turret

Marantz Professional Turret Technical Specifications

  • Camera resolution: 5 megapixels native
  • Full HD 1080p video (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • Video Compression: H.264
  • M-JPEG compatible
  • 14 mm electret cardioid condenser microphone
  • Microphone pad switch: 0 dB / -10 dB
  • Microphone no-load sensitivity: -34 dB ± 2 dB (0 dB = 1 V / Pa @ 1 kHz)
  • maximum microphone Boundary sound level: 132 dB SPL
  • Self-noise of the microphone: <12 dB (A-weighted)
  • Outputs: 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, 2x USB 3.0, Aux
  • Transmission range: 150 – 15,000 Hz (microphone), 20 – 20,000 Hz (headphone amplifier)
  • Supported operating systems: Windows 7, 8, 10 and Mac OS from version 10.6
  • USB Video Device Class (UVC)
  • Audio interface: 32 kHz / 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz @ 16 bit USB 2.0 Class Compliant
  • Power supply: 12 V DC / 1 A via external power supply (included)
  • Max. Dimensions: 860 x 498 x 204 mm
  • Weight: 3.5 kg
  • Price: 356.99 euros

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