WHAT HI-FI? 2014 AWARDS Best Buys – Marantz PM6005 and CD6005

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With a growing number of consumers choosing a stereo system for pure music listening over a home theatre system, manufacturers are putting a bigger emphasis on their stereo products and more importantly, concentrating on new features based on how these consumers are choosing to playback their music.

Over the last few years or so, Marantz have produced award winning stereo amplifier and CD player combinations that have mixed with the best of them in sonic ability and features. Their 6003 and 6004 ranges were clear winners in the last couple of years’ hi-fi awards and now Marantz have taken the next step in their 6005 range.

Recently, Marantz introduced their PM6005 and CD6005 to follow on from where their excellent PM6004 and CD6004 left off. They have been around for a few months now, and our impressions are that this is the stereo combination to beat. We know that Marantz have a rich heritage in the stereo market and that ethos has clearly been carried through into these new models.

What Hi-Fi? recently reviewed both models, as they’ve won the best budget amp and CD player for the last few years consecutively, to see if the latest version could improve on an already great package. Well, they both won the Awards again this year, so the best just got better. Here are a few highlights from the reviews/Awards:

What Hi-Fi? – PM6005 - Best Stereo amplifier up to £500, Awards 2014.

“If you’re in the market for your first ever hi-fi stereo amplifier, this Marantz should be your first port of call.
Why? Well it’s rather brilliant: costing a budget (in hi-fi terms) £300, this amp comes in a sturdy metal chassis and not only sounds even better than its Award-winning predecessor but now also comes with digital connections.”

“Marantz has come back with all its cards on the table, and the new PM6005 is a straight flush. It’s a more detailed, rhythmic and articulate listen, and the ace up its sleeve is the new built-in DAC. The inclusion of a digital-to-analogue converter shows that Marantz has recognised the changing habits in how people listen to music today: Spotify playlists, ripped CD albums, downloaded tracks, all stored digitally in hard drives, laptops or smart devices. The DAC also supports high-resolution audio files of up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling rates, which means those with higher-than-CD-quality music can play their files through either digital input.”

“At its heart is the smooth and easy-going character that we’ve always liked, but the layers around that are more detailed, agile, and precise. It’s a far more articulate sound than we’ve ever heard from a budget Marantz amplifier.”

“Play Radiohead’s 15 Step on vinyl and the PM6005 marshalls the intricate and complex arrangement into a cohesive, rhythmic performance of tight drum beats, melodious guitars and lulling vocals.
As the song progresses and brings more instruments into the fold, the amp opens up, revealing a wide and spacious soundfield with superb stereo imaging.”

“The White Stripes (on CD and streamed from Spotify) deliver an attitude-laden, fast-paced performance, with the open top end managing to sound smooth without losing any bite.”

Verdict
“There’s plenty to sing about with this Marantz amp. The digital upgrade broadens its appeal to a wider audience, and gives it an edge over its Rotel rival (which remains staunchly analogue).
Add in that USB input, Marantz, and we would have nothing to quibble about.
But it’s that wonderfully lively and detailed sound quality that makes the PM6005 such a fantastic budget stereo amplifier. Go on, let it into your home and play your music – you’ll love it.”

What Hi-Fi? – CD6005 - Best CD player up to £500, Awards 2014.

“The Marantz CD6005 is the best CD player we’ve heard at this price. But so was the CD6004, and the CD6003 before it.
There’s something admirable about a company that just won’t quit, even after it’s fought its way to the top. We’ve lost count of the gongs the Marantz 6000 series has scooped over the years, yet Marantz keeps tweaking.”

“We get started with a spot of piano pounding from Rubén González, and the CD6005 responds with increased subtlety compared with its predecessor. There’s  a greater sense of space, on top of an already-open delivery. As hands make their way across the ivory, it’s more obvious that each key is struck with varying strength.”

“What really struck us throughout our test was this CD player’s musicality. We often found ourselves just enjoying the experience, abandoning our analyses (momentarily, you understand). It’s as if the player takes itself out of the equation, leaving the listener with their music.”

“Read more at This is partly due to the Marantz’s nicely judged presentation that balances refinement, richness and energy really well. It also helps that all the musical elements have been glued together to produce a hugely convincing, coherent sound.”

Verdict
“Marantz has played it a little safe. But you don’t get this far ahead and throw everything out in the name of innovation.
When you’ve nailed this corner of the market, you don’t need to do much else. The best has just been made better. Again.”

Give us a call or visit us at either branch to experience this award winning Marantz stereo combination for yourself.

Sound & Image Menlyn 012 368-1440
Sound & Image Sandton 011 884 5165