Tag Archives: Marantz

Another Piece in the Audio Puzzle: The Marantz CD6006

maratntzCD6006

While being very happy with the sound of my recently purchased stereo system there was an obvious weak link in the chain; It centered on my old and reliable Sony Blu-ray player. There was nothing overtly bad about it and since I was unaware of the difference a good DAC can make I’d have been content to leave things as they were.

However, following a look at various YouTube videos (sadly, very little “real” content on the Marantz CD6006) and researching various reviews of a number of systems I thought I’d “gamble” on the Marantz. It was a logical choice to pair it with the Marantz PM6006 amplifier I had bought. To my mind, I thought it only logical that the Marantz engineers would have built the two units with the idea of joining them in concert as it were (pardon the obvious pun).

So to the question, does a dedicated CD player provide better sound than a Blu-ray player? Well, in the case of my older Sony Blu-ray and the 2016 Marantz CD6006 the answer is an unqualified yes!

It’s quite surprising the difference in quality – but it’s there and you can definitely tell. Many years ago when DVD’s began replacing VHS tapes a skeptical friend came over and asked to see the new technology I had purchased. Basically, he expected to be underwhelmed and ready with a “I knew it was all snake oil”. But, he was genuinely impressed. He could see the improvement himself.

While admittedly less dramatic than the jump from VHS to DVD video quality the audio equivalent is apropos.  You can hear the difference! Now, I am the first to admit that my system is far removed from the crème de la crème of high-end fidelity BUT it certainly qualifies as a solid entry level system to the world of high-fidelity. I am more than satisfied.

whathifi

Highest marks earned from What HI-FI? and a 2016 Award winning product

Head over to What Hi-Fi? for a more technical and detailed review of the CD6006

The first CD baptised in the new system was the 2017 Mono mix that came as part of the 50th Anniversary Sgt. Pepper Deluxe Edition. I always play the Beatles first whenever I am about to break in a new sound system… and it’s always the Beatles (or a John Lennon solo tune) that I like to play as the first song I hear to greet a new year.

The bass and overall audio presence was raised more than a few notches with the improved performance brought in by the CD6006. I followed up the Beatles with Klaatu’s 3:47 E.S.T. 40th Anniversary Edition, The Cure’s Greatest Hits, The Yes Album (remastered), Who’s Next, and Abbey Road. My age places me comfortably in the Classic Rock period and it is that genre of music that most frequently finds its way onto my CD player.

Pepper6

Two ends of the production spectrum – the lovingly (reverently) remixed Sgt. Pepper (2017) and 1989’s The Ventures All-Time Greatest Hits. The Marantz CD6006 serves them both well. 

For fun, I threw on a cheap discount CD just to see if the Marantz could make something of it. I chose for this purpose The Ventures All-Time Greatest Hits (released on CD in 1989).  Even here, I could hear the separation of the instruments and enjoy the straightforward production afforded their 1960s recordings.

My son is purchasing the Fleet Foxes new album,  “Crack-Up” released yesterday so later today I’ll reluctantly turn control of my system over to him for a few hours.

Finally, I should add that I purchased all the components and wires for my setup from Victoria, BC’s venerable Sound Hounds. I have bought all my very best gear from them since the 1980s. Their customer service and product line is first-rate. I recommend them as Vancouver Island’s “go-to” hi-fidelity source.

Thanks as always, Sound Hounds team 🙂

soundhounds

Sound Hounds @ 1532 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1A8 (courtesy of Google Streetview)

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Everything OLD is NEW again – A return to the venerable COMPACT DISC

stereo

Neither expansive nor exhaustive a review I simply wanted to acknowledge a renewed interest in collecting CDs for my listening pleasure. With a resurgence of vinyl and the now mainstream accessibility of digital downloads the poor old Compact Disk seems destined for the historic trash heap. Nonetheless, the CD medium seems perfectly suited for my own needs.

In the 1980s I first caught the audiophile bug and pushed (as far as my limited budget would allow) for a quality music system, the cornerstone of which were my Boston Acoustic A150 floor speakers.

A divorce at the millennium’s turn and many years later the desire for a return to some quality sound prompted me to purchase a pair of Book Shelf Speakers; the speaker size dependent upon and dictated by a smaller room setting.

I settled upon a pair of ELAC B6 Debut Series 6.5″ Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones. To power them I purchased a Marantz PM6006 amplifier. Finally, in lieu of a dedicated CD player I just hooked up my Sony Blue-Ray player circa 2002. I bought a pair of Sony MDR-RF985 Wireless Stereo Headphones. However, I was a bit underwhelmed by them. Back in the day I owned a pair of Koss HV/1’s that I loved and so searching about the net I stumbled upon Grado’s line of headphones and purchased a pair of SR125e’s.

Check out each of these components as there is lots of information on the net and the reviews are generally quite favorable.

Being an old timey classic rock gal my first new CD purchase was the Beatles CD remasters box set in stereo. Wow! This set represents the crown jewel in my growing music collection. The sound quality is phenomenal and the packaging quality of the overall product irreproachable. Some may question my choice of Stereo over Mono since the Beatles’ catalog was initially released in Mono with the Stereo recordings considered a mere after-thought. But for me the versions of the Albums I am most familiar with are the stereo recordings and so I am eminently satisfied with my purchase. I have never heard the Beatles sound as good as they do in this collection.

beatles-box

After the Beatles I began picking up the 2014 Jimmy Page remasters of the Zeppelin studio releases. Audiophile, Ron Beaudry has panned them mercilessly. Ron is a vinyl guy and has a number of fun and informative reviews of youtube. He is definitely worth checking out. However, I am very satisfied with the 2014 remasters and the sound quality is great. Of course, all of this is subjective so you may find yourself strongly disagreeing with me; No worries, for as the old saying goes “your mileage may vary.”

led-zeppelin-albums

The last CD collection I wanted to mention is YES – The Studio Albums 1969-1987 Remastered & Expanded CD BOX SET. This collection arrived at my door today via Amazon and it prompted me to do a review; initially just about the Yes collection, but then I thought it more useful to discuss CD’s in general and a return to collecting music in this format.

yes-box1

The Yes set presents the Rhino remasters from 2003 and I am “very” happy with the sound quality here. The packaging is “okayyyy” but not great. It comes in a nifty little box that looks good (Roger Dean good) but hampers my access to the CD’s. So I keep the box out and displayed for aesthetic purposes but I have removed the CD’s and have them stored for easy access guaranteeing that they’ll be played more; which undeniably is what it’s all about.

Clearly, digital access to music is the most efficient when it comes to muss and fuss. Most of us can get a quick musical fix by logging onto YouTube and hearing essentially anything we want (Bob Dylan being a notable exception). Vinyl is great and the ultimate nostalgic fix for an aging baby boomer. But in all honesty, I’ve been spoiled by the easy access afforded by the digital age. Admittedly, LP’s are one of the greatest OCD experiences you could possibly hope for — cleaning the record’s surface with a lint free brush or cloth —swinging the tonearm over and gently lowering the stylus to your song of choice really can’t be matched by any other medium.

However, CD’s still afford the collector the ability to hold in his or her hands old familiar Albums (albeit in reduced scale) and see Marc Bolan and David Bowie looking eternally young in top hat and Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt. Compact Discs afford the consumer the reward of physical ownership of a property they can actually call their own — and there is something nicely cathartic in all that.

bowie-marc

 

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