• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

Advice on upcoming purchase

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
Hello people!

I am reaching to a conclusion about buying a set of amplifier + a pair of speakers and i would like some advice.

Currently, I am divided between the following two sets:

1. Marantz PM6005 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2

2. Cambridge Audio CXA60 + B&W 685S2

The price difference is about 40% more for the second set without any extra connectivity apart from one extra optical input for the CXA60 compared to Marantz.

Do you think that price difference is accurately deppicting the difference in sound quality? I have demoed both sets but since they were in different environment and time I am not sure that the second set is 40% better in terms of sound quality. FYI, loudness is not of much interest since neighbours are to be concerned.

*good* Thank you in advance for the help - offcourse!
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
gilles84 said:
Hello people! 

I am reaching to a conclusion about buying a set of amplifier + a pair of speakers and i would like some advice.

Currently, I am divided between the following two sets:

1. Marantz PM6005 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2

2. Cambridge Audio CXA60 + B&W 685S2

The price difference is about 40% more for the second set without any extra connectivity apart from one extra optical input for the CXA60 compared to Marantz.

Do you think that price difference is accurately deppicting the difference in sound quality? I have demoed both sets but since they were in different environment and time I am not sure that the second set is 40% better in terms of sound quality. FYI, loudness is not of much interest since neighbours are to be concerned.

*good* Thank you in advance for the help - offcourse!

 
Sounded the best to you?
Or which is your mind gravitating towards?
There is no correct answer
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
175
50
18,670
Just because one system is 40% more expensive does not mean that it will sound 40% better. But it is only you that can make up your mind based on what you are comfortable to pay.

What you don't want is to be listening to your new system (option 1) six months later thinking/wishing you had gone for option 2. But if option 2 is too much of a stretch, make sure that you are completely happy with option 1, otherwise you will be on the upgrade trail sooner or later. *smile*
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
Andrewjvt said:
gilles84 said:
Hello people!

I am reaching to a conclusion about buying a set of amplifier + a pair of speakers and i would like some advice.

Currently, I am divided between the following two sets:

1. Marantz PM6005 + Monitor Audio Bronze 2

2. Cambridge Audio CXA60 + B&W 685S2

The price difference is about 40% more for the second set without any extra connectivity apart from one extra optical input for the CXA60 compared to Marantz.

Do you think that price difference is accurately deppicting the difference in sound quality? I have demoed both sets but since they were in different environment and time I am not sure that the second set is 40% better in terms of sound quality. FYI, loudness is not of much interest since neighbours are to be concerned.

*good* Thank you in advance for the help - offcourse!
Sounded the best to you? Or which is your mind gravitating towards? There is no correct answer
Trully I can't say which one was better...I can't compare since I heard the sets on different stores, so I cant judge. On the other hand I feel like I am gravitating towards the 'cheaper' set, since it seems a way better value for money without compromising sound....
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
jonathanRD said:
Just because one system is 40% more expensive does not mean that it will sound 40% better. But it is only you that can make up your mind based on what you are comfortable to pay.

What you don't want is to be listening to your new system (option 1) six months later thinking/wishing you had gone for option 2. But if option 2 is too much of a stretch, make sure that you are completely happy with option 1, otherwise you will be on the upgrade trail sooner or later. *smile*
Exactly! I have realised that there is no direct price-quality corelation. More or less all systems may sound good, but it is all about the different sound 'colouring'.

I am wondering if I am going to be fulled maybe about the 'more money the better' for something that might not be way to better. On the other hand, I definitely don't want to have second thoughts that would lead me to the upgrade trailer soon *stop*

I am wondering if someone who has heard both systems would give some feedback to maybe let me think clearer.

Thanks guys!
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
gilles84 said:
jonathanRD said:
Just because one system is 40% more expensive does not mean that it will sound 40% better. But it is only you that can make up your mind based on what you are comfortable to pay.

What you don't want is to be listening to your new system (option 1) six months later thinking/wishing you had gone for option 2. But if option 2 is too much of a stretch, make sure that you are completely happy with option 1, otherwise you will be on the upgrade trail sooner or later. *smile*
Exactly! I have realised that there is no direct price-quality corelation. More or less all systems may sound good, but it is all about the different sound 'colouring'.

I am wondering if I am going to be fulled maybe about the 'more money the better' for something that might not be way to better. On the other hand, I definitely don't want to have second thoughts that would lead me to the upgrade trailer soon *stop*

I am wondering if someone who has heard both systems would give some feedback to maybe let me think clearer.

Thanks guys!
Other peoples opinions are of no use whatsoever, you need to audition differently.

When you compare the 'sound' of the two systems you will hear differences because the rooms are different, this is of course normal. Even changing the seating position in the same room will change the sound, this is all obvious.

I equate this to going to a concert and finding that the band is really terrible. In order to make things better we get up and move to seats elswhere in the auditorium.

Guess what, the 'sound' is different but the band is still terrible.

Learn to listen to the music, not the sound of the hi-fi. How is it being played? Does the bass sound behind the beat or is it driving the piece forward. Do the vocal sound 'real', if they are processed can you separate the voice from the effects?

Just a couple of examples, there are loads of things you can find to listen to in a piece of music, we all listen differently so pick what works for you.

One final example. I was demoing a pre-amp upgrade to a client with active ATCs. Using his pre-amp he played an acoustic guitar intro on a track by Steve Earle. I listened and thought, "sh!t, this is good", I could hear every note and, as an occasional guitar player, I thought it so clear that I could learn to play that.

With some trepidation I played the same thing on the pre-amp I had brought along, in this case my reaction was just plain "sh!t".

Why? One simple reason, I just knew, that as a mediocre amateur guitar player, I could practice for the rest of my life and never, ever, play the intro that well, might as well give up now.
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
Learn to listen to the music, not the sound of the hi-fi. How is it being played? Does the bass sound behind the beat or is it driving the piece forward. Do the vocal sound 'real', if they are processed can you separate the voice from the effects?
Since I could not compare the systems in real time, I cannot say which reproduced the sound in a more realistic way. What I can say is that in both sets I could hear as I would like , all the frequencies in a proper way. Vocal, bass, treble, with proper representation. That said, I would like to ask if any of you out there have a different/contradicting opinion or any other advice to consider. *scratch_one-s_head*
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
gilles84 said:
jonathanRD said:
Just because one system is 40% more expensive does not mean that it will sound 40% better. But it is only you that can make up your mind based on what you are comfortable to pay.

What you don't want is to be listening to your new system (option 1) six months later thinking/wishing you had gone for option 2. But if option 2 is too much of a stretch, make sure that you are completely happy with option 1, otherwise you will be on the upgrade trail sooner or later. *smile*
Exactly! I have realised that there is no direct price-quality corelation. More or less all systems may sound good, but it is all about the different sound 'colouring'.

I am wondering if I am going to be fulled maybe about the 'more money the better' for something that might not be way to better. On the other hand, I definitely don't want to have second thoughts that would lead me to the upgrade trailer soon *stop*

I am wondering if someone who has heard both systems would give some feedback to maybe let me think clearer.

Thanks guys!
Other peoples opinions are of no use whatsoever, you need to audition differently.

When you compare the 'sound' of the two systems you will hear differences because the rooms are different, this is of course normal. Even changing the seating position in the same room will change the sound, this is all obvious.

I equate this to going to a concert and finding that the band is really terrible. In order to make things better we get up and move to seats elswhere in the auditorium.

Guess what, the 'sound' is different but the band is still terrible.

Learn to listen to the music, not the sound of the hi-fi. How is it being played? Does the bass sound behind the beat or is it driving the piece forward. Do the vocal sound 'real', if they are processed can you separate the voice from the effects?

Just a couple of examples, there are loads of things you can find to listen to in a piece of music, we all listen differently so pick what works for you.

One final example. I was demoing a pre-amp upgrade to a client with active ATCs. Using his pre-amp he played an acoustic guitar intro on a track by Steve Earle. I listened and thought, "sh!t, this is good", I could hear every note and, as an occasional guitar player, I thought it so clear that I could learn to play that.

With some trepidation I played the same thing on the pre-amp I had brought along, in this case my reaction was just plain "sh!t".

Why? One simple reason, I just knew, that as a mediocre amateur guitar player, I could practice for the rest of my life and never, ever, play the intro that well, might as well give up now.
+1
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
I appreciate that english may not be your first language but you are slightly missing the point.

My story about the guitar intro was meant to illustrate this point, on the first system the playing was perfect, the technique spot on and was rendered in absolut clarity. I could easily tell what was being played and was quite sure that I could, with practice, learn to play it. It was near perfect hi-fi.

The second system whilst still absolutely clear and precise, made it quite obvious that the feel, the expression of the playing, was so far beyond my capabilities that my thought that I might learn to play it was absolutely laughable.

Note. Sorry about drifting away from you original question but such questions are very difficult. Even assuming you can find someone who knows both setups, not that easy, you are still only going to get an opinion. There is absolutely no guarantee that these views will coincide with your own.

The above is just an attempt to explain how it is possible to listen to systems in different situations and make sense of the differences. Believe it or not you will adapt, become accustomed to the sound of a system but it's musical capabilities will not change. It is clear what is more important.
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
Thanks guys! I totally understood from the beginning the point that Dave was trying to make...

My concern is that due to short time demos in stores or not proper setup of the sellers, I might missed something obvious that a more experienced ear might have heard for this two systems. Maybe a member with more experience in the HiFi world might have found a obvious drawback on any of the two that I should be aware of, so maybe before deciding trying to find that out.

To elaborate, initially I was thinking about NAD 326BEE but when I demoed that with BW 685 I realised that the sound was kind of 'choked', maybe old school in a sence and that as you describe, I couldn't for instance hear trompet sounds as brightly as with the Cambridge CXA60. When I demoed the marantz pm60005 and the monitor audio bronze 2 I also connected the bronze 5 and I realized that vocals were better separated in the bronze 2 than the bronze 5 which was actually covering the sound of singer with too loud bass.*unknw*

In a nutshell, since I am not that experienced in the terms you perfectly described with the guitar player parallelism, a user who actually is, could probably let me know about potentially well known flaws of any of the two systems. Or otherwise, do you think that HiFi performance of systems in that low end of set 1 is actually poor? If you had heard the guitar player through the set 1, would you feel like "I am going home to play that song...I heard that with proper fidelity to have it in my head?"

Cheers!

*good*
 

NJB

New member
Nov 28, 2008
75
0
0
It is a tough decision to make. Some of it will come down to your choice of music, and then your personal preferences in terms of whether you had particular likes/hates. As an example, I hate flabby bass where it turns into some kind of low frequency mush instead of that crisp, tight, punch.

No matter what you choose, it will sound different in your room, and you will have to take time to get the layout of the speakers sorted. Then, after a few months, you will able to write a long piece on what you love and hate about your system. That is all true whether you spend a little, or a lot.

My best advice is to try to hear the systems again, take a favourite cd or two, and see which combination is hitting the right spot for you. My experience would suggest that you ignore the 40% rule for performance improvements. If one is 10% better, then not getting it will just eat you up and make you regret not buying it, effectively taking your pleasure away.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
gilles84 said:
Thanks guys! I totally understood from the beginning the point that Dave was trying to make...

My concern is that due to short time demos in stores or not proper setup of the sellers, I might missed something obvious that a more experienced ear might have heard for this two systems. Maybe a member with more experience in the HiFi world might have found a obvious drawback on any of the two that I should be aware of, so maybe before deciding trying to find that out.

To elaborate, initially I was thinking about NAD 326BEE but when I demoed that with BW 685 I realised that the sound was kind of 'choked', maybe old school in a sence and that as you describe, I couldn't for instance hear trompet sounds as brightly as with the Cambridge CXA60. When I demoed the marantz pm60005 and the monitor audio bronze 2 I also connected the bronze 5 and I realized that vocals were better separated in the bronze 2 than the bronze 5 which was actually covering the sound of singer with too loud bass.*unknw*

In a nutshell, since I am not that experienced in the terms you perfectly described with the guitar player parallelism, a user who actually is, could probably let me know about potentially well known flaws of any of the two systems. Or otherwise, do you think that HiFi performance of systems in that low end of set 1 is actually poor? If you had heard the guitar player through the set 1, would you feel like "I am going home to play that song...I heard that with proper fidelity to have it in my head?"

Cheers!

*good*
Quick demos are like that
What id recommend is a home demo iver a longer period and try the different speakers and see once your used to the sound the one you prefer.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
davedotco said:
I appreciate that english may not be your first language but you are slightly missing the point.

My story about the guitar intro was meant to illustrate this point, on the first system the playing was perfect, the technique spot on and was rendered in absolut clarity. I could easily tell what was being played and was quite sure that I could, with practice, learn to play it. It was near perfect hi-fi.

The second system whilst still absolutely clear and precise, made it quite obvious that the feel, the expression of the playing, was so far beyond my capabilities that my thought that I might learn to play it was absolutely laughable.

Note. Sorry about drifting away from you original question but such questions are very difficult. Even assuming you can find someone who knows both setups, not that easy, you are still only going to get an opinion. There is absolutely no guarantee that these views will coincide with your own.

The above is just an attempt to explain how it is possible to listen to systems in different situations and make sense of the differences. Believe it or not you will adapt, become accustomed to the sound of a system but it's musical capabilities will not change. It is clear what is more important.
So both systems sounded good and clear but the 2nd one showed off much than just the notes and sound but provided insight into the players technique and emotion

This is what makes good hifi so great
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
So....No one has a clear objection on the set 1. (marantz pm6005 + monitor audio bronze 2) and we all think that extensive demo is the only way to find out which set might be better for my ears.

Thank you all for your replies! I hope that if I go with option 1 I won't regret....*biggrin*
 

TomSawyer

New member
Apr 17, 2016
3
0
0
Hi Gilles,

I have a couple of questions that I can't see answered in the thread: what source(s) are you going to use and is there a reason that you're not considering each amp with the other speakers, for example the Marantz with the B&Ws?
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
TomSawyer said:
Hi Gilles,

I have a couple of questions that I can't see answered in the thread: what source(s) are you going to use and is there a reason that you're not considering each amp with the other speakers, for example the Marantz with the B&Ws?
Nice catch *biggrin*
The input would be MacBook/Imac over optical to amp, Chromecast Audio over WiFi to amp, TV through optical to amp and later...maybe a turntable.
I have also thought the set of Marantz PM6005 with B&W but then my concern is that since the BW are less sensitive than the Bronze 2, the combination with the 45W of Marantz could be insufficient. Or if I go with that combination the price difference would not be that big to go for the CXA60 for extra 400$ and gain the +15W, better DAC and some extra connectivity.

Moreover, I have not heard the mixed combinations. Since I have read that CXA60 needs carefull pairing, it may be too risky...
Am I correct?
 

TomSawyer

New member
Apr 17, 2016
3
0
0
My advice would be to forget the specification sheets for anything other than crude shortlisting - got to decide based on your taste. The 685s get some great reviews, as do the Bronzes, but one would expect a £500 5-star speaker should outperform a £200 5-star speaker. I stress, that's not to say it will, but is definitely worthy of a listen.

The other thing I'd say, not a big deal, is that if you have turntable aspirations, the Marantz has a pretty good phono stage built in, whereas it would be an extra cost and another box on the Cambridge.
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
TomSawyer said:
My advice would be to forget the specification sheets for anything other than crude shortlisting - got to decide based on your taste. The 685s get some great reviews, as do the Bronzes, but one would expect a £500 5-star speaker should outperform a £200 5-star speaker. I stress, that's not to say it will, but is definitely worthy of a listen.

The other thing I'd say, not a big deal, is that if you have turntable aspirations, the Marantz has a pretty good phono stage built in, whereas it would be an extra cost and another box on the Cambridge.
Pretty good point though... The point you made for the Marantz actually tends to convince me that the amplifier selection is done.Let's say I am choosing the Marantz and then the dillema comes to which speakers. The price difference for those two set of speakers in my area is about 200euros±160GBP.The difference in the price range and the point you made, that we are talking about differentcategories, is actually what makes me think twice. Otherwise, I would have bought already the MA Bronze 2.I will try to listen again to BW to decide provided that they can cooperate. Do you think that the BW will pair properly with Marantz PM6005?
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
0
0
gilles84 said:
TomSawyer said:
My advice would be to forget the specification sheets for anything other than crude shortlisting - got to decide based on your taste. The 685s get some great reviews, as do the Bronzes, but one would expect a £500 5-star speaker should outperform a £200 5-star speaker. I stress, that's not to say it will, but is definitely worthy of a listen.

The other thing I'd say, not a big deal, is that if you have turntable aspirations, the Marantz has a pretty good phono stage built in, whereas it would be an extra cost and another box on the Cambridge.
Pretty good point though... The point you made for the Marantz actually tends to convince me that the amplifier selection is done. Let's say I am choosing the Marantz and then the dillema comes to which speakers. The price difference for those two set of speakers in my area is about 200euros±160GBP. The difference in the price range and the point you made, that we are talking about different categories, is actually what makes me think twice. Otherwise, I would have bought already the MA Bronze 2. I will try to listen again to BW to decide provided that they can cooperate. Do you think that the BW will pair properly with Marantz PM6005?
I would not mix Marantz with B&W, if you want B&W try Rotel amps. Personally I would avoid budget B&Ws. Have not heard the MAs.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
360
136
19,070
Hi. If you can, also try the B&W with Rotel RA 11 or 12, and, a must, Arcam A19. As for the Marantz, Dali Zensor 3 are amazing partners for it (haven't heard those MA's). Also, give Marantz PM8005 a listen (or 7005 if you need the digital connectivity). Another speaker to consider, if it fits budget, is Focal Aria 906.

Also consider Abrahamsen amps.
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
BigH said:
gilles84 said:
TomSawyer said:
My advice would be to forget the specification sheets for anything other than crude shortlisting - got to decide based on your taste. The 685s get some great reviews, as do the Bronzes, but one would expect a £500 5-star speaker should outperform a £200 5-star speaker. I stress, that's not to say it will, but is definitely worthy of a listen.

The other thing I'd say, not a big deal, is that if you have turntable aspirations, the Marantz has a pretty good phono stage built in, whereas it would be an extra cost and another box on the Cambridge.
Pretty good point though... The point you made for the Marantz actually tends to convince me that the amplifier selection is done. Let's say I am choosing the Marantz and then the dillema comes to which speakers. The price difference for those two set of speakers in my area is about 200euros±160GBP. The difference in the price range and the point you made, that we are talking about different categories, is actually what makes me think twice. Otherwise, I would have bought already the MA Bronze 2. I will try to listen again to BW to decide provided that they can cooperate. Do you think that the BW will pair properly with Marantz PM6005?
I would not mix Marantz with B&W, if you want B&W try Rotel amps. Personally I would avoid budget B&Ws. Have not heard the MAs.
*biggrin* More confusion coming....
Why mixing with a Rotel would be better since noone says better stuff for Rotel than Marantz at the same price? Rotel RA-11 seems weaker and worse than PM6005.....From reviews etc....

Why not mixing B&W with Marantz? By budget do you still mean the 685 S2?
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
0
0
gilles84 said:
BigH said:
gilles84 said:
TomSawyer said:
My advice would be to forget the specification sheets for anything other than crude shortlisting - got to decide based on your taste. The 685s get some great reviews, as do the Bronzes, but one would expect a £500 5-star speaker should outperform a £200 5-star speaker. I stress, that's not to say it will, but is definitely worthy of a listen.

The other thing I'd say, not a big deal, is that if you have turntable aspirations, the Marantz has a pretty good phono stage built in, whereas it would be an extra cost and another box on the Cambridge.
Pretty good point though... The point you made for the Marantz actually tends to convince me that the amplifier selection is done. Let's say I am choosing the Marantz and then the dillema comes to which speakers. The price difference for those two set of speakers in my area is about 200euros±160GBP. The difference in the price range and the point you made, that we are talking about different categories, is actually what makes me think twice. Otherwise, I would have bought already the MA Bronze 2. I will try to listen again to BW to decide provided that they can cooperate. Do you think that the BW will pair properly with Marantz PM6005?
I would not mix Marantz with B&W, if you want B&W try Rotel amps. Personally I would avoid budget B&Ws. Have not heard the MAs.
*biggrin* More confusion coming....Why mixing with a Rotel would be better since noone says better stuff for Rotel than Marantz at the same price? Rotel RA-11 seems weaker and worse than PM6005.....From reviews etc....

Why not mixing B&W with Marantz? By budget do you still mean the 685 S2?
B&W and Rotel are part of same company, B&W use Rotel amps to develop their speakers. Marantz tend to be on the warm side, mixing 2 warms = too warm. By buget I mean undef £1k. Not keen on B&W budget speakers the bass sounds wrong to me, too full, too slow, they are not neatral sounding speakers but depends what you want. I would not go too much on reviews but the RA 10 was a WHF award winner.
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
BigH said:
B&W and Rotel are part of same company, B&W use Rotel amps to develop their speakers. Marantz tend to be on the warm side, mixing 2 warms = too warm. By buget I mean undef £1k. Not keen on B&W budget speakers the bass sounds wrong to me, too full, too slow, they are not neatral sounding speakers but depends what you want. I would not go too much on reviews but the RA 10 was a WHF award winner.
I was thinking of the Rotel RA-11 actually since I need digital inputs.

You may be correct for the BW685 actually since I was thinking the same for the bass. I was not that impressed too...No matter what the reviews say.

I didnt know about the same company part for Rotel and BW. The problem is that again in the local market no seller has both BW and Rotel to pair and demo them.

More confusion coming.... *biggrin*
 

gilles84

New member
Apr 16, 2016
1
0
0
Seconds thoughts on the purchase.....

I have been reading around the topics and I realise that there is a great appreciation for Dali Zensor 3. I have demoed those too and I think that there are nice speakers. Unfortunately, I could not compare them to Monitor Bronze 2.

Does anyone have an opinion on comparing those two? They have exactly the same price for my local market and I am thinking of pairing them to a Marantz pm6005. The local dealer of Dali, offers a combo set with NAD D3020. I think that this is too modern for my taste and too weak for the speakers.

Any ideas? Since I want a brighter sound and less bass should I go for Monitor Audio?

Thanks again!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS