Question Amplifier with more precise volume control than Marantz PM6006

Plekuz

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May 2, 2021
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Hi,

I have got a Marantz PM6006 hooked up to my Audio Technica LP5 turntable and via an optical cable to my TV. The speakers are Dali Zensor 3. Generally I am very happy with the setup and love the sound coming from my Marantz.

However, a big gripe is the volume control through the remote and the dial itself. It is terribly imprecise. It goes from too soft to too loud with one short press or sometimes the dial moves a little and the volume does not change at all.

This has been an annoyance from the start. My question: does anyone know a trick to solve this or could recommend a more or less similar sounding amplifier in the let's say 500 to 1200 price range with a volume control that is way more precise? Reviews never mention this, which I understand.

Thanks!
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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To cure the 'all or nothing' volume control issue, others have attenuated their input signals (which allows the volume control to be used further round, in its more useable region).
But that's only because they have excessively high output sources. If the problem is the same on all of your sources, there must be another cause.
You're the first to mention the problem on that model.
If you could check out another 6006 somewhere like Richer Sounds, you could see if that's the way it is - or whether yours is faulty (which I doubt).
 
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Plekuz

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May 2, 2021
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Thank you, but it is not going from inaudible to ear deafening loud. It is more like it skips two or three levels of volume control between each press on the remote and then when I try to turn the dial on the amp to one of the skipped levels it seems not to respond immediately to every minor adjustment.

I highly doubt the amp is faulty, just would like to know if there are amps where you could set the volume easier or more precise. With a display showing where it is at and/or being able to punch in the number you want the volume to be at.
 

DougK

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How have you connected the LP5 to the Marantz? Are you using the LP5's phono stage to a line in on the amp or is it connected to the phono stage on the Marantz with the LP5 phono stage disabled?
 
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insider9

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Thank you, but it is not going from inaudible to ear deafening loud. It is more like it skips two or three levels of volume control between each press on the remote and then when I try to turn the dial on the amp to one of the skipped levels it seems not to respond immediately to every minor adjustment.

I highly doubt the amp is faulty, just would like to know if there are amps where you could set the volume easier or more precise. With a display showing where it is at and/or being able to punch in the number you want the volume to be at.
Yes, there are many amps that can do what you want. Whether it's mechanical, analogue or digital (all examples below). You just happen to have one that's no good at it by design.

Some deal with it by using mechanical relays like Densen with their 200 steps, others allow attenuating sensitivity of inputs (Tucana 2), then some vintage amps like my Sony have -20dB switch with will give you more fine tuning. And there's digital control ones like newer Primare amps or Esoteric.
 
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DougK

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And how much are these amps, Insider? :) Rather a lot more than £400 methinks. The Marantz does have a ridiculously sensitive volume pot, which can be cured relatively cheaply, but I still think there is an issue with his amp which is probably down to connections used... or it's faulty.
 

DCarmi

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Nov 15, 2019
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I too have a PM6006 and I also agree that the remote control is a bit to generous with its volume increments. That said, I tend to go old-stylee and get off my posterior and use the rotary job. Harsh but cheaper than a replacement amp.
 
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insider9

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And how much are these amps, Insider? :) Rather a lot more than £400 methinks. The Marantz does have a ridiculously sensitive volume pot, which can be cured relatively cheaply, but I still think there is an issue with his amp which is probably down to connections used... or it's faulty.
Haha 😀 The examples I've used aren't cheap that's true. And my bias towards entry level modern Marantz amp is probably showing. But if you suspect it's an issue then I'd go with your instinct.

Can I also offer a temporary solution to OP. It's unlikely that it's too loud or too quiet in a scenario you mention. But I get that neither of these are the volume levels you want. As we can see there's nothing in short term you can do about it other than controlling your reaction.

So for the time being I propose if you feel like you want to turn it up. Press the button let it be loud as the amp dictates and leave it. Listen at this level and voila your ears will eventually get used to it. Works the other way too. Do it a few times and you'll notice that perhaps it isn't as bad as you thought. But if it still bothers change the amp. It's not that good anyways 😜
 
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Plekuz

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May 2, 2021
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I too have a PM6006 and I also agree that the remote control is a bit to generous with its volume increments. That said, I tend to go old-stylee and get off my posterior and use the rotary job. Harsh but cheaper than a replacement amp.
Haha, yeah my current pattern is pressing the volume up and down buttons on the remote furiously a couple of times, get miffed because it is not doing what I want and then walk over to the amp and have a smaller battle with the volume dial.

So for the time being I propose if you feel like you want to turn it up. Press the button let it be loud as the amp dictates and leave it. Listen at this level and voila your ears will eventually get used to it.
Lol, hope my neighbors agree as well with that solution. Nah, it is never THAT loud.
But if it still bothers change the amp. It's not that good anyways 😜
My hearing is not very good either, so that compensates a lot :grinning:

How have you connected the LP5 to the Marantz? Are you using the LP5's phono stage to a line in on the amp or is it connected to the phono stage on the Marantz with the LP5 phono stage disabled?
Connected to the phono stage on the Marantz with the LP5 phono stage disabled.
 
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DougK

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I'm stumped. I have previously owned a PM6004 and whilst it went from quiet to loud too quickly for my liking it never had the issues you are referring to using the remote. I just got round the volume issue by adding passive attenuators to the CD input... the turntable input never required any attenuation.

Do you know anyone who has the same amp so you can compare?

Failing no issues with the amp I'll have to go with Insider... get another amp
 

Plekuz

Active member
May 2, 2021
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I'm stumped. I have previously owned a PM6004 and whilst it went from quiet to loud too quickly for my liking it never had the issues you are referring to using the remote. I just got round the volume issue by adding passive attenuators to the CD input... the turntable input never required any attenuation.
Good to hear, maybe I am a nitpicker and what you said about "quiet to loud too quickly" is bothering me more.
Do you know anyone who has the same amp so you can compare?
Sadly not.
Failing no issues with the amp I'll have to go with Insider... get another amp
Which in a nice roundabout way brings me back to part of my original question: which amps in the price range given? Because the amps Insider9 mentions are all very very expensive and I do not think I will win the lottery any time soon.
 

iMark

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Have you thought of getting a universal remote?
We bought a Logitech Touch years ago and later added a Logitech Hub.

We now have Logitech apps on 2 iPhones and an iPad. All of our remotes, except the one for the Apple TV, are in a box in the attic. I wouldn't be able to tell you if the remote for our Yamaha RN-602 is any good.
 
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Plekuz

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Have you thought of getting a universal remote?
That is a nice idea. The Marantz PM6006 is not network enabled, but an "old fashioned" universal remote might be working better than the one I got with the Marantz.

Or get a network enabled amp and use the app for it! You got me thinking in a direction I had not thought of before. I have been looking into an amp with streaming capabilities which would make using Spotify a bit easier (I have a Chromecast audio connected to it at the moment), but up until now never thought it might solve the volume issues as well.

Talking about swinging my original question in a whole other direction. The quest for an amp with volume control through an app begins ...
 

DougK

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Marantz and Denon are definitely not alone with their all or nothing volume pots, many brands have the same issue. I'm not experienced enough to offer any advice on other manufacturers products at this price point. If you are unhappy with the amp then I will need to let others advise you.

However. If you are happy with the overall sound presentation then I would take the cheaper option and employ some attenuation to the signal from the turntable, (not sure if this is possible or advisable though - others will have more knowledge here), and maybe the connect the TV to the amp via analogue phono leads which could be attenuated too. This would wrestle some volume control back to you as the user.

The attenuators I have previously used are Rothwell, they're not cheap at £38 pair, but from experience they are the best on the market. Maybe -10dB for the TT and -20dB for the TV.
 
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Marantz and Denon are definitely not alone with their all or nothing volume pots, many brands have the same issue. I'm not experienced enough to offer any advice on other manufacturers products at this price point. If you are unhappy with the amp then I will need to let others advise you.

However. If you are happy with the overall sound presentation then I would take the cheaper option and employ some attenuation to the signal from the turntable, (not sure if this is possible or advisable though - others will have more knowledge here), and maybe the connect the TV to the amp via analogue phono leads which could be attenuated too. This would wrestle some volume control back to you as the user.

The attenuators I have previously used are Rothwell, they're not cheap at £38 pair, but from experience they are the best on the market. Maybe -10dB for the TT and -20dB for the TV.
attenuators will work with any line level input, they could be the answer
 
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DCarmi

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I'm stumped. I have previously owned a PM6004 and whilst it went from quiet to loud too quickly for my liking it never had the issues you are referring to using the remote. I just got round the volume issue by adding passive attenuators to the CD input... the turntable input never required any attenuation.
From my perspective it is not a big issue and only a minor irritant when listening at fairly low volume and the really only after changing source or disk. If I switch to a "louder" source, sometimes you want to turn it down a smidge. I find the PM6006 idea of a smidge a little different to mine. As I say, only a problem if I am being considerate to others.
 
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iMark

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I can't compare the sound of the PM6006 to our Yamaha RN-602. But from a convenience perspective I can certainly recommend a network receiver. The Yamaha RN-803D should be even better than ours.

Spotify Connect works extremely well with our RN-602. I can't wait to get CD quality streaming from Spotify.

To come back to universal remotes. I can certainly recommend a Logitech one with the possibility to program activities. It's very easy to be able to switch from say phono to TV. My other half loves the universal remote too, especially getting rid of all the clutter.
With activities defined switching is incredibly easy. Example. When I want to listen to the record player I start the activity "Phono". The amp switches on and switches to the Phono input. If I later want to watch TV I choose the activity "TV" on the remote. The TV switches on, selects digital TV, the amp switches to Optical 1. Etc, etc.
You don't need a networked amp to use a universal remote. With our Yamaha the volume adjustment through the Logitech remote is extremely smooth. The Yamaha also has the option to define the gain per input. I only changed the setting for the Phono input to make the record player a bit more in line with other inputs.
 
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DCarmi

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Nov 15, 2019
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I should add that I don't have a problem with the rotary dial on my PM6006. I note that the Dali used by OP speakers are 6 ohm whereas my speakers are 8 ohm. Would this make much of a difference to volume sensitivity?
 

Plekuz

Active member
May 2, 2021
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attenuators will work with any line level input, they could be the answer
I see there are attenuators for optical cables, since my TV is connected via one to the amp. However: placing an attenuator between my turntable and the phone stage of the amp? The signal is pretty weak by itself. I suspect a lot of negative influence to the signal if an attenuator was in there. Having one line with an attenuator and another without will probably mean a big difference in volume when switching between sources. It is the cheapest solution, but I am not to sure it will not introduce other unwanted side effects.

I can't compare the sound of the PM6006 to our Yamaha RN-602. But from a convenience perspective I can certainly recommend a network receiver. The Yamaha RN-803D should be even better than ours.
Thanks, will have a look at the Yamaha you mentioned. I see Marantz has the PM7000N with network capabilities so that might be something to consider as well. Luckily I have a lot of time to find out which one to choose, because most amps are sold out everywhere over here. Probably due to the chip shortage I am guessing.
 

insider9

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The money you'll spend on attenuators considering you're not only looking for analogue but also digital ones would be far better spend upgrading your amp to something that matches your needs.

But I would try to have a an open mind about the situation. You don't want to be judging potential new amps by whether volume jumps when you press the button on the remote. As ultimately you may end up as someone I know who once said to me "if I set it at 1 it's perfect for listening at night but at 2 is way too loud. I wish there was 1 and 3/4".

I hope I'm getting my point across here. Don't make what's not an issue into issue as you may end up fixating on it and not really enjoying music (or life in general). Lots of perspective required in this hobby.
 
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Plekuz

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May 2, 2021
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The money you'll spend on attenuators considering you're not only looking for analogue but also digital ones would be far better spend upgrading your amp to something that matches your needs.
I think you are right.
But I would try to have a an open mind about the situation. You don't want to be judging potential new amps by whether volume jumps when you press the button on the remote.
I would not do that no. First and foremost the amp must sound right, second it must have the options I am looking for and somewhere in the end it would be welcome to have a better volume control.
As ultimately you may end up as someone I know who once said to me "if I set it at 1 it's perfect for listening at night but at 2 is way too loud. I wish there was 1 and 3/4".
Wait, do we know each other? Nah, I would never be THAT big of a nitpicker.
I hope I'm getting my point across here. Don't make what's not an issue into issue as you may end up fixating on it and not really enjoying music (or life in general). Lots of perspective required in this hobby.
Point taken, thanks.
 
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