Arcam Solo Mini vs Marantz MCR603


New member
Jan 12, 2010
Hi all,

Does anyone have any experience of the Arcam Solo Mini vs Marantz MCR-603?

I know someone selling the Arcam solo ex-demo for the same price as the Marantz.

Which would be most flexible in terms of driving a good set of speakers (maybe even floorstanding B&W 684s). I know Marantz is 2 x 60w (bi-wireable) and Arcam is 2 x 25 w.


Can't really comment on either, but WHFI highlights the Arcam's sonic ability as the best:

"So, as in our 2010 Awards, the Arcam takes top honours for absolute sound quality."

However, if you're looking at a jack-of-all-trades, offering functionality and top sound quality then the Marantz is a better choice.

Chebby and hi-filover can go into detail regarding the Marantz.

Depends what speakers you have. I've owned Arcam amps for more years than I care to remember and they do need easy to drive monitors. So, for instance, if you have Focal, MA, Dali, Mordaunt Short then the Arcam should be fine. Otherwise, the Marantz maybe a better option.


Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
The Arcam is a dust nightmare. (Grids of ventilation holes on top and sides). I had to use one of these to dust it every day to ensure there was no chance of a build-up inside.

The Arcam's 25 watts per channel (probably a few more in reality) are fine with speakers that present an easy load (8 ohms and around 88 - 91 dB sensitivity) but don't expect it to produce 'real' rock concert levels or to fill large rooms with loud volumes.

The M-CR603 has class D amplification and therefore runs very cool. No vents on top or the sides but a couple of small vents on the rear panel that are covered by an 'overhang' of the top panel so less chance of dust ingress (and the overhang hides the unsightly cable connections from view).

I count the M-CR603 as a 50 watts per channel device (40 wpc in bi-wire mode) despite the manufacturers 'blurb' of 60 wpc. However, it has been reported as being capable of driving some very capable speakers with excellent results.

I have owned both the Arcam Solo-Mini and the Marantz M-CR603 (two years apart though) and I can honestly say I wish the M-CR603 (and AirPlay and the iPhone 4) had been around about 4 years ago when I bought the Solo-Mini.

The Marantz is a superb bit of kit and has utterly changed the way I enjoy music. (Although the M-CR603 does allow for completely 'traditional' usage as a great CD/FM/DAB mini-system and you don't have to exploit the digital/AirPlay/streaming/internet radio side of it.)


Well-known member
May 12, 2011
Both are capable, 603 sounds better. I own the 603, have listened to the Mini and the former is more refined. Don't know how Arcam fares with different speakers but 603 sounds great with a variety of speakers of very different sizes and capabilities (see previous discussions on 603).


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