marantz for b & w 685?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
hii its the first time im writing on this forum i havent been into hi-fi since years but while i was in college i owned an amp called cosmic (wonder if any of u heard of them), it was just fantastic, speakers from cosmic as well they were one of the only companies from india producing amplifiers.

anyway now im looking for a new system altogether mainly for audio, but being on a tight budget i would like ur opinion for an amp/receiver for a pair of b & w book shelf 685. i came across 3 choices -

1) the marantz receiver sr4021 - im getting this for 100 usdollars a one year used one obviously.

2) the marantz mcr503 - 460 us dollars

3) the marantz pm6004 - i was told by the dealer it is soon going to be released for 400 usd but i dont see this price online anywhere any idea?

being on a budget with a big ambition of owning a great quality sound system if i buy just an amp i would have to buy the cd player with tuner as well for which im constrained to spending a lot for. would the mcr503 be great for th 685's? or is it really worth waiting and investing in a 6004? what would be your long term plan to building a system? will the 4021 be good enough for the 685? i am going to consider adding more speakers and a sub later on as well.

would be great to hear from you.

thanks a lot!

Big Chris

New member
Apr 3, 2008
If music is your main priority, I'd disregard the A/V receiver. If movies/TV are an important factor then by all means listen to the A/V amp, but be aware it will have limitations in stereo reproduction.


Well-known member
Hi grey, and welcome to the madness! :wave:

Tricky here in Britain with USD prices, but a 503 can handle a sub and plays CDs (unlike the others). A 603 adds streaming if you are attracted by digitally stored music. The AV amp is a cheap stopgap only, tbh.

There are dozens of threads here about matching speakers to the 503/603, but I'm not sure what you can buy or your local prices. The B&Ws are super, however.


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
Many people seem to rate the Marantz/B&W combination but I'd personally steer clear of it, having disliked it on the numerous occasions when I've heard it. I generally don't feel that Marantz amps grip B&Ws tightly enough and would suggest you consider a NAD or Rotel amp instead.

I had a NAD C325BEE with 685s here on loan for a week and it was a fantastic combination. Musical with loads of depth and superb mid-range performance. I'd strongly recommend trying the current C326BEE with the B&Ws. The other amp you should audition with them is the Rotel RA-04SE - another great amp and it has excellent synergy with B&W speakers. My choice would be a NAD though.


Fully agree with MP's comments

Marantz and B&W are good on their own but not as a system; NAD & Rotel are better suited to the B&W 685's; they control the speakers better and have a much better overall grip on their soundstage

The B&W's love to be driven hard, the NAD and Rotel amps allow for this a lot easier than the Marantz amps IMO


New member
Jun 8, 2007
Do not agree..........I heard the PM6003/B&W 685 and RA-04SE/B&W 685 combinations and the first combination is much better. The marantz sounded more powerful to me and definitely more musical. The Rotel sounded very hard on the ears, treble was harsh sounding. I think the PM6004 will sound even better.


thanks a lot for your advice my new friends :clap:

now i am confused but i have some sort of direction at the same time. matthew im asking around for your recommendation and i am getting strong responses for the combo of the nad 326 and the b&w 685. however i want to know if i am able to add a sub to it later on as i add 2 more speakers in the future. can i do that?

cypher i was also recommended the pm6004 so i will def try that out.

however i still havent been able to listen to the kef q300s which are soo much competition for the 685's. not surprisingly these out of stock and dont even have a demo for it at the moment. i hope to try them sometime.

what about the marantz 603 player with the b&w 685's have anybody tried them? or even the kefs?

have a great week ahead!

Mr. Iceman

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2008
grey said:
what about the marantz 603 player with the b&w 685's have anybody tried them? or even the kefs?

I've tried several of my own speakers with M-CR603 since I got it in Feb. I find 685 to have a forward, in-yer-face treble with 603 which I personally don't like. Mids are very good and the lows excellent and the latter can be controlled by adding/removing the supplied bungs to suit your room/listening preference. Trimming the highs on 603 by a couple of dB helps.

On the other extreme is my 20 y/o Celestion SL6Si which in comparison has a beautiful, holographic soundstage but rather subdued/veiled treble. They are also fairly inefficient and need to be driven hard but surprisingly the Marantz does a remarkable job with them. The end result is rather rewarding.

I also tried Diamond 9.1 Anniversary which have the best sounding treble of the 3 but overall don't quite cut the mustard and are better suited for something like Denon DM-37/38.

I find the Celestions most pleasing to my ear, and my lounge (8x10x3.5m) is quite bright-sounding.

Purely my observations and you should definitely go out and listen.


The B&W 685's work very well indeed; however having owned those and the Monitor Audio RX2's; I'd personally go for the latter every day

Thje M/A RX1's and RX2's are superb speakers and overall have a better, more musical and dynamic soundstage in comparison to the 685's


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