Marantz MCR630 vs Arcam Neo

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If the price is the same, what system gives a better sound?

1. Marantz mcr-603 + Kef 300

2. Arcam Solo Neo + Mission Mx1 or Q.Acoustics 2020

After read a lot of reviews and have some advised opinions of some gentle persons, I know the opinion of minus points in Marantz "the overclinical sound" (WHF) and the Arcam "the not controled end bass".(Classical Magazine), the slow remote control (WHF) and "the UI could be more communicative, when asked to play media beyond its capabilities" (HFC)

I' m really confused about the correct choice.

If you may help, thanks a lot :)
 

Andrew Everard

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Assuming you mean the M-CR603, I wasn't aware we'd said it had an overly clinical sound or a slow remote control. Certainly neither of those are consistent with my own experience of the product.
 

chebby

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Not even a fair comparison at around £450 (typical price for the M-CR603) and £1350 (Arcam Solo-Neo).

A fairer comparison might be with the Arcam Solo-Mini that can be found for £599 (Audio-T) and £549 (Richer Sounds).
 
A

Anonymous

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Andrew Everard:Assuming you mean the M-CR603, I wasn't aware we'd said it had an overly clinical sound or a slow remote control. Certainly neither of those are consistent with my own experience of the product.

Thanks a lot!

I supose the 603 is the same power amplifier section of 502... and i read the review about 502 in WHF.

Excuse me if I'm wrong. But Andrew, the sound difference between marantz and arcam is very great?

Thanks again :)
 
A

Anonymous

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chebby:Not even a fair comparison at around £450 (typical price for the M-CR603) and £1350 (Arcam Solo-Neo).
A fairer comparison might be with the Arcam Solo-Mini that can be found for £599 (Audio-T) and £549 (Richer Sounds). I

I wrote:

If the price is the same, what system gives a better sound?

Thanks again.
 
A

Anonymous

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I wrote:

If the price is the same, what system gives a better sound?

I may clarify the amount of the each system:

1. Marantz mcr-603 + Kef 300 = 1107 ?

2. Arcam Solo Neo + Q.Acoustics 2020 = 1180?

thanks again
 
A

Anonymous

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I've demo'd both but with better speakers

They both deserve better speakers IMO and both are capable of driving decent speakers as well. Using budget speakers will let the sound quality down IMO

I demo'd both with the Monitor Audio RX2's, GS10's and the B&W CM5's

Both sounded superb but the Marantz had the more overall detailed sound and punchier bass IMO. The Arcam Solo Neo is superb but the Marantz is also easier to use as well I feel...

The added AirPlay for iTunes works superbly

For the price; the Marantz IMO is unbeatable. I do think that it holds its own with the Arcam so both should be demo'd side by side and with good speakers to get a better idea of their capabilities
 
A

Anonymous

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bitaite said:
If the price is the same, what system gives a better sound?
If I may comment on the original question...

I've heard both, but I haven't listened intently to the Marantz. I have seen the insides of this design though, and the Solo Neo. The Marantz has a fair bit of tech but the Arcam has the solid analogue audio electronics - linear amps, toroidal power supply, British engineer tuned sound. The Marantz IIRC has Class D amps and a switched-mode power supply, it does the job but I wouldn't compare that design favourably with separates. The Neo on the other hand holds its own and even (for me) beats certain budget separates quite easily.

Arguably the BridgeCo network module with Airplay support in the Marantz has more features than the Frontier Venice 6.2 module in the Arcam, and the Marantz no doubt has a better display but going on sound quality I'd pick the Solo Neo. Another option would be a laptop and DAC with the Arcam Solo Mini.
 
A

Anonymous

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OK, that came across wrong.

Simply looking at the engineering, I am 100% confident that Arcam's linear class AB amplification sounds better than the Class D solution in the Marantz. Class D is employed for efficiency, to reduce heat and heatsinking requirements. It sounds worse by design - adding switching artefacts to the audio which then add distortion and noise. I am yet to hear a truly good sounding Class D amp.
 

manicm

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Hifi test monkey said:
OK, that came across wrong.

Simply looking at the engineering, I am 100% confident that Arcam's linear class AB amplification sounds better than the Class D solution in the Marantz. Class D is employed for efficiency, to reduce heat and heatsinking requirements. It sounds worse by design - adding switching artefacts to the audio which then add distortion and noise. I am yet to hear a truly good sounding Class D amp.
So called Class D amps sound wildly different from what I've gleaned. So I wouldn't judge an amp on its topology as such. Also, look what NAD did - if I'm correct they have the most expensive and advanced 'Class D' amp to date.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Hifi test monkey said:
OK, that came across wrong.

Simply looking at the engineering, I am 100% confident that Arcam's linear class AB amplification sounds better than the Class D solution in the Marantz. Class D is employed for efficiency, to reduce heat and heatsinking requirements. It sounds worse by design - adding switching artefacts to the audio which then add distortion and noise. I am yet to hear a truly good sounding Class D amp.
I concur. I used to have a class D amp. it was also a 5 star WHF review winner. it was good with cheap spaekers but when I switched to better ones I decided it's time to change the amp. now I have an amp which happens to have been reviewed by WHF as well. it got 4 stars but it's a class AB with class A in pre stage. suffice to say previous one stands nowhere near the new one. but the new one is considerably more expensive too.

as for NAD's class D amp. who knows, it may sound well. I never listened to it though. but it costs 5000 Euro as opposed to roughly 450 GBP for MCR 603. so maybe let's just stick to comparing like with like, OK?
 

ID.

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I have class D amplification. It sounded good wth cheap speakers, and sounded even better with pricier ones. From my auditioning I could quite happily run speakers double the price from it.

Rather than any particular technology, I think it is down to implementation. I've heard gorgeous class A as well as some that were less impressive. I don't think you are going to get very far judging kit from specs and the tech. involved. Better off listening for yourself and seeing if it is to your taste.
 

manicm

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oldric_naubhoff said:
Hifi test monkey said:
OK, that came across wrong.

Simply looking at the engineering, I am 100% confident that Arcam's linear class AB amplification sounds better than the Class D solution in the Marantz. Class D is employed for efficiency, to reduce heat and heatsinking requirements. It sounds worse by design - adding switching artefacts to the audio which then add distortion and noise. I am yet to hear a truly good sounding Class D amp.
I concur. I used to have a class D amp. it was also a 5 star WHF review winner. it was good with cheap spaekers but when I switched to better ones I decided it's time to change the amp. now I have an amp which happens to have been reviewed by WHF as well. it got 4 stars but it's a class AB with class A in pre stage. suffice to say previous one stands nowhere near the new one. but the new one is considerably more expensive too.

as for NAD's class D amp. who knows, it may sound well. I never listened to it though. but it costs 5000 Euro as opposed to roughly 450 GBP for MCR 603. so maybe let's just stick to comparing like with like, OK?
I was responding to a very general Class D statement, not limited to price, by Hifi monkey. There's also no defense needed when there's almost universal acclaim for the Marantz on WHF when it's a 500quid all-in-one, nevermind a dedicated amp.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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ID. said:
Rather than any particular technology, I think it is down to implementation. I've heard gorgeous class A as well as some that were less impressive.
I agree. however, when we decide on particular amp topology it's mainly down to componets' quality and their layout what may bring any differences in SQ between different amps of the same class. that's at least my opinion.

I also believe (becouse right now I can't say "I know") that the best amp ever would be the notorious "straight wire with gain". since such a thig have not yet been invented we need to compromise. that's why, in my opinion, the less complicated topology of an amp the better for the electric signal. and the least complicated topology offer SET amps, which by their very nature can only run in class A. on the other hand class D amps inherently add ultrasonic noise to the amplified signal. I don't really think it does good to the signal overall. furthermore, class D amps need excessive amounts of negative feedback to work stable. that doesn't serve input signal well as well (you can find feedbackless class A or AB amps though). to much feedback makes sound unnatural but in exchange you get very low harmonic distortion which looks great on paper. so as you say: Better off listening for yourself and seeing if it is to yourtate.
 

ID.

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Considering a lot of reviews, etc. I've seen of class D amps and your comments, I think it is probably harder to implement class D succesfully than it is for A or AB.
 

manicm

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ID. said:
Considering a lot of reviews, etc. I've seen of class D amps and your comments, I think it is probably harder to implement class D succesfully than it is for A or AB.
Probably not harder than implementing a true Class A amp, for example as reflected in MF's amps by their size, weight and price.

And many classified 'Class D' amps have quite different if loosely similar topologies. It's by no means a hard and fast specification.
 

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