Marantz or Cambridge CD/Amp? New speakers too?


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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi. I'm new here and straight in with a question (questions actually)...

My current system is as follows:
  • Marantz CD65 II SE CD Player
  • Denon PMA 250 III Amp
  • Sony SS-176E Speakers
I think the amp's knackered in that it's started cutting out and crackling. This only seems to be happening with certain types of music strangely. It's happening with choral music - stuff that has a wide volume range.

Also, the CD player's started to smell of hot electrics recently.

So I've pretty much convinced myself that I need a new CD/Amp and for purely aesthetic reasons I'd like them from the same maker. I'm not really working to a fixed budget but I'm looking for value for money. (With three small kids in the house we don't get the chance to just sit and enjoy music much these days)

Anyway I've narrowed it down to four set-ups and would appreciate views on them:
  • Marantz CD5001/PM4001 - £80+£100 from Richers seems like stunning value for money
  • Marantz CD5001OSE/PM4001OSE - £150+£150 from Richers - are the SEs worth the extra?
  • Cambridge Azur 340C/340A SE - £330 deal includes 'free' Cambridge S30 speakers
    • I've seen both the CD and Amp reviewed as a bit harsh/shrill if matched with the wrong stuff - how do they match the S30 speaker? is the S30 speaker an improvement on my exising ones?
  • Cambridge Azur 640C (v2)/540A (v2) - £500 deal includes 'free' Mordaunt Short 902i speakers
    • more than I want to spend but I would if it's in a different class to the others - is it?
    • how do the MS 902i compare to my existing speakers?
    • would my existing speakers do justice to the CD/Amp? I could bung the 902s on eBay to offset the cost a bit, maybe.
    • on the other hand, would it be worthwhile upgrading to the KEF Q1 speakers? (which, if I'm honest, are on the list for their looks)
Lots of questions I know but I really would appreciate any advice/views.

Also, feel free to recommend alternatives if you must but I really want to narrow my choice down, not open it up further!


Want a short answer?

[quote user="Higs"]

  • Cambridge Azur 640C (v2)/540A (v2) - £500 deal includes 'free' Mordaunt Short 902i speakers
    • [/quote]

      I like this the most.

      [quote user="Higs"]would my existing speakers do justice to the CD/Amp?[/quote]

      [quote user="Higs"]
      how do the MS 902i compare to my existing speakers?[/quote]

      MS would be much more refined.


[quote user="Thaiman"]Marantz for both sound qaulity and excellent build[/quote]

Thanks - have you any view on whether the 'OSE' versions are worth the extra? They'll end up costing me £300 vs £180 for the un-tweaked ones. That's quite a difference (that I could put toward better speakers)


[quote user="ranjeetrain"]Want a short answer? [quote user="Higs"]

Cambridge Azur 640C (v2)/540A (v2) - £500 deal includes 'free' Mordaunt Short 902i speakers

    • [/quote] I like this the most. [/quote]So do I but then it is the most expensive. I suppose there's less cash difference once you factor in the speakers but I was kinda thinking of keeping my existing ones. They were pretty highly thought of at the time (I think I'm right that the only Sony bit on them's the badge on the front)


Well I read a load of reviews and took a snap decision - I've got the Marantz PM4001OSE/CD5001OSE pairing and kept my original speakers. Quite apart from anything else, I've got a house full of small kids and the speakers are right in the firing line. I'll keep them a couple of years and then get something nice then (when they're less likely to have jam smeared on them!)

I've only had an hour or so's listening but I've been through Tallis Scholars, Propellorheads, EBTG, De La Soul and Charles Lloyd and am very impressed with the improvement, particularly in detail.


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