Marantz PM6004 or CA Azur 650A ???

atanakata

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Hiya all,

Thinking of buying a stereo amp. Obviously both the PM6004 and the 650A are a very well-reviewed products and similary priced, but I am very crossed about them. The Marantz is a 5-star Product of the year and if I had smaller speakers than my M.Short Mezzo 6`s it would`ve been the obvious choice. On the other hand the CA 650 A is a 75 watts p/ch ( while the PM6004 is 2x45 ) , the build quality looks superb, it is heavier unit ,with a solid power supply and a Oversize toroidal transformer . There a those few things to consider. And unfortunately I can not audition them as I currently live abroad and we do not have a local dealer .

Has anyone of you guys tested these 2 amps in particular , and what are your thoughts on them after the test ???

Thanks a lot for your opinions
smiley-wink.gif
 

matthewpiano

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I've had a Marantz PM6003 and I'm currently using a Cambridge Audio 650A. I've used the 650A with MA speakers and I'm currently using it with my pair of Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2. Although I'm in the process of changing the amp for a Rega Brio-R, I have to say the 650A is superb and works particularly well with Mordaunt-Short speakers, which get all the detail and excellent soundstaging of the amp but never veer into being too bright or sterile sounding.

The 650A is a more open, detailed and dynamic amp than the Marantz. It isn't as smooth and if you want easy listening sessions it won't be for you. To be honest, both are excellent amplifiers but if you really want to feel part of the musical action and enjoy the rhythmic aspects of music, I personally feel the Cambridge does that better. I like the 650A so much that, if I can, I might actually hang on to it as a back-up amp when I get the Rega. That is how good it is!
 

atanakata

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Thanks for your opinion :) That is a very helpful verdict as you are using M.Short speakers too. Just wonder, did you have the chance to use the PM 6003 with your Aviano`s , or you had them after you replaced it with the 650 A ? I am trying to get even better idea of the synergy between M.Short and those 2 amps ? A week ago I had the chance to hook up my Mezzo 6`s to an older model - PM7200. The result was very good- lovely detailed and honest sound, the amp doesn`t hide anything from you, and it was driving the speakers with ease ... Probably the 6004 would be similar ,but as it is lower class and less powerful- not as good . I have the feeling that the 650 A would work very good for me, but wanted to have some more opinions. Thanks a lot
 

matthewpiano

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I have heard the PM6003 with the smaller Aviano 1s. To be honest I found the combination slightly sterile and it didn't really involve me with the music. The best match I ever found for the PM6003 was the Dali Lektor 2s, with the Monitor Audio BX2s not too far behind. With the Dalis the Marantz sounded stunning in a lush, fluid and all-encompassing kind of way.

Don't expect the PM6004 to be like the PM7200. The '7200 was a special amp and, particularly if you heard it in class A mode, not all that representative of Marantz amps in general.
 

atanakata

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So it is really down to the synergy of each individual pair of speakers with each individual amp. In that case it is the best to audition them, but in my case It is just not possible . If decide to go for the CA 650 A, I`ll just hope that is close to the PM7200 , which I really liked . Having said that , I don`t plan to be changing my speakers in near future, so I`ll keep my finger x-ed that the new couple works well .
 

atanakata

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Thanks for the smart suggestion...Well, firstly because I do not trust the 2nd hand items,unless it is from somebody that I know and that he`s been looking after it as I do with my stuff. And secondly the unit is quite big and I do not have enough room for it on my rack. But I am quite new to the Hi-Fi world, so the PM 7200 is the only amp I`ve ever auditioned with my speakers. I am curently driving them with Denon AVR . So,I liked the Marantz, but I may even like them more with the CA, or any different brand. In my case is it will be pure luck. If I were still in the UK I`d deffinitely go to the shops to give a try on few of them , but now... And I really do listen to wide variety of music, so I am pretty sure that some amps may be good with some of it and not so great with other, and the other way around.....Hope I am right ???
 

Blackdawn

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As you were keen on the mid-end Marantz amp before I would aim towards the PM-KI-Pearl Lite or PM8003 if you want a new Marantz amp. For the budget end I'm sure the 6004 will be a great buy.
 

atanakata

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Blackdawn, my aim is to spend around £ 300-400 . If there is something really good I could strech my budget a a little bit further. Although I am sure the amps you suggested are great and I`d love to get anyone of them, they just fall into a different price bracket . I simply can`t afford it now :)
 

Thumpa

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Atanas Rangelov said:
Blackdawn, my aim is to spend around £ 300-400 . If there is something really good I could strech my budget a a little bit further. Although I am sure the amps you suggested are great and I`d love to get anyone of them, they just fall into a different price bracket . I simply can`t afford it now :)

Atanas

Could you go 450 -- the Rega Brio R, which is what mathewpiano is upgrading to from the CA. The Rega Brio is REALLY GOOD
 

atanakata

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Hiya,Thumpa,
I guess I could go to the Rega Brio, but somehow it doesn`t appeal to me :( The design is not to my taste . But I am sure that is a brilliant little amp.The reviews are great and if Mathewpiano is upgrading to it ( having had quite a few amps in the past ) .... I might consider the PM 7004. Being a 7-th series Marantz may get close or even better to the PM 7200 that was brilliant. But I still go above budget,which wasn`t my idea to start with :) Between the 7004 and the CA 650 A , probably the Marantz will have the edge.But I am only guessing.
 

Blackdawn

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Atanas Rangelov said:
Blackdawn, my aim is to spend around £ 300-400 . If there is something really good I could strech my budget a a little bit further. Although I am sure the amps you suggested are great and I`d love to get anyone of them, they just fall into a different price bracket . I simply can`t afford it now :)

Okay, sorry. I would look at the Yamaha AS500, Nad 326BEE and Marantz PM6004. I guess the CA 650A will be discontinued considerning the CA651 is on their site. However, you may get a good bargain on the out-going model.
 

atanakata

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Yes,that might be even better for me - the arrival of the 651 may slightly reduce the price of the 650. The Yamaha is very tempting option as well ( great review, loads of power and cheapest at the mo. ) , so txs for the suggestion.
 

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