marantz603 or separates??!!

admin_exported

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hi being a newbie feeling stuck . wish to buy a system with a budget for 1200. going into the store got introdyced to the 603 was taken by the various specs of the 603 and started to look for floorstanders for it. however playing it side by side to the marantz cd6003 the latter sounded better. now this was a store without a demo room. could i have been confused? is there a huge difference according to you?

if indeed it is , what floorstanders would you reccommend for cd6003? amp wd be pm6003? is there an option to keep the network capabilities that 603 offers by buying a DAC? the NA7004 wd be quite expensive as i intend to buy a good set of speakers. for speakers wd the ms aviano6 or kef q 700 be god options? alternatively how can i get the mcr603 sound match the separates(nearly)?

thank you .
 

chebby

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gooblet said:
...alternatively how can i get the mcr603 sound match the separates(nearly)?
By buying the seperates. (Although, as you realise, an FM/DAB tuner + CDP + amp + good DAC + streamer is going to cost an awful lot more if you want to match all/most the functions of the M-CR603 with a significant increase in performance too.)

I bought the M-CR603 without any audition. However, I had the comparison with my outgoing Naim CD5i/Nait 5i/NAT05/Beresford TC7520 system and I am not at all disappointed. (Obviously the M-CR603 is not as good as a Naim entry level seperates system but it was nothing like as much of a loss as I had anticipated.)

The M-CR603 is not designed to compete with £1000 of seperates (I am thinking of the Marantz PM6003 + CD6003 + ST6003 + a decent budget DAC like the Arcam rDAC) and it would be unfair/unrealistic to think it should*.

Ultimately it is a whole system in a small box. It does a lot, and it does it very well, and it is incredible value for money and performs well with speakers way above it's own cost. (Double or even triple it's own cost.)

Whatever you get, don't stint on the speakers.

*£1100 if you went for the PM6003 + CD6003 + NA7004.
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi gooblet

I was in the same position as you 2 month ago, and I ended up with the MCR603 and a pair of Mission 794SE's - total costs 1100£.

I think it has excellent value for money - the sound is supprising good, when you think os the cost, and the low weight of the small musical box ;)

It goes pretty loud, and I'm not missing more volume in my large room (3,5x9 meters).

The only thing that I miss, is more low end, when playing pop/dance music/movie, so I'm planning to expand with a sub. Right now I have borrowed a 10" sub, and now it really rocks :D

Good luck
 

CJSF

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Hi all Newbie here, cant find an 'introduction' thread . . . so as its this sort of thing I'm interested in . . .

More of a new oldie I supose, last time I twiddled a HiFi knob, tuned a valve or dropped a needle, I had dark brown hair. Now a silver surfer, its time I looked at my music again. My era is mid 70's to mid 90's. I have no hi fi, no vinyl a few old CD's, and my desire is to go back to the good old days and selectively download the 'good tracks' as I remember them?? and enjoy the music for what it is. The old ways of 'expensive is best' hold no interest any more.

I went into the local Electronics/HiFi yesterday, had a listen to the Denon DM38 receiver with some monitor Audio shelf speakers . . . I was impressed, also compared it with an Arcam SOLO, double the money . . . was not worth the extra? Waiting for the shop to get the Morantz Receiver in, next Saturday, they have ordered it for me just to listen, no obligation to buy.

Although no equipment left, amps, turn tables etc, I do have speakers; Rogers LS35a, Celestion SL600 and a pair of one off 'folded horns'.

Any advise on the route I'm looking at would be much appreciated, its all changed . . . !

CJSF
 

chebby

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CJSF said:
I do have speakers; Rogers LS35a, Celestion SL600 and a pair of one off 'folded horns'. Any advise on the route I'm looking at would be much appreciated, its all changed . . . ! CJSF
Sell the LS3/5As on ebay to a collector for anything between £700 and £1500 (depending on version/condition etc.)

That will give your budget a nice kick-start.
 

CJSF

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Wow . . . ! you serious chebby???? They are in A1, white ash finish, very few made. I wonder if the SL600 might also be collectable????

CJSF
 

chebby

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Someone recently sold a job lot of five SL600s (from his 5.1 AV system) for a total of £253 so don't get your hopes up on those.

BBC LS3/5A speakers are still sought by collectors.

Type in LS3/5A on ebay uk and have a look at the 'completed listings' for a good idea of what they sell for.

Here is an example for you. And another (I am sticking to Rogers LS3/5A examples as each brand seems to have it's own particular following and collectors.)

For goodness sake don't send them to the charity shop! (Unless you are feeling very charitable :) )
 

CJSF

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Thanks for the heads up Chebby, its amazing what they go for. I used to get an amazing sound stage from my 35a's, but listening to a pair of monitor audio's yesterday, at the local shop, in far from ideal conditions . . . they were 'pretty dam good'. Its going to be an interesting session next Saturday, Matt the sales assistant, said he would set up the Arcam Solo, the Morantz and the Denon, before I got to the shop. I will dig my 35a's out, along with a very special pair of Foundation Stands, originally specifically designed for the 35a, but they works with most small speakers.

Sound like I might not need to dig in the pocket . . . a self funding return to music?

The other day, I down loaded 'Allegri Miserere', from 'Gimell music site' . . . used to be one of my standard test tracks, at least 16 years since I have heard it . . . still brings out goosebumps, and makes the hairs on my neck stand up, even through the active Yamaha computer speakers.

CJSF
 

oldric_naubhoff

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CJSF said:
I do have speakers; Rogers LS35a, (...). Any advise on the route I'm looking at would be much appreciated, its all changed . . . ! CJSF
hi!

maaan, if you're gonna sell those speakers it's going to be another big mistake in your life (first being selling your electronics :) ).

if I were you (having such great speakers) I'd get myself some good class A tube amp with approx 30W output (Pure Sound, Icon Audio, or Prima Luna are just a few makes; just to point you in the right direction). this, believe me, will get you much closer to the heart of music. but the choice is yours of course.

seeing that you'll probably be playing music using a computer I'd just get a decent DAC and that would make up a very fine hi-fi set-up, albeit more expensive than those all-in-ones you were mentioning.
 

CJSF

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Yes you are right Oldric, it may have been a mistake to sell the EAR's, dump a 2,500 disc vinyl collection . . . but my life at the time was complicated by the HiFi industry . . . a personal story.

I have no wish to go back to the hurt and pain!!! of those days. I have learned to be laid back, have no wist to listen to the shuffling feet of the flautist, or coughing in the back row of the audience, things not heard at a live performance. I believe 'Music' can come from a simple low cost system like I set up for my father 20 years ago, rotel amp, Rega turntable, cant remember what speakers? I want musical simplicity, I dont want to listen to the equipment.

Went into a high street store on Saturday, the fist time I have gon to the HiFi section of any shop since 1995. The salesman demonstrated a simple budget system, in a room set up for home cinema and every day HiFi, loads of speakers!!! Matt, the salesman, was good on the technical side, he new all the knobs and buttons to push. He was great, understanding what I wanted, giving me the freedom to choose, first I selected, then I tweaked and moved stuff, made a few critical adjustments and blew his mind with a proper sound stage, depth, rhythm and pace in the performance, even got a half tuneful base response from a pair of monitor audio shoe boxes. I surprised my self, nothing has changed, the 'old ways' still work.

However, there is new techie stuff, there is still expensive stuff, some names have changed . . . transistorised sound has improved . . . dramatically IMHO? I remember it was going that way when I stopped in 95 . . . manufacturers were learning, a flat response produced a great 'sound wave', but a very flat, uninteresting sound at the speakers to go with it. Another description is 'linear response' we dont hear in a linear fashion, we like nonlinear and, distorted sound is all around us, our brains are used to coping with it. Saturday is the 2nd test day, with the Rogers and their dedicated stands? along with other options that Matt will make available from the shop stock. Essential I want; simple, low cost 'involving music', I wont be listening to 'HiFi'!

By the way Oldric, what is DAC?

My aim is to build a new selected music collection, cherry pick from the down loads available. So often we used to buy albums for one or two tracks, the rest . . . make weights! Not every time, classics like 'Dark Side of the Moon', Jenifer Warnes; 'Famous Blue Raincoat', stunning performances, pretty good on CD to, I have the gold disk issue of Dark Side, and the German issue or Famous Blue Raincoat, brilliant, listen to Jimmy Nails, 'Big River', amazingly engineered track! And of course, Allegri Miserere, a track the 35a's were made for . . . I have heard the confines of the listening room disappear with my old vinyl/valve system when I played Miserere . . . memories.

CJSF
 

matthewpiano

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My advice? Everything you say suggests you need to be auditioning a Rega system. Try the Apollo CD player with either the outgoing Brio 3 or new Brio R amp, and a pair of RS1 speakers on a solid pair of stands. This will give you the simiplicity you seem to crave. The synergy between Rega components is superb (better than most manufacturers actually), there are no un-necessary bells and whistles and you'll get musically involving performance at a very reasonable price.

If you sell the LS3/5as you'll also have enough to add the Rega DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) if you wish to listen to music stored or streamed from a computer and you could even pick up a Rega RP1 turntable with the performance pack (which includes a better Rega cartridge) should you wish to pick up some 2nd hand vinyl.

Alternatively, sell the LS3/5as and look at Creek. A Creek Evolution 2 CD player, Evolution 2 amp and a pair of Epos M12i speakers would make for a similarly involving and musical system.
 

CJSF

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Looks like I need to look deeper . . . ? but be careful, I do not want to be overwhelmed by HiFi as I new it. I wont be looking at turntables, although I am of the opinion that vinyl is still the holy grail, ( I did keep a dozen or so of my best albums, but I will leave them untouched). I remember the frying bacon! . . . and how it was possible to tune the system (azimuth, I think that was the word? in English, arm height) to the point of keeping the surface noise 'confined to the speaker'. Been there don that, not for me, keep it simple, I have a 'life' . . . into which I would like to include 'good music' . . . not have HiFi take it over!

Solid speaker stands, nothing better than 'Foundation Designers' for quality small speakers and in particular LS35a's, for which they were originally designed. I wonder what interest the combination of 'dedicated Foundation Designer stands/LS35a' would generate . . . ?

CJS
 

pwiles1968

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CJS listen to the 603 and if it gives you the sound you are after it will give you all the functionality you could ever want.
 

CJSF

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Thanks pwiles, I'm booked in to have a listen next Saturday at my friendly local store . . . However I dont live far away from Raleigh HiFi, before I commit, I think a wander in there as a proper HiFi shop might be a good idea?

CJSF
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Hi CJSF

looks for me like you know what you want and know what you are doing. I guess that's the most important thing. however, I would still urge you to try out also some other options. IMO matthewpiano's idea of getting a Rega DAC and a Rega amp (in this case Brio R would be most sensible choice to get an aesthetically matching pair of small boxes) is a very good one. it's true that this combo is more expensive than an all-in-one solution from Marantz or Denon (<1000 GBP vs. ~ 450 GBP) but I think the extra outlay is fully justifiable bearing in mind better quality of DAC and amplification.

CJSF said:
By the way Oldric, what is DAC?
I was wondering how to get round answering this question. in the end I thought I'll start from the beginning so hopefully the explanation will make more sense.

CD player (CDP); you put a silver disc in in, press play and you hear music. in fairnes such a CDP should be called integreated CDP because it's in fact two devices housed in one box: CD transport and a DAC (just like an integrated amp is preamp and power amp in one box). transport is responsible for spinning the disc and extracting the data from the disc and then sending the data to the DAC. DAC is responsible for transforming the digital data into analog signal and then amplifying the signal slightly before it's sent to amplifier. a typical DAC would very basically consist of a DAC chip and an analog output stage.

recently there is a huge supply of stand alone DACs. many people use other devices than CDPs to listen to digitally recorded music. a DAC would normaly improve the sound quality of such devices. for example; if you have a laptop you can use it to play music stored on its hard drive using its headphone out. there is a built in DAC in the computer so it's possible. but if you connect the same laptop to an external DAC using a digital output from the laptop you may improve sound quality of the music due to better digital to analog conversion process and better voltage amplification in analog stage offered by an external DAC. with a computer you would normally be usig a USB socket to connect it to the external DAC. but some computers sport s/pdif connection, usually via toslink output.

so basically a DAC is just a device wich purpose is to convert digital data into music. it'll have a number of digital inputs (usually coaxial s/pdif (it stands for sony/phillips digital interface, optical s/pdif (a.k.a. toslink), USB) and analog outputs to make it possible to connect to an amp.

hope that helps
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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OK Oldric, thank you for taking the trouble, I get it now: turntable, MC cartridge, EAR cartridge transformer, preamp, EAR 509 power amps, LS35a's, the rout is the same, its just it has a digital element, that still needs converting! I still know what is good and bad in sound, I was worried I would not know, but I'm finding iots like riding a bike, you dont forget the basic elements, which is reassuring, I was worried I would be sold a pup . . . It used to happen!!!

You are right, I do know what I'm doing . . . perhaps more 'what I want'? . . . Now I have the basic idea of digital building blocks, I can maneuver with a little more confidence. My audio file days are over, but my future of enjoying music is just about to start . . .

One is embarking on a musical trip of nostalgia, getting a few surprises on the way . . . sounds good to me. Thank you all for your input.

Now its sorting through the HiFi dealers in East Anglia, Rayleigh HiFi in Colchester is the only one I know?, as I work in Colchester, its a logical starting point? Only problem is, putting myself in that ring, leaves me open to being sucked in again, it would be so easy ? . . . one must beware!

CJSF
 

chebby

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CJSF, assuming you can get a good price for those LS3/5As (given their condition and rare veneer finish, you should), I would suggest a combination that retains the sort of qualities you enjoyed from them originally.

See if you can get a demo of Spendor S3/5R² speakers with the Marantz M-CR603 as amp/source. The Spendor S3/5R² speakers cost £850. The Marantz costs around £450. Total £1300.

Being optimistic, you should - hopefully - get the bulk of that money from the sale of your LS3/5As. The Spendor S3/5R²s will provide a better and more 'evolved' - but still reminiscent - sound to that from your old Rogers.

The Spendor S3/5R²s will present a far easier load (to the amp) than the old BBC monitors from which they derive, and will be ideal for the kind of music you described earlier. (I too have a few Gimmel recordings of work by 'Tallis Scholars'.)

The Marantz M-CR603 will not be 'outclassed' by the £850 Spendors. Read this review from Gramophone if you need re-assurance of that.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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CJSF, assuming you can get a good price for those LS3/5As (given their condition and rare veneer finish, you should), I would suggest a combination that retains the sort of qualities you enjoyed from them originally.

See if you can get a demo of Spendor S3/5R² speakers with the Marantz M-CR603 as amp/source. The Spendor S3/5R² speakers cost £850. The Marantz costs around £450. Total £1300.

Being optimistic, you should - hopefully - get the bulk of that money from the sale of your LS3/5As. The Spendor S3/5R²s will provide a better and more 'evolved' - but still reminiscent - sound to that from your old Rogers.

The Spendor S3/5R²s will present a far easier load (to the amp) than the old BBC monitors from which they derive, and will be ideal for the kind of music you described earlier. (I too have a few Gimmel recordings of work by 'Tallis Scholars'.)

The Marantz M-CR603 will not be 'outclassed' by the £850 Spendors. Read this review from Gramophone if you need re-assurance of that.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
11
19,195
CJSF, assuming you can get a good price for those LS3/5As (given their condition and rare white ash veneer finish, you should), I would suggest a combination that retains the sort of qualities you enjoyed from them originally.

See if you can get a demo of Spendor S3/5R² speakers with the Marantz M-CR603 as amp/source. The Spendor S3/5R² speakers cost £850. The Marantz costs around £450. Total £1300. (You already have excellent stands.)

Being optimistic, you should - hopefully - get the bulk of that money from the sale of your LS3/5As. The Spendor S3/5R²s will provide a better and more 'evolved' - but still reminiscent - sound to that from your old Rogers.

The Spendor S3/5R²s will present a far easier load (to the amp) than the old BBC monitors from which they derive, and will be ideal for the kind of music you described earlier. (I too have a few Gimmel recordings of work by 'Tallis Scholars'.)

The Marantz M-CR603 will not be 'outclassed' by the £850 Spendors. Read this review from Gramophone if you need re-assurance of that.
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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Thanks again Chebby, very helpful, I was suspecting there would be a refined version of the 35a, mine are 20+ years old, and have a refined bottom end performance in comparison with my originals.

Yep the Tallis Schollars do the definitive Miserere, my vinyl copy was an original Hallmark pressing, went to the dump with the rest of the 2,500, it was getting a bit worn on that track, as it was one of my tests . . .

I'm looking forward to Saturday, but need to dig about in the loft for the 35a's, I have two pairs of stands, they are in the greenhouse!!! Foundation Designers and a pair of the original single stem 'Foundations'.

CJS
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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Read the 603 review you linked to Chebby, although I am/was a sceptic on reviews . . . if its as it says, the Morantz will do the business? I just hope, by 'modern sound' the reviewer does not mean bright . . . I'm an old valve man, all be it EAR valves, cant live with bright! Thanks again CJS
 
A

Anonymous

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firstly thanks to chebby and hans for the first two replies. since then though am glad another posted question was added it seems to have gone off track. i am considering ma bx1/2 , mission mx3/74 as suggested. any opinion on the 603 with aviano6? noone seems to have experience....yet RS seem to recco this.
 

matthewpiano

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gooblet

I haven't heard the Marantz unit with the Aviano 6s but I did use to have a Marantz PM6003 with some MS Aviano 1s and I found it to be quite an impressive combination but ultimately a bit tiring with an overload of detail and not quite enough subtlety. I know it wasn't the amp, because I've heard the PM6003 sound superb with Dali speakers, and I've also been very impressed by Aviano 1s and 2s with other brands of amplifier. I think the synergy was just not quite right.

Hope this helps in some way!
 

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