Rotel RA 04SE or Marantz PM 6004 for B&W 602S3 speakers? please help


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hi. i'm a first timer here. I've been wanting to upgrade from my amp (reciever actually) i bought during university for a while now, and basically i decided on one of the two i mentioned.

price range: under 500euro

current system: well, not much of a system in reality, but the speakers i'm using (and not planning to change anytime soon) are Bowers & Wilkins 602 S3. I mainly play music from my PC, because it's all i can afford at the moment, but i might be upgrading to a real CD player in a couple of years, when i hoard more cash.

music I listen to: i listen to a pretty wide variety of music, but the main artists i listen to are Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Flower Kings, Eric Clapton, Air, Zero 7, the ocasional Prodigy and some drum'n'base stuff, some soul and funk, and also classical - mostly Rachmaninov and Beethoven.

IMPORTANT I only had the chance to listen to a Rotel RA04 (not SE) when i bought my speakers, and i thougt it sounded awesome in this combination. Unfortunately, i won't have the opportunity to go to a showroom to listen, so that's why i'm coming here for help, hoping someone can shed some light. I have read other threads about the two products i mentioned, but most were not really relevant. I know the range of music i listen to is weird, and also that a PC isn't a proper source to be playing music from, but currently that's what i can afford.

Also, as i understand, for the type of music i'm interested in, a NAD amplifier would be a good option. But from what i read, some people consider it (NAD C316 BEE) to have a slightly muffled sound, or too bassy. But if you think it would be a better match for me, feel free to give me advice.

And also, please recommend any amplifier you think would suit my needs, considering i like a clean sound, a bass that's not feint and/or muffled, and not over-sparkly trebble.

Thank you very much.


I'd say the Rotel is a good start with that sort of budget, either that or an entry level Arcam.


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Sep 8, 2007
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Like you I have 602S3 speakers and love them to bits.

I run mine via pre/power amps (Rotel RC-03 & Rotel RB-03). I found that B&W work brilliantly well with Rotel amps and when I changed from a Rotel RA-01 to my current setup I noticed a big difference. If you thought that the RA-04 sounded great then stick with that combination.

Second hand wise I've been recommended a Rotel 1062.


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thanks a lot for the replies. i'm even more convinced now to go for the rotel. I would like to mention that i can still find new Rotel RA 1062 in my country, so should i try save up some money and go for that or RC06/RB06 combo? Or I'm better off with the RA 04SE with my current setup? Also some input on the Marantz would be appreciated


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Jun 8, 2007
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The Rotel RA-04 SE is a good map but the marantz PM6004 is a litte bit better IMO. It sounds a lot smoother, the Rotel is more an attacking sound.

The Rotel RA 1062 should be a very good amp. Never heard it but lots of people like it.


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Aug 22, 2008
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I have the same speakers as you and intially had a Rotel RA-02 with them.

I listen to mainly electronic music (Orbital, Underworld etc.) and a bit of drum n bass, and also stuff like Beth Orton.

I added a Rotel RB-06 and now use the RA-02 as a Pre-amp. Main reason was I was after a more powerful sound, especailly at lower volumes, and I found a RB-06 on ebay quite cheap.

The jump from 40W to 70W has made a big difference. The speakers seem to love the extra power, which has made low level listening a lot better, and high volume listening much more powerful. With just the RA-02, at low volume levels the bass was lacking.

I think you're idea of a RA-04SE is sound. I would suggest not saving up for a CD player, and put the money towards a power amp (if you think you need one) or upgrading your PC source / DAC.

I sold my RCD-02 a few years ago, as I now listen to everything via a Squeezebox.


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goodie. thanks for the tip, and yea, if I feel the power is lacking, then i'm going for the preamp thing. as for the pc, i already own an M-Audio delta 1010lt, but it's currently on another computer, so i might use that if i feel the sound is not good enough.

kind regards to all that helped :)


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Jan 31, 2011
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Only my impressions with my old B&W and B&W 684 in store (rock and Jazz):
Yam AS 500: very open sound , great horizontal image stage, but with too present high freq., for me; bass good only with loudness in, not very ergonomic remote and front commands; very, very easy to mark with fingers on the front (incredible!);
Nad 316: good bass, but not at low volume; medium-high freq. a little bit confuse; very ergonomic and nice.
Marantz 6004: more liquid and natural medium freq.; bass enough, but you can add something at low volume with loudness, not possible with Nad;
built like a tank in Japan, with golden input/output, smart and nice remote, that I found can drive my 20 years old CD Philips too!

review :

Bancs d'essai


Well-known member
thank you too. in fact, i managed to arrange an audition for the rotel and the marantz. now a quick question about DACs: i noticed that their sound is affected by power sources as well. So the big question is - if i make my music route like this: PC-->DAC-->let'ssayforargument'ssakeROTEL - would i still be geting the Rotel sound after the dac, or would the sound be primarily DAC generated? Or is it both? If that's the case, i've been looking into VDAC II from Musical Fidelity, and some reviewers say that it's bass is a bit feint (with the stock power supply), and i'm wondering if the Amp can still improve on the sound, etc etc.

thanks in advance


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