The sound quality difference between denon ceol and marantz melody systems

Kupris

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Hi all,

I bought a few months ago a denon ceol n9 unit coupled with a pair of dali zensor 1. At that time, i choosed the cheaper option over the marantz mcr 610 equivalent. I was convinced by some reviews saying that the sound quality was almost identical, denon and marantz being the same company. The features proposed by these machines are pretty amazing.

Now, I am not really pleased by the sound rendition. In this state of mind, I consider again the Marantz melody alternative, because it seems that some people consider that the sound quality is slightly better. But how much better?

If any of you have made a serious comparison between a denon and its marantz competitors, do you think there is a significant difference sound quality wise?

It's the first time i got a class d amp and maybe i can't be pleased with the class D sound. Maybe I should come back to a AB class amp like the Cambridge Audio minx xi?

Your advices are welcomed.

Thank you.
 

lpv

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hi

there's no difference between the two. there's no difference between any of them and - lets say - PM6005 integrated. I've tested it. no difference. zero.

don't believe anyone who trying to say oposite and if they ever say magic words: "go an try/ audition yourself" don't do this without A/ B relay switch box with you and don't forget to carefully match volume levels. and then listen, listen only. don't watch. this is called ' blind test' - the only valid way to evaluate sound quality difference ( or not) between two components.

if you do not follow this way you're in dengerous hands of dealers/ forum specialists/ audio magazines ( printed and online).
 

davedotco

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Kupris said:
Hi all,

I bought a few months ago a denon ceol n9 unit coupled with a pair of dali zensor 1. At that time, i choosed the cheaper option over the marantz mcr 610 equivalent. I was convinced by some reviews saying that the sound quality was almost identical, denon and marantz being the same company. The features proposed by these machines are pretty amazing.

Now, I am not really pleased by the sound rendition. In this state of mind, I consider again the Marantz melody alternative, because it seems that some people consider that the sound quality is slightly better. But how much better?

If any of you have made a serious comparison between a denon and its marantz competitors, do you think there is a significant difference sound quality wise?

It's the first time i got a class d amp and maybe i can't be pleased with the class D sound. Maybe I should come back to a AB class amp like the Cambridge Audio minx xi?

Your advices are welcomed.

Thank you.

Hi and welcome.

The N9 and MCR 610 are pretty similar units, very little to choose quality wise though there may be slight presentational differences, if the N9 does not do it for you, it is unlikely that any of the Marantz units will either.

What is it about the sound that you don't like?

Most people feel that the two units offer very decent sound within the limits of the design, Zensor 1s are ideal speakers, have you got the system correctly set up and positioned?
 

spiny norman

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lpv said:
hi

there's no difference between the two. there's no difference between any of them and - lets say - PM6005 integrated. I've tested it. no difference. zero.

don't believe anyone who trying to say oposite and if they ever say magic words: "go an try/ audition yourself" don't do this without A/ B relay switch box with you and don't forget to carefully match volume levels. and then listen, listen only. don't watch. this is called ' blind test' - the only valid way to evaluate sound quality difference ( or not) between two components.

if you do not follow this way you're in dengerous hands of dealers/ forum specialists/ audio magazines ( printed and online).

You're absolutely right: almost everything written on forums is complete cobblers.

You shouldn't read them without blind A/B comparisons with other forums, which are all the same. Or without wearing a tinfoil hat to ward off the evil suggestion-rays sent out by websites to mislead you. Or stockpiling food and water in your basement in case evil hi-fi manufacturers lay siege to your home. Arm yourself! The time of resistance is coming!!

etc.
 

MajorFubar

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With a little more information regarding what you don't like about the sound, we may be able to help. But if you're fundamentally dissatisfied with the sound of the Denon I doubt the Marantz is going to be so completely different that it will suddenly blow you away. In fact I doubt anything in the same price-bracket will.
 

lpv

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spiny norman said:
lpv said:
hi

there's no difference between the two. there's no difference between any of them and - lets say - PM6005 integrated. I've tested it. no difference. zero.

don't believe anyone who trying to say oposite and if they ever say magic words: "go an try/ audition yourself" don't do this without A/ B relay switch box with you and don't forget to carefully match volume levels. and then listen, listen only. don't watch. this is called ' blind test' - the only valid way to evaluate sound quality difference ( or not) between two components.

if you do not follow this way you're in dengerous hands of dealers/ forum specialists/ audio magazines ( printed and online).

You're absolutely right: almost everything written on forums is complete cobblers.

You shouldn't read them without blind A/B comparisons with other forums, which are all the same. Or without wearing a tinfoil hat to ward off the evil suggestion-rays sent out by websites to mislead you. Or stockpiling food and water in your basement in case evil hi-fi manufacturers lay siege to your home. Arm yourself! The time of resistance is coming!!

etc.

oh hi Dinsdale pal.. I didn't know you're out.
 

Kupris

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Hi all,

Ok. It seems that the Denon and Marantz units are pretty much the same.

To be more precise about what I don't like about the sound presentation, I fear to be more or less subjective about my assertions. Ok I try to explain it anyway.

I find the sound to be flat cold and not engaging. The sound seems to me to be a little dull and distant, muffled behind a curtain. The trebles seems to be thin and laking some refinement. Overall, maybe I could say it lacks a bit of dynamic. I could say i'm bored, I rarely feel involved by the music presentation which is not so bad, i know it. I put the emphasis on what I don't like, so it comes necessarily with a form of exaggeration.

On the plus side, I recognize one strong quality, it's how the music takes place in a larger scene than i am used to with other systems (maybe it's a combined result with the dali speakers).

I needed to find a replacement to my defective NAD from the nineties coupled with some compact MISSION speakers. It was my office room modest set that I liked very much anyway. And I can't help to compare the newer system with the older which was my companion during many years.

And yeah, my actual room is not ideal. So much echo, I have to improve that. But I had my older system running in it before the nad amp fried. The sound was quite different and more pleasing to my taste. Less accurate in a way to be fair, but far more warm and engaging, particularly apparent for example, with the brass instruments...

Thank you again for your comments and I think at the end i will search for something else than this magic box. I will miss some features but I feel more and more I can't get used to the sound in the long run.
 

robdmarsh

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Well, I've got the Marantz m-cr603 and I think the sound is great. Mind you I've got some wonderful little vintage speakers, Celestion 3 mkii. They sound wonderfully detailed, rhythmical and open but don't have a huge amount of bass. If you can find them used on ebay or such like, them my advice is go for them! They sound wonderful with the Marantz and I suppose they would also suit the Denon.

I've tried Wharfedale 9.1 and then the new diamond 220s and imo there is no contest. These modern budget speakers are no match for the involving, detailed yet warm sound of the Celestions. I'll never part with these, though I am on a quest to find something with a similar lovely sound but maybe more bottom end punch. I imagine I'd have to spend to spend over £300 to find something that will satisfy on all fronts. I heard the Dali zensor 3 and liked them but not with one of these systems. So basically, I guess what I'm saying is that speaker choice is a big factor but the sound of the one box Marantz/ Denon suits my tastes.

I hope this helps.
 

Kupris

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Hi all,

Thanks for your insights. I remember now that it usually said that the speakers are the most important component. I should audition some other speakers before getting rid of the amp. My old missions, unfortunately, are not well driven by the denon ceol. That's why I bought the dalis after reading some reviews. Where I am, it's not easy to auditon some hifi stuff.

The dali zensor 1 speaker is praised so often like one of the perfect match up with these amps that I didn't think that it could be the element to change.

This forum is awesome, i must say. I didn't expect so much replies.

Cheers.
 

MajorFubar

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To be honest I hear you loud and clear now you've explained yourself further...I think a lot of it is down to how modern equipment (including speakers) are voiced. Often it seems the emphasis these days is on 'bit perfect' clinical accurancy, whereas some people find absolute neutrality uninvolving and their senses are screaming out for (eg) a little upper-bass bloom and some hint of twinkle in the treble; just something to make it less 18% grey. Maybe the solution is to mate it with older speakers.
 

chebby

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MajorFubar said:
...I think a lot of it is down to how modern equipment (including speakers) are voiced. Often it seems the emphasis these days is on 'bit perfect' clinical accurancy, whereas some people find absolute neutrality uninvolving and their senses are screaming out for (eg) a little upper-bass bloom and some hint of twinkle in the treble; just something to make it less 18% grey. Maybe the solution is to mate it with older speakers.

Oh my giddy aunt yes!

This weekend oi 'ave bin mostly playing nothing but music - very unusual for me - on an old pair of JPW Sonatas (£25 + new tweeters @ around £15 a few years ago) that I keep as 'backup' speakers and they are currently 'creaming' my Rega R3s hands-down. It's bl###y embarrassing!
 

MajorFubar

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chebby said:
MajorFubar said:
...I think a lot of it is down to how modern equipment (including speakers) are voiced. Often it seems the emphasis these days is on 'bit perfect' clinical accurancy, whereas some people find absolute neutrality uninvolving and their senses are screaming out for (eg) a little upper-bass bloom and some hint of twinkle in the treble; just something to make it less 18% grey. Maybe the solution is to mate it with older speakers.

Oh my giddy aunt yes!

This weekend oi 'ave bin mostly playing nothing but music - very unusual for me - on an old pair of JPW Sonatas (£25 + new tweeters @ around £15 a few years ago) that I keep as 'backup' speakers and they are currently 'creaming' my Rega R3s hands-down. It's bl###y embarrassing!

*biggrin* amazing coincince. But yes you're right, it does make you wonder. I do know new speakers can and do sound amazing, but I also think thre's been a general shift away from the sound we enjoyed from classic speakers. Clearly I've not heard every pair of new speakers or even one pair at every price-point and so some will say that's a stupid sweeping generalisation, but still, I'm going with it.
 

Kupris

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Hi,

So I sold the denon ceol n9 and the dali zensor 1 speakers. In replacement, I bought at a sweet price a more traditionnal kit that I auditioned first amongst others : the entry level marantz pm5005 with the matched cd player cd5005. It is often said, but believe me, audition first the gear you want to buy.

Of course I lost a lot of features but to my ears, the sound quality is back.I know it's just the entry level, but the full-of-tricks box denon ceol can't hold the comparison. The marantz kit leaves it to dust.

This kit is driving my old missions speakers just fine. The musical presentation is obviously different compared to my old nad 302. I'm not sure I can say it's clearly superior to my departed nad 302. It sounds more refined with classical and jazz music, maybe slightly too polite with pop rock genre. Anyway, the essential is that the pleasure of music is back.

In the future, I plan to purchase a network player separate to have back some features I miss now.

In conclusion, I must say, for the entry level at least, the separate components is the road to take instead of the all-in-one solutions. It is less compact and convenient of course. Anyway, I don't regret my come back to a more traditonnal bulkier set up.

Just my two cents...

Cheers.
 

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