What is your recommendation?? Old guy needs new system.

SerenityNow!

Member
May 15, 2020
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Looking for a recommendation between two integrated Amps for a new setup for the family room. Narrowed it down to Cambridge CXA61 and Marantz PM7000N and would be pairing with Martin Logan 35XTI and maybe a sub. On paper, both have a toroidal transformer with similar power and THD. I like the fact that the Cambridge has A & B connections, while the Marantz does not. The Marantz seems to have more features in terms of WiFi and tone controls. That being said sound quality trumps any features. Been doing some research and both seem to get great reviews, but can't find any comparisons head to head. Thank you for any advice!
 

Al ears

Moderator
Nov 23, 2008
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Both rather different amps. Do you really need the streaming function of the Marantz?
If not there's little reason to pay for it.
What's your source / sources going to be?
 

SerenityNow!

Member
May 15, 2020
3
0
20
Both rather different amps. Do you really need the streaming function of the Marantz?
If not there's little reason to pay for it.
What's your source / sources going to be?
Realistically, primarily bluetooth source and occasionally CD. The streaming features are intriguing, but not sure that it will be used as often.
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
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18,545
Streaming basically gives you access to whatever you would have been connecting to via Bluetooth (the internet/your phone) but sounding better (in theory). So if you need Bluetooth, you are likely to use and enjoy the streamer.

I've heard older versions of both amps - can't tell you exactly what these two sound like, but I can practically guarantee that they will sound different. The Marantz has a better feature set (since it's an "integrated" amp, you do want this stuff, since ideally, you won't have to add much else). But in terms of "house sound" I lean towards Cambridge - but that's subjective. You have to listen to them if you can.

If sound quality truly trumps all, you could do better than these two at this price, though probably not with so many of the features. You could buy a D/A converter (DAC) with a volume control and Bluetooth for 20% of your budget, then spend 80% on just the power amp. Now you are in a different class of amp (and sound, since low-end DACs have gotten so much better). You lose A/B speakers, tone control, the streamer you might not be ready for, and a bunch of inputs you'll never use - and some convenience perhaps. You gain a slightly better source and a much better amp.
 

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