The popular sub £500 or $750 dollar price point is packed with superb value CD players showing there is still life in CD’s yet.
Third contender in this four CD player test is the award winning Marantz CD6005.
(Cambridge Audio Topaz CD5, Denon DCD 720AE, Marantz CD6005 and Cambridge Audio Azur 651C being the full test group, see other posts)
The Marantz has the same extras above the Topaz spec as the Denon, an iPod/USB socket, upgrade-able mains lead, Coax and Digital Outputs for those wanting to further upgrade with a stand alone DAC plus remote control links to other Marantz products and a headphone socket with volume control.
So how did this award winner compare? at £350. Well mixed really when I did the review this was a mere £20 more than the Denon and so was a good test of the legendary Marantz quality.
However with the Denon reduced from £330 to £178 it moved the goal posts and made me re-evaluate the review.
Moving on to Norah Jones, the piano just sounded so much more lifelike than the Denon and you could now count the number of backing singers rather than just guessing at the number.
How would Holst and the big Orchestral piece compare played on the Marantz to the Denon? The scale and detail shown by the Denon was still there but the slight edginess the Denon put on the piece was gone.Strings were lush and full, overall a more musical experience.
Kings of Leon the guitars just sounded full on and that wonderful dynamic and detailed sound you expect from the King’s. In fact my first reaction was WOW….yes for this type of music the Marantz takes some beating.
So to conclude on the Marantz CD6005 at £350 it is value for money, but with the Denon at £178 this is more difficult one to argue for. Yes the Marantz has a better overall sound balance and is more musical than the Denon but is it twice as good, on this you have to judge for yourselves.
Audition both and decide if that more open musical sound is worth twice the money.
Cambridge Audio Topaz CD5 £120
Denon DCD 720AE £178
Marantz CD6005 £350
Cambridge Audio Azur 651C £499
Arcam FMJ A19 Amplifier
Dynaudio DM2/7 Speakers
Chord Carnival Speaker Cable
Cambridge Audio Interconnect
Noah and the Whale – Heart of Nowhere
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull
Arctic Monkeys – AM
Peter Gabriel – So Remastered Box Set
Holst – The Planets Suite
Nora Jones – Feels Like Home