Amp / Streamer Choice - CXA81 or Marantz PM7000N


Novice Member
Evening all,

I currently have a HiFi system consisting of:

Bowers CM5 S2
Marantz PM7005 AMP
Node 2 Streamer

My Amp has a problem that will be a pain to fix and I think I might just replace it instead. I am thinking about the CXA61 or 81 by Cambridge Audio or the PM7000N by Marantz. Any thoughts on the pairing with the CM5's?

I am leaning towards the CXA81 as it looks to have a great DAC, aptX BT and seems to be a well reviewed amp in general.

The streamer in the PM7000N appeals, but as I already have the Node 2 (older one) am I right in thinking that as I use the Node 2's digital outputs, there really is no reason to upgrade this or use the PM7000N streamer? i.e. I'll be using the DAC in whichever amp I buy?

Thanks all

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
I have the CXA61 and really like it. Great featureset and sounds very good. From what I've read, the DACs in the 61 & 81 are a big improvement over the older 60 & 80.

I mainly play records into the Analogue 1 input via my CA Alva Duo phono stage.

I occasionally use the BT to connect to my phone and its rock-solid.

Mainly I use the USB to connect to my MacMini which has a an eternal HDD with all my ripped CDs (Apple Lossless) and a few downloads. Great quality audio via BitPerfect to bypass the Mac's DAC, so using the CXA's . Similarly, I have my TV & BluRay player connected via the Optical inputs (I play the few CDs I own on the BR player).

Whichever input I use the sound is very clear and detailed, with solid bass.

One of the CA's masterstrokes, is to label all the connectors on the back "upside-down", so when you look over the top, you can actually read them!! Simple, but very useful.

All in all, I'm really impressed.


Novice Member
Thanks Bob,

Appreciate the reply. Can I ask, what speaker do you run off this amp?
If there is one thing that puts me off this amp, is that I have Bowers and Wilkins speakers and supposedly Cambridge Audio and Bowers speakers can be too 'bright'... My understanding of bright is, thin / tinny, lacking substance? I without doubt dont think the CM5's are that, rich and weighty if anything but this could then again be the AMP.

From the reviews of the cambridge CXA61 81, nowhere did I hear bright anywhere either.



Novice Member
I have the PM7000n. Personally I would go down the better amp route. I haven’t been too impressed with the phono inputs and you would get better flexibility with other upgrades. But for streaming it is great. If the Node isn’t a problem then you have the option of upgrading that at a later stage.

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