Best alternative to Marantz M-CR603

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by nolia, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. nolia

    nolia
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    fellow music lovers, what would you recommend as an alternative to the Marantz, specifically in the same price range?
     
  2. DIBSTER

    DIBSTER
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    Have you tried a M-CR603? It's just that they have been replaced now by the M-CR610 and the M-CR603 can be had from certain Richer Sounds branches for £199 (open box) which is a no-brainer to me if you're in the market for a one box solution with all the functions that it offers.

    .
     
  3. nolia

    nolia
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    I have had a look, the RS close to me doesn't have the open box bargains anymore. I can't justify going 300 mile to Leicester or further to Glasgow hence asking if there is alternatives to this box of tricks....
     
  4. pcookie

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    I've got the M-CR603 with a pair of Focal 706V's and I'm as happy as a pig in poo. I listen mainly through airplay from my iPad (iTunes and Spotify) and for me it's about as good as it gets for the money. The newer units have slightly better functionality, but are too plasticky for my taste. The other unit you might want to try out at Richer Sounds is the Teac CRH700DAB which offers similar features to the Marantz.
     
  5. nolia

    nolia
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    Pig in a poo, (great analogy, haha) Thanks for the input, will have a read about the TEAC you mention.
     
  6. BlueWizard

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    So, can we assume you are looking for a all-in-one micro/mini-amp, and at what price range?

    Are there specific features you want?

    A quick search found the Marantz M-CR603 for about £310. The newer Marantz M-CR610 is about £450. That's fine if you need all those features, and the amps does have about 45w/ch to 8 ohms, that's decent power.

    And in what sense are you looking for an alternative? If the Marantz appeal to you, then why not buy a Marantz? And if the Marantz don't appeal to you, then what are you looking for that the Marantz does not deliver.

    If you don't need all those features, then I would recommend getting a component based CD Player and amp. For example -

    Yamaha AS300

    Yamaha CDS300

    Of course, the Marantz M-CD610 has Network connection including WiFi, DAB/DAB+/FM radio, USB, etc.... But don't buy all that if you don't need it.

    Marantz M-CR610

    The advantage of the Marantz is that it has considerably more power than most common mini/micro amps which typically run about 20w/ch to 30w/ch. In this vein there are similar amps to the Marantz in terms of price, but not remotely the same power.

    Superfi - YAMAHA CRXN560D NETWORKED MICRO HIFI

    Nice but this Yamaha has about 24w/ch to 8 ohms.

    Here is a mini-separates system, but it is geared to digital files rather than physical media, meaning, no CD Player. The actually power is just under 40w/ch to 8 ohms.

    Superfi - DENON DF109DABN DAB/FM/NETWORKED STREAMER/RECEIVER MINI SEPARATES SYSTEM

    Though there is a separate CD Player available for the above system -

    Superfi - DENON DF109DABNC FM/DAB/CD/NETWORKED PLAYER/RECEIVER MINI SEPARATES SYSTEM

    For what it is worth.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  7. nolia

    nolia
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    Hey Steve

    I am very much into DAB, I am also considering the Denon too, it fits the bill. At 250 not bad, but having a streamer at a later date is an option, but 250 for streamer mmmm is it worth it? I wonder.
     
  8. nolia

    nolia
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    I got the Denon DF109 DAB, I am impressed, I m using MA BX6s and its done well so far. I have some Kef iQ10 at university so will try them tomorrow and see how it gets on with them. If it does well, I will keep them and if not I will get the bX2s. I haven't tried it to reference levels with the BX6s though.
     
  9. BlueWizard

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    Have you tried Internet Radio (Slacker, Pandora, Spotify, and others)? Good sound quality, and the price is free. Though if you find a service you like, you can join for a fair price and get commercial free plus better sound quality.

    The selection is virtually unlimited. You can choose the style you like, you can choose specific artists, etc... I think, assuming you can track them all down, there are something like 20,000 Internet Radio stations worldwide, all equally available to you. I read a post by someone who said their favorite Jazz stations was in Japan.

    That might be incentive to consider a device that has network capability. From what I heard and read, Digital Radio did not increase the sound quality. It simply squished the bandwidth. I have little interest in the radio, but from what I've heard the sound quality of DAB is not as good as FM, DAB+ is better, but still not up to scratch. Keep in mind DAB does sound good, just not great, and not as good as FM. However, Digital Radio Broadcast much like Digital TV Broadcast is not susceptible to signal strength. As long as it keeps reading the ones and zeros, you get full signal static free. But, it can't remotely have the available selections of Internet Radio.

    The Marantz are not cheap, but they have a very substantial list of features, and they have very solid power. For true serious listening 45w/ch to 8 ohms is about as low as I would like to go.

    That said, most people overestimate the amount of power necessary to drive speakers to a casual listening level. Even at loud levels the long term average power is no more than a watt or two. Tiny amps like the Digital T-Amps, have 10w or less per channel, yet they sound very good ... if you don't push them too hard. So, it is not that a low powered amp won't work, just that it will have limitations, primarily to how loud it can go before you start running out of power.

    The Marantz is not cheap, but it seems to be good quality, has plenty of power, and lots and lots of features. Based on power alone, it would probably be my preferred choice if I were in the market for this type of system.

    Still if you don't mind the limited power, the Denon's are very popular. Yamaha makes decent mini-systems.

    One further note on power. The standard power rating is to 8 ohms, that way all amps can be fairly compared. Though don't be discouraged, mini-amps are not classified as HIFI, so they don't have to conform to the standard for power rating.

    If and amp is rated at 6 ohms, take 3/4 of the power to get the 8 ohm power.

    P = 0.75 x 60w = 45w to 8 ohms

    If the power is rated at 4 ohms, that is simply done to inflate the apparent power. Though this gets a bit trickier, take 60% of the 4 ohm power to get an estimate of the 8 ohms power.

    P = 0.6 x 60w = 36w to 8 ohms

    Also notice distortion ratings. Good distortion ratings are 0.1% or less and this spans the full 20hz to 20khz spectrum. Power ratings at higher distortions and at 1khz only, again are an attempt to inflate the apparent power. Any distortion rating over 1% is bogus. If it is 10%, simply subtract 10% from the power rating then adjust it as indicated in the formulas above.

    Again, if the price of the Marantz is just too much for you, the Denons are very well regarded, and certainly worth considering, but they are less power.

    The Denon CEOL RCD-N8 seems to have a nice feature set, but the true power is only about 39w/ch to 8 ohms, that's not bad though.

    Superfi - DENON CEOL RCDN8 CD/FM/USB/AIRPLAY/WIFI NETWORKED MINI SYSTEM WITH iPOD DOCK

    That is about the same power as the Denon 109 found in a previous link. These are the mini-separates system. That amp is also rated at 65w to 4 ohms, so equally the true power is about 38w/ch to 8 ohms. That, again, is not that bad. 35w to 40w/ch is not that bad as long as you don't plan to through a RAVE.

    Though certainly not as compact, the Denon DF109 is that if one component fails, it is not the death of the entire unit. If the CD fails under warranty, you can send it back for repair and still keep the rest of your system for music listening. If an all-in-one system fails, the entire system as to go back for repair. Though in reality, a repair is not likely to be necessary.

    One has to ask though, what do you mean by 'an alternate to the Marantz'? Are you looking for a brand you can find near you? Are you simply looking for NOT Marantz? Are you looking for similar features at a lower price?

    For what it is worth.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  10. nolia

    nolia
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    I was after something in the similar or not far off the Marantz, I had looked at RS and they had run out of stock at their shops closer to me. In terms of power, I wasn't really bothered how loud it goes, I do have some serious hi-fi equipment that caters for that. The mini stereo was for easy listening when I am at the halls at university and also when I move to private student digs. I have always preferred the laid back sounds of some of the Japanese electronics.
     
  11. BlueWizard

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    Power has nothing to do with volume, that is a common misconception. To make the slightest difference in the volume, you need to DOUBLE the power. Power brings you clarity and control.

    Most shops no longer have the Marantz 603 because it is a discontinued out dated model. The current equivalent is the Marantz 610.

    I think of those listed, in an all-in-one the Marantz 610 and the Denon CEOL are probably the best values, and the highest power. The smaller low cost Denon and Yamaha models tend to be very low power in the 20w/ to 25w range. People use these lower power models and seem quite happy with them, but you have to understand the limitation of what you are buying. As long as your desires and your wallet are in sync, you shouldn't have a problem.

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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