Jack of All Trades or Master of One?

mithrandandi

Novice Member
Following some excellent advice on which amps would best suit my Dali Ikon 6s, I have arrived at a choice between the Marantz PM7000N and the somewhat more expensive Denon PMA-1600NE which would be accompanied, some time later, by the Denon DNP800NE. Yes, I have finally ceased my resistance to all things streamed and am embracing the sheer mass of music that this opens for me. There are several concerns that make the decision a difficult one. I have listened to both amps in-store and both sounded excellent using the store perfect set-ups. As they were in rival stores selling rival brands I have not been able to do a direct comparison let alone a demo with my speakers but, as I say, both sounded great.
My main question is: do I go for the lower priced Marantz, which has all I could want as far as streaming options are concerned but might not be the best at amplifying my CD player/turntable, or do I bite the bullet and go for the Denon, which is considerably more expensive and lacks the streaming capabilities, but is, according to much I have read and its obvious build quality, a far 'better' amplifier. I would later, hopefully, follow this up by forking out more cash for the DNP800NE?
I think that the Denon sounded a bit better in the store but that could have been down to any number of factors including my simply believing that more expensive must sound better and just how solid and reliable it looked and felt. Comparing the numbers and leaving the streaming and internet radio elements aside (to be addressed at a later date), the Denon has the higher output at 100-110 watts compared to the Marantz 70, at my Dali's 6 ohms, while in harmonic distortion and signal to noise ratio the Marantz outperforms the Denon though by negligible amounts. The Marantz also seems to be well regarded by the likes of What HiFi but I'm not sure how much I can rely on that. Whichever way I go, I will then need to negotiate HEOS, which looks like a whole new bucket of chuckles.
So do I go for the Marantz and risk less impressive sound but be able to afford the Beyerdynamic headphones I have my eye on, or splash-out on the Denon amp and streamer, and give up the beers for six months? The help I have received up to now has been invaluable and just through reading answers on the different forums I no longer feel like such a neophyte in the audiophile temples of HiFi Klubben and Soundgarden. Thank you.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
The Ikon 6 speakers should suit both these amplifiers. However I would turn the tables around-buy rather the Denon you are mentioning or the Marantz PM8006, then add a Node, then you’re all set.

Watts doesn’t mean everything thing in grand scheme, but the Marantz PM7000N well have no problems driving the speakers. Same with the Denon.

Sound wise both are on the warm side of neutral, but Denon has little more power to the bass. Whereas Marantz rolls of the top end, and has more musical sound.

It depends on what sound you like. The old Dali-Ikon speakers are also little harsh in treble.

If you ask me I like to own classic amp without any streaming build in. And Bluesound streamers are very stable.

There are also some treads here discussing the PM7000N, and it seems there can be some software issues.

I have the Node2i, it never skips a beat
 
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robdmarsh

Active Member
Hi to the original poster, not sure if you've made your decision, but as a new owner of the Denon pma 800ne I couldn't be happier with the Denon sound. This model is in the same line as the 1600ne but is about one third the price of that one. The sound is as described above, both detailed and warm. Tone controls may help tame the treble of very occasional brightness, but overall I'm very impressed, so god knows how good the 1600ne is.
I tied the Marantz pm6006uk a couple of years ago and didn't get on with it - I thought it had a less exciting sound than the Denon. I also tried Audiolab 6000a and the Rotel a11 Tribute and didn't like all of these, so basically all the contenders around the £500 price mark and the Denon wins by a mile to my ears and tastes.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
I would go with the Denon either the1600 which gets some great reviews on here or the 800 that @robdmarsh owns.
Not sure if the “matching” network player is necessary, you could save money by getting the Node @Helix Hifi mentions or even more savings with the Yamaha WXAD10
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
I would go with the Denon either the1600 which gets some great reviews on here or the 800 that @robdmarsh owns.
Not sure if the “matching” network player is necessary, you could save money by getting the Node @Helix Hifi mentions or even more savings with the Yamaha WXAD10
As far as the question of dedicated streamers is concerned this is an area where I think you could be dropping quite a lot of unnecessary cash and I'll explain why. I had a Yamaha wxc-50 (£279) which I bought a few years ago and was quite happy with for a while but I didn't know any better. I was using it to stream iTunes from my computer over wifi with files of max 350kbps. Then I got into streaming with Amazon HD which was easily the cheapest option for me being a prime user. Unfortunately Yamaha's music cast interface doesn't support Amazon and Yamaha have no plans to do so. So I had to use bluetooth from my phone to the Yamaha and I thought this sounded better than iTunes BUT the bluetooth connection on the wxc-50 was incredibly unreliable to the point of being unusable. Again Yamaha customer service told me there was no update to fix this so naturally I was pretty peed off.
Then I read about the ifi zen blue. People were saying pretty good things about it and the performance with the latest LDAC codec. I've got one now, and also the upgraded iPower adapter, and I'm amazed how close the sound gets to dedicated streamers I've heard. This opinion, though, ruffles the feathers of a few audiophiles who say file size is still compressed over bluetooth and doesn't really approach hi-res but I I would love to to do AB testing between the ifi zen blue and something like a Cambridge CXN v2 and see how much extra performance the £600 price difference really gets you.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. Just my 2p. The Ikon's are an easy load. The Marantz will drive them just fine, to more than acceptable volume levels. I'd go that way and save your pennies by not needing extra kit. The new powernode would be a similar option.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
I was considering the Powernode as well, but I think an audition would be essential. I do wonder if the class D amplifier in it could match the amplifier in the Marantz pm7000n or even the Denon pma 800ne. It does also take minimalism to rather extreme levels - a tiny black or white plastic brick with no switches, knobs or display!
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Easy to place though. Genuinely, i think either that or the Marantz would be perfect for your speakers.
 

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