Marantz CD6003/P6003 VS NAD C326BEE amp/CD for my AE Neo 3s?

Shexbex

Standard Member
I'm building my first Hi-fi system as I finally have the money. I am set on the Acoustic Energy Neo 3s because I have listened to them and they are what I was looking for, they're cheap, and I finally have a room that is big enough.

Unfortunately I live in an area where I cannot try any of the other components out, so I am going to have to trust you guys on this one.

I listen to a lot of Indie Rock, Electronic Music (stuff like Aphex Twin which is very detailed and subtle, and isn't "boom boom" music). I also listen to a lot of stuff like Radiohead and Porcupine Tree which is at times quite punchy but is very well produced and detailed, soundstage is important but the sound still has to be "fun". Because of this, I need my sound system to be as vertasile as possible. I also listen to a lot of acoustic folk, and stuff like the xx that heavily relies on soundstage.

I recall that the Neo 3s had enough drive and power/bass for the punchier side of music that I enjoy, and I need components that supplement this rather than mellow it out or makes it too "boomy". I've read that the Marantz components are much "Warmer" sounding, and are more musical and detailed but the NAD is more "punchy" and fun. Would the NAD system + my AE Neo 3s be "too" boomy if I want to kick back and listen to folk or something mellow? Would that be too much punch?

This is my first sound system and I know I'll be pleased with it because it'll be a huge step up from my current crap setup, so I'm just looking to enjoy it for now and as I get more technical I can upgrade or replace my components accordingly, but for now, since I cannot try any of these things and must make what is effectively a blind purchase, can I get as many opinions on this matter as I can?
 

sniffer316

Active Member
Hope this helps i have recently purchased 6003 series and it sounds superb through b&w 685 have played some kraftwork and yello through it and it does sound more musical than the nad plus i prefer the looks of the marantz plus the fact that the marantz has usb input.:thumbsup:
 

interloper

Active Member
I have the Marantz PM6003 paired with Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s. It sounds terrific, very warm and musical as you say. NAD make great kit too so it really depends on preference - and I share your pain about the difficulties of sampling kit before you buy.

My local Richer Sounds let me take the Marantz home to try it for 2 weeks with the option of bringing it back. I loved it, so it stayed!

One thing it does excel at (I think) is the type of indie-rock you mentioned - the Radiohead 'In Rainbows' album on vinyl sounds staggering, with a huge soundstage at this price point. I listen to everything from The National, Bowie and Radiohead through to Diana Krall, Laura Marling and Nick Drake and I've never been disappointed. Hell, even DAB sounds okay... :devil:
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Either Nad or Marantz would pair well with the neo. I've demo both Nad C355 and Marantz Pm7001ki with the said speakers and found the Marantz had more cohesion between the vocals and bass/mid range but thats was to my ears. It's diffferent for others. IMO, With either make, and the Neo's, the setup will sound brill and sing beautifully.

i have a pair of neo 3 driven by a Marantz PM7001 Ki and to me, it sounds wonderful to my ears.

I would suggest the Nad C355 or Marantz PM7003 but there are others, namely HK 3490 or HK980 that can do as good a job.

:smashin:
 

Shexbex

Standard Member
Thank you everyone for the generous replies and suggestions.

It seems like I'll be alright either way. Unfortunately I cannot stretch my budget beyond 500 or 550 for both the amp and the CD player so I cannot purchase some of the components mentioned such as the Marantz PM7003.

Interloper I've got a question since it appears that we have very similar music tastes. While it's great to know that the music you mentioned will sound alright in my system (I happen to listen to and like all the ones you mentioned.. well, except for DAB :p) but what happens when you play something a bit more punchy and distorted? Like punk, or rock, or like Radiohead - Hail to the thief during the nosier moments on the album. Does it still sound alright or does it "mellow the music out"?

Basically, can the marantz rock out as well as remain warm?
 

interloper

Active Member
Interloper I've got a question since it appears that we have very similar music tastes. While it's great to know that the music you mentioned will sound alright in my system (I happen to listen to and like all the ones you mentioned.. well, except for DAB :p) but what happens when you play something a bit more punchy and distorted? Like punk, or rock, or like Radiohead - Hail to the thief during the nosier moments on the album. Does it still sound alright or does it "mellow the music out"?

Basically, can the marantz rock out as well as remain warm?

Absolutely - in fact, I think this is one area it excels in. Pretty much all Radiohead really sounds terrific and the new National album 'High Violet' features a track called 'Terrible Love' which is incredibly raw and distorted. It sounds great on the Marantz but flat as a pancake on pretty much everything else I've heard it on (in this price range, obviously).

Listened to some old Garbage CD's the other day - particularly tracks like "I Think I'm Paranoid" sounded way better than I've ever heard them before. Florence and The Machine's "Lungs" sounds epic on this system too, particularly "Drumming Song" and "Between Two Lungs". The start of "Dog Days Are Over" is incredible - as if you can actually hear the harpist's fingers hitting the strings. This may sound over the top but it certainly didn't sound like that on my previous system.

For something on the other end of the spectrum, listen to Laura Marling's new album and close your eyes. You'd swear she's in the room!
 

maxflinn

Active Member
i recently swapped a nad c326bee for a marantz pm6003 amp , to go with my monitor audio rx6s and marantz cd6003 ...

the nad was very good if you like lots of bass , but for me , the marantz honestly sounds like an amp a few classes above the nad ..

bigger , wider soundstage , more detailed , not too bassy but plenty of bass , easy to listen to for longer , a top product for the money imo ..
 

Shexbex

Standard Member
Thank you very much guys and it seems like I'm set on the Marantz system, the bigger soundstage and detail is probably the most important to me and it appears that this is where it truly shines on the NAD.

Also thank you very much interloper for giving me song examples to how it sounds well. I have just a few more comments (i'm sorry for being picky) but how does it fare with something that REALLY relies on punchy guitar distortion, something like the white stripes or the strokes? I guess the doing well on the Garbage song means it should be okay but the guitar is quite back in the mix in respect to the vocals and the lead bit.. at least on my headphones.

secondly, how does it do on electronic music? By that, i'm not talking about "boom-boom" techno but something like Animal Collective or Caribou? The appeal in those bands is the density of sonic textures and all the different layers, but they do need a bit of a "bass kick" to keep them flowing otherwise they sound flat. (the sound "boring" and "lifeless" on my beyerdynamic studio monitoring headphones, despite being able to hear every single layer).

Thank you again everyone you've been a great help.
 

interloper

Active Member
how does it fare with something that REALLY relies on punchy guitar distortion, something like the white stripes or the strokes?

secondly, how does it do on electronic music? By that, i'm not talking about "boom-boom" techno but something like Animal Collective or Caribou?

Good questions - I'll dig some CDs out tomorrow and let you know. By way of some comparison:

  • Raconteurs - "Steady As She Goes" from Broken Boy Soldiers is very crisp and has plenty of kick but I'll try some White Stripes tomorrow.
  • Can't speak for either of the above but "Ambling Alp" from the new Yeasayer album is way beyond flat - I'd say the layers of sound are very distinct but not at the expense of vocals, which have plenty of impact.
Those are both on vinyl through the 9.1s but I'll have a listen on my headphones (Grado SR60i) and get back to you. Also, have to agree with maxflinn's post above - the Marantz feels like a more expensive amp. I wonder if they've gone all out to lead the 'budget' market with it. Plenty of people on here dismiss What HiFi reviews but in a head-to-head this month it pushed the NAD down to 4 stars and the Denon PMA-710 (which I was recommended for my tastes) was criticised for being a little bass-heavy - something which matched up exactly to how I felt when I heard it.

The Marantz isn't short on bass but it doesn't overpower. But again, listening is the key.
 
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interloper

Active Member
Dug out The Strokes "Is This It" today and ended up listening to the whole thing for the first time in 4 years...

Sounded great, guitars were very much at the forefront but not overwhelming - it's the best I've ever heard it in fact. Reminded me what a great album it is.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Keep in mind the best deal on a NAD amp right now is the NAD C355 with 80w/ch from Richer Sound, in Silver only and in-store only. Priced at £299 marked down from £450.

That is the same price as the NAD C326, which is also a fine amp, but it doesn't have 80w/ch.

And the equivalent amp in a Marantz is also £450 (PM7003, 70w/ch).

Steve/bluewizard
 

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