Upgrade: Roksan Caspian m2 or Marantz PM80006 or something else?

KKooki

Novice Member
Hello fellows,

So I am looking to upgrade my nearly 20yr old amp Roksan Kandy III to maybe one of the options above. - I love my Roksan, but I am finding a little dull at low volumes. I've always had my eyes on the Caspian m2, but it's now getting a little bit dated it seems, but it's still being produced.

I've listened to the PM6006 and I find it a little more detailed and refreshing, but not sure if that would be tiresome after a while. I like my music to encompass me, but not Bass heavy but detailed and refined. My budget being about 1200 Euros. - Secondhand Caspian M2. Or a Marantz pm8008.

I had considered the Moon 240i, but I am not sure it will give me the upgrade I am desiring.

Whatever I get, it will be paired with Klipsch RB 81 II speakers for a year or so until I go back and get myself a new pair of Spendor Speakers. I currently run the Klipschs on silver coated speaker wire. - I find the silver adds little more detail to the trebles and mids (where the Kplisch may sound rounded off on the Roksan Kandy). I also have an Arcam CD player and a Rega p3 with a Rega Pre-Amp (my kandy phono pre-amp is playing up).

So thoughts are all welcome and very much appreciated.

As a side note, I live in Europe (Switzerland). So this limits many of the American brands for example.
 

PeteArt

Novice Member
Hi,
I found your post interesting as I am currently in the same situation. After listening to Arcam A75 for past 20 years I entered the market and searching for a new amp. My A75 still holds up relatively well but it started loosing its edge few years ago, so the time has come...

My current candidate is Marantz PM8006. Other potential choices are Yamaha A-S1200 and Moon 240i. The most obvious question I try to find answer to is if A-S1200 or 240i will be truly worth the money over PM8006.

Anyway, I wonder if you have made your move and if so, what was the choice ?
 
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KKooki

Novice Member
Hi there Pete,

Interesting as I looked at the Moon 240i and the Yamaha too. I did upgrade and ended up getting the Yamaha 2100 instead from a dealer for 1500 euros.

And quite frankly put, I absolutely love it.

The reason why I went for the 2100 over the a-s 1200 was that it has a better pre phono amp inside and I didn't see a massive difference with the 2200. So for the budget I thought I'd go for the higher end older model was way more bang for buck.

Why I didn't go for the marantz? Well it has a very defined sound signature and I wasn't sure if I'd get bored of it in time. Also as my music tastes change over the years I wondered if it was too much and might be too much. So what worked today might not work tomorrow type thing. Oh and living room is quite echo-ey as it is (marble floors) and I wasn't sure that would go either. But don't get me wrong I do like that Marantz sound.

The 240i is quite a warm amp there's lots of mixed reviews on it. I did like that it does have its own DAC though. But I gave that a drop too due to the mixed reviews.

My Yamaha is connected to a pair of ProAc D18s (they arrived last week) and wow does it sound fantastic. The combo just are fabulous together. The amp is way more detailed than the Roksan I had. The mids/vocals are just fabulous and the combined sound stage and depth the ProAcs it's great. It's not too bright or too bass heavy.

Oh and I have a pair of B&W DM600 S3 connected to it on the office area. Again the sound stage depth is awesome. It picks out so much detail. But my favourite is the ProAcs.

I have the Denafrips Ares II DAC attached to the amp too as there's no DAC (which added to the cost) and it has the CD player connected to it now too. I use the balanced cables from the DAC to the Yamaha (you can't do that with the as 1200 as it doesn't have the balanced inputs if I remember right).

So there's been lots of changes on my side.

If you like the Yamaha sound absolutely go for it. It's a huge beast and you need the space for it. But I've been running it since December and I love turning it on to listen to music. Which is practically all day every day.

I read that the Yamaha is also easy to pair speakers with. I can also tell you that I tried the amp with the new KEF Ls50 metas and it sounds a bit flat and dull and I'm wasn't sure if they could really drive them well. A few people have that combo. - But that could be the size of my room.

I used to wonder if I should have got the Marantz, but since the ProAcs arrived and replaced the Klipsches all the that had gone and am super happy that I have the Yamaha.

Super long reply, but I hope that helps.
 
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PeteArt

Novice Member
Hello KKooki,
it is pleasure to e-meet you. Your post is great and very enjoyable to ready. I really appreciate the details you shared. It is by no means too long at all. Frankly, I thought you may not be even interested anymore... so, many many thanks!

For the start, I did few reads on your Pro AC D18. The specs are remarkable, the reviews are mind blowing and the speakers look fantastic. And they are all "Made in England", which is an absolute "wow" factor. Given all of the above, they must be the "end-game" speakers. What finish do you have ? Strangely, I have never run into them before. I guess this is because North American and European markets defend they turf. Especially here, in Canada, we have a solid list of speaker vendors and most dealers make better profit selling domestic brands.

I personally own a pair of Totem Arro's and Axiom M5HP - they both are outstanding speakers in their category, really high value for $; none is the true end-game though.

I know that Denafrips Ares II is a legend by now; however, there is a lot of confusion and extremely mixed opinions around R2R vs Delta-Sigma DACs. Even the "experts" do not unilaterally agree. I wonder what is your experience ? Were you able to compare your Ares to other DAC(s) and conclude on experience and true value?

I am sorry, I diverted. Let's go back to the amplifiers.

Congratulations on you Yamaha A-S2100 ! The build quality, timeless design and reviews make it an ultimate machine for any audiophile. Your testimony serves a great witness to that. Yes, balanced inputs are for sure a bonus and not easily found. 1500 euro for a new one is unbelievable deal. I would not think twice! Thank you for the hints, most notably about Yamaha being easy on pairing speakers. Also, interesting statement on Simaudio. I too read some reviews about hate/love relationship with their amps.

As for me, Marantz PM8006 is the low shot while A-S1200 is the high one (budget). I still did not exclude Simaudio, which is same $ as Yamaha. As far as I can tell PM8006 stands out and consistently wins across many boards/reviews over anything at that price-range. The quality of build is unquestionable as as this model is made in Marantz reference factory in Japan. A huge question for me to answer is if A-S1200 is worth the double price of PM8006. Perhaps Moon 250i or 240i from Simaudio can be an answer to that dilemma but I do not know.
The covid situation doe snot help. Dealer shops scaled down and some closed altogether. There are shortages of equipment across the market. Effectively, I have no real chance to A/B listening experience. This opens up opportunity for more reading, and just looking around.

Anyway, I better wrap up because my post is already large. I hope you do not mind.

Greetings !
 
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KKooki

Novice Member
Hello KKooki,
it is pleasure to e-meet you. Your post is great and very enjoyable to ready. I really appreciate the details you shared. It is by no means too long at all. Frankly, I thought you may not be even interested anymore... so, many many thanks!

For the start, I did few reads on your Pro AC D18. The specs are remarkable, the reviews are mind blowing and the speakers look fantastic. And they are all "Made in England", which is an absolute "wow" factor. Given all of the above, they must be the "end-game" speakers. What finish do you have ? Strangely, I have never run into them before. I guess this is because North American and European markets defend they turf. Especially here, in Canada, we have a solid list of speaker vendors and most dealers make better profit selling domestic brands.

I personally own a pair of Totem Arro's and Axiom M5HP - they both are outstanding speakers in their category, really high value for $; none is the true end-game though.

I know that Denafrips Ares II is a legend by now; however, there is a lot of confusion and extremely mixed opinions around R2R vs Delta-Sigma DACs. Even the "experts" do not unilaterally agree. I wonder what is your experience ? Were you able to compare your Ares to other DAC(s) and conclude on experience and true value?

I am sorry, I diverted. Let's go back to the amplifiers.

Congratulations on you Yamaha A-S2100 ! The build quality, timeless design and reviews make it an ultimate machine for any audiophile. Your testimony serves a great witness to that. Yes, balanced inputs are for sure a bonus and not easily found. 1500 euro for a new one is unbelievable deal. I would not think twice! Thank you for the hints, most notably about Yamaha being easy on pairing speakers. Also, interesting statement on Simaudio. I too read some reviews about hate/love relationship with their amps.

As for me, Marantz PM8006 is the low shot while A-S1200 is the high one (budget). I still did not exclude Simaudio, which is same $ as Yamaha. As far as I can tell PM8006 stands out and consistently wins across many boards/reviews over anything at that price-range. The quality of build is unquestionable as as this model is made in Marantz reference factory in Japan. A huge question for me to answer is if A-S1200 is worth the double price of PM8006. Perhaps Moon 250i or 240i from Simaudio can be an answer to that dilemma but I do not know.
The covid situation doe snot help. Dealer shops scaled down and some closed altogether. There are shortages of equipment across the market. Effectively, I have no real chance to A/B listening experience. This opens up opportunity for more reading, and just looking around.

Anyway, I better wrap up because my post is already large. I hope you do not mind.

Greetings !
Hi there,

Good to e-meet you too. Sorry for the late reply, apparently I got locked out of my account, so the platform doesn't notify if there's a reply or not!

Yes I was in the same boat as you. Reading and not getting a moment to hear it properly. Also I found that when shops were open here, dealers were too pushy or didn't care. It really annoyed me to be honest. Specially when I was looking at changing over the speakers.

So to get back to things:

Denefrips: I chose it over other personal preferences. - 1. I am tired of shiny lights and most DACS now have screens and flashing lights. When you turn off the lights in the room at night, I like it dark, not lit up like some suburban town with street lights everywhere. There's no remote too and I didn't want to add to the collection of things to put away, specially when you have a 2 yr old.

To the amps: The AS2200 was out of my budget to be honest. But given the reviews and how much I could pick up the 2100. I went for it (actually I bargained down the dealer 250 eruos on it). I also like the design over the PM8006.

For the PM8006, it's way better than the lower models. That's for sure and I do love the Marantz sound. It's very unique and has a solid build. But I personally would go for the 2100 if you can find it. The PM was my 2nd choice (or the Roksan Caspian m2).

For the speakers: I love listening to them, I work from home and they are on most the time. 0 So 8 hours a day, but I really get lost in them during the late listening hours when I am done with work. I picked those up for 1000 Pounds in the UK and had them shipped over and it stull turned out cheaper than buying them locally. - Warmer bass, awesome mids. Though admittedly, this was a blind purchase before hearing them. I had longed for a pair of Spendors again, but I also feel Spendor is a little too dry for me so I jumped in and hoped for the best. Worst case would be that I would sell them and not make a loss on it. - Thanks COVID. Oh the cherry finish.

I would look at getting the older model AS1100 or the AS2100 from a dealer. The 1100 is about the same price as the PM8006. Or go half way up and get the 2100 if you can find it (I think you can) - I am not sure of your location.

Hope that helps and let me know which one you got . Eitherway you wont be disappointed with the PM8006 for sure.
 

daddy999

Active Member
Here’s another recommendation for the Yamaha AS2100, if you can find a deal, the sound is simply stunning. I pair mine with MA 100 mk2 gold speakers. PS the phono stage on the AS 2100 is truly excellent, if vinyl is your thing.
 

PeteArt

Novice Member
Welcome back KKooki and no worries, I was also locked out. And we obviously have life outside forum too. With 2-years old it must be busy for you. My kids are high school, so I have a bit more time for the hobby now :)

I like the criteria you used for the selection of your DAC. When you turn the lights off you want it dark indeed ! I was looking at the Multibit Guggir from Schiit, It also come in clean very and simple design, has raving reviews and, as a bonus, is made in California. Aside from company name, I like everything about that product.

I am not surprised you decided to go for your ProAcs without listening. With the amount of materials on the Internet, it is possible to refine the choice and make a decision. And we know that well reviewed, high-end speakers, especially if made in UK, must sound good. Sure there is an issue of personal preferences and pairing with the equipment but, again, higher quality carry lower risk. The chances of hitting a bad apple increase when you go below certain level.
Btw. I have my Axioms M5HP in cherry as well, although it is toned with "cinnamon" stain. I love cherry wood, be it stained or natural. With its smaller grain and it is beautiful finish, perfect for medium-size and small speakers.

Thank you to daddy999, I appreciate another vote for Yamaha, which I actually added to the list of contenders. As mentioned the situation here is not the best when it comes to listening. So far I secured a session with Marantz dealer at the end of next week. They also carry Rega and few others; unfortunately no Yamaha's, but will look around because I am very keen on having them auditioned.

Thanks a lot - cheers!
 

KKooki

Novice Member
Hi Peter Art,

So to quickly get back to you on the Yamaha, there's a thread going on in Stevehoffman.com forums about Hi-fi Heaven doing deals on the Yamaha. Being in Europe, I don't know if they have a branch near you but it might be worth checking it out.

Here's the link. - for the forum.

Hope that helps?

Cherry is nice but I love the walnut look on the ProAc brand too. It's less clean but it certainly says "sit down with me and pour yourself a whiskey" to me anyway. 😂

Yeah the Schiit I was considering too. But when I was looking to purchase one they always had availability issues with the European models (plugs etc) and when I contacted Denfrips the customer service was a lot higher and friendlier I found.

I just bought a unit to stabilise the electricity coming out of a power socket to my amp. Even that has a green led light on it. The whole light thing drives me nuts. In January I bought a fridge and it has a panel on the front. The light is so bright it casts a shadow on the door down the hall even 8 metres away and can even light up my daughter's room a bit with its blue tinge. I since covered it with a postcard and I've started to put blue tack over led lights on power cables and power extensions because of it. I feel like I'm Jack Nicholson in as Good As It Gets. 😂.

OK going back to bed now.
 
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KKooki

Novice Member
Welcome back KKooki and no worries, I was also locked out. And we obviously have life outside forum too. With 2-years old it must be busy for you. My kids are high school, so I have a bit more time for the hobby now :)

I like the criteria you used for the selection of your DAC. When you turn the lights off you want it dark indeed ! I was looking at the Multibit Guggir from Schiit, It also come in clean very and simple design, has raving reviews and, as a bonus, is made in California. Aside from company name, I like everything about that product.

I am not surprised you decided to go for your ProAcs without listening. With the amount of materials on the Internet, it is possible to refine the choice and make a decision. And we know that well reviewed, high-end speakers, especially if made in UK, must sound good. Sure there is an issue of personal preferences and pairing with the equipment but, again, higher quality carry lower risk. The chances of hitting a bad apple increase when you go below certain level.
Btw. I have my Axioms M5HP in cherry as well, although it is toned with "cinnamon" stain. I love cherry wood, be it stained or natural. With its smaller grain and it is beautiful finish, perfect for medium-size and small speakers.

Thank you to daddy999, I appreciate another vote for Yamaha, which I actually added to the list of contenders. As mentioned the situation here is not the best when it comes to listening. So far I secured a session with Marantz dealer at the end of next week. They also carry Rega and few others; unfortunately no Yamaha's, but will look around because I am very keen on having them auditioned.

Thanks a lot - cheers!
See above. Forgot to hit the reply button...

Axioms M5HP look great BTW. 3 way speakers too! Will read up on them over the weekend. But I love the look and I Can see the cherry wood finish is nice. Eat better than black.
 

PeteArt

Novice Member
Hello there KKooki, a bit of delay on my side ...can blame it on covid ...I guess :)
Many interesting mini-threads emerging from our discussion.

M5HP are real break-through, and not just in the Axiom lineup. They occupy sparsely populated area, between true floor-stands and bookshelf. Because of 3-way, their level of detail is scary. Yet, they cannot be called bright. What makes them very different though is a tuneup oriented toward amplifiers that can deliver 90+ watts per channel. Because they are a bit heavier to drive, you can run your amp on a higher volume. While many bookshelfs and even floor-stands would simply produce louder sound, M5HPs generate, what I call a "full body" sound instead. You can enjoy the qualities of detail and dynamics your amp can deliver, without waking up your neighbors. And speaking of Axiom, they are probably one of the best gems hidden deep in Canadian forest. Their main offense is that they do not cater to marketing machine, so they are being deliberately and utterly disregarded by the mainstream. They are nearly-custom made, with lots of finishes to choose from. I agree that walnut is a very handsome wood too. Definitely one that invites the bystander to enjoy a glass of a single-malt or well-aged burbon, whatever your preference is ;)

I was laughing when reading the story about your green (en)lighted fridge. Funny enough, our fridge broke about 4 weeks ago and we just got a new one which has WiFi connection (!). All simple/normal models were on a back-order, so we were pretty much forced.

Nice summary on Denfrips. Having good experience with customer support is tremendous factor when you are buying high-end gear.

I am very interested in a "unit to stabilize the electricity" you've got. There is quite a long list on the Amazon. The problem is always how it really works. Beside stabilizing voltage, do you know if your unit also eliminates ground-loops? Apparently, that type of isolation is not easy to build and it is one of the common issues when combining multi-voltage pieces.

I hope I did not run into over-write. Cheers!
 

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