Will this sound good?

I`m new to HIFI so forgive my ignorance please.

I am looking at buying the following:

Marantz PM6002 review - whathifi.com

B&W 685 review - whathifi.com

Onkyo DS-A2X review - whathifi.com

I am considering this because recently I have been listening to my mainly lossless and high bitrate music through my ipod and Etymotic earphones, which sounds amazing to me. I have a JBL radial ipod dock/speaker but compared to the Etymotics sounds poor.

I`m thinking the above would be a good starting point to which I could add a CD player, DAB etc in the future and even hook my samsung 37" LCD t.v. up for sound (if possible?).

I would like to know what to expect from the above setup as i`m shopping blind. I have no easy access to a hifi shop to try stuff so your feedback would be most appreciated.




Distinguished Member
I am afraid it will be impossible to say! Different cominations of components have a different sound and people have different preferences to sound. So what I may think sounds fantastic may not be suitable for you.

As you are looking to spend a resonable amount of money, is there no way you can arrange a demo?

Also, how big is your room? How loud do you play music? What music do you play?
Yeah a demo could be hard due to distance but I will look into it.

I listen to a wide variety of music from classic rock to the likes of radiohead and kings of leon. I am also developing an interest in classical music which is like a journey of discovery!

Maybe I should of asked: Would this sound bad?

As you can see all I did was select a couple of What hifi best buys that added up roughly what I am willing/able to spend..

I just want to know if I can get some kit that I can play my music through that will sound better than the JBL Radial ( JBL Radial iPod Speakers - mp3Essentials ). Its not bad but compared to the etymotics sounds bomy and not as much clarity, especially with classical.

When i listen to music that is all I do, I like to get fully into it so often play at fairly high volume, Not sure how to describe how loud that is.

Like I said in OP, I am new to hifi, the Etymotic ER6i ear phones have given me a glimpse of a better sound than i`m used to.

I might add that I think my taste is more geared towards a sharp bright sound rather than booming bass if that helps you advise!?

Oh yeah my budget is £700.....ish!


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Active Member
I had pretty much the same experience as you. I'd been listening through Logitech PC speakers, which I thought were quite good until I got some Etymotic Hf2 earphones. Was amazed at how much clearer, smoother and punchier my music sounded, and wanted to get a hi-fi to recreate that sound.

My budget was about £500, but I didn't need a CD player or dock yet as I was planning to use my computer, so you could say my price range was about the same as yours. One thing that lots of people said to me was that I should buy second-hand, as hi-fi equipment is generally well-treated and at this price you can get a lot more sound for your money in the used market.

I took that advice and bought an NAD C352 amplifier. I think they're about £350 new, but I got mine for £200 after shopping around. The Marantz amp you're looking at seems to be pretty well-regarded, but the NAD is also an excellent amp and provides 80 watts per channel of power compared to 45 with the Marantz, which might interest you if you like loud music. I'm no expert but to me it sounds pretty good.

Combined it with a set of Monitor Audio BR2 speakers and some nice stands, which cost me £160 + £50. With your budget you could probably move upmarket a bit from there, but the MA speakers do tend to be fairly bright which you say is the sound that you like.


Distinguished Member
Yep! Nads are generally well regarded and they tend to sound louder than their rated output due to their high current capability. I have an older C350 and am very pleased with it.

Will your speakers have to be placed close to a wall or will they be in free space over say 500mm from the wall?

Yeah I`ve been looking at NAD amps and loads of others like cambridge audio azure range. Like most things you take a bit of time over choosing there is so much out there.

I am able to position speakes upto 4 metres apart and max half a metre from wall.

I should add that my budget of £700 is inclusive of amp speakers dock and interconnects and speaker wire oh and stands( looks like i`ll be scrapping the OP products then!) ....

Euphonious: I bet your hf2`s sound amazing considering they are a step up from the ER6i`s..nice.
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