Today we reviewed the Marantz PM6007 stereo amplifier and the Marantz CD6007 CD player, both of which are equipped with an Asahi Kasei AK4490 audiophile DAC with two switchable digital filters and have already earned a 5 star rating on What Hi-Fi?.
Sold for €549, the Marantz PM6007 features HDAM high-efficiency amplification that delivers 2 x 45 watts into 8 ohms, is equipped with digital inputs and uses Current Feedback technology. The Marantz CD6007 CD player is retailed at €449 and, in addition to playing compact discs, supports Hi-Res audio files (notably FLAC and DSD) via its USB port which is also iPod and iPhone compatible.
At just under €1000, are the Marantz PM6007 and Marantz CD6007 the best solution for accessing high fidelity without breaking the bank?
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: the brand
Saul Bernard Marantz created his first amplifier in the 1940s to listen to his vinyl records before developing the revolutionary Audio Consolette phono preamplifier in the 1950s. It integrated the equalization curves of different record labels and was a huge success with his audiophile friends.
The Marantz company was officially founded in 1953. In his factory in Woodside, Queens (New York), Saul B. Marantz produced the Model 1 phono preamplifier, the Model 2 power amplifier (1952) and the Model 7 stereo preamplifier (1958), which remained a reference high-end audiophile preamplifier for many years.
Despite the success of the Model 9 mono amp and the Model 10 tuner, Marantz encountered financial difficulties in the early 1960s. The company was acquired by Superscope and began to focus on producing more affordable products. Marantz also began manufacturing products in Japan with the creation of Marantz Japan (1975).
The arrival of engineer Ken Ishiwata at Marantz Europe in 1978 marked the beginning of the merger with Japanese development and production teams. A true icon in the audiophile world, this music and technology enthusiast produced some of Marantz’s most prestigious electronics from the mid-1980s, then labeled SE and KI from the 2000s.
Since its creation, Marantz has been an important player in the development of hi-fi and home theater equipment. Its catalog includes both products for the general public and prestigious electronics lauded by audiophiles. The company’s catalogue currently includes the Marantz PM-6007 hi-fi amplifier and the Marantz CD-6007 CD player that we reviewed today. These very affordable yet musical electronics stand alongside high-end hi-fi amplifiers and A/V receivers such as the Marantz PM-10 and the Marantz SR-8012.
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: packaging & accessories
The Marantz PM6007 amplifier and the Marantz CD6007 both come in a cardboard box inside of which they are held in place by several blocks of polystyrene. The manufacturer includes a pre-programmed infrared remote control with both devices that can control a Marantz amp and a Marantz CD/SA-CD player.
Marantz PM6007 amplifier accessories
- Power cable
- Remote control (RC004PMCD)
- R03/AAA (x2) batteries
- Quick start guide
- User manual (CD-ROM)
- Safety instructions
- Battery precautions
Marantz CD6007 CD player accessories
- Power cable
- Remote control (RC004PMCD)
- R03/AAA (x2) batteries
- RCA stereo cable
- Quick start guide
- User manual (CD-ROM)
- Safety instructions
- Battery precautions
Marantz PM6007: presentation
Other than the fact that the Loudness button has been replaced by a Filter 1-2 button, the front panel of the Marantz PM6007 is visually identical to that of its predecessor, the Marantz PM6006. On the rear panel, the slightly different layout of the connectors and the presence of a pre-amplified subwoofer output make the PM6007 distinctive.
The Marantz PM6007 therefore has the same understated front panel with the source selector to the left and the volume potentiometer to the right. In the middle are the bass, treble and balance knobs. Above the knobs are the Source Direct, A-B Speakers and Filter 1-2 buttons and right at the top are several LEDs that indicate the selected source. A 6.35mm jack headphone connector is also present underneath the source selector.
HDAM SA3 amplification
The Marantz PM6007’s amplification section can develop up to 2 x 45 watts into 8 ohms with very low distortion (0.08%). To do so, it uses HDAM S3 modules developed by Marantz and powered by a shielded toroidal transformer and a high-capacity power supply. The preamplification and amplification sections are separate and designed with discrete components to reduce noise and interference.
The Marantz PM6007 amplifier uses current feedback architecture and topology developed by Marantz. This design allows it to respond instantly to the largest dynamic shifts without faltering. The power supply’s ability to instantly supply large amounts of current means the Marantz PM6007 can serenely power the majority of compact and floorstanding speakers equipped with 6½” drivers or smaller.
To handle the conversion of digital audio files, the Marantz PM6007 uses an Asahi Kasei AK4490 DAC with Velvet Sound technology that provides a smooth, precise, balanced and dynamic sound. The DAC supports 24-bit/192kHz PCM audio streams (WAV/FLAC/ALAC) via the three digital inputs (two optical inputs limited to 24/96 and one SPDIF coaxial input).
The Marantz PM6007 amplifier provides a digital filter option for the optical and coaxial inputs. This two-mode filter (Filter 1/Filter 2) optimizes the digital audio file decoding carried out by the AK4490 DAC. Filter 1 is a slow roll-off preset that improves stereo imaging depth and Filter 2 has a sharper roll-off filter for more precise stereo imaging.
The Marantz PM6007 amplifier features four RCA line inputs and a pre-amplified Phono input compatible with MM phono cartridges. It is also equipped with two optical S/PDIF Toslink inputs and an S/PDIF coaxial input.
The coaxial digital audio input makes it possible to connect a CD/SA-CD player, for example. The two optical digital inputs (TosLink) can be connected to a 4K Ultra HD TV or a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player if there isn’t an HDMI ARC connector. However, it is necessary to set the Blu-ray player or TV’s audio output to PCM as the Marantz PM6007 doesn’t decode Dolby and DTS audio formats.
A pre-amplified subwoofer output (RCA mono) is also included, along with a stereo RCA output and a headphone output on the front panel. The A and B speaker terminals are screw-type models compatible with banana plugs. They allow you to power two pairs of speakers or to wire the woofers and other drivers separately on speakers compatible with bi-wiring and bi-amping.
Marantz PM6007: key specifications
- 2 x 45 watts RMS into 8 ohms
- 2 x 60 watts RMS into 4 ohms
- Separate balance, bass and treble controls
- Number of channels: 2
- Current feedback topology
- HDAM SA3 amplification
- Toroidal transformer
- High-end audio components
- Extruded aluminum heatsink
- Shielded box for the digital circuit
- Tone (lows/highs) and balance controls
- Source Direct feature
- Frequency response: 10Hz to 70kHz (±3 dB)
- THD (8 ohms, 20Hz – 20kHz): 0.08%
- Damping factor (8 ohms, 20Hz – 20kHz): 100
- Asahi Kasei AK4490 (Velvet Sound) DAC
- PCM compatible up to 24-bit/192kHz
- 4 x Stereo Line inputs (RCA)
- 1x Phono MM input (RCA + ground)
- 1 x Recorder Audio Out output (RCA)
- 2 x S/PDIF optical input (Toslink)
- 1 x Remote Control input (RCA)
- 1 x Remote Control output (RCA)
- 1 x Headphone output (6.35mm jack on front panel)
- 1 x Pre-amplified Sub output (RCA mono)
- A and B speaker screw terminals
- Power consumption (standby/on): 0.3/155 watts
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 440 x 105 x 370mm
- Weight: 7.6kg
- Removable power cable
Marantz CD6007: presentation
Once again, there are no cosmetic differences between the previous Marantz CD6006 and the new Marantz CD6007: the latter is a clone of the former. The only difference is the Marantz CD6007’s updated connectors.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the CD tray is in the center above the LCD display and is framed by the control buttons at the left and right.
Below the buttons on the left is the USB-A port for playing digital audio files on a USB flash drive or an iPod/iPhone, with a source selection button to switch between CDs and USB playback. Below the buttons on the right is the headphone output whose sound level can be adjusted using the dedicated potentiometer.
To provide even more precise playback than its predecessor, the Marantz CD player features more powerful components. For example, the size of the power supply capacitors has been increased by 120% compared to the previous model, which improves the stability of the power supply and reduces electrical noise. The Marantz CD-6007 CD player is equipped with new HDAM-SA2 output stages for a high dynamic range. A separate voltage regulator systel for the left and right output stages is also included to improve channel separation.
The bottom of the Marantz CD-6007 CD player’s chassis is reinforced with double casing to ensure excellent mechanical stability, which is essential for the CD drive mechanism to function correctly as it must be protected from vibrations. That is why this Marantz CD player sits on wide feet that ensure good stability and reduce the risk of vibration-related interference.
AK4490 DAC & USB: PCM 24/192 and DSD playback
The conversion of the CD’s digital signal is performed by an Asahi Kasei AK4490 DAC that works alongside a high precision clock. The clock makes sure that the digital audio flow has a consistent rhythm to prevent jitter, which is always detrimental to high frequency decoding. This DAC also oversamples CDs up to 24-bit/192kHe before performing the analog conversion.
The Marantz CD6007 CD player’s AK4490 DAC is also used for USB audio playback via the USB port on the front panel. This port is compatible with iPods and iPhones and supports digital audio files on USB flash drives. MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV audio files are supported, as well as FLAC HD, ALAC, AIFF (up to 24-bit/192kHz), DSD 2.8MHz and DSD 5.6MHz files.
Optimized headphone output
The Marantz CD6007’s integrated headphone amplifier has been entirely redesigned for improved performance. Consequently, it is equipped with a HDAM-SA2 circuit designed by Marantz that offers three different gain settings (low/mid/high). Virtually any pair of headphones can be connected to this Marantz CD player for an optimal listening experience, whether they’re highly sensitive IEMs or high-impedance hi-fi headphones.
Marantz CD6007: key specifications
- Mechanism: JTL-101Y
- AK4490 DAC
- Symmetric circuit
- Discreet integrated headphone amplifier (HDAM-SA2)
- Frequency response: 2Hz – 20kHz
- Dynamic range: 100 dB
- Signal to noise ratio: 110 dB
- THD: 0.002%
- Channel separation: 98 dB
- CD / CD-R/RW / WMA / MP3 / AAC / WAV
- CD-Text / ID3 Tag / WMA Meta Tag / AAC metadata
- iPod/iPhone compatible USB input
- Supported audio files (USB): MP3, WMA, AAC et WAV, FLAC HD, ALAC, AIFF (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and DSD (up to 5.6MHz)
- 1 x gold plated RCA output
- 1 x 6.35mm jack output
- 1 x S/PDIF optical output
- 1 x S/PDIF coaxial output
- 1 x USB port
- 1 x remote control input/output
- Power consumption (standby / on): 0.3 / 32 watts
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 440 x 105 x 340mm
- Weight: 6.5kg
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: listening conditions
We tested the Marantz PM6007 amplifier and Marantz CD6007 CD player with the Elipson Prestige Facet 8B compact speakers mounted on NorStone Stylum 3 speaker stands. We used NorStone W250 speaker wire to connect the speakers to the amplifier. The two Maratnz electronics were connected via analog using a NorStone Arran RCA cable and via coaxial using the cable supplied by the manufacturer. The headphone outputs of the Marantz CD6007 and Marantz PM6007 were tested with the second generation Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones and the venerable Sennheiser HD540 Reference hi-fi headphones.
For our review of the Marantz PM6007 and Marantz CD6007, we listened to some audio CDs as well as high-resolution digital audio files (FLAC and DSD) stored on a USB drive.
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: listening impressions
“Loving Arms” – Millie Jackson (Still Caught Up – Audio CD – 1975)
Although this album was entirely recorded in a studio, the sound engineer edited the songs to give the impression that the singer was on stage in front of an audience. The instruments and choirs therefore spread out across the soundstage and the voices and applause of the “spectators” can be clearly distinguished in different places. The Marantz CD6007 CD player’s AK4490 DAC was remarkably precise and soft. The Marantz PM6007 amplifier provided a convincingly spatialized soundstage, both horizontally and vertically. The artist’s voice was perfectly centered, well textured and clear. The bass was dense and deep and the drums provided great impact. The piano sounded perfect. We were struck by the smoothness and naturalness the Marantz electronics gave this track.
“Those Sweet Words” – Norah Jones (Feels Like Home – Audio CD – 2004)
The Marantz CD6007 and its AK4490 DAC provided very precise decoding with this gentle track. The contours of the instruments were very clear, each one standing out distinctly and finding its place in the soundstage. Despite its relaxed rhythm, the bass delivered depth even at low volume. The percussion instruments rhythmed the track nicely without detracting from the singer’s transparent voice, which unfolded in front of us. The nuances of the artist’s piano playing were clearly audible. One was easily swept away.
“Ballade de Melody Nelson” – Serge Gainsbourg (Histoire de Melody Nelson – FLAC 24/96 – USB)
Listened to over and over again on various audio systems, the Marantz CD6007 and PM6007 gave this track a warm and detailed presentation. The soundstage was beautifully wide and the Marantz PM6007’s generous amplification added magnitude to the song as soon as the volume was turned up a little, especially with the violins. The singer’s voice was well rendered, with texture and substance. The bass line was generous and well structured. We really enjoyed listening to this timeless album again.
“Money For Nothing (Album version)” – Dire Straits (Brothers in Arms – FLAC 16/44 – USB)
Sting’s vocals sounded spacious during the intro before the drums kicked off. The Marantz demonstrated its ability to control speakers: the bass drum and snare were powerful and perfectly controlled in the transients, which resulted in very distinct and audible impacts. It was lively and very well paced, the amplifier managed to maintain the rhythm, even at high volume. The omnipresent guitars were never tiring. Mark Knopfler and Sting’s voices effortlessly stood out from the rest of this supercharged sonic landscape. We didn’t want the song to come to an end!
Testing the headphone outputs
To test the headphone outputs of these two devices, we first used the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless M2 headphones in passive mode. Its very moderate impedance (only 28 ohms) and its high sensitivity rating (113 dB) allowed us to leave the Marantz CD6007’s headphone output on Low. Note that this setting can only be changed in the menu that is accessible by pressing the “Setup” key on the remote control.
The gain needs to be set to High with high impedance headphones such as the Sennheiser HD540 Reference (600 ohms for a sensitivity rating of 94 dB). An important detail: only the Marantz CD6007 offers a headphone output with gain settings. The Marantz PM6007 headphone output doesn’t have this feature.
During our test, the Marantz CD6007’s headphone output proved to be perfect for powering these two sets of headphones with excellent control and provided a more dynamic sound than the PM6007’s headphone output. The lows were responsive and well structured. The level of detail and clarity also seemed better than with the amp’s headphone output.
Regardless of whether we changed the filter setting on the Marantz CD6007 CD player or on the Marantz PM6007 amplifier when the CD player was linked via a coaxial connection, the differences between Filter 1 and Filter 2 weren’t very noticeable. However, we did prefer the Filter 1, which seemed to provide more clarity with vocals and more fullness and energy in the lows.
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: compared to…
Marantz PM7000: visually, the similarities are obvious between these two Marantz amplifiers, whose designs also use the same formulas. High current capacity, current feedback topology, HDAM SA3 amplifiers, large aluminum heatsinks, AK4490 DAC and an insulated digital section in shielded casing are standard in both models. The Marantz PM7000N takes things a step further with network features that allow it to become a stand-alone system for digital audio playback and streaming when connected to the internet and to a pair of speakers. It also goes further in terms of power reserve, impact and presence. The Marantz PM6007 has nothing to be ashamed of, however, and the performance it offers is remarkable considering its price.
NAD C328: with its class D amplification stage (Hypex output stages), the NAD model also features a solid power supply and, therefore, a very generous power reserve (50 watts per channel into 4 and 8 ohms). This results in very strong lows that are more punchy than those offered by the Marantz amp. In contrast, the mids and highs are more subdued and the NAD C328 is generally less precise and transparent than the Marantz model, which also provides a more spacious and better spatialized soundstage. The Marantz PM6007 can also power two pairs of speakers, while the NAD’s terminals can power only one pair.
Marantz PM6007 – Marantz CD6007: conclusion
We had a great time during our review of the Marantz PM6007 amplifier and Marantz CD 6007 CD player. They are very easy to set up and use everyday, and they’re the perfect solution for anyone who wants to build a high fidelity stereo system without breaking the bank.
Music sounds natural with the Marantz PM6007 and Marantz CD6007. It is smooth, clear and well structured, whether you’re listening to an audio CD or to digital files, and the CD6007’s AK4490 DAC provides precise decoding with digital audio tracks. The Marantz amplifier really impressed us with its ability to build a spacious and precisely structured soundstage, but also with the impact and energy it demonstrated.
The amplifier powered the Elipson Prestige Facet 8B compact speakers (6 ohms, 91 dB) with ease and also managed to power a pair of 3-way floorstanding speakers equipped with 6½” midrange and low frequency drivers (8 ohms, 92 dB). We were able to turn the volume up unreasonably high with both pairs of speakers without the amplifier faltering.
Naturally, there are amplifiers and CD players available that offer an even more precise, detailed or nuanced sound, but they will set you back two or three times the price of this Marantz duo.
What we liked
- The impact in the lows
- The width and spaciousness of the soundstage
- The clarity and precision of the CD player
- The CD player’s high-quality headphone output
- Being able to control both devices with one remote control
- The amplifier’s ability to power compact and floorstanding speakers
What we would have liked
- To have been able to switch between the A and B speakers using the remote control
- To still have the Loudness feature on the amplifier
- A Bluetooth receiver