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Fallriver
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AMP Help: Nad C316BEE vs. Marantz PM5004 vs. Marantz PM6004

Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to all this, but I notice sound improvements when I hear them. A little background info...I started off buying an Onkyo CS-535 micro system and really liked the sound. After seeing an article in Stereophile about Wharfdale Diamond 10.1 speakers, I took a chance and bought a pair to hook up to the Onkyo.  What an improvement to already decent sound!  Then I picked up a pair of Audio-Tecnica ATH-M50 headphones, and noticed again an marked improvement. I started to look at a headphone amp to further improve things, and instead spent some cash on a Marantz CD6004. I hooked up the Marantz to the Onkyo (via the dock setting) and running a cd through this combination has upped sound quality yet again. I hear things I never knew were there on my favorite cd's!   

I've always known that the Diamonds are probably a little under powered with my current set up  (20 watts per channel from the Onkyo), so now I'm considering selling the CS-535 with the speakers that came with it and using the money to get an integrated amp.  I'm on a budget, but have narrowed things down to the Nad C316Bee or the Marantz PM5004 or PM6004.  Would anyone be able to give me some advice on how to proceed?  I listen mainly to rock, jazz, blues and a little classical and country thrown in for good measure.I would duly appreciate it!

Demondog
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These three appear pretty

These three appear pretty similar power-wise, with the most costly PM6004 probably being the best. Funny how it often works out that way. You can also see that the weight of the units increases with price. This may or may not reflect the robustness of the power supplies in each unit. The other two don't give up much though. You really need to decrease watts by half, or increase to double in order to have a really noticeable difference in power when comparing amps. The Marantz units do have a phono section if that is a consideration for the future. Any difference in sound between these three choices would be more of a personal preference than anything. I am biased toward NAD, but the Marantz amps are nice as well. I've heard several of them in the not too distant past, and my general impression is that they might be a little smoother sounding, but I'm not 100% sure. And smoother sounding is not always better sounding, so there you go.

btw- I have never considered what type of music a system is used for when selecting components for a system. There is enough variety in even my modest music collection, that accuracy (whatever that means) and/or neutrality are the most common things I look for when selecting any component.

Fallriver
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AMP Help: Nad C316BEE vs. Marantz PM5004 vs. Marantz PM6004

Thanks for the comments. Yeah,I've gone through the specs quite a few times, and they are all fairly similar. Build quality is also something I'm looking at, as I want something robust, as I plan on having this a while. I have been leaning toward the PM6004, as I figure it may hit a sweet spot with the CD6004. I also won't have a chance to demo any of these before buying, I'll be buying blind from the UK and having things shipped down to Spain. So once I've have things, return will be difficult and expensive.

commsysman
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AMPLIFIER

I don't think you will go wrong with the Marantz PM6004.

It looks like a good choice.

Another unit I would suggest that you consider is the Harman-Kardon 3490; it is a very good unit, and might be slightly less money. The UK Harmon-Kardon webite sells it for 400 pounds. It has considerably more power and additional features that the 6004 does not have.

Selling the complete Onkyo system should be the best way to get some money out of it.

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