Brief history. Had a Rotel RA 01 with Rotel RCD 02 running B & W 601 S3s in the living room and a pair of Sonys in the kitchen .Quite happy, it was background music. Moved to a bigger house and that set up does not work so I started buying Hifi mags to fill in the gaps. Bought a Marantz PM 6004 on the strength of reviews and MA RX1s as they were going for the same price as BX2s. Very happy ,sounded great but I thought the CDs were not as punchy and incisive as I thought they could and should be so yesterday I bought the much heralded, best in class CD6004. And blow me; I cannot separate the Rotel from the Marantz. Either the Marantz has been overhyped or the Rotel is a lot better than it was given credit for.
So, just a warning really, don’t believe the hype, go out and audition for yourself. I thought I could not go wrong. It was lazy and has cost me dearly.
Any thoughts on the set up would be welcome.
Regards , Tim
Myself and others have stressed the need to audition... as BigH pointed out reviews are nothing more than guidelines, WHFI stress this in their mags. WHFI testing rooms have cost millions and this does not necessarily translate to your own listening/living room.
Remember that awards are not given just for sound quality alone. They take into account how easy a product is for system matching (for the mix 'n' match brigade like me); ergonomics, power handling etc. etc.
System matching is just one aspect: Room size and acoustics is another, along with the styles of music you play - and how loud comes into the equation too, as well as personal taste.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
I am not blaming WHF. I have taken full responsibility for my actions . My only problem was not realising how good my Rotel gear was. It was about the cheapest gear n the shop so I assumed I could only go up the chain. The PM 6004 and RX1 are great I have no problem with them. I am sure I am not alone in not realising how good the sound is and looking with some envy as others buy £1000+ pieces of kit. If I stop reading WHF I am sure I would be happy with what I've got for another 10 years. I just got caught up with upgradidtis. The CD 6004 stays as the shop I bought it from is closing shortly anyway. It has better connectivity which may come in use one day.......
I too have realised there's very little in different Dacs and cd players. The biggest area for improvement is in amps and speakers by far. My rdac only just edges my Denon 1611 blu ray (even on CDs), not sure that's really worth £200. My mate plugged his phone into his amp via headphone out to listen to spotify, it sounded awful but he then turned direct off to use tone controls and it was more than acceptable. When I think of all the money I've binned on cd players it makes my cry!! I'm tempted to do away with the rdac and buy an original 2nd hand apollo cd player but I'm doubting it will be £250 better than my Denon blu ray.
Totally understand where you're coming from - I still have a Rotel RCD 975 in the attic and it was a cracking CDP. Make sure it's looked after, as I dem'd the RCD 06, when the drawer mechanism broke, and wasn't impressed at all by the newer incarnation. In the end I plumped for the current Arcam which was a match for the 975.
Tim, my thoughts on your set-up are that you could buy much better speakers than your MA RX1's. Try looking on ebay and do some google homework on any speakers that look interesting to you.
Thanks for all the replies. I posted this as a warning to others so if one person thinks twice about buying something without trying it first then it will be worthwhile.
Just to confuse matters, the Rotel amp sits next to the computer and plays through a Soundblaster DAC to the B & Ws . Could I run a USB to the CD 6004 and use its Dac? (which must be better than a soundblaster). At least I may have salvaged something from the wreckage. Saved myself £150 for an Arcam Rpac I had my eye on. If I settle for the old Sony speakers (which are fine) on the Denon M38 in the kitchen and don't buy the Dali Zensor 1s/ QA 2020i I have saved another £150 and I'm quids in. ... Result
Thanks . Tim
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