Just had an email from the nice folks at RS, and this seems to be their Easter bargain.
Sorely tempted myself as I have another home with a telly but no hifi.
Anyway, it says available until 3 April...
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Looking at your signature (Krell etc.) there is no way it will compare. (It's very good, but there are limits!)
I'd say something from the NaimUniti stable (at the very least) would suit you better.
You probably have cables more expensive than the Marantz.
Erm, well, yes Chebby, you are quite right - but that was then, and this is very much more a background music system. Besides, I actually rather like good affordable stuff. Only rarely does something more exalted deliver for me, and at elevated prices it jolly well needs to!
I've certainly considered the Uniti, but I just don't have the dosh these days. Might drag out my old Mission 760i speakers which originally were driven by a PM40SE which is still going strong with a relative. So I have previous with Marantz!
How well provided for is your other house? Good radio signal reception for FM/DAB? Fast & reliable internet?
If 'no' to both of those, then you are left with CD and plugging in an iPod/iPhone. (Or streaming from a NAS if you don't need gapless playback.)
If radio reception is good (but internet useless/non-existent), then stick up a decent roof aerial and buy an Arcam Solo-Mini.
If gapless is essential (and there is no CD collection at the second house), then a Denon Piccolo will probably suffice.
If the internet provision is great (and CDs, FM/DAB not required), then get a B&W A7 and plug the telly into the optical connection, your laptop into the USB and use AirPlay (with an appropriate iThing) for streaming from internet radio, iTunes, BBC Radio iPlayer etc. (Laptop via AirPlay too.)
I would think carefully about exactly what you want to use (and can use) at the other place and ensure that functionality/connectivity matches exactly with whatever you buy before worrying about quality. (No point in it sounding great if you need gapless, have no radio reception and the internet speed is lousy!)
I only mention all this because the traditional 'second home' is usually out in the sticks where reliable broadband is a fantasy and FM/TV/DAB etc. is often prevented by the local topography. Like much of Exmoor where we couldn't even get phone reception - on three different networks - a few years ago, and the surrounding hills prevented any radio. Broadband was something the locals had only read about (along with ATMs and paying by debit card!)
Very valid points. I have toyed with Sonos etc so the A7 is an option, at a price. We have an old Sony DVD home cinema system, and I could relocate the Denon AV stuff, but I hate the 5.1 speakers with music, though they are ok with movies. I just want vanilla stereo.
Interweb ok actually, and no FM aerial, hence thinking internet radio. And would like to play the odd cd as well as use 96/24 files off macBook and AirPlay off iPad. So reckon the Marantz covers most bases even if the FM will go unused.
Not really in any rush; it was the bargain price that caught my eye. It really is cracking value for a great looking and sounding item.
© 2014 Haymarket Publishing