We couldn’t help but have a feeling of déjà vu when taking the Marantz CD6007 out of its box. Cover the model number and it’s impossible to differentiate this unit from the model it replaces. Did someone at Marantz’s styling department just copy and paste the previous design?
If so, they’ve been doing it for years. You’d need to go back over a decade and four model cycles to find a CD6000 model that looked notably different. Thankfully, the engineers responsible for the sound haven’t been taking things so easy.
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The big news here is the change of DAC chip to an AKM 4490 (the CD6006 used a Cirrus CS4398), allowing the CD6007 to process high-resolution files.
Not through the CD disc drive, of course. You’ll need to use the front panel USB Type A socket to get the files into the player, as there are no other digital inputs here. You can play hi-res PCM music up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD128. The last generation model could cope with 48kHz files at best and not DSD.
Other engineering changes between the two generations of player are a quieter power supply and improved HDAM amplifier modules, helped along by a sprinkling of higher-quality internal components. The headphone circuit now shuts down when not in use, which reduces unnecessary power draw on the supply and removes the potential for additional noise.
The CD6007’s build quality, as with its predecessor, is excellent. It feels solid and operates with a slickness that belongs at a far higher price point. The disc mechanism on our sample is quiet and responsive, all the controls working with precision. We can’t think of a rival CD player that feels as polished in use.
Frequency response 2Hz-20kHz
Dynamic range 100dB
Power consumption 32W
Available finishes Black, silver-gold
Formats CD, CD-R/RW, WMA, MP3
Dimensions (hwd) 10.5 x 44 x 34cm
The remote is a full system design and remains pretty much as before, though a few of the buttons do a slightly different job. It’s a nice handset, being easy to use and pleasant to hold.
Aside from the front panel USB, there are the usual single-ended RCAs for the analogue output alongside optical and coaxial for digital. Unusually, Marantz offers the option of turning the digital outputs off when they’re not in use. This is worth doing because it brings a little extra clarity to the sound, but you’ll need a pretty transparent system to notice it. The same applies to switching the display off.
Marantz also now offers a choice of two digital filter options for those that like to tweak further. Filter 1 has a slow roll-off and is claimed to offer a deeper stereo image while Filter 2, has a sharper roll-off and is meant to produce a more direct and brighter presentation.
The sonic differences aren’t massive, but we have a preference for Filter 1. It just sounds more natural to our ears. But there’s no right or wrong here and the choice comes down to taste and system.
Do all the engineering changes bring about a worthwhile improvement in sound quality? The short answer is definitely yes, however it’s not a step change.
We play a CD of Tchaikovsky’s Marché Slave Op.31 and the CD6007 gives a more vivid and dramatic rendition. Notes are defined with a touch more precision, particularly at low frequencies, and the scale of sound is notably bigger. Compared to the older CD6006 UK Edition, this new machine is a crisper, more open performer.
Stereo imaging has benefitted, with the new Marantz able to render a more expansive and better-focused sound stage. Instruments are easier to locate and stay locked in place more easily when the music becomes more demanding.
Similarly, larger-scale dynamics are delivered with more verve and punch. There’s a pleasing sense of composure to tie it all together. Tonally, there is a subtle shift too, with the new player sounding a bit more forward and a touch brighter.
Switching to India Irie’s Wonderful shows that it’s not all one-way traffic. The older player has more solidity through the midband and gives Irie’s voice a sense of body and natural warmth that the CD6007 doesn’t quite match.
The new machine responds in a more cohesive way with rhythms and a slightly better sense of drive. We can hear the leading edges of the bass notes more clearly and there’s a greater feeling of space between the instrumental strands.
This holds true when we play a variety of music files through the USB input. Both players prove admirably slick in use here, though using the relatively limited front panel display to navigate the music feels clunky. The last-gen CD6006 UK can’t play the hi-res files, of course, while the new one copes with hi-res PCM and DSD without issue.
We try the headphone output and are pleased to report that it’s a good one. There’s no obvious difference in quality between the two Marantzs in this respect (bar the inherent changes in the sound), and none was claimed. A built-in gain adjustment, found in the set-up menus, is a sensible touch that ensures wide-ranging compatibility with different headphones.
Overall, it’s a clear win for this latest Marantz 6000 CD player, even if the result isn’t a knockout. Owners of the CD6006 shouldn’t rush to change their player as it still has much to offer as well as an easier-going, more intimate presentation – even if it is second best in most respects.
No one can accuse Marantz of pushing the boundaries on the CD6007, but it didn’t really have to. The company has taken an already excellent CD player and made it a bit better. At this point in CD’s life arc, at the affordable end of the market at least, that’s all it takes to ensure class leadership.
- Sound 5
- Features 5
- Build 5
A perfect pairing? Read our Marantz PM6007 stereo amp review
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