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Marantz PM6007 review

Marantz refines its Award-winning budget amp recipe Tested at £499 / $599

5 Star Rating
Marantz PM6007 review
(Image: © Marantz)

Our Verdict

Clearer and punchier than its Award-winning predecessor, Marantz’s latest entry-level amplifier never puts the formidable 6000 Series dynasty in doubt

For

  • Clear and punchy performer
  • Broad connectivity
  • Solid casework

Against

  • No Bluetooth or USB

The path to self-improvement is never-ending: no matter how successful or saintly we are, there is always a way to better ourselves. The same also applies to hi-fi – regardless of how good a piece of kit is and how many accolades it has won, there’s always room for improvement.

Marantz is many steps along the journey towards making the best budget stereo amplifier possible, most recently with this new PM6007, which sets out to improve upon the 2018-launched Marantz PM6006 UK Edition, the current What Hi-Fi? Award winner in its respective price bracket.

Features

Marantz PM6007 features

(Image credit: Marantz)

In our review of the PM6006 UK Edition, we said our only wish was that its vast connectivity included Bluetooth and a USB input, but that’s not where Marantz has sought to improve its 6000 Series line. Instead, the enhancements are centred around the performance – and who can argue with that?

Marantz PM6007 tech specs

(Image credit: Marantz)

Power 45W per channel

Inputs RCA x4, MM phono input, coaxial, optical

Headphone jack 6.3mm

Available finishes Black, silver-gold

Dimensions (hwd) 10.5 x 44 x 37cm

Marantz has implemented a new DAC into the PM6007, with the AKM AK4490 replacing the Cirrus Logic CS4398 found in its predecessor. It is complemented by two digital filters – a slow roll-off and sharp roll-off – that users can choose between when playing from a source connected to either of its two optical or single coaxial inputs. Such versatility has trickled down from the brand’s more premium digital processors, such as those built into the SA-10, SA-12SE and SA-KI Ruby.

In an effort to improve performance across the analogue inputs (of which there are four line-level, plus a MM phono), new components in the power amp and phono stages have been swapped in. The latter has also benefitted from upgraded circuitry – similar to that found in the PM7000N’s phono stage – to achieve a higher signal-to-noise ratio.

And while the entry-level amplifier still doesn’t have a USB input or Bluetooth, Marantz has added a subwoofer output to accommodate those who want to add extra thwack to their stereo set-up.

Build

Marantz PM6007

(Image credit: Marantz)

Styling-wise, the PM6007 is more or less a carbon copy of its predecessor – and indeed the model that came before that. In fact, Marantz hasn’t revamped the aesthetic much at all in the line’s 13-year history. Placed side-by-side, only the odd finish and button differential would distinguish the new PM6007 from the PM6002 released in 2007, apart from the model number printed on the facade. That familiarity is disappointing.

Moving away from appearances, this is a well-constructed, well-finished chassis that, while perhaps too densely populated with dials for some minimalist tastes, offers traditional hi-fi appeal.

Sound

Marantz PM6007 sound

(Image credit: Marantz)

The clearest evidence of the line’s evolution lies in the PM6007’s performance. Its sonic character is as familiar as its casework: smooth, full-bodied and balanced, with a pleasing spaciousness. Like its predecessor, it’s about as agreeable a performer as you could ask for at this price.

Where it pulls away from the PM6006 UK Edition is in its greater clarity, precision and rhythmic punch. Marantz has traded some of that smoothness for a bit more oomph, as well as tightened up the bass, and the result is a more spirited presentation.

The dramatic opener of Portishead’s live performance of All Mine comes through with more presence, while the PM6007’s clearer disposition also makes more of the special occasion provided by the accompanying 35-piece orchestra. Move onto Högni’s rhythm-driven Moon Pitcher and the layers of ambient strands are more cohesively entwined, the new Marantz’s musicality rigorously precise.

Textures take on new levels of tangibility, too. The melodic finger-picking underpinning Matt Berninger’s acoustic-led Last Song is subtler, both in terms of the way the notes are formed and how they flow dynamically. 

His characteristically brooding, contemplative vocal rises confidently above the aqueous acoustics, but the PM6007’s vocal delivery doesn’t feel as rock-solid and grounded as its predecessor’s. It’s not the end of the world, but in this regard the PM6007 has taken a small step backwards.

Marantz has done well to maintain consistency across the connections on offer, with the DAC, headphone output and phono stage all proving strong. Over coaxial, a little clarity and precision is sacrificed, but the fullness and dynamism remain intact. We prefer the slow roll-off filter (indicated by a blue LED) for its slight edge in exactness and naturalness over the warmer, more rounded sharp roll-off, signified by a purple LED.

That performance reveals itself through the phono stage and 6.3mm front-panel headphone output, too – it’s cohesive and punchy, but falls a little short of the clarity and sparkle offered through the line-level.

Verdict

The Marantz 6000 Series has allowed the company to have a firm grip on the budget hi-fi market over the past few years, and with the arrival of the PM6007, the amplifier line has been strengthened yet again.

As we concluded upon first hearing the PM6006 UK Edition, we wish Marantz’s engineers the best of luck in squeezing out even more performance next time round.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Features 5
  • Build 5

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  • Gray
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    Marantz’s latest entry-level amp is even better than its Award-winning predecessor.

    ....now there's a surprise.

    A small step back in vocal performance though.....and a price rise :(
    Otherwise the review was predictable.
    Doubt you could do much better (new) for £500.
    Reply
  • Jimboo
    Save an extra hundred and get the audiolab.
    Reply
  • Mr. C Nation
    Fear not. The vocal performance will be back, along other vague 'improvements' when the UK version is released in 6 months., for an extra £50.
    Reply
  • Gray
    Mr. C Nation said:
    Fear not. The vocal performance will be back, along other vague 'improvements' when the UK version is released in 6 months., for an extra £50.
    You're a bit of a cynic Mr Nation.
    (It takes one to know one).
    Reply
  • eoc69
    For more or less the same money you can get the audiolab 600a, which is a stunning amp compared to the just decent marantz pm 6006
    Reply
  • Mr. C Nation
    When it comes to the progression of tech devices of all kinds, I am sceptical, with a dash of cynism thrown in.

    Back in the late 70's of the last century I came home from an auction of pro recording gear held in Studio 1, Abbey Rd. with a little early '60's Leak valve pre and power amp - about 15W. Cost me £25. Good money, then. (M. Oldfield had bought the Mellotron used on Sgt P. Who at Abbey Rd OKed the sale of that? )

    I set the Leak in place of the girlfriend's solid state JVC equivalent to the Marantz 6000 range - IE all the mags' recommended default 'entry level' hi-fi amp.

    She, not being in any way a 'hi-fi' buff, immediately said, "the sound is so much clearer". Her take on a really significant improvement over the JCV.

    But, sceptical as I am, the fad for 12" vinyl makes me smile. The makers of turntables and associated pre-amp electronics must think they're dreaming and any minute they'll wake up to find ...
    Reply
  • nopiano
    Mr. C Nation said:
    Fear not. The vocal performance will be back, along other vague 'improvements' when the UK version is released in 6 months., for an extra £50.
    I also fear that’s likely to be the case, along with £50 off in January sales and £100 by this time next year. I’d like to see the graph of these 600x series prices, because they always follow a similar trajectory. Perhaps it’s similar to the annual TV cycle of prices, where last years Best Buy is usually a third cheaper than the newest release and still excellent.
    Reply
  • Mr. C Nation
    I kept my eye on the price of the legendary Marantz CD ?? KI in a branch of Richer Sounds, right opposite the end of my road. Sure enough, Marantz replaced it with a new model. I was in there like Flint and got the KI for £200 less than it had been the day before.

    This CD... KI went on to be one of the 10 best audio devices of any kind in the 40 year old publishing history of whatever hifi mag.

    I expect this process is called 'product churn' or something. Whatever, it all makes work for the workers to do.
    Reply
  • manicm
    Mr. C Nation said:
    Fear not. The vocal performance will be back, along other vague 'improvements' when the UK version is released in 6 months., for an extra £50.

    Maybe just a *tad* too cynical. From the review it seems the new model is based on the previous UK variant. So I doubt there’ll be a special version this time round.
    Reply