Dictators fall and rise. Real estate prices go up and down. There’s not much you can rely on but your family. Well, I can think of one definite thing. Marantz. You’ve got to love Marantz. At US$499.95 the Marantz CD6005 is the best CD player I’ve heard at this price, as was the CD6004 I had stolen before it. It will last you a lifetime!
Straight to business. This baby outperforms anything close to its price. I put on some Spanish classical pianoforté scenery-chewing by Alicia De Larrocha and the CD6005 responded with a sweet audible dexterity and a definite subtlety compared to its predecessor. The staccato delivery of Señora Larrocha‘s fingers are delivered with a refreshing openness that’s almost as clean as if I were listening to an LP record. Superb definition. Fluid and smooth without the too-syrupy definition of so many comparable rivals like the JVC Xl-v221. Notes are crisply drawn, the textures of instruments well clarified. Greater definition, then, but it’s never at the expense of smoothness. There’s a lovely free-flowing character that’s fluid but not overly rich. All the sonic contours are delivered with panache.
Marantz’ have designed this minimalist machine well. Now, be sure to experiment with the player’s sound mode. This turns off the display, the digital outputs – either, or both! – and improves sound quality even further. There’s no stark treble-type contrast – none of that old school Stanley Clarke-ey fusion bass boost – but listen a while and you’ll notice a more spacious, more subtle sound with both set to ‘off’. For those of you who like that extra sizzle on your Zildjians, maybe it’s not your cup of tea! Must be that Chick Corea, Return to Forever I put on. A fine means of sorting the men from the boys!
So just how did Marantz do it? Well, they simplified matters and retuned the parts to better accompany the power supply and audio circuitry. Indeed, some Mr. Smartie-Pants put the USB port at the front, which simplifies things so-o much and now handles WAV and – YES! – charges iPads properly, even in standby. It also charges iPhones and those thumb-drives you’ve loaded with tunes for listening through your home audio system. Plus, this direct digital connection bypasses your player’s built-for-earbuds circuitry, taking advantage of the CD6005‘s high-end digital-to-analog-converter for the best possible sound from your portable music library. It also boasts a built-in headphone amplifier with an all-discrete component design for robust output and the ability to properly drive a wide variety of headphones, regardless of impedance or sensitivity. The gold-plated, full-sized output jack is compatible with audiophile headphones, and is equipped with an independent front-panel volume control for convenient, high-quality private listening. The display even has an extra line of text. Clarity! Ease of use and communication. I love it!
Your kids jump up and down? No worries. A precision disc transport and double-layered bottom chassis resist pretty much most vibrations that adversely affect sound. Marantz‘s exclusive HDAM op-amps in the D/A and analog output stages use discrete circuit elements in place of noisy, low-powered integrated circuits to provide wider dynamic range and frequency response for the utmost musical fidelity. A high-current power supply delivers plenty of clean juice for lively, low-noise playback.
The body is pretty much its classic same-self, although the buttons really glimmer, which is nice if you like to sit in the dark and ogle your new toy. The ease of use remains as the connections are identical to those of previous models: a set of analog outputs next to digital coaxial and optical sockets.
Value-for-money wise, I urge you to read every consumer report and audio review available. The CD6005 features a range of reference-class technologies culled from Marantz’s high-end disc players. World-class performance at a down-to-earth price!