Hi-Fi
November 1, 2013

The classic clean and clear Marantz sound

By Lam Seng Fatt

 

The first thing I noticed about the Marantz CD6004 was the CD drawer that glided in and out very, very smoothly. I jiggled the tray a bit and found out that while it wasn’t exactly as solid as a VRDS mechanism, it wasn”t as rickety as other lower-range Marantz CD players I have used before.

 

In keeping with the times, the CD player comes with a USB input on the front panel. However, the CD player cannot be used as a USB external DAC and the USB input is for thumb drives, iPod and iPhone and plays MP3, WMA and AAC files.

 

The CD player itself, like others in the market these days, can play CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs.

 

The DAC is a 24/192 Cirrus Logic CS4398 and Marantz”s proprietary HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module)-SA2 used in analog circuitry for faster signal transfer and better transient response.

 

Marantz has paid quite a bit of attention on vibration control as the CD player has a double-layered metal bottom plate for vibration resistance and the disc drive is centralised to resist vibation. The front panel is made of aluminum/reinforced resin front panel for vibration resistance.

 

The CD6004 boasts frequency response of 2Hz – 20kHz, dynamic range of 100 dB, signal-to-noise ratio of 110 dB and total harmonic distortion: 0.002%.

 

With such impressive figures, one can expect a pretty low noise floor and a very clean sound. And that was precisely what I heard.

 

The drawer was surprisingly smooth and stable.
The red object is actually a thumb drive which is plugged into the USB input.

 

Connected to the resident system comprising Lamm LL2 preamp, Bryston 4B SST power amp and ATC SCM40 speakers, the Marantz CD6004 sounded very clean and clear with surprisingly good depth.  However, I felt there was a lightness to the sound quality in general.

 

It could handle all sorts of music with finesse and rock songs were delivered with sufficient bottom-end weight.

 

I also used it as a CD transport using an MIT Terminator 3 coax cable connected to the Wyred 4 Sound DAC2.

 

Even when used as a transport, the Marantz character was still evident. The sound quality was clean and clear with a good amount of depth. To be expected, the w4S DAC provided more details and separation.

 

The strange thing was when I plugged in a thumb drive into the USB input, I could not play the MP3 files via the external DAC. So I had to unplug the w4S DAC and use the CD players own DAC to play the MP3 files via the USB input.

 

Again the Marantz character was there – clean and clear sound limited only by the format of the files.

 

I also had a quick listen to the headphone output with the Sennheiser HD600 and found the sound to be, well, clean and clear.

 

I think CD technology has matured and Marantz has learnt all the tricks to make CDs sound good. The CD6004 is a good buy if you are looking for a replacement CD player or a CD transport.