SYS­TEM BUILDER

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - First Test -

"Even though the Marantz NA6005 some­times tests our pa­tience more than our an­a­lyt­i­cal ears, it proves it­self a de­cent and solid in­tro­duc­tion into stream­ing for any­one on a tight bud­get"

When it works, it’s fine. But all too of­ten, us­ing it is like vis­it­ing your nan, where you spend much of your time hav­ing to re­peat your­self over and over. After a few min­utes of in­ac­tiv­ity, the app some­times for­gets where it is and what is playing, tak­ing you back to your NAS drive’s root folder in­stead.

It didn’t take long for us to re­vert to the phys­i­cal re­mote, although we did find the IOS ver­sion on our Ap­ple ipad Air slightly more re­li­able than the An­droid ver­sion on our LG G4.

Glass half-full

The NA6005’S char­ac­ter offers all you might want from a glass of red on a bit­terly cold evening: smooth­ness, body and warmth. With tonal balance kept in check, it’s easy to snug­gle down to Óla­fur Ar­nalds’ Eria’s Waltz: violins and pianos are com­fort­ingly full-bod­ied, clear and fleshed out, and are able to move freely in a dy­namic space that, while not es­pe­cially nu­anced, cap­tures the com­po­si­tion’s prin­ci­pal peaks and troughs.

There’s an un­de­ni­able self-as­sur­ance about the Marantz’s big, brazen sound­stage as it de­liv­ers the psy­che­delic am­bi­ence de­lin­eat­ing Pink Floyd’s End­less River al­bum. It puts its foot into lofty gui­tar rifts and sprawl­ing synths, and en­sures any vo­cal is ex­plicit and fo­cused.

Amid its stand­out midrange is a wel­come knack for ren­der­ing in­stru­men­tal tex­tures. The fid­dles and pipes defin­ing Kate Bush’s Jig of Life are tan­gi­ble, while her enig­matic, un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally deep vo­cal is pro­jected with a con­fi­dent so­lid­ity, and enough ex­pres­sion to keep you in­ter­ested in her nar­ra­tive.

Sunday morn­ing smooth

You get the im­pres­sion the Marantz can never re­ally get into top gear, though, opt­ing for easy lis­ten­ing, Sunday morn­ing smooth­ness over out­right snap­pi­ness and at­tack. In SBRTKT’S Wild­fire, drum slaps lack thwack and the jagged bass synths that free­wheel over the top feel like they need a kick up the back­side. Even the zingy pitch-shifted keys that pinch at the sound­scope now and again yearn for more dy­namism, sound­ing a tad weary.

You’ll have to throw a big­ger sum of money the way of the Pi­o­neer N$50A (£500) or Blue­sound Node 2 (£430) to make a live record­ing of Led Zep­pelin’s Kash­mir (24-bit/48khz) sound open and lu­cid enough to be deemed pleas­ing, too.

Even if the Marantz NA6005, with its op­er­a­tional app-based up­sets, some­times tests our pa­tience more than our an­a­lyt­i­cal ears, it proves it­self a de­cent and solid – if a lit­tle safe – sound­ing in­tro­duc­tion into stream­ing for any­one on a bud­get look­ing to fi­nally em­brace dig­i­tal and in­tro­duce net­work fea­tures into their sys­tem.

Although it's one star behind its sib­lings, the NA6005 turns out to be the Anne Bronte of the en­try-level Marantz se­ries. STREAM­ING SER­VICE Spo­tify ★★★★★ £10/month With a Pre­mium ac­count, you can stream over 30m songs via the Spo­tify Con­nect fea­ture AM­PLI­FIER Marantz PM6005 ★★★★★ £300 Look­ing for your first stereo amp? This tal­ented Marantz should be on your short­list STEREO SPEAK­ERS Mon­i­tor Au­dio Bronze 2s ★★★★★ £280 With im­pres­sive in­sight and class lead­ing build, th­ese are truly com­plete speak­ers for

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