Marantz CD6006 UK Edition £339
Continual, clever tweaks from Marantz have not only kept this remarkable CD player relevant, they’ve kept it top of the class too. And, although this UK Edition remains technically unchanged from the version that bagged our Product of the Year Award last year, a price drop of £110 assures it retains its crown.
Those familiar with the standard CD6006 – also an Award-winner in its time – may well look at this player and wonder if anything at all has changed. But that’s no bad thing, as we’ve long praised the player’s solid build and smart finish. The controls work with precision and the transport is impressively quiet. There are machines that cost hundreds more that don’t feel this good to use.
The differences between the standard version and the UK Edition are on the inside. There are improvements to the digital-to-analogue circuitry’s power supply and upgrades to the analogue output stage. That may not sound dramatic, but Marantz has lots of experience when it comes to making a good product better through tweaking.
It doesn’t take hours of comparisons to discover that Marantz’s engineers have done a terrific job. The newer player delivers a crisper, clearer and more robust sound than the highly-rated original. As with the standard version, it’s worth turning off the digital output and display for serious listening. The presentation just sounds cleaner and more precise once these things are done. We load Bruce Springsteen’s Working
On A Dream into the UK Edition’s slick drawer and enjoy a full-blooded rendition of My Lucky Day. The Marantz punches harder than ever with this track, delivering the song’s momentum with considerable skill. The wailing guitars come through with power while the Boss’s vocals are rendered with all his famed energy and passion. There’s plenty of detail and, more importantly, an ability to organise it into a musical and cohesive whole.
The Planets by Holst is a tougher test, but one that doesn’t faze this player. It takes the wild dynamics of Mars in its stride, delivering a full dose of power, scale and drive in the process. The stereo imaging is stable and precise while the player’s tonality doesn’t stray far from the slightly rounded balance Marantz’s products have long had. This one does have a touch more brilliance at the top end, which adds more bite, but not so much that poor or aggressive recordings become wearing.
In our experience you would need to move up to the considerably moreexpensive Cyrus CDI to get a proper jump in sonic performance. Is the CD6006 UK Edition a bargain? We thought so last year when it was £450, but at this price there can be no doubt.
At its new lower price, last year’s Award-winner is more of a bargain