Integrated Amplifiers

Marantz PM6004 Integrated Amplifier and CD6004 CD Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design and Setup of the Marantz PM6004 Integrated Amplifier and CD6004 CD Player

The PM6004 integrated amplifier defies its low budget price by using all discrete pre-amp and power amp components, a refreshing change from the cheap op-amps found in most budget components. Also included is a MM Phono input, solid binding posts and a 3 year warranty. All of this is packed into a heavy chassis assembled in Japan. Add in a functional remote control, motorized volume control and tone controls, on paper this integrated amplifier looks to be quite a bargain. In the end the sound is the deciding factor.

The overall sound of a system is of course affected by much more than just the pre and power amps one can't ignore the source. The old adage applies, garbage in garbage out. Pairing the PM6004 to a quality source will bring out the best in this integrated amp, and Marantz recommended the CD6004 as a synergistic match. Also made in Japan, this $499 CD player not only plays CD and CDR's but will also playback audio files from a front panel USB input. This works with a USB thumb drive or hard drive, and features iPod/iPhone control. You can load up MP3, WAV, or WMA files but sadly no FLAC support. On the back you will find both optical and coaxial digital outputs, as well as analog outputs fed by a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC. There is a headphone output included and the engineers even went so far as to beef up the bottom plate to combat vibrations. To further reject noise in an already well engineered layout they added the ability to not only disable the display but also the digital outputs. Pure analog bliss.

I installed the PM6004 in place of my PM8003, and the CD6004 took the place of my Onix XCD-88, and it was all connected to a pair of Martin Logan Vista Electrostatics in my large listening room. Setup was very straight forward with no subwoofer used and no digital room correction applied. The speakers are placed three feet from the back wall and more than six feet from the side walls. Toed in as per the Martin Logan flashlight method, with the listening position nine feet from the speakers.