Time to consider upgrading my hi-fi...!

I have really enjoyed reading and seeing the pics on the retro/budget hi-fi pages…
I’ve been considering upgrading my system and currently have a Marantz CD6004 player, PM6004 amplifier and Monitor Audio Bronze 5 floorstanders… Looking to upgrade the Marantz units and keep floorstanders… Have looked at Cambridge Audio and Musical Fidelity. £1200-£1400 total spend… Other suggestions very welcome… :slightly_smiling_face:

When replacing the amp you need to consider do you want to stream from media devices and play internet radio and control it from mobile devices or just be a plain amp.
When I replaced my Arcam about 4 years ago I came down to a choice of another Arcam or an NAD with ‘modern’ connectivity. In the end I went NAD but it depends what you want to do with the amp.

It’s an interesting question. I use arcam alpha 10 integrated bi amped with a 10p power amp. I’ve had some issues with the regulation circuits on both having the integrated repaired once. It was a relatively expensive combo in its day, maybe £2500. Given that it won’t last forever, I often wonder if modern £500 amps now outperform this older kit. I’m not so worried about my B&W 601 speakers, they do the job for me as does my linn axis turntable. I am also interested in a “streaming” amp.

I also find that in latter years, I’m not so sound critical as I used to be

Decent CD players are becoming rarer in the normal human’s price range. Some with known brand names apparently just have computer transports in them now. Not that I can necessarily tell the difference with my 67 year old earholes. I’d still be using a Marantz CD63 SE except for a fire in 2019 that wrote off all my hifi. I bought a CD6006 as a replacement. Your CD6004 was very well reviewed, does it really need upgrading?

Good point about connectivity options. My lovely Technics SUA900 Mk2 amp, which I note is now making as much on ebay as mine cost 20 years ago, has been replaced by a Yamaha R-N803D ‘network receiver’. Whether it’s an upgrade sonically I doubt, but it does have one feature I have been converted to - ‘Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimiser’. I’ve never really bothered with tone controls and usually bypass them but setting this up has had a good effect even I can hear - AIUU, it adjusts timing and balance and in an awkward room just running the process with the supplied microphone made a big improvement and I’m now happy with the sound, which might interest you as I replaced my B&W DM500 speakers with the same MA Bronze 5 that you are using.

I don’t have magic ears so I’m not presuming to give you serious advice on what to buy.

Thanks for the replies so far and the interesting comments. Firstly, the only source I use is CD and I like the idea of a stripped down amplifier with nothing on it that it doesn’t need - no tone controls or anything like that - I have them Source-Direct and bypassed on my Marantz. The Marantz equipment is very good, but am always interested to see what’s out there… Is a shame Marantz hasn’t redesigned it’s later range, The CD6007 PM6007 look pretty much identical as what I have now…! Alternative is just to buy more CD’s… :slightly_smiling_face:

I also have a mostly Marantz Hi-Fi now. Last week I removed my Rotel RHQ-10 Phono Amp ( To be boxed and hoarded for a future project) and filled the empty slot with a Marantz NA6006 Network audio player.
so system is now;
Technics SL1210 Record deck ( Denon DL103 mc cart)
Marantz PM6005 Amp
Marantz CD6005 CD Player
Marantz NA6006 network player.

I am using World Audio Design Floor standing Kit speakers, with professionally made cabinets.

I have had a lot of Hi-Fi components over the years and now bitterly regret selling some of them on for other upgrades that didn’t always wok out, so have decided to keep hold of stuff as long as i can afford to do so.

The new network player will have better functionality when I connect up a NAS drive containing all of my Ripped CD’s , but for now I am using it to play Spotify Premium & internet radio, it also connects to a smart phone app for better control functionality.

Does it sound £450 better than my little Google Chromecast Audio Network device ( cost £30) well obviously I had to tell the missus that it did, and as she said " Hmmm… Oh well, it’s your money honey…"

Rega Brio R integrated amp, - on/off switch, input selection, volume, that’s it, matched with the top loading Rega Apollo R CD player.

The Marantz gear has been faultless to be honest and it is so easy to spend alot of money “upgrading”…! - And regret can be an expensive reality… I think our ears become tuned to the system we have as well. The Rega stuff is nice Countryboy, and they certainly have made many good turntables over the years… We’ll see - There are no good deals out there at the moment anyway… Maybe I’ll just spin this and forget about the upgrade… :smile:

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Lots of things are expensive right now. A friend needs a printer and asked me what I used. I checked the price and availability yesterday of the printer I bought in June 2019 (Brother, A3 print & scan, double sided printing) for £140. It is still available - at £599.99! Similar models are all £400+. I suppose that is to do with home working but supplies of all sorts have been affected by the pandemic and now Brexit will have its effect.

Agreed… Brexit, Covid-19 and the effects these have on logistics… Co2 emissions has had the caused the car market to go the same way unfortunately - Only have to see where MX-5 prices have gone in the last year or so… :frowning_face:

When you are looking at printers make sure you check out the price of cartridges. In particular whether the printer will accept compatible ones rather than OEM. When I bought my Epson printer it cost £70 with a set of 6 cartridges included. At the time a set of replacement Epson cartridges cost £72. I sold the cartridges that were supplied on eBay for around £30 and have used literally hundreds of non-Epson ones over the last 6 or 7 years. It still works perfectly.

Enjoying The Who CD, but mind is on these beauties…!

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Indeed. Don’t buy a newly released printer. And don’t update the firmware! The above mentioned Brother keeps nagging me to update it. The update could well make my compatible inks worthless. I pay £20-£25 for 2 black and one of each colour, in the large size. The Brother ones for mine aren’t too badly priced by comparison with some but they are still about £20 a cartridge. They are jus tanks, the print head is part of the printer.

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Look good, but I have never liked slot or drawer CD players, because if a CD jams or the mechanism fails you’re bu88ered! :crazy_face:

I like the simplicity of them… Less is more! I understand what you are saying about the slot mechanism - Have had these with quite a number of CD players in my cars and had no problems… as yet… I’ve just been listening to The Who “Who’s Last” and it sounds pretty good on my system as is - Is just not knowing what improvements can be found…! :thinking:

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That is why I had to stop using my superb Marantz Special Edition CD player.

The gear that wound the carriage in an out was a multiple-cog cast brown plastic item that crumbled to dust one day. No spare available from anywhere, and one of the gears on it was a bit too complex for me to make out of brass or ali during lunch on our rather primitive lathes.

Fifteen years later the four-axis CNC machine would have made it easy peasey.

Hi Richard.
I had problems with both types, drawer fed Onkyo and a slot fed ?? don’t remember, back in the early '80’s that why I’ve opted for top loaders, lid up, pop in CD, shut lid, easy peasy. I suppose in a way that’s because it’s the same technique as playing discs and the old brainbox finds it easier.