Marantz CD6004 CD Player Preview
|WMA, MP3, CD-RW, CD-R, CD, AAC
|Inputs / Outputs
|(1) Rear Output
|(1) Rear Output
|(2) Rear Output
|(1) Front Output
|(1) Front Input
With a similar model number, the CD6004 from Marantz was obviously designed to work with the new PM6004 Integrated Amplifier to provide an affordable but impressive two channel system. All you need to do is provide the speakers. But the CD6004 isn't built with only Marantz's other components in mind, there is a lot more to it than that.
While the CD6004 doesn't share the gold stylings of the Reference Series, it does share some of the technology. Specifically the Marantz HDAM-SA2 circuits. These ultra-fast, custom OP amp-like circuits are tuned to meet the specific needs of the CD6004 and are designed to give an analogue sound. A current buffer design eliminates interference from preamp input circuitry. In addition, audio outputs are laid out in symmetrical fashion, allowing for more dynamic, accurate, and detailed sound and pinpoint imaging. From Marantz:
Marantz developed its own discrete circuit boards to replace standard IC's. These HDAM's consists of discrete surface mount components with short mirror image L/R signal paths. Those devices are doing exactly the same thing as the Op-Amps, but outperform the regular IC Op-amps dramatically in terms of the Slew Rate and reduced noise level, resulting in a much more dynamic, accurate and detailed sound. Over the years Marantz developed different types of the HDAM to improve quality and to fit to the special requirements of a product category like CD or amplifier.
Taking a look at the back of the Marantz CD6004 we see just about everything you'll need for a CD transport. While it is almost jarring not to see an HDMI output, it really isn't needed with only a CD on board. You will find stereo RCA outputs plus one optical and one coaxial digital audio output. There is a Remote Control in and out with a External/Internal switch (not sure what that is about yet) and a Flasher In. It isn't exactly clear what the "Flasher" is though it sounds like it would work with a universal remote system (we'd check the manual to find out but Marantz doesn't have it up on their site yet).
On the front of the CD6004 you'll find a full sized headphone output plus a USB input. The Marantz CD6004 is Made for iPod/Works with iPhone certified plus can access thumb and external hard drives from the same port. All the standard controls are included as is a level knob (not sure the application there as a volume control wouldn't make sense). The Marantz CD6004 can playback MP3, WMA, and traditional PCM file types and is CD and CD-R/RW compatible. Textual data from encoded discs (artist, song title, etc.) is shown on the front panel display.
We have to say that we are little surprised by the feature set of the CD6004. For $500, the CD6004 can't access SACD or DVD-A disks or natively decode some of the lossless codecs like FLAC. The USB port on the front is great for hot-swapping iPods/iPhones on the fly, but a second, rear-mounted USB port would be preferable for long-term hard drive storage. While we are sure there is still a market for high-end CD transports, you can get a universal player that includes Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-A, CD and much more for the same price. Sure, you could make the argument that the Marantz will have better sound quality, but, with a few simple additions, they could have a player that really stood out.
For CD fanatics that are looking for the perfect companion for their new PM6004 Integrated Amp, the Marantz CD6004 is for you. With Made for iPod/Works with iPhone certification and front mounted USB port, the CD6004 is more than a simple high-end CD player. For $500, however, you have to ask yourself if the CD6004 does everything you need.
For more information, please visit www.marantz.com.
Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.