There are a number of high quality amplifiers at the moment within the budget range and Marantz certainly figures prominently in this group. As with all of these amplifiers, they each seem to provide their own characteristic or sonic signature. In the case of Marantz, I usually consider them to be very open throughout the mid range and delivering a crisp clean bass or "snap" to the music. Therefore it was of a great interest to me to finally hear this particular amplifier which has been so highly praised in many publications.
When you see this amplifier, it looks expensive, it has a curvy attractive design which certainly belies it's price tag. It is clear that there has been a great emphasis on aesthetics to allow this to stand up in this very competitive market and it certainly gets top marks for that.
Secondly a welcome addition to the Marantz comes in the form of a source direct button. This basically allows you to bypass the tone and treble controls and therefore by shortening the signal path, you are in essence doing nothing which could potentially distort the sound. This is clearly something you can experiment with as I recognise that some people like to place a lot of emphasis on bass, but in doing so in my opinion at least, you make significant sacrifices in sound quality.
Upon hearing this amp, it is quite clear that it does not possess the ability to resonate bass depth to the same levels as the NAD for instance but is perhaps a little more taut i.e. "snappier" in bass delivery. The midrange is open allowing for musical instruments to be heard and felt in great detail and the soundstage is expansive.
This is a very fine amp and deservedly is up there competing with the best in this sector of the market. However it comes down to the type of sound you are looking for. While it can deliver vocals and instruments with a rich detail, it lacks a little in the sense of real punch. Also while the power is more sufficient to drive speakers at mid level listening, for those who really like to turn the volume up, I think this puts too much pressure on this amp and results noticable straining of the sound occurs.
In conclusion this is a lovely looking amp (particularly in silver) and delivers lots of qualities but is a little short on others.
3 stereo inputs
1 turn table input
Source direct button
45 watts per channel (Power rating)
I've owned this amplifier for about one year now. Sold my Marantz PM4001 for even more money that I got for since I had my eyes on it's bigger brother after reading so many positive reviews pretty much everywhere. They were connected to a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers and a Marantz CD5001 CD player that did very well with the PM4001. I could not have been happier with the upgrade; the sound is punchier with a bigger, more open bass and sweet highs and the vocals that were already very good improved and gained more clarity. Gives out an excellent stereo image and sound stage. I just had to listen to my whole collection all over again! Just listen to Pearl Jam's "Black" or to Ben Fold's piano or even to Strunz and Farahs guitars and you will see know what I'm talking about. Was considering upgrading the speakers as well but the whole thing just sounds so damn good that it makes me doubt the sanity of the investment... On the technical side, it keeps the same looks, knobs and connections as the PM4001 but the later are now gold plated, with heavy duty gold plated speaker terminals and copper chassis screws. It is also quite heavier due to the improved power supply with a large toroidal transformer that is supposed to be better at supplying current when in high demand. Finally it comes with a remote which is very similar to the PM4001 with its brushed aluminum front that is easy to use and can be used to operate other Marantz equipments.
Purchased the 6002 (May 2009) to replace my 15 year old Marantz PM44SE.
Definately not disappointed. Fabulous performance and really gutsy from its 45 watts per chanel output. I'm NOT an audiophile buff and do not get into the sad business of listening to the equipment and not the music! I enjoy a wide range from (mainly) classical to rock. The 6002 handles everything well - I heard stuff on Ian Dury's "Reasons to be cheerful" that I had never heard before! The clarity is amazing. The best part is the inclusion of the phono stage. I love the sound from vynl and this amp really works wonders even though I have fairly modest kit with a second hand Technics 1200 Mk 2 deck, Audio Technics Cartridge and stylus and 12 year old Mission 760i SE speakers. I could not be more pleased with this amp especially as I got it for £209 including free delivery from Hifix.co.uk so grab one while you still can.