Audiolab 6000a or Marantz PM8006

Integration with Hometheatre


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amrutmhatre90

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Hello Guys,

As you all know, I have done extensive upgrades in past few months. To summarize, following gear I use:

1)Denon x3700 > Crown XLS 2002 > 3050i
2)FX Audio tube-03 Tube Pre Amp > Crown XLS 2002 > 3050i

Above connections can be switched with a small switchbox, Input one is Denon and Input 2 is Tube Pre Amp.

3) Nad 320BEE > 3050i
For this I need to change the wires manually.

Source for stereo listening is a custom built raspberry pi based on lineage OS with HAT DAC. RCA goes to NAD and 3.5mm goes to Tube Pre Amp. No need to remove the connections.

Now I am having space issues, but want both Integrated and AVR. Now NAD has Pre Outs and can be used as power amplifier too. Problem with NAD is you cannot use it as both Integrated Amp and Power Amp at same time. It is mechanical, the connectors need to be removed from back panel to use as pre outs or power amp, but i will loose the IA in that process.

Thinking of selling the NAD and Crown XLS and keep just one Integrated Amplifier.
Few AVRs available with HT Bypass within 80k are Audiolab 6000A & Marantz pm8006. Could suggest something else if it is available.

Things to go with Marantz PM8006
- More watts compared to Audiolab 6000A
- Tone controls and can drive 2 different speakers
- Tried and tested loved Marantz sound signature.

Things to go with Audiolab 6000a
- Trigger ins and outs
- Digital inputs with a good DAC also a USB
- Pre power IA modes can be changed with remote
- slim and compact

Now comes the fun part. My close dealer suggested to go with Marantz PM8006 which would cost close to 80K and getting a used Audiolab 6000A 50k.

But then should I continue to use the current setup without investing much? Not in a hurry to make upgrades can wait if Marantz PM8007 is on the way :p
 

amrutmhatre90

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Reviving old thread, so something like this happened:

Friend texts me-
Friend: I am buying Marantz PM8006
Me: Hahaha yeah, first use and listen to your DAC which you recently bought.
Friend: No, No I am serious. (Sends me Hifimart link)
Me: (Damn, he is serious), wait don't buy yet we can get some discount.

Now coming to this friend he has had active speakers Edifier S3000Pro to be precise, got himself a D50s DAC and enjoys music but only on weekends. After listening to some songs at my place he was sold on going passive speaker and IA combo, but I never knew it would be so soon.
To start off IA had to have pre outs which he can connect the active speakers till he gets some passive speakers down the line.

Coming to the purchase, I suggested him look at Audiolab 6000A which was selling as hotcakes, but as he already had a DAC did not want it that way and said in future he can change the DAC too. Plus 6000A did not have tone controls and He needed something warm. I spoke to Mr. Anil too, he too suggested go for Marantz if we have a DAC, or Audiolab 6000A is very good with the DAC combo.
Closed the deal and friend bought it, shipping was at my place as he wanted to test with passive speakers too. It arrived the next day!

20220129_184040.jpg

We did test it thoroughly with all the gear I have, the pre amp sections or the power amp sections were tested too. I even removed my QA 3010i from surrounds to test them. Here are some views.

The built quality is superb, I specially liked the speaker terminals they have a tiny whole which will keep the wires intact and won't touch one other or chassis and cause short, nice thought. And yeah it is made in Japan.

20220129_183711.jpg

20220129_183623.jpg

20220129_183538.jpg

8006 Top.jpg

(We did not open the unit, it is a photoshop done by me):p

During all these tests the IA had zero noise and extremely silent. We tested with 3050i and 3010i bookshelves connected to A & B.
Used Topping D50s DAC with Volumio from RPI and streamed from Tidal or Spotify.
While listening we often had to check which speakers are playing, as the tone of both speakers is similar. Its just the bass and mids are different. It was a great dilution!

20220129_162903.jpg

The PM8006 is warm, rich and nice rolled off highs. My friend was like, "I never heard songs so long ever, it was fatiguing always. This is superb", he specially liked the vocals out of QA both 3050i and 3010i.

Plus point if people who own a HT and want a power amplifier can add this, has a power amp mode only. Which also can be called as HT Bypass.
I did connect this with my FX Audio tube-03 and Denon x3700 AVR, unfortunately NAD 165BEE is gone for servicing.
It did sound different, more clarity was added by Tube buffer but the Marantz IA alone was a bit better.

As it has preouts, we connected my O&B Power amp to the Marantz as Pre. We got more clarity, neutral sound and slightly more details and dynamics. Bass was not like we saw on Marantz IA alone. After this it was more clear that how the Marantz house sound is warm and soothing, which is what my friend was looking for.

I liked it too, I could get this and just keep the AVR and Marantz sell all the pre amps and power amps I have. But that can happen after few years maybe. :D

Here is a short unboxing video I did with few sound tests:

 

Nitin K

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That looks like a very good buy especially considering its" made in Japan" so overall quality is assured. I had a query when you connected this to your avr using Power Amp direct feature, did you use the preout connection of this amp to your avr like a "HT bypass" ? Also in this mode did the volume control & tone controls on the PM 8006 get deactivated ? Thanks Amrut.
 

amrutmhatre90

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That looks like a very good buy especially considering its" made in Japan" so overall quality is assured. I had a query when you connected this to your avr using Power Amp direct feature, did you use the preout connection of this amp to your avr like a "HT bypass" ? Also in this mode did the volume control & tone controls on the PM 8006 get deactivated ? Thanks Amrut.

Yes, and it is Jan 2022 manufactured a nice piece of mind.

Screenshot_20220131-221912_Opera.jpg

If you see the back has separate connections for Pre Out and Power Amp Direct In.
We connected it to Power Amp Direct in when we used AVR or other Pre amplifiers. As you said, no tone controls or volume inputs worked. Only the Power amplifier light was lit on the front panel.

One has to press and hold the power amplifier button to get in this mode, I could find how to do it using remote it is a bit tricky.
 

Nitin K

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Thanks a lot Amrut for clarifying , then this function is like an HT bypass button. Lucky that your friend got a Jan 2022 manufactured piece. I really liked all the tone control buttons in addition to the mids. Very versatile amp with features & connections at an attractive price.
 
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amrutmhatre90

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Can you please write a bit about NAD 320 bee vs marantz 8006?

Its like comparing McLaren F1 with Bugatti Chiron.
Both were and are wonderful IAs launched in their time. The bass and mids are more controlled on the Marantz doesn't disappoint at all, highs are nicely rolled off and are musical subtle enjoyable. And of course is lot more powerful. Has a source direct button to make it sound neutral from the source you play.

Nad on other hand had bass all over, but still good. Mids were nice and precise and softer than marantz highs. The weaklink on the 320BEE is the pre amp section, pair it with a good pre amplifier or even a tube amp and it does make a huge difference the way it sounds. Everything starts falling in place and is controlled.

Marantz is a very good one unit no need of any modifications, nothing. Get a good DAC or phono and your done.
 

ajuvignesh

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Its like comparing McLaren F1 with Bugatti Chiron.
Both were and are wonderful IAs launched in their time. The bass and mids are more controlled on the Marantz doesn't disappoint at all, highs are nicely rolled off and are musical subtle enjoyable. And of course is lot more powerful. Has a source direct button to make it sound neutral from the source you play.

Nad on other hand had bass all over, but still good. Mids were nice and precise and softer than marantz highs. The weaklink on the 320BEE is the pre amp section, pair it with a good pre amplifier or even a tube amp and it does make a huge difference the way it sounds. Everything starts falling in place and is controlled.

Marantz is a very good one unit no need of any modifications, nothing. Get a good DAC or phono and your done.
Thank you so much for the detailed write up :)
I have read that the marantz are warm. However I came across this video
I used a cheap but monitor headphone to listen to the sound and it appeared that the highs are pronounced. I use the same speaker and looking to upgrade my amp from Cambridge audio axr 100 which sometimes put out harsh highs.
Do you think the highs on the video is warmer or shrill?
 

amrutmhatre90

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Thank you so much for the detailed write up :)
I have read that the marantz are warm. However I came across this video
I used a cheap but monitor headphone to listen to the sound and it appeared that the highs are pronounced. I use the same speaker and looking to upgrade my amp from Cambridge audio axr 100 which sometimes put out harsh highs.
Do you think the highs on the video is warmer or shrill?

Better to test out in person, not heard this speakers. But Marantz themselves claims PM8006 to be warm and I agree with them.

I would take my speakers to audition with me if I were to buy an IA.

Btw I just saw the video, he has source direct button on you can see it from the extreme right blue light. This removes all the warmth and makes it true to the source, I did feel the same while testing this unit.
But if it were to be me, why would I use source direct if I am buying a Marantz for the Marantz Warm signature. I would certainly use it but not always.
 

ajuvignesh

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Better to test out in person, not heard this speakers. But Marantz themselves claims PM8006 to be warm and I agree with them.

I would take my speakers to audition with me if I were to buy an IA.

Btw I just saw the video, he has source direct button on you can see it from the extreme right blue light. This removes all the warmth and makes it true to the source, I did feel the same while testing this unit.
But if it were to be me, why would I use source direct if I am buying a Marantz for the Marantz Warm signature. I would certainly use it but not always.
Coool. I missed noticing the source direct button. Have heard that the source direct in pm8006 is a bit treble heavy.
Thank you so much once again
 

plasmoid

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Reviving old thread, so something like this happened:

Friend texts me-
Friend: I am buying Marantz PM8006
Me: Hahaha yeah, first use and listen to your DAC which you recently bought.
Friend: No, No I am serious. (Sends me Hifimart link)
Me: (Damn, he is serious), wait don't buy yet we can get some discount.

Now coming to this friend he has had active speakers Edifier S3000Pro to be precise, got himself a D50s DAC and enjoys music but only on weekends. After listening to some songs at my place he was sold on going passive speaker and IA combo, but I never knew it would be so soon.
To start off IA had to have pre outs which he can connect the active speakers till he gets some passive speakers down the line.

Coming to the purchase, I suggested him look at Audiolab 6000A which was selling as hotcakes, but as he already had a DAC did not want it that way and said in future he can change the DAC too. Plus 6000A did not have tone controls and He needed something warm. I spoke to Mr. Anil too, he too suggested go for Marantz if we have a DAC, or Audiolab 6000A is very good with the DAC combo.
Closed the deal and friend bought it, shipping was at my place as he wanted to test with passive speakers too. It arrived the next day!

View attachment 66767

We did test it thoroughly with all the gear I have, the pre amp sections or the power amp sections were tested too. I even removed my QA 3010i from surrounds to test them. Here are some views.

The built quality is superb, I specially liked the speaker terminals they have a tiny whole which will keep the wires intact and won't touch one other or chassis and cause short, nice thought. And yeah it is made in Japan.

View attachment 66766

View attachment 66765

View attachment 66764

View attachment 66762

(We did not open the unit, it is a photoshop done by me):p

During all these tests the IA had zero noise and extremely silent. We tested with 3050i and 3010i bookshelves connected to A & B.
Used Topping D50s DAC with Volumio from RPI and streamed from Tidal or Spotify.
While listening we often had to check which speakers are playing, as the tone of both speakers is similar. Its just the bass and mids are different. It was a great dilution!

View attachment 66763

The PM8006 is warm, rich and nice rolled off highs. My friend was like, "I never heard songs so long ever, it was fatiguing always. This is superb", he specially liked the vocals out of QA both 3050i and 3010i.

Plus point if people who own a HT and want a power amplifier can add this, has a power amp mode only. Which also can be called as HT Bypass.
I did connect this with my FX Audio tube-03 and Denon x3700 AVR, unfortunately NAD 165BEE is gone for servicing.
It did sound different, more clarity was added by Tube buffer but the Marantz IA alone was a bit better.

As it has preouts, we connected my O&B Power amp to the Marantz as Pre. We got more clarity, neutral sound and slightly more details and dynamics. Bass was not like we saw on Marantz IA alone. After this it was more clear that how the Marantz house sound is warm and soothing, which is what my friend was looking for.

I liked it too, I could get this and just keep the AVR and Marantz sell all the pre amps and power amps I have. But that can happen after few years maybe. :D

Here is a short unboxing video I did with few sound tests:

I used a cheap but monitor headphone to listen to the sound and it appeared that the highs are pronounced. I use the same speaker and looking to upgrade my amp from Cambridge audio axr 100 which sometimes put out harsh highs.
Do you think the highs on the video is warmer or shrill?
 

plasmoid

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I picked up this amp last year. It drives my Wharfedale 11.2 stand mounts. I have never noticed it to be treble-heavy with or without source direct engaged even at very high volume. It has warm mids and silky smooth highs with an airy soundstage.
 

mbhangui

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I am sorry but I am tempted too. Sell out every amp or pre amp except for the AVR and just keep the Denon X3700 and Marantz 8006.
But not so soon, surely in future.
I'm in a fix. I have a valve amp. Once in a blue moon I get the mood to listen to it. Sometimes I use a class D amp from allo. I think I will discard the allo amp as it is so cheap and retain the valve amp. I need to build a speaker selector box. One switch to select the amp and another switch to select the speaker. The ones available online don't have good binding posts and also the switches are not heavy duty. I plan to get two of these and 8 pairs speaker binding posts. The biggest problem is getting a good rectangular box. I wish I knew someone who could fabricate good boxes with aluminium face plates.

1643656175130.png
 

amrutmhatre90

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I'm in a fix. I have a valve amp. Once in a blue moon I get the mood to listen to it. Sometimes I use a class D amp from allo. I think I will discard the allo amp as it is so cheap and retain the valve amp. I need to build a speaker selector box. One switch to select the amp and another switch to select the speaker. The ones available online don't have good binding posts and also the switches are not heavy duty. I plan to get two of these and 8 pairs speaker binding posts. The biggest problem is getting a good rectangular box. I wish I knew someone who could fabricate good boxes with aluminium face plates.

Will PM you tomorrow , I have few details on this. Will ask the friend
 

keith_correa

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The PM8006 is warm, rich and nice rolled off highs.
With specs of 5 Hz – 100 kHz at ±3 dB, I doubt the highs will be "rolled off" at levels of human hearing.
But if it were to be me, why would I use source direct if I am buying a Marantz for the Marantz Warm signature. I would certainly use it but not always.
Source direct just bypasses the tone controls circuits. Why would just doing this bypass sound warm and not otherwise? This implies that the warmth comes from the tone control circuitry. o_O
 

raghupb

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With specs of 5 Hz – 100 kHz at ±3 dB, I doubt the highs will be "rolled off" at levels of human hearing.

Source direct just bypasses the tone controls circuits. Why would just doing this bypass sound warm and not otherwise? This implies that the warmth comes from the tone control circuitry. o_O
Don't know how it is implemented in PM8006.

I have an ancient IA from Marantz (PM7001).
It has "source direct" button and "Bass/Treble" knobs.
"Source direct" on, always sounded flat and boring to my ears.
Turning off "source direct" sounded more fun, even with "Bass/Treble" at mid or zero position.
My guess is the tone control circuit has some coloration to the sound.

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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