Micro hifi : Marantz M-CR502

Wharfedale EVO4.1 Bookshelf Speakers

rgs2k7

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Any experience with this all-in-one audio system from Marantz ? WHF seems to have glowing reviews on this one, but curious to hear opinions from someone who has actually used it ?
Admittedly it cannot be directly compared to a dedicated stereo setup containing int. amp + speakers, but just wondering since it is being made by Marantz, how does it sound ? Will it be too much of a compromise in comparison to a dedicated setup ?
 

hemantwaghe

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I got marantz arch 2.0 ,never tested much ,but a decent sound ,
(kept it for my upcoming flat!)
Mine is in Azure blue colour!
 
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rgs2k7

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unleash_me,

Thanks! you seem to be a major proponent of CR502. I got the right guy:)
Can you comment on the pros and cons abt this system.. ? coz all the reviews on net dont go beyond saying its a good system.
- Whats the sound characteristic of this system - bright or warm ? accordingly which are the speakers that are best suitable for this?
- Does the small form factor of this system cause any issues like heating ?
- Can it be used just as an amplifier with an external source ?

I am drawn towards this system because of its marantz quality CD/MP3 player capabilities integrated with amplifer, so naturally dont have to hunt for another source. Another option I am exploring is to pair an integrated amp/speaker combo with my existing harmon kardon player. I am thinking about NAD setup here. ok.. these two setups are not exactly apple-to-apple, but still curious how it will be in comparison? specifically whats the 'sacrifice' in SQ if i go for CR502? I need to go and audition myself, but would like to hear some expert opinions.

hemant:
You have an awesome looking system ! enjoy!
 
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unleash_me

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unleash_me,

Thanks! you seem to be a major proponent of CR502. I got the right guy:)
Can you comment on the pros and cons abt this system.. ? coz all the reviews on net dont go beyond saying its a good system.
- Whats the sound characteristic of this system - bright or warm ? accordingly which are the speakers that are best suitable for this?
- Does the small form factor of this system cause any issues like heating ?
- Can it be used just as an amplifier with an external source ?

I am drawn towards this system because of its marantz quality CD/MP3 player capabilities integrated with amplifer, so naturally dont have to hunt for another source. Another option I am exploring is to pair an integrated amp/speaker combo with my existing harmon kardon player. I am thinking about NAD setup here. ok.. these two setups are not exactly apple-to-apple, but still curious how it will be in comparison? specifically whats the 'sacrifice' in SQ if i go for CR502? I need to go and audition myself, but would like to hear some expert opinions.

hemant:
You have an awesome looking system ! enjoy!

Not really a proponent as such :) but yeah, if space is a constraint, then I always suggest to invest in a quality all-in-one like the M-CR502. I personally use an old onkyo CS515 with diamond 9.1 and SW150 as 2nd hifi.

Coming to your questions,

a) I wouldn't call the system bright or warm. Its more neutral imo.
b) No issues of heating so far. Had just checked with two of my friends who use it.
c) Sure you can. One of my friends use his PC via 7520 dac as a source.

590lg.jpg


This one is a beautiful piece of hifi that merge with your living/study room and comes with 50 wpc single wired and 25w bi-amped. Among the two ppl I know who use it, one has biamped with diamond 9.1 while the other is using the CM1 single wired. I wouldn't call it a sacrifice to take this route. Using an all-in-one against going seperates way is a choice one makes due to various limitations. Try to arrange an audition and hear it for yourself. Its actually that simple.
 
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rgs2k7

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Just an update:

Atlast I managed go for an audition. After going thro the forums day after day, i had shortlisted few recommended combos that i wanted to audition - CR502 was top of the list obviously.. and i was more curious to compare with separates like Marantz Amp and NAD Amp.

CR502 + Diamond 10.1
Of all the combos i tried, this was the best i felt.. really did justice to whatever i threw at it-dire straits, santana, bon jovi, rang de basanti, kishore, lata.. it had everything to please my ears - clarity, separation, sound stage, highs, midrange and bass, bit laidback but fatigue free smooth listening.. RDB turned out be a good reference CD.. each and every song is so unique and difft... it was a good test for the system

CR502 + Tannoy F1
Again a good combo.. nice sound.. more clarity than Diamond, but felt it was tad bright for my liking, long listening sessions cud cause fatigue i felt

Marantz PM 8003 + Tannoy F1
Power of the amplifier was obvious, it was very easily driving the F1's compared to CR502.. but in terms of quality, to my untrained ears, couldnt find any noticeable difference, may be there were subtle ones if one listened very very carefully

NAD 325 BEE + PSB Image B15
I was very hopeful about this combo after reading raving reviews on the net.. but to my disappointment couldnt really enjoy the music as much as i wudve liked.. but somehow something was missing.. there was no wow factor or immersive feeling although everything sounded good.. but instead caused lot of fatigue after a long listening session.. added to it the salesperson had some attitude...didnt let me try any other combo..on top of it he got pissed off when i said i want to listen more before buying anything..!!

overall cr502 really shined thro of all the tests i did today..even in comparison to a dedicated amp, didnt find anything that was lacking..in terms of utility also, it had an upperhand - CD player, USB input, radio plus the various connectivity options..
wud like to go for another round of audition together with my wife before deciding..
(but still have this nagging doubt whether a dedicated system will be good in long term.. say pbbly my ears get accustomed to cr502 sound after some time and may start wanting more...:) AV is really poisonous once it gets on you.. )
 
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Raghav

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what price did you get for CR502? I am also looking out for the same in India.

Have you come across other All-in-ones from TEAC / Cambridge Audio / Music Hall etc.. How did they compare to Marantz.
 
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rgs2k7

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I was quoted $349 for CR502 and $399 for 10.1 speakers. So thats about Rs. 11.2k and Rs. 12.8k if I apply direct conversion.. I am also curious how much it costs in India, whether its worth lugging back considering the customs duty if any. lemme know!
I didnt check other brands..TEAC supposed to be good.. but heard it may not be available here.. next time, will try to look around for other brands
 
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spirovious

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Just an update:

CR502 + Tannoy F1
Again a good combo.. nice sound.. more clarity than Diamond, but felt it was tad bright for my liking, long listening sessions cud cause fatigue i felt

Marantz PM 8003 + Tannoy F1
Power of the amplifier was obvious, it was very easily driving the F1's compared to CR502.. but in terms of quality, to my untrained ears, couldnt find any noticeable difference, may be there were subtle ones if one listened very very carefully

+ve rev of 502-
Marantz M-CR502 Micro and style system review - from the experts at whathifi.com

Did you try Nad with F1?
 
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iaudio

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Rgs, Its good that you liked the Marantz cr502 sound. It seems a great deal for the functionality, practicality it offers.
Dont be too bothered about upgradability. You can always use it as a secondary/bedroom system.
Do try out similar offerings from Onkyo, Teac, Arcam etc before you make your final decision. As for speakers its better you stick to sensitive ones as the micro hi fi may not be able to drive as well as dedicated stereo int amp.
 
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rgs2k7

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yeah good reviews everywhere... definitely VFM for that price point! traditionally its meant for bedroom listening.. with 40-50w of power.. wonder it is powerful enuf for living room listening as well.. say 16X10 hall

ok.. will make note of NAD + F1 to try out next time.. is F1 on brighter side by nature or was it just my ears ? I really liked NAD, but i guess need a good speaker for my liking.. old rock like eagles,nirvana + ARR,SEL type bollywood music.. what are the other recommended speakers that go well with NAD ?
 
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spirovious

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F1 are neutral & dont favour amps generally.
So I am interested to know,how laid back amp(Nad,Arcam) sound with it.
 
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unleash_me

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overall cr502 really shined thro of all the tests i did today..even in comparison to a dedicated amp, didnt find anything that was lacking..in terms of utility also, it had an upperhand - CD player, USB input, radio plus the various connectivity options..

Glad to know that you like this nifty little unit. :) Never heard it with 10.1 but with 9.1 it sounds nice and smooth.

Although highly subjective, for normal listening levels this power rating is more than enough for your room size imo. Try to audition with speakers having 90db+ sensitivity as well, if the 50wpc concerns you.

Happy auditions.
 
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iaudio

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Glad to know that you like this nifty little unit. :) Never heard it with 10.1 but with 9.1 it sounds nice and smooth.

Although highly subjective, for normal listening levels this power rating is more than enough for your room size imo. Try to audition with speakers having 90db+ sensitivity as well, if the 50wpc concerns you.

Happy auditions.

Yes thats what I was talking about. Just to be on the safe side.:)
Unleash, now that I am hearing so many good things about this unit, I have to give it a listen! Maybe its just right for my Dad as he is also looking for a compact all in one system with good sq!
 
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rgs2k7

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thx guys for your expert tips.. will keep these pointers in mind..
planning to go down today for another round of audition along with my home minister.. most imptly to determine the WAF ;)
 
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rgs2k7

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Today's audition got an opportunity to pair wharfedale 9.1 with cr502. Alongside listened to 10.1 as well. Although didnt get much time for audition, from whatever i listened, overall 10.1 seemed more clear and open compared to 9.1.


Now coming to the crucial point - whether its worth buying here or not.
From whatever price list that is floating around in this forum, wharfedale prices are not much different between SG and India.
But for cr502, not sure whats the price in India now. Can anyone give me a approx price of cr502 ? If its not much difft, then I might as well buy it in India.

[ Update: I tried calling few shops in Bangalore - ARN systems, Music Ranch, Absolute Phase. None of them seem to carry CR502. Can anyone from other cities pls help ? ]

Another question, I was offered 'the chord company' speaker wires ? how good are they ? any better ones to consider?
 
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rgs2k7

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After much deliberation and serious re-thinking of my needs, I finally decided to go for dedicated amp + speaker setup, as it better suits my setup.

I already have a harman kardon cd player with mp3 capability ( and planning to add WDTV Live + DAC for FLAC. ) So with CR502, I wud be having duplicate CD/MP3 sources which would render one of other source unutilised.

The decisive moment came when i auditioned NAD + MA BR2 combo ..I was simply blown away by BR2's performance. For more or less similar price range, I thought this was a better investment for my needs when compared to CR502 + Diamond 10.1

Thx again for all your inputs !
 
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iaudio

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After much deliberation and serious re-thinking of my needs, I finally decided to go for dedicated amp + speaker setup, as it better suits my setup.

I already have a harman kardon cd player with mp3 capability ( and planning to add WDTV Live + DAC for FLAC. ) So with CR502, I wud be having duplicate CD/MP3 sources which would render one of other source unutilised.

The decisive moment came when i auditioned NAD + MA BR2 combo ..I was simply blown away by BR2's performance. For more or less similar price range, I thought this was a better investment for my needs when compared to CR502 + Diamond 10.1

Thx again for all your inputs !

aha! So you bit the bullet, eh?
Congrats! I guess you must have purchased the combo by now.
:yahoo:
 
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