PM6002 vs CA540A v2? (Urgent)


New Member
Jan 30, 2009
Hello friends,

I am new here & looking for a budget Hi-Fi system. I have zeroed down on the MS 902i as i am getting it for a really bargain price.

I am really confused between the Marantz PM6002 vs CA 540A v2 amplifiers. I couldn't compare them together as none of the show rooms have both the amps together. Although have heard them individually & felt that they both sounded pretty good. But really can't compare as have heard them at different locations with different speakers & different acoustical environment. And there is not much difference between the pricing.

I have heard CA product (not the 540A v2 but a CA AVR & 540D DVD) with 904i sometime last year and quite liked it.

Have heard the Marantz with CD6002 as the source & Diamond 9.1. The sound was decent but don't know how it will work with the MS 902i.

Which one would suit the 902i's better as the Marantz has got really nice reviews whereas both MS & CA are from the same parent familly, so logically should sound good together. Also the CA is more powerful than Marantz & also comes with a pre-out (i can connect a sub-woofer later if i want).

I listen to all kind music - rock, classical, trance, techno, etc. I like the vocals to be full bodied.

Also the system will double up for movies as well.

Please give me your valuable advice & thank you in advance for your time.
Hifi, I am going to partially hijack your question.

As part of setting up a HT system for a friend, I am also adding a CDP. The budget is <20,000.

I want to add NAD's C515BEE CD Player to the choices and see what responses we get. No NAD bashing, pleeeeease :):):)

Though I used to be a fan of Marantz's quite a while ago, the couple of times I have heard the Marantz CDPs in the recent past has been disappointing. This was purely in terms of their skipping tracks or not recognising a CD at all. I have heard the 640C many times and have been impressed, but that is out of budget. Does the 540C have the same signature? I will be taking a short audition of the 540C over the next two days, but unfortunately, the amps at the auditioning places are not up to the mark.


Generally I would prefer the Marantz PM6002 amp than the CA540, however with the speakers you mention I don't know. Experts, please help.


The Nad 515 has some nice reviews, but I have not heard it. Heard the Marantz 6002 CD player for an extensive period, and really liked it much more than the CA 640. Our forum member Gobble recently bought it for 18K, I think. For that price it's a steal. I am really surprised you mentioned problems with skipping. I heard the Marantz CDP for quite long with my own redbook CDs and I did not find anything wrong.
However, if you have a chance to hear the CA 540 D v2 (yes the DVDP), you may surprise yourself. Everybody is bowled so much over by the Oppos, this one does not get the proper mention. Many budget users use this also as a dedicated CDP (just check the net), the 2 channel sound is very good. It would not do SACD, DVD-A and does video upscaling only upto 1080i (but for TVs upto 40" that may be enough). At around 16K, I think this is an excellent buy also.
I Had an opportunity to listen to the CA840 (??) amp and the Marantz 7002 amp - both hooked to Mezzos.. and both me and my friend who was with me liked the Marantz.

I like the CA gear.......but just wanted to tell you (you might be aware of it) that the CA will not play Mp3 only plays audio CD.......also CA is going to launch a V3 version this year (not sure when) and internationally (specially in UK) dealers are already clearing their stocks by giving heavy discounts.

That's the very reason that i am also confused between the Marantz & CA.......on paper and review the Marantz is definitely better than the CA........but if we look at CA's track record especially with budget might not be very risky to assume that they might come back with a bang with the if i go for the CA now, it will be easier for me to upgrade later to the v3 considering they will be from the same brand.

Never heard the NAD as it is not available in Delhi.......but have heard that its pretty good but a little laid back (as most NAD products are) when it comes to some attacking songs.....although i feel its a value for money product considering the price at which they are selling it in India.....but am not an expert so it would be better if someone already using it or auditioned it can also advice you.

Best of kuck
I also agree with Asit that the CA 540Dv2 is really good with CD play back although you can get a better picture for the money........but a nice value for money product.
Hi Hifiplayer and venkat,
My vote goes to the Marantz in both cases.

Hifiplayer i think u should consider the PM 7001(now replaced) as the amplifier or if not available or out of budget go for the 6002. IMO these are better than CA 540. The MS/CA combo is supposed to work well for obvious reasons but that in no way states a marantz/ms wont work.Try it and see if it works 4 u.

Venkat the marantz 6002 over the Nad 515 for me for sure. Lots of friends use marantz cdps and there are no issues while i myself have had issues with both Nad cdps i owned. The dreaded "NO DISC" often appeared after i load a cd and this is a pretty common phenomenon with most NAD cdps.
One more CDP to try and audition is the new Yamaha CD S 700. Supposed to be a well made entry level offering. Have not heard it myself though i have heard both the higher models in the range and they are good.

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I recently auditioned both the marantz 6002 and cambridge 540v2.
I setltled for the marantz as it has a very useful feature ( the 2 pairs of
speakers can be swithched individually ON or OFF )
This is very useful for people having 2 sets of speakers in 2 rooms.
Whereas in 540v2 you can only switch ON or OFF the 2nd set of speakers(B).

Sonically the marantz is a bit shrill which can be adjusted by reducing
the Treble control or using warm speakers like Wharfedale 9.1.
Pairing Marantz with MS-902 will be a disaster as both are baised
towards the higher frequencies.
Cambridge is more balanced. but again sound taste varies with individuals..
I checked about the NAD issue. I believe that it was with a particular batch of CDPs and with the older models. I believe NAD identified the issue and removed it from all those models. The 515 is a new model and the problem and the issue are not expected to be there any more.

The Marantz 6002 seems to be three months behind in terms of delivery with shops in India. A new consignment is expected to arrive into the country by mid February, and new orders will be delivered from this consignment. So getting a piece immediately is going to be a challenge. In any case they are expecting to accept new orders for the 6002 at around 26,000. So for me it is both out of budget and out of delivery time period.

I listened to the CA 504C for a short while today. The CDP was connected to a Yamaha 497 two channel amplifier. The system was first connected to a pair of MS Avant 902i. I heard Breathless, followed by Tandav from Fusion Mosaic, and my new favourite - A Jasmine In Twilight from Raga Symphony. Something was missing though there was good clarity in all the numbers. I then replayed 'A Jasmine In Twilight' after connecting the system to a pair of MS Mezzo 6. I then realised what the issue was. Instead of listening to some 12 odd violins in Jasmine, it seemed to me I was listening to a single violin. I replayed Tandav and I realised that in spite of the large floor standers, the drums were not as deep and as sharp as I know them to be.

To be fair, this could be because of the amp more than the CDP. But unfortunately the dealer had only this amp.

So all in all, I am back to square one.

Thank you for your reply guys.


Can you tell me as to which speakers did you audition both the amps with?

I auditioned the PM6002+CD6002+Diamond 9.1.

I found the above combo a bit shrill specially with the loudness button switched ON on the amp. To this the dealer said that the combo is a bit shrill because its a brand new piece & that it will become smooth with some running in. I couldn't get a demo of the 6002 with 902i.

After that, while i was about to leave i saw a CA 540c CD player (not the v2, the older model) kept over there. This the dealer had kept for his personal use.

I then asked him to replace the CD6002 with the CA amp.

Immediately, we observed that the sound had become quite smooth with no shrillness. The vocals also became more full-bodied, although the detailing was better with CD6002.

Also can you tell me as to which CD player did you use?

Have read a user review somewhere where the person said that the CD6002 is quite bright specially when paired with the PM6002

Hifiplayer: I used to own the Cambridge Audio 540A V2 amp and MS 906i floorstanders. You really can't go wrong with this combo as nothing will beat it at its price. But this has a lot to do with the synergy between CA amp and MS speakers. Replace either with anything else and the equation changes.

As others have, I would also suggest that if you pick the Marantz 6002 amp, you consider some other pair of speakers than the 902i. I am surprised you found the Diamond 9.1 bright. You should try to audition a combo that has been broken in properly.

Which city are you in? Try auditioning PSB Alpha and Monitor Audio Bronze as well.
Thank you for your reply particleman.

I am from Delhi. We don't have PSB nor MA over here. So can't audition them. Also don't want to buy anything without an audition.

I was really inclined towards the MS+CA combo. But the reviews of PM6002 made it very confusing (it got the best buy from WHAT HiFi?). Also was getting the amp for around 20k, which i felt was quite cheap compared to what others are offering for the same amp.

By the way, which speaker do you feel is a better all rounder - 902i or 9.1?

The system will also double up for movie viewing.

I listen to a lot of trance, rock, gazals, our very own bollywood songs, classical, instrumentals, techno, etc.

I was thinking of the following combo:

MS 902i + CA 540Av2 + CA DVD99 + CA DacMagic

Speaker cables: Chord Carnival SilverScreen

Yet to finalize on the interconnects. Would need an analogue & coaxial cable. Do you have any suggestions for that? What are you using?

What does everyone think of the above combo? Please feel free to give any other suggestions, if any.

Thank you
The very first thing you should do, stop believing what you read in magazine reviews, especially What Hi-Fi and their "ratings." Perhaps there are magazines that get it right but these are very few - UK's Hi-Fi World seems sensible enough and Stereophile is largely accurate.

As everyone on this forum will tell you: trust your ears and nothing else. Choice of speakers and amp is subjective and there will be qualities in the sound that appeal only to you. Ignore the specs, just listen to your favourite music and see which one you have a magic connection with.

Both the Diamond 9.1 and 902i are decent all-rounders and you would not go wrong with either but, like I said, see what appeals to you.

Speakers are the most important thing in your chain. They will outlast everything else so put the most of your money here. This applies almost as much to the amplifier as well if you plan to stay with two-channel for a long time to come. You need not worry as much about the source for now.

MS 902i + CA 540Av2 + CA DVD99 + CA DacMagic
Let's see: 12k + 18k + 15k(?) + 25k = 70k.

You could do a lot better for that money. Speaker choices could include Monitor Audio RS1 (30-odd), Quad 12L2 (37k), Dynaudio Audience 42 (40k), Dali Ikon 2 (? maybe under 50k?). Try contacting their official distributors, e.g. The Audio People for Monitor Audio, to see if they have showrooms in Delhi. Surely there must be someone stocking these models. For Quad see: Designer Audio - Dealers.
Even the Mordaunt Short Mezzo 2 for 37k would be worth considering if MS is all you have.

The Marantz PM-7001 for 24k is an excellent amp to build on - it can drive even mid-end speakers fairly well. Even the Cambridge Audio 640A V2 is decent enough.

When it comes to interconnects and speaker cables you are in luck. Look no further than your friendly, neighbourhood Lyrita Audio. Viren should be able to help you out with cables that cost a fraction of the brands you mentioned for the same performance.

You have not thought of an important part of the setup - the speaker stands. These are as important as the speakers. Try to buy a good pair or have them made by a skilled carpenter. Not much help in this area as I have not owned standmount speakers.

i auditioned the CA with both MS-902i and Whar 9.1
I felt the detailing and soundstage were better
in the MS-902i and CA cmbination. and the CD player was also CA.
I also auditioned CA 340 amp (not the Ipod SE version)
I felt the CA 340 amp lacking power to drive the wharfedale.

I auditioned the PM 6002 with Boston tower speakers and Marantz 4001 Cd player.THe combo was too bright. When i switched the speakers to a local custommade bookshelfs the sound was deep and sweet.
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MA are not available in Delhi. Already spoke to The Audio People about it.

Quad - I did audition them & quite liked them but found it to be lacking in some attack for my liking.

Dali - Love the Dali's. I feel they beautiful sounding speakers. One of the best around. But they are quite out of budget.

Mezzo 2's are beautiful with vocals but felt they were a little laid back when it came to some attacking songs.

Also, the most important thing is that my room is very small. Only 10*10 ft. So don't want to put very big speakers as they might over power the room & also might not be able to get the best out of them.

This is going to be my first HiFi. I chose the 902i as i am getting them for 6500/-. The amp is for 21,700/- & DVD99 for 15k ( haven't bargained on them as yet). Buying the DVD as the system will be used for movies as well. I chose the DacMagic as i have heard a lot about them & also read a lot of user reviews elsewhere.They have said that when paired with a decent DVD player or playing your Laptop through the DacMagic, the sound is better than any similarly priced CD player & even better than the CA 740C CD player. That's why i chose the DacMagic as i can then connect my Laptop to it & even connect a PS3 or a XBOX if i plan to buy them in the future.


Thanks a ton for your inputs. Really appreciate it. By the way, where did you audition them?
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MS 902i + CA 540Av2 + CA DVD99 + CA DacMagic


Think no more. That's excellent combo for the type of music you listen. I have heard 902i with 340A V2 and the matching cdp, it sounded very good, so I bet with 540 it would be excellent.

I have 640A v2 and matching cdp driving MA RS6, and I would say its a match made in music heaven:p. sweet.

My rating for your combo - *****
with due apologies to the OP....
i was an absolute novice in these matters and it was thanks to people like particleman and un_leash me and others who were gracious enough to explain to me the importance of matching amps with result of which i have managed to enhance my listening pleasures to an unprecedented degree (especially when i think of the times when i used to be satisfied with the sounds emanating from my tinny Thinkpad speakers)...
i love my music and am thankful to this forum for introducing to me an entirely sublime level of accessing it...
however to cut a long and sentimental story short...
i too own a NAD 325BEE amp and MS Avant 902i spite of what has been said about these amps , i find them very easy on the jazz sound...the speakers too are good especially if you do not keep them very close to the walls...they are however not very strong on the bass but that is fine with me cause i mostly listen to jazz ( herrbie hancock. keith jarrett etc)
anyway i am now in the process of upgrading my system by replacing the source (a DVD player) with a dedicated CD player...
i am quite indiscriminate as far as my music sources are concerned ...from MP3 files down loaded through limewire to pirated Cds i own the all..
so could forum members kindly advise me on the route i should take...

this is however not as urgent as the appeals of the OP hence..please prioritize his requests...
thanks in advance,
yours truly
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i think the upper limit would be 25K..although as you may perhaps have experienced may be willing to be open to some amount of upward revision..thanks ..

Thanks Vinod for your reply. Have finalized on the above combo. Will buy them around 2nd week of Feb. Will surely share my experience later when i get them :)
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