The world of digital music is a never ending evolution of resolution, function and features.
More and more we are looking to simplify our music systems whilst retaining the full functionality of large component systems.
Introducing the Marantz ND8006 HEOS Compact Disc Player. Built around the fantastic SA8005 CD Player and NA8005 Network Streamer, the HD8005 is a true digital hub. With more features than you can poke a stick at, this technological marvel from Marantz supports a host of digital features at a relatively affordable price when you consider the quality of the product.
The ND8006 has the following features
- High quality compact disc player
- Audiophile 192kHz/32bit D/A conversion (ESS9016) and dual crystal clock
- 2x optical, coaxial and USB type B digital inputs
- Spotify Connect
- Internet Radio provided by TuneIn
- HEOS Multiroom
- Apple AirPlay
Anyway, now that the obligatory press release stuff is out of the way, I’ll just talk about this particular piece of kit. Just as someone who has to use it on a daily basis for demonstrations. I do like the Heos gear, I like how it integrates with Marantz and Denon receivers and it is a fairly simple and straight forward system to use.
Prior to the ND8006, if you wanted a high quality CD player as well as a network streamer, you would have to have those two units as entirely different components, usually with the network streamer (Heos link for example) having poorer audio quality than a Marantz CD player. If you wanted your multiroom streamer to sound as good as the fancy CD player, you would need a nice DAC, but that wouldn’t allow you to play DSD files (technically possible, but due to licensing of the DSD technology, there is no digital output). So, killing two birds with one stone, HEOS and Marantz have bundled the two units together. I would have liked to see a HEOS streamer done in the Marantz chassis as a standalone system (replacing the NA6005 etc), but this nails it pretty much on the head.
It is a bit of a shame that the SACD portion of the player has been taken out for this generation of the 8000 series disc players, but frankly, SACD’s are hard to come by, and it is more convenient these days to get the raw DSD files from HD tracks or other online stores. At least this way, you don’t have to worry about discs being damaged or eventually rotting (it happens, some of our demo discs are unplayable at the outer tracks).
With how many manufacturers are changing their lineups, I can sort of see systems being “All in one” again, much like the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not that this is a bad thing, I do prefer individual components, but it is difficult to convince someone to buy many components rather than one thing that does it all.
I’ve spent a couple of hours just playing around with the features on the ND8006. It has plenty of options available but the ones that got my attention were the filter modes and the rate locking (which, after reading a bit of the manual has me to believe that its a jitter tolerance setting, where as a stricter setting can sound better, but if your source is messy, it may cut out a bit). The best way to go for absolute clarity of sound is to disable the digital outputs, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Headphone amplifier, and variable volume output. The filter and rate locking can tweak the sound a little. If you have a Marantz amplifier as well, there is a remote bus function that allows you to adjust the volume of the amplifier itself, as well as turn it on or off… no input selection as far as I can tell, but it would be tricky to control correctly if it were implemented.
The Heos streaming and operation was quick and stable. The CD playback functions can be streamed to other zones (with some delay), and you get CD playback options through the app. The entire interface seems to have gotten a programming overhaul from the previous SA8005 and NA8005, just seems there is much less “Preparing to do what you want” and much more of “Here is what you asked for”. There has been almost no delay in any command I give it, which considering our bloated network is a damned miracle.
I approve of this new disc spinner.