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Old 11-01-2011, 17:24   #1
D J Fryer
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Music Streaming - Marantz or Denon

I have found that since my Roku power supply went pop for the umpteenth time I hardly listen to music as all my music is on a QNAP NAS.

So I have been looking at the Marantz MCR603 and the Denon RCD-N7 CEOL

Both of these all in one units can play CD's and have wired network connections to be able to play MP3 from a DLNA NAS or PC. Both can be upgraded to accomodate the new Apple Airplay (for about £40). Both can be picked up for around £450-475 without speakers.

Main differences I can see:-

Marantz has DAB tuner - Denon does not
Denon has wifi - Marantz does not
Denon has integrated iPhone/Pod dock - Marantz does not
Marantz has What-HiFi 5* award - Denon hasn't been reviewed anywhere!

Anyone actually had a listen and compared these? I fear I am left to buy blind as dealers selling these niche things who can demo are a bit of a rarity!

Last edited by D J Fryer; 11-01-2011 at 17:28.
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Old 12-01-2011, 15:59   #2
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Well I have ordered the Denon so if only for someone else's benefit I'll post up my thoughts once I have it in and working!
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Old 12-01-2011, 19:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D J Fryer View Post
Well I have ordered the Denon so if only for someone else's benefit I'll post up my thoughts once I have it in and working!
Interesting units, I didn't know these sort of things were available. I like that the Denon supports the FLAC format, if you get a chance to try that out as well that would be great but otherwise a general review would be good to read.

Edit: Looking at the tech specs for the Marantz that also supports FLAC.

Edit2: The Denon would be even better if they had a remote app for Android like they have for iOS.
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Old 12-01-2011, 20:16   #4
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I was looking at these myself, but decided in the end to just run a line-out from my MP3 player into my amp. Much cheaper! I stream everything through my DAB/ Internet radio elsewhere.
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Old 12-01-2011, 20:59   #5
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Get a joggler Lou, just setting mine up now.
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Old 12-01-2011, 21:29   #6
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Will do. What is it though?
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Old 12-01-2011, 21:40   #7
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crap ipad but great for internet/wireless streaming and can/could be got for 50 bucks.
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Old 13-01-2011, 22:47   #8
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Need to spend some time playing with it but initial impressions:

Build quality - as I expected it is quite a plasticky unit, almost has the feel of Formica! It is, however , quite solidly constructed despite not being made of any premium aluminium or similar. I like that the power cable is a separate figure 8 lead and not hardwired into the unit like other Denon all in ones.

Setup - easy and quick - had wifi network set up in mins and it found the Twonkymedia server on my NAS without any problems.

Performance - sadly gone are the days when I'd be able to draw comparisons with other kit on sound quality. It sounds better than the Denon mini it is replacing but the KEF Cresta speakers it is being run into a the weak link. So far I have streamed 320kbps MP3 over wifi - no drops, stuttering nor is it slow to start. I need to transfer some flac files to my NAS to test those.

Interface - one niggle straight out is that when browsing music on my NAS it does not allow me to use the alphanumeric keys on the remote to skip to the first letter of the folder, artist, or album list. It's not a killer feature but my Roku did it and it makes browsing far easier when you have long lists that you need to scroll through.

Remote - the supplied remote is a functional but lightweight plasticky thing. I installed the official Denon iPhone remote app and that is quite clever, working over wifi so you can select source, alter volume, tone settings, play pause etc. One thing I do not think it does is allow you to wake the unit if is in standby. It needs to be on already.

iPod - not having anything else other than a Logitech travel dock all I can say is the Denon dock works. It charges too (in case, like me, you couldn't see that fact in any of the sales literature or the manual). Control is limited but it does the job.

Firmware - I updated the firmware over wifi - again painless. Next step is to investigate airplay but at £39 upgrade I'm not sure I need it when all the music on my Igadgets is on my NAS. The only reason to do it for me would be if it made track browsing and selection a better experience than scrolling through lists.

Overall the initial immersions is a good one.

I'll upload some pics of the unit when I get a chance.
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Old 13-01-2011, 22:50   #9
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Excuse typos and weird words - caused by my lack of practice on the iPad keyboard
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Old 14-01-2011, 11:22   #10
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Sounds good (no pun intended), let us know what it's like with flac files.

Was the iPhone app free?

If it's possible I'll try to contact them to see if they're working on one for Android phones.

Edit: It would appear that they've not fully embraced the modern age and are lacking a contact email address
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Old 14-01-2011, 20:26   #11
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Music Streaming - Marantz or Denon

Mike - the iPhone app was free - the one thing about the Android community is that if Denon don't write an app someone else might.

Haven't had the chance to try out flac but will have a chance for more of a okay over the weekend.
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Old 14-01-2011, 20:34   #12
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I can stream flac files over a wireless connection using my Roberts radio, so see no reason why a top-end piece of kit like this would struggle.
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Old 14-01-2011, 22:40   #13
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Thankfully it doesn't struggle Lou! - just had a little play with some downloaded flac files and it coped fine and dandy.

So far am pleased with it, other than it looks a heck of a lot cheaper than it actually is. If they would have given it a brushed metal case it would look and feel much nicer.
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Old 15-01-2011, 13:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D J Fryer View Post
Mike - the iPhone app was free - the one thing about the Android community is that if Denon don't write an app someone else might.

Haven't had the chance to try out flac but will have a chance for more of a okay over the weekend.
Yeah, I've had a google and someone has written an Android app; AVRRemote. They list several Denon amps as being compatible but don't list the RCD-N7 CEOL. However, Denon's iPhone app works with the AVR-3311 & AVR-4311 and these two are listed as compatible with AVRRemote so I would have thought it would also work with the RCD-N7 CEOL.

After googling further there are documents out there that detail the protocol used to communicate with the Denon amps (or at least the AVR-4311) and it looks to be simple ASCII codes. Looks like I may have to start writing an Android app provided I take the plunge and buy the Denon
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Old 15-01-2011, 13:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D J Fryer View Post
Thankfully it doesn't struggle Lou! - just had a little play with some downloaded flac files and it coped fine and dandy.

So far am pleased with it, other than it looks a heck of a lot cheaper than it actually is. If they would have given it a brushed metal case it would look and feel much nicer.
It's good that there's no problem with the flac files just a shame that the finish they chose for it isn't quite as aesthetically pleasing as it could've been
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Old 24-06-2011, 12:01   #16
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Just thought I'd bump this thread since I've just taken delivery of a Marantz MCR603 and a pair of Mission MX1 speakers

Despite the lack of wi-fi the Marantz had a couple of features over the Denon that I wanted; 2 zones and DAB (although the internet radio feature may make that moot).

I went for the black finish which I preferred over the white of the Denon which was another factor. It may even be a better finish going on D J Fryer's report since it has nicely finished metal sides and front (bar the display area) which I assume are anodized aluminium. The top also appears to be metal (but not aluminium) and has a high gloss finish and has already attracted dust and finger prints I thought it was plastic at first but it seems not.

It sounds excellent so far

I just need to try out a few Android apps to see which is best to push music to it. I also need to try out AVR-Remote which can be used to control Marantz hi-fi units so it doesn't push the music to it, just controls it.
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