Originally Posted by ishmael
Thanks. I guess that's what I was asking about was the faceplate. Sorry for being unclear. I just thought it would be odd if the front panel was brushed aluminum in the middle and then plastic on the side "wing" looking parts.
Late update, been busy with university. I got a JDS Labs O2 in the meantime.
@Ishmael - The brushed aluminum mid plate isn't really noticeable until it's under direct light on some angles. The brushed aluminum texture wise is very smooth and looks very nice.
Right now at uni, I use the CD5004 into a JDS Labs O2 to Denon AH-D2000 and HE-500. Sounds really, really nice. The ambience comes out quite nicely on both HE-500 and D2000. The soundstage is also great in width and imaging. The depth is also good, but could be better (although very pleasant to listen to still) - not sure if that's the amp or DAC.
With the HE-500, I'm very happy with the combo. The bass turned out much better then expected, full extension all the way through. It sounds quite transparent for electronica, trance.
I read somewhere that the CD5004 goes for a vintage warm sound. The O2 is supposed to be dead flat. Overall this combo is really transparent, quick transients, ambience is great for this price. The bass is detailed, fast - impact isn't through the roof but I am actually liking it a lot - I can listen to the HE-500 for a lot longer now - no boominess. Vocals - you can hear the whole envelope with this system, any little dip in pitch is easily noticeable. If you're primarily a tubes kind of person, this perhaps might not work. Although for most genres and song - I find the vocals to be perfect, also makes it really good for when I'm studying, so they aren't all up in my face. It still sounds very musical, but they are not really up in your face. Over time, I have actually started to prefer this.
Also, drums and percussion elements are really really good on this system. Perfectly happy with the bass on HE-500. I haven't used my D2000 for a while since I got this combo, the D2000 doesn't sound as well when I switch from my HE-500. Can't tell if it's just how the D2000 fits into the system or if the HE-500 is just working really well.
Also, practicality wise and everyday to day use, the CD5004 would be the #1 product I have right now. Totally satisfied with it in every category. It's the one product I have that has never given me any problem whatsoever.
List of things I like with the CD5004
- Doesn't get hot even after 10-15 hours of use - only slightly warm (10/10)
- No noise when playing music - it's dead silent to me
- Even when loading the disc tray, it makes very little noise, perfect for late night if you have someone else in the same room
Response time and Intuitiveness
- Simply superb (10/10) - This unit turns on and off ridiculously quickly with no fuss or any noise.
- Intuitive - You can tell this was a well designed product - made for humans by humans
- For example, you can turn on the CD player by either pressing the ON/Standby button or by pressing the Eject button. If you press the eject button, the unit turns on and the disc tray comes out - quite quickly
- The buttons on the front plate are plastic, but they are solid and have a good feel to it IMO.
- The placement of buttons on the front are also quite intuitive and easy to adjust to after a week of use
- I can manage to use it in the dark and get the right button every time. The layout just works.
- I know these are little things but it's still really nice to have when using it everyday.
- The remote is built solidly (I dropped it couple of times) - nothing happened to it, no batteries flying out or any chips/scratches
- The material for the buttons is rubber but somewhat a bit rigid - which is actually a good thing since you know when somewhat gets pressed or remains pressed on
- The layout of the remote is also excellent - It comes with quite a bit of features, but all the main features you use everyday are all together in one area in the middle - quite intuitive to use even in the dark with no light source.
- Actually feels like you're controlling the music and not the equipment - Marantz really did a great job with this unit
- I haven't had any problems with distance on this unit for signalling. It's not like a PS3 in terms of angle, but still manage a good field of angle range for reception.
- Out of any equipment I have, this is the most humble looking of them all
- Looks good to my eyes, simple with the right curves at the front, quite elegant
- No fancy blue lights like with the Marantz receiver - It just plays music and doesn't draw attention, but each time when you happen to look at it, it still looks good as ever
- The front screen with the text is also designed nicely and displays the text very nicely - right brightness, good size and font - with some previous Sony - this was a pain
Audio EX OFF, EX1 & EX2
- There are three modes of listening in the CD5004
- As you go from the EX OFF to EX1 and to EX2 - the sound is supposed to get better - I haven't really tried it much, I keep mines at EX2
- These modes switch off the digital displays and kill noise. So the higher the mode, the more display and internal function turns off
- With EX2, when you press play, the front panel goes blank after a second or two. Only a faint red light stays on, it's not really noticeable until you actually look for it. I use this mode because I find it annoying to have text or any moving parts to distract me. There are three stages and as you move up, it gets customized nicely to what you want.
Headphone Jack Output
The headphone output isn't too powerful but it's clean - the D2000 sound good through it. The resolution is great from it but dynamics wise, its sometimes lacking. With the HE-500, when for a while I didn't have an amp - the headphone out was fine though, lacked dynamics but sounded great - just mentioning this if you happen to get stuck in a situation like me.
If you get an efficient headphone like the Denon's, and can't get an amp for a while - the headphone out will also work and manage to sound quite good.
I have been wanting to take some pictures, but don't have a decent camera with me at the moment, so will do that soon. Maybe even a video, if I can get some time.