Marantz NA8005 Network player

The continuing debate in the computer music world concerns the favored path to 'new digital' nirvana: do we save our music on a NAS drive, reachable utilizing various playback apparatus on the home network, or take the 'Macs and DACs' strategy, utilizing a digital-to-analogue converter linked straight into a home computer?

In addition, it has Apple AirPlay reception, so computers running iTunes and smartphones, in addition to Apple tablet computers, can send music to it - although of late I Have been reading this Apple-particular system is dropping out losing out to the universal Bluetooth.


Anyway, the NA8005 looks like a more thoroughly thought-through apparatus as opposed to firm's old NA7004, that was initially hamstrung by the dependence on more firmware updating, to be sure that it stays at the rate with competing apparatus in regions including the number of formats supported, the supply of gapless playback, and Apple AirPlay. And to some casual observer it appeared to swing between unavailable while when they were on sale upgrades were worked on, and then various reductions to change the components. Found at GBP700, the player was after slashed by Marantz to £430 in the light of rivalry...

Since then Marantz has found the reassuringly upmarket NA-11S1 network player/DAC, part of its own Benchmark range, and it is from this that the new NA8005 is partly derived, even though the electronic phase here is closer to that of the SA8005 SACD/CD player in the same Marantz set as the network machine we've here.

The NA8005 is tossed somewhat greater compared to NA7004, and as such has a more upmarket feel and look, plus an increased array of connectivity.

There is also a USB Type A socket on the front panel to join USB memory devices as well as other smartphones and tablet computers, along with Apple. The Ethernet interface finishes the 'inbound' connectivity choices, combined with the supply of Apple AirPlay and Spotify Link, while output signals run to standard RCA phonos for analogue outside, optical/coaxial digital outs, as well as a headphone socket on the front panel using a unique volume control.

OK, so you should prepare yourself for lots of patient scrolling so on and through multiple displays, which means then within seconds music flooding the room and choosing a track or record to play is scarcely an issue of a minute of inspiration, but nevertheless, it could be carried out. That is definitely not a thing that you can say for every single network music apparatus out there.

The capacity to control the player with only the remote may come in handy based on how well you get on using the Marantz Remote Program that is discretionary, accessible for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablet computers. Having assessed for upgrades to both variants, I found they took an excellent while to get their act together, and also would sometimes go a bit bonkers, for either neglecting to seek out web radio stations example, or perhaps hanging for some time before revealing a 'Marantz Remote

Program isn't reacting. Would you like to shut it?' Signal and needing a reboot.

It is all somewhat frustrating: it is not as bad as I recall it being, locating records and tracks comparatively fast whether used with MinimServer or Twonkymedia as the providing applications on the NAS drive when the program is great. And then it goes and spoils it all by doing something dumb like going not responsive, which occurred way too many times throughout the interval I spent with the NA8005. Maybe now it is time for a few applications that is additional work to things that are slick up?

The remaining Marantz works enough: network setup is automatic, but should you'd like to DIY you can - maybe to set a fixed IP address up - as well as other settings could be tweaked pretty only once you have worked out the menu system.

Its demonstration has scale and fine body, allied to some pleasant, smooth treble - just the thing to flatter web radio stations, Spotify and those MP3 or AAC rips or Android whatever.

Yes, it could turn on the play having a great record, and revels in high resolution content, but it is still dapper and suave than an all-night party animal.

The Marantz was analyzed with PMC OB1 loudspeakers and my Naim Supernait 2/HiCap amplifier, with all wiring in the Chord Company. Music came from my MacBook Air computer and a QNAP NAS running Audirvana Plus, with wireless and management streaming courtesy of an iPad Mini that was authentic, plus an Asus MeMo Pad 7 graphics tablet used to reassess the Android edition of the Remote Program.

But the NA8005 can not actually inject a flicker of interest into the listening experience (hey, it is not a miracle worker!) With all the consequence that even monitors such as the somewhat more rocky 'Allons y' sound resolutely easy listening.

Here, however, there is a sense of the NA8005 playing things a little safe: a little more space and openness in the treble wouldn't right, and while the bass is large and exuberant, some rhythmic drive would be welcome.

There is nothing really wrong: it is simply that there is a nagging awareness the Marantz providing richer instrumental textures could be giving a bit more as well as a more involving listen.


Surely there are competing network music player systems offering a much sleeker interface and smoother functioning.

These operational difficulties vanish, naturally, when the asynchronous input signal that is USB can be used, letting the computer functioning it to take over management responsibilities and turning the NA8005. Also noticeable is the sound of the Marantz changes, the bass guitars in the Piazzola having the violins as well as a far more pleasing growl breeze and assault. Interesting...

The record is produced using an excellent balance of little- the power of the group as well as gigabyte affair, and tracks like 'Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape' sing out having an attractive tonality to Nelson's guitar. The combination has superb clarity when played with this way - ie, through the USB connection - while to flowing changing back appeared robbing the sound of some presence to veil it somewhat and ambience.

The NA8005 does not match up to the sonic power of its big brother, but the NA-11S1 is more than three times the cost of this new network player. But in case your goal would be to put it to use primarily as a wired DAC using a computer, but by means of the additional advantages of occasional use, it is well worth an audition - though more work must be performed on the Remote Program of Marantz to allow it to be really persuasive.

Marantz NA8005 Network player photo