Why opt for the 6004 over the 5004?
The 6004 offers more power - 90W vs 110W per channel. The 6004 also offers an additional HDMI input (total of four) and additional HDMI output (total of 2) for folks with two displays. It should be noted that the HDMI output is not a true repeater; only one output can be chosen at a time. The 6004 comes with the Bluetooth/IR extender for streaming music from bluetooth enabled devices like an iphone. This is an accessory that is available separate from the 5004. The 6004 has one additional optical input as well (total of three).How warm does the unit run?
The unit runs warm, but not as hot as the Onkyo 807 (which is uncomfortable to leave your hand atop after about 30 minutes of use), but not as cool as the Denon 2310. The Marantz appears to run the hottest at the back left over the component and composite video inputs (which I am not using). The Onkyo runs the hottest in the rear right over the hdmi board. It is safe to say, I would not recommend putting anything directly above the 6004 because of the heat it generates.What does the GUI look like?
The GUI is rather simple and limited. It is not available overlaid over hdmi video sources; sound is available, but you must exist the video screen. The HDMI handshake is a bit rough and I noticed it produced a strange quilted color screen prior to the guide (alternating of light green or khaki color). Things like volume and info also cannot be overlaid via hdmi.
The GUI itself is a simple blue blackground with white lettering. It allows you to assign inputs in a common table similar to denon's gui. One can rename any input using a very easy to view screen of letters and numbers (much superior to Denon's painful scrolling). There are resolution adjustments assignable by input and to effect either or both hdmi and analogue (if you are running parallel connections with component). You also have the choice of enabling or disabling the i/p scaler as well. I have everything set to pass through, which did not effect colorspace, colors or resolution in my testing. You can manually set distances, speaker size, and crossovers to LFE. Missing is Onkyo's assignment of crossovers per speaker.When is Audssey active and when is it not? What about bitstreaming lossless codecs?
From p38 of 6004 manual, Audyssey is not always active. Most importantly, it is not when you are internally decoding lossless codecs. If you decode externally and send via LPCM (ie in your player), then Audyssey is maintained. This is the desirable route regardless if you want to take advantage of secondary audio tracks. Marantz reps claim this is to retain the purism of the lossless codec; my personal belief is it is a hardware limitation in respects of the number of DSPs.
From the manual:
• “Audyssey Front”, “Audyssey Flat” and
“Audyssey” can be selected after executing the
Auto Setup feature.
• If a speaker that was determined “No” in Auto
Setup is manually turned on, the “Audyssey”,
“Audyssey Front” and “Audyssey Flat” modes
cannot be selected.
• If, after auto setup was performed, changes were made
to the settings, such as the speaker confi guration and
distance, channel levels and crossover frequencies,
without increasing the number of speakers whose
characteristics were measured, “*” will be displayed
for the name of the mode.
Example: “Audyssey Flat*”
• The equalizer turns off when the Pure Direct
mode, Source Direct mode, Dolby Headphone or
Virtual mode is set.
• Acoustic EQ Modes are not used during playback
of Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, or DTSHD
Even in this case, settings made using Speaker
Auto Setup (speaker yes/no, distance, size,
channel level, crossover) are enabled.
• Tone Control is disabled when an EQ Mode is in
There are two schools of thought on the Audyssey limitation. The official word from Marantz is the Audyssey processing inadverntantly degrades the quality of the lossless audio. According to dealers and Marantz reps, they actively made the decision not to apply it as it is more in-line with Marantz's belief that processing is generally degrading (this is evidenced on their video side as well in things like display, which even thx recommend you do not use). Another theory is it is simply a hardware limitation and there are not enough DSPs to handle both the decoding and Audyssey. Marantz's answer is you have the choice of PCM with Audyssey or lossless via bitstream without any manipulation. Speaker levels, distances, and configurations are still in effect.How does its Featureset Compare to Other Competitors?
Marantz is rather basic in its featureset (not really a brand name video, no Audyssey DSX and limited number of HDMI). It's really differentiating factor is Blue Tooth and USB playback to a lesser extent. Marantz's strength is in quality audio playback. As I mentioned earlier, it is not as bright as a denon or as dim as Onkyo's THX processing modes can create.
Click on this link for detailed comparison specs: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1173185