Marantz CDR500 CD Recorders/Players

CDR500

Stand alone duplication, make perfect digital copies of CDs and CD-R/CD-RW discs without resampling through audio digital converters.

CD-text generation, create and edit track and disc titles with simple input controls. These titles are saved as CD-text that can be viewed on CD players and recorders that support the CD-text format.

Accepts multiple disc formats, the CDR500 accepts CD-R and CD-RW discs, including 1X-speed discs for computer use. This wider choice in media offers greater flexibility and additional cost savings.

Record level and balance control, the CDR500 offers both digital and analog record level and balance controls. This lets you easily control any input source and ensure that tracks on music compiliation discs share the same volume levels.

Selectable copy protection, bypass SCMS copy protection when duplicating a disc. Or set your own copy protection at the level you decide.

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
John B McLemore   AudioPhile [Apr 02, 2012]

Since the last posting was three years ago, I decided to add my two cents worth. When I purchased my first one, I found it so intuitive that I immediately bought a Second one, And yes, this machine does not recognize the copyright protection code, it just writes right on, not ever knowing it was there.
Per previous reviewers, I agree that the propensity for this machine to fail is High. Within about 5 years, the Read head (on the right side) on one deck went out, and I just kept using the Write head, and driving this unit from my Denon mixer.
Well, the Write head on the other unit finally died quietly...it doesn't seem to matter if you use the damn thing or not, I probably never recorded more than 100 discs total between these two units within about 5 or 6 years.
Then I was left with 2 units, one with a dead Read drive, one with a dead Write drive.
It is now 2012, and the current situation is: One unit is suitable for a boat anchor, the other unit with the remaining Write head that functions works about 50% of the time. It seems to work best on dry sunny Summer days, never in Winter, and you have to keep feeding it discs over and over (sometimes the same discs), and if it ever gets past the NO DISC prompt, it will function correctly to the end of the disc every time.
I also had problems with the player with the defective Read head CUTTING OFF the last 2 minutes of discs sometimes. I contacted Marantz, sent the unit back, paid to have it repaired (when it was still considered repairable), and it returned with the exact same problem.
I would love to have both these repaired if possible, because they really were easy to use (or I wouldn't have bought a pair).
So my rating is about 5 stars for performance, and Zero stars for reliability. It seems that this machine had a self destruct timer built into the Phillips Drives the day it left the factory. Thus my middle of the road rating of 3 stars.

No one reading this review will be surprised to hear that this was my last Marantz purchase.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
audio-molasses   AudioPhile [Dec 23, 2009]

This cdrecorder does what it is expected for: cdrecording and copying. Ive had this unit for more than 10 years and indeed...the recorder unit broke down halfway down its life on the laser part in the recorder section of the machine. I've managed to replace the drive unit from philips with a philips CDD4401/65 cdrom recorder for computers and it now works even better:D these laser units from the 4401 are better and last longer, and are really cheap-ass to replace (picked up one from a second hand shop for less than a dollar) if you know how to take apart consumer-electronics and replace parts, then i would strongly recommend you do so with this machine. dont get into replacement parts from marantz, they are scarse and waaaaaaaaay to expensive.
it is an exellent machine that reproduces sound really well, i've used it for over a decade and exept for the stock laser unit it IS a good machine. the recorder part is part plastic, but is die-cast iron there where the laser unit is assembled and solid as a rock.
So for all things clear: the drive units from the cdr500 and the cdd4401 are completely interchangable and work really well! the units from the cdd4401 are waaay better than the stock phillips 775 (i believe) found in the marantz, and last longer!
Because of the bad stock laser burner that came with it I give it a rating of 2/5 for value rating, and a 5 star for sound, mechanics, inputs and control:)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
PortlandSound   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 27, 2006]
Weakness:

User interface is cryptic, at best.

Same problem as others have mentioned - drive broke and >surprise< no replacement parts were available. Near-criminal support from Marantz for pro gear and a pretty clear indication of bad product design. This is without question the last piece of Marantz gear I'll ever purchase. It's not worth the small initial cost savings to have to risk this kind of expensive failure.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Moyers   AudioPhile [Jan 21, 2005]
Strength:

See prior reviews from other reviewers here on Audio Review.

Weakness:

Quality and reliability of the CDR drive.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about the " positives " of the CDR500. Prior reviewers have done a solid job of talking about all the things this unit does well and I agree with those reviews. However, what I do not like about the CDR500 is that Marantz used Philips drives which have the " known issue " of dying sooner than later. To make matters worse, these drives are hard to find and replace.....and there's no guarantee that they'll last. I used my CDR500 off and on for about 2-3 years.....hardly using it to record as much as I would expect a " professional " DJ or someone in a small studio would.........and my CDR drive died on me. And here's the fun part, it's a $500.00 fix to replace the dead drive and that's if you can find a replacement drive! For a " professional " piece of gear which has been used in a non-professional way(only about 80-100 hours of use).....that's a big let-down. Not too happy with Marantz on this one. To justify that price, this unit needs some work in many areas. Maybe they corrected the mistake they made on the CDR500 in their replacement model(CDR510) by using different CDR drives? However, the doesn't solve my problem of owning a $600 CDR which now requires a $500 fix to make it more than just the sizeable paperweight it is now. Not cool Marantz. Where's the customer service on this unit?

Similar Products Used: Sony, Philips, Yamaha CDR's
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
David K Nakamura   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 2003]
Strength:

simple control layout, industrial no-nonsense design, rear panel connectivity, SCMS controls, possible copy-protection override, cooling fan during recording process hints at robust operating lifetime.

Weakness:

klugey, primitive, large remote, flimsy drawer trays, lack of XLR outputs, somewhat noisy recording fan

This is a dual-deck pro-audio style CD recorder with the recording deck on the left side. It has rack mount holes and a wide-format rack-style front, but no rack handles installed. The main differences between this deck and a standard consumer CD-recorder deck are: 1. SCMS defeatable function. Selectable levels of security. This feature ALONE would justify the price difference from a $300 consumer player; 2. Rear panel connects include the usual coax, toslink, and unbalanced stereo ins and outs for both decks... this deck also has balanced XLR inputs, but strangely, no XLR outputs. Rear connectivity is almost exception except for this fact. 3. Kindy klugey, big, clunky and primitive remote. Obviously OEM, as coincidentally, this remote operates another Onkyo CDR deck that I owned, as well as the Onkyo's remote fully controlling this one. 4. Drive drawers are somewhat flimsy-feeling for a supposed "pro" deck. These drive drawers and probably the mechanism and many other parts are OEM parts for consumer decks. Makes sense, and one can't complain for the price. 5. Yes, there is a noisy fan that goes on during recording. I actually consider that a blessing, as this unit is clearly designed for heavy use. That fan keeps internal temps down, and everybody knows that nothing deteriorates parts faster than excessive heat. 6. Relative ease-of-use. The front controls are a bit small (small buttons, very small jog dial), but the menus are simple and the operation buttons large, clearly marked, and color coded. This is not a sumptuous machine, but more of a purposeful workhorse. It looks like it would be more at home in a studio or a rack full of equipment than perched atop a home stereo system. Overall, this is a very good product, and great for the price. The sound is good, though I might just get better CD playback out of my Sony ES SACD changer. For most copy purposes, it's easier and much faster to burn copies on my PC (especially if it means selecting specific tracks). However, and the final major selling point of this deck might just be this: according to my friend who also bought one at my recommendation, this deck supposedly will record from the new copy-protected CDs !! If that's true, then that makes this deck that much more of a great product.

Similar Products Used: various Sony CD and SACD players, Marantz CDR dual deck
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Laurence Goldman   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 30, 2003]
Strength:

Does what it says it does and sounds comparable to same cost CDP units.

Weakness:

1. Manual is not clear

This is an excellent machine for recording from CD or analogue. Sound reproduction was better than from my Rega Planet in many ways. But there are a couple of blemishes alluded to by other reviewers. This applies to recording from analogue vinyl. 1. There is no record button on the remote though there is a pause recording button. This means you have to go back to the machine to continue recording which is a hassle if selecting vinyl tracks or playing new sides. 2. Record levels do not show up as red/blue bar lines as per the instruction manual. I would leave as factory set to. 3. "Make CD" should be the default setting for most people making CD copies as this initialises the disc as well. 4. Auto-track needs to be turned "off" when recording from vinyl if you want to add tracks to reflect source tracks on vinyl. Otherwise you could simply use the tracks on the CD to reflect "whole vinyl side" content which saves you the task of pressing "track increment" on the remote.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Hans van den Berge   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 03, 2003]
Strength:

Nice CD player with a smoother presentation than some. Makes nice copies. Seems to be very well built.

Weakness:

No display dim/off features, the blinking lights are annoying

equals the sound of a cd player in its price range, makes great copies, the only difference between the original and the copy is in the high freqencies and only slightly discernable even on a friends' $50,000 Can. Jadis- Sonus Faber system. I can hear a slight differnce only when doing A-B comparisons, smooth Philips transports, ideal for future hookup to a quality DA converter, these seem to be coming down in price. The unit has a fan that's only on when recording which makes for unpleasant listening at low levels while recording. I have only recorded entire CD's on the "Disc at once" mode, finalizing is automatic and you can record one CD when you're not home. You can use regular CDR's, you don't need CDR's Music. Try using a brand of CD's before you buy a lot, I found the TDK's that you buy cheaply, in a round cylinder to sound not as good as other CDR's I used and the recorder refused to record quite a few Sony CD's. I think the Manufacturer's recommended brand of CD's is determined more by business connections than by the quality and reliability of particular CDR's. I use Maxell CD-R pro 700 MB, they initialize quickly, have never failed me and sound as good as any CDR that I have used.

Similar Products Used: Rega Planet, a variety of older Arcam models
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chuckd55   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 19, 2002]
Strength:

Sounds as good as my $3,500 Cary CD303. Plays finalized and UNfinalized CDR & CDR-W. Ignores SCMS copy protection. Entire CD and single track replay function. Random playback of songs - why can’t “audiophile” CDP’s do this?? Marantz recommends Sony and TDK CDR’s.

Weakness:

Disc at once feature defective- puts data bits randomly on disc which makes sound dropouts. Use "make disc" instead. Use TDK or Sony CDR’s with this CDR-500. Can’t read Maxell CDR. Possible problems with Mitsui Gold. Instructions are all wrong. Ugly machine. Need "record" and "drawer open" on remote

This CDP was a real revelation to me. I had a Cary CD303 with internal volume. Got an Adcom GFP-750 and to burn it in played the Marantz CDR-500 which I originally got to burn CD's only. After a couple of days wanted to hear GOOD music so went back to the Cary. Guess what? NO DIFFERENCE! I listened for 2 months between the two on every kind of music that exists. At first there was a difference when played the Marantz thru the Adcom GFP compared to the Cary direct to the amp. But I bought the Adcom through a non-authorized dealer who sold defective merchandise. Bought an Adcom GFP-750 thru authorized dealer and now both players sounded identical thru preamp or not. I put original disc on one CDP and burned copy in other and could swap between the 2 with preamp inputs. Beyond audible differences - I felt Cary had a litle more clarity (due to lower jitter and distortion specs?) a more musical bass (but my N804 only go to 35 Hz). Felt a miniscule change in tonality for first 5 sec's when switching (ie Steinweay vs Baldwin piano) but this was not bad in any way. And these are FEELINGS not real audible differences. Also feel multiple burned copies may have some sibilance and less leading edge attack. Note the CDR500 has the same Philips VAM 12.5 transport as the Cary. Also any better measurements on the Cary are beyond the basic abilities of CD (eg.96 Db dynamic range) and are inaudible to human ears. Also let me state there are no difference between the stock interconnects and even DH Labs Air Matrix. See my review for the Air Matrix. Believe what you want. It's your money. I sold the Cary and all my I/C's and Q-10 speaker cable. Go to the "discussion forum" here if you need a second opinion. My system: Marantza CDR500 / Adcom GFP-750 / Musical Fidelity A3cr / Nautilus 804 / Home Depot 12 ga speaker wire (.33/ft) NOT bi-wired, Canare interconnects.

Similar Products Used: Rega Planet -lacks bass extension. Cary 303. Auditioned Creek, Arcam 72/92/23, Naim CD5, Krell, Classe, Linn Genko (boring), Meridian 508-24 (nice), 588-24 (harsh on highs). Musical Fidelity and Creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
chuck   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 2002]
Strength:

Sounds as good as my $3,500 Cary CD303. Plays finalized and UNfinalized CDR & CDR-W. Ignores SCMS copy protection. Entire CD and single track replay function. Random playback of songs - why can’t “audiophile” CDP’s do this?? Marantz recommends Sony and TDK CDR’s.

Weakness:

Disc at once feature defective- puts data bits randomly on disc which makes sound dropouts. Use "make disc" instead. Use TDK or Sony CDR’s with this CDR-500. Can’t read Maxell CDR. Possible problems with Mitsui Gold. Instructions are all wrong. Ugly machine. Need "record" and "drawer open" on remote

This CDP was a real revelation to me. I had a Cary CD303 with internal volume. Got an Adcom GFP-750 and to burn it in played the Marantz CDR-500 which I originally got to burn CD''s only. After a couple of days wanted to hear GOOD music so went back to the Cary. Guess what? NO DIFFERENCE! I listened for 2 months between the two on every kind of music that exists. At first there was a difference when played the Marantz thru the Adcom GFP compared to the Cary direct to the amp. But I bought the Adcom through a non-authorized dealer who sold defective merchandise. Bought an Adcom GFP-750 thru authorized dealer and now both players sounded identical thru preamp or not. I put original disc on one CDP and burned copy in other and could swap between the 2 with preamp inputs. Beyond audible differences - I felt Cary had a litle more clarity (due to lower jitter and distortion specs?) a more musical bass (but my N804 only go to 35 Hz). Felt a miniscule change in tonality for first 5 sec''s when switching (ie Steinweay vs Baldwin piano) but this was not bad in any way. And these are FEELINGS not real audible differences. Also feel multiple burned copies may have some sibilance and less leading edge attack. Note the CDR500 has the same Philips VAM 12.5 transport as the Cary. Also any better measurements on the Cary are beyond the basic abilities of CD (eg.96 Db dynamic range) and are inaudible to human ears. Also let me state there are no difference between the stock interconnects and even DH Labs Air Matrix. See my review for the Air Matrix. Believe what you want. It''s your money. I sold the Cary and all my I/C''s and Q-10 speaker cable. Go to the "discussion forum" here if you need a second opinion. My system: Marantza CDR500 / Adcom GFP-750 / Musical Fidelity A3cr / Nautilus 804 / Home Depot 12 ga speaker wire (.33/ft) NOT bi-wired, Canare interconnects.

Similar Products Used: Cary CD 303. Creek 4340 SE, Rega Planet 2000, Meridian 508.24 and 588.24, Arcam FMJ 23, Naim CD5 and CDX
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 10, 2001]
Strength:

GREAT for analog to digital! Works well as a CDP.

Weakness:

Track # only on remote (minor complaint)

The Pioneer this replaced did a fine job on digital to digital copies but it's ADC was pretty lame. I also needed a new CDP so bought this two drawer job and have been very pleased with the results in both categories.

As a certified vinylholic, I was impressed with how well this unit recorded from cassette tape and LP's that I wanted to archive. It gives you everything - the vinyl smoothness and resolution without the digital glare and grain. It has produced most of my finest sounding CD's! Hmmm... must be something in the recording process that takes away too much of the music on commercial digital recordings. I've compared my CD-R's from vinyl to commercial CD's and found the latter to be lacking in every respect - air, soundstage, detail, tonal balance, excessive digital distortion, excessive grain and brightness, you name it! This is without a doubt one of the two biggest improvements to my system (along with my Sennheiser HD600's) that I've purchased over the last two years! My only complaint is the the tracking button (the one you use to make the different song tracks when recording from analog) is on the remote and not on the unit itself. If those batteries die during recording, I'll have two songs on the same track until I can get the replacement batteries in. Not a huge problem but still a potential annoyance. Finally, this unit is not as simple to use as some others, although once you get the hang of it, it's not bad. I'd recommend you start by using a CD-RW if you plan on recording from analog until you get it right. No need to waste even the cheap blanks - which you can get for about 65 cents as opposed to $2 for the SCMS protected blanks.

As a player, it toasts my NAD C521 for error correction and sound. Of course, the NAD is far cheaper but it doesn't record and it skips!

Buy the Marantz and start recording!

Similar Products Used: Pioneer CDR-509
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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