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TheAnt
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Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

I was surprised to read Mr Reina's review that recently came up.
Surprised for the fact that I have heard the same amplifier in January.

The amp was used with my own reference records and together with speakers from Transmission Audio speakers with ribbon tweeters (http://www.transmissionaudio.com/home.html) and Elac - since I own a pair myself and know exactly how those perform.

My impression was that the Marantz PM5003 peformed well in the midrange in delivering details, but was somewhat weak in the bassrange. And even tough the dynamic and details in the midrange was very good, it lacked in the treble and bass range.

Mr Reina wrote: ".....the PM5003's reproduction of bass was natural, deep, dynamic, and fast, with no noticeable overhang."

I agree that this amp don't have any overhang, in fact I would describe it as dry, even too dry. Some German products come the same characteristic.
And even though the reproduction of the music is nominally correct, one must say that it isn't a pleasure to listen to this amplifier.

So I was a bit disappointed of the Marantz PM5003, I am fully aware that you cant expect very much for the price.
But the sound technology have advanced to a stage where even budget products should perform nominally.

My verdict is therefore that Marantz PM5003 might be a good buy for the money, but that there are alternatives that perform better at the same pricerange, and that it doesn't deserve the rave review we can read on this website.

Poor Audiophile
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Once again proving,IMHO, that this whole Hi-Fi thing is very subjective. I am seriously considering this amp based on this review."there are alternatives that perform better at the same pricerange". OK, please list them. Thanks!

KBK
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

cables, rooms, and source gear do change the equation, so multiple listenings in varied conditions need to be considered....

You'd have to inject the thing into an entire known situation, one known intimately and then do it as a single cause analysis, or single change. Then you'd have something that can be analyzed and then possibly a singular aspect or pronouncement.

Even in those cases, incompatibilities can skew a given analysis. so one has to be careful.

The other thing, or attempt...is to give it a listen in multiple systems so the amp is the single identical point across multiple systems. This, with regard to checking on the editorial capacities of the given amp, the amp that is the singular change across these multiple systems.

TheAnt
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Hello Poor audiophile.

Yes of course this is very subjective.
First off I mentioned it had a "German dryness" and I was thinking of Rotel but I can mention Denon also.

(But this is as said also a matter of taste, those who think that 'dryness' is the absolute best standard of reproduction. They will like their products.)

Yes I do have a recommendation for you!

Rega Brio 3.

It also come with one RIAA so you could just smack in your turnable. Don't trust me though, we agree taste can be subjective, so take a listen for yourself.

But can have a first look at this site first to read what some other thinks.
Rega Brio Customer Reviews

If you would consider a slightly more expensive and having a separate RIAA box, you might also consider Vincent SV-129.

TheAnt
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Hello KBK

Beside using known records and speakers - as already mentioned.
We do of course use the same room, cables, and listening position every time.

KBK
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

My 'powers' of observation place you in the UK, maybe. It was the smack comment that got me thinking. And that all the equipment you are 'interviewing' is available in the UK.

Doesn't mean anything - but that the UK lingo amuses/confuses me at times.

As well, 240-220V balanced AC (prevalent in Europe) as compared to 110-120V single sided AC (the N.A standard) and the associated PS supply changes can and will slightly change (but not much) perceived bass and overall dynamic expression in the given equipment.

Poor Audiophile
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Ken,
Yes!!! Thanks for expanding on my point!!

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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina


Quote:
Yes I do have a recommendation for you!
Rega Brio 3.

You can find Sam Tellig's take on the Brio 3, which costs $645 when it was reviewed, at http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/998rega/index5.html .

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

TheAnt
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Hello KBK

Blimey! I feel smacked now, yet I have to admit that you are entirely correct - I am European.

But I am not British, my English is learned and on fifth place of my languages spoken and written, I do however come more with the Brit variety due to the European origins.

As a sidenote, I have indeed wondered a bit on how our friends from USA fare with their single strand 110 volts for their more powerhungry sound equipment, some images in the galleries have given me a hint.
Perhaps if I had been living in the US my interest for filters or fancy power cords had been stronger.
As things are, most don't use or need anything beside a spike filter for 'power treatment' here.

Also thank you John Atkinson for the heads up.

I have only fast read it yet I did note that Sam Tellig do indeed mention the Rega Brio as a tube sounding amp.
He also noted its limitation, he used the word 'bland' and I would have said it was a tad 'muted' in describing that the Brio don't make the music live fully. Yet again, you cannot get everything for this price.

So here in the end we have the personal bias and to the 'dryness' that been mentioned in earlier posts. Some prefer their sound equipment to make a very correct but dry reproduction, whereas I prefer the musicality even when it comes with less that 100% "HiFi'ish" reproduction.

Freako
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

So here in the end we have the personal bias and to the 'dryness' that been mentioned in earlier posts. Some prefer their sound equipment to make a very correct but dry reproduction, whereas I prefer the musicality even when it comes with less that 100% "HiFi'ish" reproduction.

Hi fellow European! IMO it's a bit easier to recognize and tame unwanted room responses when striving for a "correct" and "dry" reproduction. Also more details evade the system through the speakers, making my experience more true to the actual event recorded. Just my 2 cents (or DKK?)

Have a pleasant day

TheAnt
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Hei Freako =)

Yes I agree fully, it is easier to damp or change the room for equipment that swing, rock or simply turn out to lively.

Than to try to correct for one that is to dry, muted or veiled in the first place.

I am a bit surprised reading the reviewers comments using words like 'explosive dynamics' for certain brands that I personally favour.

Have they gotten so used to halfbaked amps presenting compressed music that they act surprised when they encounter one model that actually delivers the dynamics and musicality that are present there on the music recording?

KBK
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina


Quote:
Hei Freako =)

Yes I agree fully, it is easier to damp or change the room for equipment that swing, rock or simply turn out to lively.

Than to try to correct for one that is to dry, muted or veiled in the first place.

I am a bit surprised reading the reviewers comments using words like 'explosive dynamics' for certain brands that I personally favour.

Have they gotten so used to halfbaked amps presenting compressed music that they act surprised when they encounter one model that actually delivers the dynamics and musicality that are present there on the music recording?

The answer to that may just be: Yes. But, on the other hand, they have to write about what they find, so instead of criticizing a given item too severely, one writer might then say that a different piece has 'explosive dynamics'.

Writing is a fine art. In the case of a review one must be careful to not savage a given item or company too severely. This has been shown to be good for no-one, in the long run or in long term analysis.

This is not a criticism or a support of any given reviewing methodology, but rather a reflection on the human condition, ie the mental rumination of the given reader of said reviews, and how they conduct themselves when evaluating a given review or sets of reviews.

dbowker
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

"and I was thinking of Rotel but I can mention Denon also."

But Rotel is British, and Denon is Japanese, and neither are typically in the "dry" category in my experience. Maybe you just need tubes for your taste, or it's the rest of your system that is so dry that only very warm amps will do?

TheAnt
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

Well first a short reply to KBK. That comment of mine should have been followed with one more smiley or two. So it was not altogether taken as written - sorry. But yes I find the choice of words amusing at times.

bowker: Yes I added those brands to tell that even if aid 'dryness' often is described as 'German sound' here. The equipment does not necessarily originate in that country.

My personal system happens to have tubes both in CD and amplifier, but only in the preamp for the latter. The rest is transistors and is perfect for my personal taste which is mostly Heavy metal. Though just now before logging in I actually did listen to Bach played on a church organ. But such music choices are extremely unusual in my home. =)

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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

My system is solid state all around, and I prefer a very dry sound. Not to be understood as dull, boring or like "blanket-in-front-of-the-speaker". I find the details in the music very important to my experience, and don't like the extreme "musical" way of reproducing sound. I tend to dislike "icing on my cake", as it is untrue to the original recording IMO.

Still, I do respect that other people's taste may well differ from mine.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

I think what IS remarkable is that you get a very listenable amplifier included with a very good phono stage that is at least the equal of many phono-stage-only pieces at this price point. It now makes me wonder with the additional 5003 Cd player what a great under $1K system can do in 2010.

You do not need to spend crazy money to get very good sound even with the dollar in the tank. All this near waveradio pricing.

KBK
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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina

To a large extent, when you use a built in phono stage, you remove, for the larger part, one cable, it's termination the terminals on the given two items as well..and (possibly, but true in most cases) one set of 'translational' (input line-level buffer) amps or the active interface at the 'actual internal power amp' end between the phono amp proper and the input to the amplifier section.

In an integrated that has a phono section inside the advantage of dumping the interfaces (cables connections and their associated RCA jacks, both on the cables and on the amplifiers) can be greater than the sum of parts as you also have a 'integration' of the phono amp and the input section of the integrated that is optimized by the designers of said integrated, if they have done their jobs correctly.

The building and the sale of the given outboard phono unit also requires separate housing and packaging, as well as a separate marketing channel, so it is no small wonder that a well done but inexpensive INTERNAL phono section on a given integrated can outperform that of a inexpensive outboard phono unit.

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Re: Marantz PM5003 integrated amplifier by Robert J. Reina


Quote:
Freako wrote: I find the details in the music very important to my experience....

Ahh yes I see where you stand. The more analytical side of things.
That's ok, sometimes it is interesting to listen to certain records on super analytical systems to find details one miss at other times. A faction that lives one sometime uneasy truce with the audiophile 'musical' side where many are tube users who can sacrifice a few details for a more involving music reproduction.

Looking closely on myself, I find I actually have a bit of both camps in that I like the rock and rolling (yes right now Gillian & Glover 'Evil Eye' playing) but at the same time need perfect transient reproduction - something that a pure tube system simply cannot provide.

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