New Products from Marantz

Marantz has introduced four new, relatively affordable products: two integrated amplifiers and two disc players. All carry on the sleek, attractive design of the company’s reference components, featuring the classic Marantz star logo (cool), sculpted faceplates, and solid-looking build.

I’m most interested in the cheap stuff.

The CD5004 CD player uses a Cirrus Logic CS4392 D/A converter capable of handling high-resolution 24-bit/196kHz PCM signals. But the player can also read CD-R and CD-RW discs with MP3 and WMA files. Interestingly, there’s also a front panel headphone jack and pitch control, perfect if you’re a musician and want to play along to your favorite tracks. In addition, the remote has a “Quick Replay” feature, which allows you to back up anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds to replay portions of songs. Other nice touches abound, such as the gold-plated output terminals, widely spaced for heavy gauge cables.

The PM5004 integrated amplifier replaces the PM5003, recently reviewed by Bob Reina. It offers 35Wpc and has five line-level inputs, two Record Out jacks, and, most important, a moving-magnet phono stage. (Thank god!)

For those who need SACD playback, Marantz offers the SA8004, the latest incarnation of the SA8001 which so impressed Jim Austin. The price remains $999. And for those who want more power, more options, and beefier construction in their amplifiers, Marantz offers the PM8004, also at $999.

But let’s get back to the cheap stuff. The CD5004 costs $349. The PM5004, with phono stage(!), costs $449. Add a high-quality, affordable pair of bookshelf speakers, like the PSB Alpha B1 ($279/pair), speaker stands, and some cheap cables from RadioShack or MonoPrice.com, and you’ve got an almost complete system—you’ll still need a turntable, of course—for just over $1000. Or, if you’re like me, and vinyl is more important to you, you can play your CDs with a Sony Playstation 1, and spend that $300 you just saved on a good turntable, like the Rega P1. You can upgrade the cables later. Remember: Marantz is doing a great thing by including that phono input with their PM5004, so you won’t need an additional phono stage. You’ll be all set to start spinning vinyl. The money saved can be spent at your favorite record shop.

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Comments
Dismord's picture

Stephen, you're on the mark about Marantz. This is one company that's on a roll and the competition, especially smaller English companies, had best watch their backs.However, given your comment about 'the cheap stuff' I think Stereophile should be paying you more generously.

Bryan's picture

OMG, stereophile showing products that avg people can afford? What's the world coming to!Seriously, it's cool to see the latest ferrari and lambo in car&driver, but most poeple would be more interested in Mustang and camaro shootout. stereophile should put more efforts into max price/performance gears.

Jim Tavegia's picture

I have been eyeing a BluRay player from them for a while. With a new model coming out it may be time for me to jump in the pool. And, no, that does not mean to go take a flying leap! Well, maybe it does.

Smittyman's picture

I think it is great that Marantz is trying to offer high value product like this but I wonder why the product change? What is different between the 5003 and 5004? Are we back to the '70s when the big (mostly) Japanese companies changed models every six months with minimal differences in the product? Wouldn't Marantz have more credibility if they kept the product on the market for a while the way NAD did with the original 3020? Not saying that was a good or bad product but they definitely established its place in the market by leaving it alone.

Ron's picture

Awesome! I have a Marantz Receiver from the early 70's that still kicks ass but is getting a little long in the tooth. Looking forward to auditioning the PM5004 as a possible replacement.

John Atkinson's picture

"OMG, stereophile showing products that avg people can afford? What's the world coming to!" Bryan, check out our review of the PM5003 at http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/marantz_pm5003_integrated_ampl... and our reviews of affordable products in general at http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/ .

Sam's picture

Nice post. So right on. Affordable quality that gets people into hearing beautiful sound and away from their iTunes. Keep it up.

Postal Grunt's picture

While I agree with the postings about seeing more blue collar equipment, I also wonder how much new entry level gear is presented to Stereophile and other media outlets for review.If Sony, Denon, and the rest of the manufacturers don't produce and promote the entry level gear, they lose potential customers to the few companies that aren't afraid of the big, bad Stereophile wolf and its reviewers.It's a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Mike's picture

You are correct, Stephen, these are two worthwhile components. I heard them last week at my local brick & morter audio shop, via a variety of speakers. Very impressive sound regardless of price.

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