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 systemyou’ll still need a turntable, of coursefor 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.