Integrated Amps: Marantz PM8003?
October 13, 2010 9:19 PM   Subscribe

As Marantz has introduced a new (but hardly improved) model, Music Direct is selling the PM8003 integrated amplifier for half usual MSRP ($499 vs. $999). From what I've read, it's a splendid piece of kit, and a solid value before the drastic discount. My question for you; would you recommend something else, for $500 or less, that you feel is superior to the Marantz? In terms of sonic character, I favor impartiality, perhaps slight warmth, but balance and purity foremost, if that informs suggestions at all. I'd like to feel I've surveyed my options thoroughly before going through with the purchase.
posted by alexandermatheson to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What speakers will you drive with it?
posted by wongcorgi at 7:27 AM on October 14, 2010

FWIW, two of the usual names that come up for quality integrated amps in that price range are NAD and Rotel (the review link is a bit old, but gives you the idea). I'm more than happy with my NAD integrated (driving Paradigm Atoms and a Paradigm sub), but I didn't audition a whole lot of amps, either.
posted by alb at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2010

For that kind of sound and that amount of money, I personally would buy a mid 70s Sansui receiver and have it overhauled by a tech.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:15 AM on October 14, 2010

Response by poster: wongcorgi: Fair enough question! I'm slowly assembling/upgrading a system from mid-fi components I found. Right now I have a pair of Boston Acoustics CR7s (small bookshelf) and a pair JBL 2800s (low-end theater). Neither are what I'd like them to be, but I can hardly complain, given that I got them for nothing. I am planning to upgrade the speakers next (turntable was the first purchase), when I can. I don't imagine I'll get to huge floor-standers anytime soon, though, given space limitations. I'm doing most listening through really pleasant audio-technica ATH-700 'phone right now, actually.

alb: I did look into the NADs—good suggestion. The reviews *are* glowing. However, there's not a lower price/performance ratio than what the Marantz seems to provide.

TrialByMedia: Never would've thought of that. I do know a tech I'm quite fond of (discovered through MeFi, actually), so I might call him up and get his take.

Thanks to all! Best.
posted by alexandermatheson at 6:04 PM on October 14, 2010

I know nothing of Marantz, other than they made some pretty, pretty equipment in the 70's, but didn't everyone?

One thing to keep in mind - most modern equipment omits the phono stage. The Marantz has one - and they even claim it to be a good one. Does your current setup include a separate phono amplifier, or is your current unit performing that duty? Separate phono amplifiers tend to be dear.
posted by csmason at 7:19 AM on October 15, 2010

Response by poster: csmason: Well-noticed! I am keen on the Marantz for its phono stage; right now I am using the stage in the current amp, although it certainly leaves much to be desired.
posted by alexandermatheson at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2010

« Older Where can one find a fake muscle suit like the one...   |   Winter vacation spot in NC area? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.