It’s no accident Marantz has established itself as the dominant player in sub-$1000 stereo components. The company has a talent for trickling down technology and performance from their reference line on a consistent basis, perhaps due to a well organized design department, or economies of scale. Either way, outside of speakers, the venerable Japanese company has the market cornered.
Make no mistake; I would put Marantz’s reference line up against anybody’s, regardless of price. I found their SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC, SA-11S3 SACD Player & DAC, and NA-11S1 Network Streamer & DSD DAC to be remarkable products. Built to standard that is beyond reproach with exemplary sonics. Packing them up and sending them back to the factory was tough, and they were missed immediately. I have also reviewed several Marantz budget level components as well, including the PM6004 Integrated Amplifier, which overachieved.
I received a pair of sub-$500 Marantz products in for review -- the PM5005 integrated amplifier ($499) and CD5005 CD player ($399). Both are newly available, along with other Marantz products, including amplifiers, streamers, and cutting-edge home theater components.
PM5005 Integrated Amplifier
The PM5005 is classic Marantz in styling, with attractive curved case work, really nice build quality, and high quality connectors and knobs. Features are so plentiful, it does not look or feel like a $500 product. Below are some of the notable features, per Marantz:
- Headphone Amp: PM5005 features a headphone amplifier that is able to handle just about any headphone type, regardless of impedance or sensitivity. The high quality gold plated 1/4" headphone jack is compatible with audiophile and studio headphones and adapters.
- Tone Controls + Source Direct Mode: This unit has a tone control function for adjustment of bass (low frequency) and treble (high frequency) sound to produce your preferred sound. The Source Direct function bypasses unneeded circuit stages (such as the tone controls) for the most direct audio path from input to output.
- Aluminum/Glass-Reinforced Resin Front-Panel: The integrated amplifier's front panel uses a carefully chosen combination of aluminum and glass-reinforced resin to create a distinctive three dimensional appearance. Indirect reflecting blue LEDs indicating input selection, heighten its elegant appearance.
- Protection Circuitry: The PM56005's Protection Circuitry prevents damage to devices within the power supply when an abnormality such as an overload, excess voltage occurs or over temperature for any reason. If a malfunction occurs in this unit, the power indicator blinks red and the unit switches to standby mode.
- Auto Standby Mode: With the Auto Standby Mode "On", this unit will automatically enter the Auto Standby Mode after approximately 30 continuous minutes of no output from the speakers or headphones.
- Analog Inputs/Outputs + Phono: The PM5005 is fitted with a total of six analog stereo inputs (RCA) and two analog stereo outputs (RCA). There is a Tuner, CD, Network and Phono (MM) input; as well as two sets of Recorder inputs/outputs (1-2). All analog inputs are gold-plated for optimum signal transfer.
- Gold-Plated Binding Posts: Equipped with two sets of speaker terminals, the PM5005 can drive two pairs of speakers, or it can be connected to one pair of bi-wiring compatible speakers, with one set of terminals for the low range drivers and the other set connected to the high range drivers. The PM5005 is fitted with eight gold-plated binding post terminals for long life and optimum signal transfer integrity. The binding posts will accept banana plugs (single/dual), pin connectors, and bare wire (up to 10AWG).