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Hello....I'm trying to decide whether to go with the Marant PM 8005 int. amp. or Anthem 225 int. amp.I've heard the phono preamp is just ok in the Anthem. I just wanted to know what pros and cons you may have encountered owning one of these components.
We own its predecessor, the 8004. We're very happy with this unit's performance, especially the phono stage (we have over 4000 LPs).
I've never heard the 8003, and in general I can't say I was a fan of Marantz amplifiers before acquiring this one, but the 8004 impresses me as serious bang for the buck. It's built like a tank. The "sound" of the amp, insofar as it has one, is mostly neutral and transparent, with a very slight warmth. Top is smooth and refined. IMO. it sounds more powerful than its stated power rating. I would expect the 8005, with a larger power supply, to be just as good, if not better. You can pick up an 8004 as we did, around $500-600 on Audiogon. Or buy the 8005 new from a vendor like Crustchfield or Music Direct that offer 30-60 day returns.
I haven't heard the Anthem, but there are fine integrateds in this general price range from Rogue, Rega, NAD and Creek.
I had a very positive experience with the 8004, the prior generation Marantz. Well built, phono was excellent in my opinion, and it was very transparent with Gallo Strada speakers which resolve well. I highly recommend it.
I would also look at the new NAD c368. This is a much more sophisticated platform, and what NAD has been doing with amplification over the last few years is very impressive.
I have spent some time w/ the Anthem. It is a powerhouse, enough so, it can properly drive Thiel loudspeakers! I only listened to CD & SACD discs through it.
I believe the PM8005 is just the minimally updated model of the PM8003 that I own. Both are in the same Marantz $1000 class of integrated amps. Mine is two generations old. You can compare side-by-side at the Crutchfield links provided below.
I thought the PM8003 was a bit dark, veiled, and rolled off. In a word, dull. I compared it in my office system to the more costly Ayre AX-7e and the Rogue Cronus Magnum integrated amps. The Marantz was noticeably inferior sounding, and I'm not talking slight audiophile nitpicks. To be expected* I guess given the huge price differences. But......
I ended up using the Marantz PM8003 in our family room for 2-channel stereo with the TV and other AV sources. The only reason I recently replaced the Marantz in the family room was to gain the benefit of HDMI video switching, which the Marantz lacks.
*To my surprise the cheapie sub $150 Sony AV Receiver I bought sounds better than the Marantz.
My advice - Unless the PM8005 is significantly improved over the PM8003, I would skip the Marantz and look for something else.
The Marantz PM8003 at Crutchfield
The Marantz PM8005 at Crutchfield
I had an earlier version of the pm series, the PM68, which sounded similar to what you describe. Dull, lacking dynamics, weak bass. My old mid fi luxman receiver at half the rated power was much better across the board. Marantz makes great CD players, but I don't care for their integrated amps.
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