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Discussion Starter #1
I have really been think of getting the Marantz PM7001. Its a 70 watt 2 channel integrated amp that is suppose to be a good mid-fi amp. I also have a Marantz SR 5500 90 watt 7.1 reciever that does pretty good in 2 channel with pure direct mode. So heres my question.


Do you think the PM7001 would sound just like the SR 5500 does in 2 channel pure direct mode? Or would it be a good improvement over the SR 5500. I would like my dedicated 2 channel system to be above the SR 5500 in music quality...would I have to go up to a better integrated amp to get the sound I am looking for?


Thanks.


frenchmon
 

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No, they should sound about the same. If you are looking for better sound, the first place to look is the listening room acoustics. That is the key to good sound reproduction. Next would be speakers. The rest isn't so important. Since there probably isn't much you can do about the listening room, spend the effort and money on speakers.
 

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What FMW sys. The integrated amp might be better into very low loads. But that only matters if your main speakers are very low loads, which they probably aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, thats what I was a fraid of. What if I got an amp that was not in the same class as the Marantz SR 5500. Something like an Exposure integraded or Arcam intergraded or even a Rotel integraded amp? Do you think it would be better to invest in a more high end amp to gain better quality sound? Would the Exposure, Arcam or even the Rotel be an improvement into a more distinguished highend sound?


frenchmon
 

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No, I don't think you'd get appreciably better sound from a different amp. The Marantz you have is quite a capable performer. Sorry to be repetitive here, but if you want better sound, save your money for better speakers. What speakers are you using now?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchmon /forum/post/12948280


Yeah, thats what I was a fraid of. What if I got an amp that was not in the same class as the Marantz SR 5500. Something like an Exposure integraded or Arcam intergraded or even a Rotel integraded amp? Do you think it would be better to invest in a more high end amp to gain better quality sound? Would the Exposure, Arcam or even the Rotel be an improvement into a more distinguished highend sound?


frenchmon

You wont get an appreciable amount of difference unless your current amp is clipping at the loads you are trying to drive. If you want an appreciable difference, fix up placement of listening position, speaker position within the room, room treatments, new speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/12948428


No, I don't think you'd get appreciably better sound from a different amp. The Marantz you have is quite a capable performer. Sorry to be repetitive here, but if you want better sound, save your money for better speakers. What speakers are you using now?

Oh don't get me wrong...The Marantz I have now (SR 5500) is in a 5.1 home theater using Paradigm Monitor 7's. I love it for what it can do. But I want a seperate 2 channel room and thought about the PM7001 in the 2 channel room. Now the SR 5500 is a good performer in two channel pure direct mode, but I was wondering if the PM7001 would out perform the SR 5500 in music quality. But I think they are in the same class and would perform and sound about the same, with no change in music quality.


So I think I would have to move up in class. Do you think Exposure , or even the Marantz Pm 15SI reference series would give me that better quality in sound?


frenchmon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No clipping and am satisfied with the SR 5500. Just wanted to know if I could get better sound from a dedicated 2 channel amp.


frenchmon
 

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Quote:
Do you think Exposure , or even the Marantz Pm 15SI reference series would give me that better quality in sound?

OK, I read you now, but the message is the same: You would do better to put more of your money toward better speakers, or some room treatments, or add a sub (or two) to that room. What speakers do you have or are you planning to get for that 2-channel room?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchmon /forum/post/12948719


No clipping and am satisfied with the SR 5500. Just wanted to know if I could get better sound from a dedicated 2 channel amp.


frenchmon

The answer is not necessarily. As we have been saying, the way you setup the speakers, the speakers themselves, the room acoustics will factor in much more in terms of the apparent sound quality that reaches your ears. The differences in the amps will be so very minute compared to the gigantic differences in two different rooms and speaker brands (not to mention location of listening position and speaker positions w/ respect to each room) that we cannot say that even if you bought a 100k$ amp, you would hear an improvement.

Any minute improvement that could occur would be COMPLETELY masked by the difference in sound quality caused by the Room, Placements, and Speakers.


The only time where you might even be able to think about sq differences between amps is if you are using 1 room that is acoustically treated to professional standards, the listening position is optimal acoustically, the speaker positioning is optimal acoustically, the speakers are of sufficient quality. This is of course assuming that you do not have clipping or any distortions caused by insufficient amplifier.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega /forum/post/12949944


The answer is not necessarily. As we have been saying, the way you setup the speakers, the speakers themselves, the room acoustics will factor in much more in terms of the apparent sound quality that reaches your ears. The differences in the amps will be so very minute compared to the gigantic differences in two different rooms and speaker brands (not to mention location of listening position and speaker positions w/ respect to each room) that we cannot say that even if you bought a 100k$ amp, you would hear an improvement.

Any minute improvement that could occur would be COMPLETELY masked by the difference in sound quality caused by the Room, Placements, and Speakers.


The only time where you might even be able to think about sq differences between amps is if you are using 1 room that is acoustically treated to professional standards, the listening position is optimal acoustically, the speaker positioning is optimal acoustically, the speakers are of sufficient quality. This is of course assuming that you do not have clipping or any distortions caused by insufficient amplifier.

Thanks for you responce. So are you saying that if a person had two different 2 channel rooms, with the exact same professionally treated standards and listening positions, but one room had an integraded amp costing $400.00 and the other costing $2000.00 there would be no difference in sound quality over the other?


If this is so why do others spend so much on amps rather than treatment?


If you are correct then I have had my eye on the wrong thing and need to focus on treatment rather than a high priced integraded amp.


frenchmon
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchmon /forum/post/12955824


Thanks for you responce. So are you saying that if a person had two different 2 channel rooms, with the exact same professionally treated standards and listening positions, but one room had an integraded amp costing $400.00 and the other costing $2000.00 there would be no difference in sound quality over the other?


If this is so why do others spend so much on amps rather than treatment?


If you are correct then I have had my eye on the wrong thing and need to focus on treatment rather than a high priced integraded amp.


frenchmon

It is possible that there would be no audible difference in sound quality if they are both solid state amps of reasonable build quality. People spend so much on amps because they:


a. are ignorant of room acoustic problems (extremely common)

b. like to spend money on electronics because it is more 'tangible'

c. like the added/different functions of different electronics


If at all possible, focus your efforts on room acoustics (talk to real traps, gik acoustics, for a better idea of what needs to be done) as this will improve everything associated with sound quality. A mediocre room will make great speakers sound mediocre.


Many people say things like "buy good electronics so that you can ensure that you get everything out of your speakers". That is true up to the point where you get electronics that are adequate for your room size and feature needs.


However, getting a good grasp on the acoustics of your room is the definition of maximizing your sq from your speakers. It is because the acoustics of the room really screw around with the sound before it gets from speaker to your ears.



Now, let me make one point. I have a 1200$ preamp and amp. I might be tempted to upgrade to a 3000$ integrated amp that has bass management. I wont be upgrading for sound quality purposes, but for the features like bass management and a more finely gradated volume knob. These features warrant spending money as well. As long as you have the 'correct' expectations, money is worth being spent. However, if you want to tackle sound quality specifically, the biggest "leak" is in the room acoustics and setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega /forum/post/12956377


It is possible that there would be no audible difference in sound quality if they are both solid state amps of reasonable build quality. People spend so much on amps because they:


a. are ignorant of room acoustic problems (extremely common)

b. like to spend money on electronics because it is more 'tangible'

c. like the added/different functions of different electronics


If at all possible, focus your efforts on room acoustics (talk to real traps, gik acoustics, for a better idea of what needs to be done) as this will improve everything associated with sound quality. A mediocre room will make great speakers sound mediocre.


Many people say things like "buy good electronics so that you can ensure that you get everything out of your speakers". That is true up to the point where you get electronics that are adequate for your room size and feature needs.


However, getting a good grasp on the acoustics of your room is the definition of maximizing your sq from your speakers. It is because the acoustics of the room really screw around with the sound before it gets from speaker to your ears.



Now, let me make one point. I have a 1200$ preamp and amp. I might be tempted to upgrade to a 3000$ integrated amp that has bass management. I wont be upgrading for sound quality purposes, but for the features like bass management and a more finely gradated volume knob. These features warrant spending money as well. As long as you have the 'correct' expectations, money is worth being spent. However, if you want to tackle sound quality specifically, the biggest "leak" is in the room acoustics and setup.

Thanks for the info Jonomega. I now know what I have to do. I can get a good build amp for about 1000$ and spend for room improvements. Your info has set me in another direction. Once again thanks.


frenchmon
 

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Great thread. I currently own an SR5500 and have been eye balling the PM7001 recently as well. I was preparing to ask the exact same question as the OP, and it's a good thing I searched the forum first!
This thread has the exact feedback that I was looking for!

I think I'll agree with Jonomega because I've been using essentially the same system for over 3 years now, but through rearranging speakers and tweaking the listening area, I've been able to consistently improve the sound. I've also found that speakers themselves make a much more noticeable difference (good or bad) than amplifiers. In spite of what a salesperson at a local store that stocks McIntosh and Rotel would have me believe. While I'd love to own a McIntosh or Rotel amp or two at some point, I haven't felt it's worth the money to me yet and I don't want to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. I've been running a Marantz DV6600 for audio into the SR5500 in pure direct and it sounds just great to me.

I guess I will stay with the setup for now until I'm finally pushed full force into the land of HDMI upgrades. So, thanks for helping me to not spend my money! (for now)
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb01 /forum/post/13030536


Great thread. I currently own an SR5500 and have been eye balling the PM7001 recently as well. I was preparing to ask the exact same question as the OP, and it's a good thing I searched the forum first!
This thread has the exact feedback that I was looking for!

I think I'll agree with Jonomega because I've been using essentially the same system for over 3 years now, but through rearranging speakers and tweaking the listening area, I've been able to consistently improve the sound. I've also found that speakers themselves make a much more noticeable difference (good or bad) than amplifiers. In spite of what a salesperson at a local store that stocks McIntosh and Rotel would have me believe. While I'd love to own a McIntosh or Rotel amp or two at some point, I haven't felt it's worth the money to me yet and I don't want to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. I've been running a Marantz DV6600 for audio into the SR5500 in pure direct and it sounds just great to me.

I guess I will stay with the setup for now until I'm finally pushed full force into the land of HDMI upgrades. So, thanks for helping me to not spend my money! (for now)

My Marantz 5500 is in a 5.1 home theater set up in the family room. The family room is 15 x 17 and has only two walls in it as it is open to the kitchen, and breakfast nook at the back, and steps going up stairs is on the left. So you can see its hard to get room treatments for sound. But its still sounds wonderful. I am driving Paradigm Monitor 7 v3 up front, which by the way are very good monitors. They and the Marantz sound just wonderful in pure direct. But I would love to move it to one of the rooms with 4 walls that I may get better sound.


After my conversation with Jonomega I have decided to persue a dedicated 2 channel amp and preamp. I've been looking at the Parasound halo A23 and the matching preamp. I thought about the PM7001 but decided to not go with a int-amp. I thought about getting the Paradigm studio 100 or the 60 to match with the Halo, but I decided to look for speakers with just as good build quality and acurate and clear sound as the Paradigm with a smaller asking price. I think I have found a pair. I listened to the Jamo C809's and they are a very good sounding Reference speaker.

http://www.jamo.com/Default.aspx?ID=...roductID=17795


The Studio 100's would have cost around $2300. But the 809 where discounted to $1680 and the sales man said I could have them for $1600. This out fit will be in a dedicated 2 channel room.


frenchmon
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchmon /forum/post/12955824


Thanks for you responce. So are you saying that if a person had two different 2 channel rooms, with the exact same professionally treated standards and listening positions, but one room had an integraded amp costing $400.00 and the other costing $2000.00 there would be no difference in sound quality over the other?

Perhaps he wouldn't but I would. As long as the amps are operating within their designed parameters, they will perform the same. Audible differences would only occur when one of the amps is working outside those parameters.


This statement applies to amplifiers that are competently designed. It is possible (but fortunately uncommon) for amplifiers to be designed to have a sound. We want them to increase the amplitude of the wave forms without changing their shape. The great majority of amps do that as long as they aren't clipping.

Quote:
If this is so why do others spend so much on amps rather than treatment?

Because they believe what magazine reviewers tell them or because they simply want them or because they simply can. People don't buy Rolex watches because they keep time better than other brands. People don't buy high end audio gear because it sounds better in objective listening tests. Logic and fact don't play a significant role in the high end audio business. I should know. I was involved in it for 30 years.

Quote:
If you are correct then I have had my eye on the wrong thing and need to focus on treatment rather than a high priced integraded amp.


frenchmon

Maybe, maybe not. In my experience good acoustics come primarily from the size and shape of the room. You can't do much about that. You can make some minor differences by changing the reflectivity of some areas of a room and you can adjust speaker placement but basic room acoustics are hard to change. Most of the audiophile treated rooms I've been in are way too dead from over treating. If a room is simply terrible acoustically, you can always listen near field. It isn't as satisfying but at least it is accurate.


For me room acoustics are the single most important aspect of system sound. I've demonstrated this in bias controlled listening tests in the past. Speakers for me are a distant second and everything else borders on the trivial to me. So if the room isn't good or isn't manageable, then work on the speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega /forum/post/12956377


Now, let me make one point. I have a 1200$ preamp and amp. I might be tempted to upgrade to a 3000$ integrated amp that has bass management. I wont be upgrading for sound quality purposes, but for the features like bass management and a more finely gradated volume knob. These features warrant spending money as well. As long as you have the 'correct' expectations, money is worth being spent. However, if you want to tackle sound quality specifically, the biggest "leak" is in the room acoustics and setup.

So...I don't need any feature. Which 400 dollar amp should I buy that would sound the same as 200,000 dollars one?


If what you said were true, then we don't need to audition for amp... all of them should sound the same except for different feature. correct?
 

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Quote:
Which 400 dollar amp should I buy that would sound the same as 200,000 dollars one?

You've misunderstood the point. How an amp "sounds" depends on whether it is capable of driving your speakers. If you have a pair of electrostatics whose impedance dips toward 1 ohm, it matters an awful lot which amp you use. But if you're driving a typical 8-ohm box speaker at reasonable volumes in a typical room, the choice of amp may be far less critical.


So, the right way to frame your question is, what am I trying to drive, and how much of an amp do I need to drive them? You may or may not need a large amp, depending on circumstances.


(BTW, a $200,000 amp is a sonic joke. There's nothing worth putting in an amp that would cost that much. That's jewelry, not electronics.)

Quote:
If what you said were true, then we don't need to audition for amp... all of them should sound the same except for different feature. correct?

Well, I bought my amp without "auditioning" it, because I knew it was capable of driving my current speakers, and any speakers I was likely to buy in the near future. But if I didn't know that, I would want to try it out with my speakers (listening to an amp in a shop is totally useless) to make sure it could handle them. But what I'd be listening for isn't "liquidity" or "PRAT" or any of that audiophile bulls**t. I'd be listening for evidence of clipping or other obvious signs of distortion. Because that's where an amp can go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I can't believe all what you guys are telling me. Today I took a ride over to the local Marantz dealer here in Cary NC and listened to a Marantz Sr 8002 in two channel pure direct mode. It was paired with the Marantz SA8001 CD player and they where driving Revel Concerta M12's. I was like wow! The Marantz was doing what it does best...sound like nothing else does. And the Concerta M12's sounded like a full range speaker. The whole outfit made the Elaine Elias CD sound just wonder. So I asked the sales guy if more expensive gear would sound about the same as the gear we where lsitening to if we had the same sound treatments in the same room. His answer was no, the more expensive gear would sound different that what we where listening to. So he took me into another room that had no room treatments at all. The gear was Marants reference seperates. It was the SM-11S1 Reference Stereo Power Amplifier price $3,999,00 and the SA-7S1 Reference SA-CD/CD Player price $6,500,00. They where driving the Revel Performa F52. And the room had no sound treatments. I could hear the music bouncing all over the place, but I could hear the difference in sound quality. I mean the first set-up with the mid-fi gear was unbelievable, but the hi-fi gear was even better than that...it was more transparent than the other gear. Now if I had the first set up, the mid-fi gear at my house, I would be satisfied and very happy with it...it sounded awsome, but in a a-b test like I did today, there is a difference in good quality gear.


I also had a chance to listen to the Marantz integraded amp PM7001 paired with the Revel Concerta F12 and then NHT Classic four's. That system sounded good as well, but better with the Revel Concerta F12's.


frenchmon
 

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Frenchmon,


Note that what you liked was the dealer's system in the dealer's listening room. It won't sound like your system and, if you moved the same equipment to your listening room it wouldn't sound the same either. Also note that there many aspects to an audio system, not just an amplifier. Because you liked the sound of a system with a particular amplifier doesn't mean the system would sound noticeably different with another amplifier.


I'll give you some honest advice. Don't waste your time listening to things in dealer's listening rooms. It has no bearing on how it will sound in your listening room. It is room acoustics, after all, that represent the major factor of how an audio system sounds. If you can listen to equipment in your listening room before buying it, then that would be excellent. If you can't, then buy based on specifications or recommendations or whatever suits your fancy. You are fooling yourself listening to demo systems in dealer showrooms. Honestly, it doesn't mean a thing. Been there done that over and over.
 
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