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3 Generations of Marantz flagship integrated amps measured

eeMGee

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Yes, the article is really good reading, only measurement SW used is with some questions.

I think, for THD (and THD+N) ARTA or REW could be a better choice.
 

peng

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What about subjective comparisons?

Subjectively, all three units sound great. I genuinely do think the PM-90 has subjective warmth with vocals and that may be the high 2nd order harmonics and it's a great deal at the used $1K price they go for.

Thanking very much for testing 3 units!

Interesting about the warmth/2nd harmonics observation, but if the higher 2nd harmonics explained the warmth, it probably need to be at much higher level. Also, if we compare Amir's FFTs for the Denon and Marantz, the warm sounding Marantz (e.g. AV8805 actually have higher 3rd harmonics and the not so warm Denon (e.g. AVR-X3700H) have slightly higher 2nd harmonics vs 3rd. That's all based on test signal 1 kHz, wonder if that would change much if tested at 2 kHz or even 3 kHz.

Can your set up do FFTs using higher test frequencies?
 

spacevector

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Nice post - are you able to measure the frequency response - arguably the most important measure?
 
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GXAlan

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Revised the PM-10 numbers after ASR membership giving me feedback on grounding the E1DA to the amp and using the XLR input while staying under 10V. Thanks @VintageFlanker @IVX @restorer-john @Matias @amirm.

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Also re-tested with averaging and then did a "best case"
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Ron Texas

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Cool idea for a test.
 

Matias

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Nice, can you do a power x THD+N in 4 ohms for all of them too?

Edit: also would be cool to see an FFT of 18.5 + 19.5 kHz and see how each responde to IMD.
 

pma

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You need to know measuring system residual noise first. DAC noise x amplifier gain + ADC noise. This is measured in a complete setup but with no test signal. Then disconnect the DAC from amplifier input, short amplifier input with 50 - 100 ohm and measure noise again. Usually you will find that the DAC output noise x amplifier gain is too high and higher than amplifier noise. It is very difficult to make correct THD+N without switched input attenuator at ADC and switched output attenuator at DAC. You will need the DAC with maximum noise 1 - 2 uV. If the amp has gain 20 x, you have 40 uV error noise. This is still quite good. But with a common sound card with output noise 8 - 10uV the THD+N measurement is unusable.
 

Phorize

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Really great work-objective testing and journalistic flair in one hit
:)
 

Sokel

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You need to know measuring system residual noise first. DAC noise x amplifier gain + ADC noise. This is measured in a complete setup but with no test signal. Then disconnect the DAC from amplifier input, short amplifier input with 50 - 100 ohm and measure noise again. Usually you will find that the DAC output noise x amplifier gain is too high and higher than amplifier noise. It is very difficult to make correct THD+N without switched input attenuator at ADC and switched output attenuator at DAC. You will need the DAC with maximum noise 1 - 2 uV. If the amp has gain 20 x, you have 40 uV error noise. This is still quite good. But with a common sound card with output noise 8 - 10uV the THD+N measurement is unusable.
That's from the technical side from a person like you or others here who excel the subject,right?
When it comes to real world performance,with all the stuff put together,long cables,etc can we assume that a measurement like this will be closer to the actual performance?

To take it even further I will take for example the simplest system,A dac with a volume control playing at half it's voltage straight on an amp.
What will be the actual SINAD there?
Half the proper measurements?More?Less?
 

restorer-john

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Well it looks like the PM 10 is essentially only adding a tiny amount of odd harmonic (3rd) and everything else is merely amplifying the souce non-linearities.
 

txbdan

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You should summarize the results in a table for easy comparison.
 

DMill

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This is impressive. Thanks for taking the time. I hope you enjoyed testing the amps as much as I did reading about them.
 
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GXAlan

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You should summarize the results in a table for easy comparison.

TLDR:
1) My measurements are about 7-8 dB worse than Amir's when comparing the same Marantz PM-90 but with different 120V->100V stepdowns. It's hard to compare my results against his results except to confidently say that my numbers will be worse than what Amir will be able to get. It's better to compare within my post.

2) My source DAC is the Panasonic UB9000 which is not bad, not great and underpowered (2V even on balanced output, so it's like 1V peak).

3) ~5W SINAD
PM-90 80.6 (should be 88)
PM-11s2 99.0
PM-10 100.3

The PM-11s2 was more resilient against ground loops than the PM-10. This may not matter in actual systems as opposed to testing

If the PM-11s2 breaks into the 100 dB SINAD if measured with Amir's test setup, it would make it one of the very best traditional Class AB amps ever tested and show that HDAMs can in fact do pretty well. It's just the home theater HDAMs that have been a problem. The PM-11s2 is a great bargain if you can find one in your voltage. This amplifier never made the mainstream audiophile press in the USA.

The PM-10 was more sensitive to grounding, but does measure better than the Marantz flagship before it. For a big price increase, you just get a tiny bit of extra SINAD at 5W. There is clearly a lot more power on reserve with the Class D amp in addition to the cost associated with continuing to manufacture it in Japan.

4) The benefit of the whole article and graphs is seeing the patterns and trying to correlate the results (over time).
 
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GXAlan

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Enjoyed reading your comparison test. The PM-10 is at the top of my buy list.

Russ
Thanks. Besides measuring well, it really does sound great.

Tricky part is that the NCx500 is a drop in replacement and PM-10 is now 2017. So it’s pretty easy to make a PM-10s2 and they could even add a power amp direct with balanced input or a preamp out.

But I bet the PM-10s2 is going to be expensive.

I am also torn on the new styling. It looks very nice overall but the classic build is still nicer. Perhaps a PM-10s2 will have better build than a Model 30/40n.

The biggest weaknesses of the PM-10
- no pre outs. Needed for adding subwoofer to system or if you ever wanted to take advantage of the premium preamp circuitry

- no balanced power amp in. Would have been awesome to build a HT with this powering the fronts. There is an unbalanced power amp in

- no 12v trigger. Even if you use unbalanced input for your home theater mode, you cannot have your AV processor turn on the PM-10 other then firing a IR signal in a fancier setup. The IR power is not discrete on vs off either.
 

Russ_L

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Thanks. Besides measuring well, it really does sound great.

Tricky part is that the NCx500 is a drop in replacement and PM-10 is now 2017. So it’s pretty easy to make a PM-10s2 and they could even add a power amp direct with balanced input or a preamp out.

But I bet the PM-10s2 is going to be expensive.

I am also torn on the new styling. It looks very nice overall but the classic build is still nicer. Perhaps a PM-10s2 will have better build than a Model 30/40n.

The biggest weaknesses of the PM-10
- no pre outs. Needed for adding subwoofer to system or if you ever wanted to take advantage of the premium preamp circuitry

- no balanced power amp in. Would have been awesome to build a HT with this powering the fronts. There is an unbalanced power amp in

- no 12v trigger. Even if you use unbalanced input for your home theater mode, you cannot have your AV processor turn on the PM-10 other then firing a IR signal in a fancier setup. The IR power is not discrete on vs off either.
Agree, a balanced power amp in would be a nice way to connect the front L/R balanced outputs of my Emotiva XMC-2. I’ve noticed also that many integrateds, not just the PM-10, lack triggers which I see as a big oversight.

Russ
 

D700

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Marantz was my first love, a hand me down 2270 from my brother with a dodgy volume knob … that I had no idea would be a collectors item when I sold it at a garage sale. Like to get that one back.

you hade me at wood panels.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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a diagram would be nice so I can figure out what the signal is doing in that gorgeous overhead pic!
 

restorer-john

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Marantz was my first love, a hand me down 2270 from my brother with a dodgy volume knob … that I had no idea would be a collectors item when I sold it at a garage sale. Like to get that one back.

Model 2270 and 2275 are two of my favourite Marantz receivers. They have a fantastic 1970s sound, look and vibe to them. Will drive anything, although a pair of JBL Century L100s would be their favourite match. Also the 2226, and the 1978, Model 1550 which is an underrated gem. I got rid of most of my vintage Marantz receivers when the prices skyrocketed about 12 years ago. I'd restored them all and quite frankly, I was done with old receivers. Then they kept going up! I think I sold my 2275 for $770 (12 years ago) and I'd paid $75 for it. Now they are selling at over $1500.

I just restored 4 vintage Marantz units for a friend who can't stop buying vintage and I think I'm done again for a while.
 

Jimster480

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Pretty cool to see the progression even if the price is huge... I suppose if you bought the first one you might be fine until today as many songs won't exceed the performance offered, especially with speakers.
 
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