Integrated Amp Suggestions

RoboDog

Active Member
Hi everyone,

I’m looking to potentially upgrade my Marantz PM6003 as the first phase in a more long-term upgrade project. My current setup is a Marantz PM 6003 + Bluetooth audio receiver (connected to the AUX of the amp) and a pair of 20+ year old B&W DM 601 S2 bookshelf speakers.

The speakers and the amp are both going strong, but I’m anticipating at least one of them will eventually pack up, at which point I don’t want to be shelling out £££ on speakers and an integrated amp at the same time. In the interest of spreading out the cost, I thought that I could at least look into upgrading the amp now.

The upgrade would be in three phases.
  • Phase 1 – Replace my Marantz PM6003 and get a new integrated amp that would be suitable for the speakers that I want to add in phase 2 and 3. Note that if my PM6003 can handle the upgrades in phase 2 and 3 then I am happy to stick with it and jump straight to phase 2
  • Phase 2 – Replace the DM 601 S2’s with a pair of B&W 606 S2’s or similar bookshelf speakers
  • Phase 3 – Add a B&W HTM6 S2 or similar centre speaker

Questions
  1. Can my current amp handle phase 2 and 3, or would I have to upgrade?
  2. If I have to upgrade then what specs should I be looking for? I will be auditioning, but wanted to get a rough idea of what specs I should be looking for so that it can handle phase 2 and 3. Recommendations are welcome. My budget is around £400 (£500 if it’s really worth it) and I’m not keen on second hand
  3. My current amp is connected to my TV, a turntable and a Bluetooth audio receiver which I use to stream music from my laptop and / or phone. If I am upgrading the amp then I would ideally like the new amp to be able to have an inbuilt Bluetooth audio receiver

Any advice would be appreciated :).

Thanks
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Phase 3 – Add a B&W HTM6 S2 or similar centre speaker
This part of your question is confusing me. Are you looking to upgrade to a 3.1 solution?

If that's the case, how soon are you wanting this to happen. This will ultimately dictate which item needs upgrading first as you cannot use a centre speaker with your existing stereo amplifier

If you can clarify this area, then I'm sure you will get more replies :smashin:
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
So you'll need to look an avr for an upgrade and move away from stereo. Are you confined to spacing issue with your electronics. If you are confined, then Marantz have the answer with the NR1711. It's a slimline avr which is the same size as your PM6003.

Now, how close will you have the front three speakers as you may find that running down this route isn't warranted as you haven't the required separation between the channels to notice. In that case if you just want the connectivity, again Marantz have the answer with the NR1200. This has the connectivity of both the NR1711 whilst retaining the musical ability

With the speakers, I'd say, do have an audition if you can find them as there are lots of speakers available at this price point and you may find that what you thought to be the best is in fact the worst to your ears. Although as you already have a pair of B&W's they will still have the same family sound and if that what you want, then don't let anyone dissuade you
 

RoboDog

Active Member
Hi Shane, thank you for the informative reply. I don't have limitations with the actual size of the amp.

The distance between the left and right speaker is about 4.5 meters. Do you think that justifies a centre speaker? If not then happy to disregard phase 3. However, if I am disregarding phase 3 then is there any point in upgrading the amp?

Yes I definitely plan on auditioning plenty of speakers. I just mentioned those as they are familiar to me.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Cool, that means you open to a full size unit which enables you to pick and choose what you want. Do note that avr's musically are not as good as dedicate stereo's like you already own. So you really need to just up the price point to bring the same performance levels. Looking at Marantz for avr is also a great starting point

4.5m is plenty enough to move to 3 speakers across the front end

I would also suggest if you are moving to a 3 speaker solution at the front, then also look at adding a woofer as this will really transform what you hear and experience

This will be true with any speakers you purchase as it just adds the icing on the cake. Look at a dedicate woofer (SVS SB1000) brand to as they are much better than speaker brands at producing them (as you would expect) at the same prices.

So the real thing is what kind of budget are you looking at for the AVR? The path will be slow if you are buying bits at a time with the likes of a woofer, fronts and then centre plus avr, but your largest outlay will be the AVR as you'll most likely want it to be better than the PM6003 for music
 

RoboDog

Active Member
Thanks Shane.

That is good advice re the woofer. That could be added as a fourth phase. :D

I would definitely want the sound quality for the AVR to be better than the PM6003 for music. Am I not likely to achieve that with a budget of £500? Note that the £500 budget that I mentioned is only for phase 1.
 

RoboDog

Active Member
One more point that I forgot to mention - I'm not really interested in blasting music at ear drum splitting volumes :):)
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
You’ll usually find that lesser quality products have to be driven harder which ultimately makes their perception of volume louder than it actually is. So in what you have said, it’s actually the other way round. Headroom on an avr means you don’t drive it as hard, thus it doesn’t sound loud

Thankfully your only looking at driving three speakers, so almost all avr’s shouldn’t struggle with this area at your budget level. Performance wise, yes your PM6003 is going to outperform it at £500

I’m just wondering whether you upgrade the speakers first and add a woofer secondly, if you find it’s not delivering what you asked, then look at upgrading the stereo to an avr

I just feel this will make more sense

I cannot remember if your Marantz has an digital Optical in? If it does, most devices will connect this way including TV’s. So you could use the HDMI inputs of the TV to channel 2ch PCM down to the stereo. It’s just an idea
 

RoboDog

Active Member
Thanks Shane. I will definitely consider your suggestion re starting with the speakers.

Just to clarify re the amp specs - So I am looking for a 3.1 AV receiver. Is that correct?

You mentioned that in terms of audio quality the PM6003 is going to outperform at £500. How much higher would I need to go to at least be at par with the PM6003 in terms of sound quality? And what specs / features should I be looking for to determine whether the product has better quality than the PM6003.

Thank you for all your answers. I really do appreciate that. And apologies for the barrage of questions.
 

RoboDog

Active Member
I don't think the PM6003 has digital optical in (see image) :confused:


9095-marantz-pm6003b.jpg
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
AV Receivers start with 5.1 and move up the scale to about 13.4. So anything will work for your situation. With the other speakers not being used. The Room EQ will sort this side out for you. Remember every time you add a new speaker/woofer you’ll have to re-run the Room EQ

I’m tempted to say look at a PM6009 which will have the required connections plus should give you a sonic improvement

You are correct, the PM6003 doesn’t have any digital inputs
 

RoboDog

Active Member
Thanks Shane! So I'm looking for a 5.1 AV receiver with a Bluetooth audio receiver. :):)

I can't seem to find the PM6009 online?
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Avr in your situation however sound quality on stereo amp is better.

Checkout other brands of speakers also nothing wrong with b&w but they do have own sound signature try a few others.
 

RoboDog

Active Member
I’m tempted to say look at a PM6009 which will have the required connections plus should give you a sonic improvement

With regard to this point - the PM6007 seems to be a stereo amplifier and not an AV receiver. If I am going down this route (stereo amp instead of AV receiver) then what would the benefit of an AV receiver been? Why would I have considered it in the first place?

I looked at the image of the 6009 (see below) and there don't appear to be any plugs for the centre speaker? Lastly, would I be able to connect a passive woofer to it?

I'm so sorry if the answers to my questions are obvious, but I am sure you can probably tell that my knowledge on the technical aspects is zero :confused:

408931_3_1972.jpg
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
With regard to this point - the PM6007 seems to be a stereo amplifier and not an AV receiver. If I am going down this route (stereo amp instead of AV receiver) then what would the benefit of an AV receiver been? Why would I have considered it in the first place?

I looked at the image of the 6009 (see below) and there don't appear to be any plugs for the centre speaker? Lastly, would I be able to connect a passive woofer to it?

I'm so sorry if the answers to my questions are obvious, but I am sure you can probably tell that my knowledge on the technical aspects is zero :confused:

View attachment 1634786

Multi channel pre amp
Multi channel power amplifiers
Hdmi inputs
Hdmi outputs
Coaxial inputs
Optical inputs
Bass management
Room correction
DSP, pro logic, DTS, DD, hd audio, Atmos, DTS:x
Audio streamer
Time alignment of speakers and sub
Level adjustment
Subwoofer output(s)
Web control and app control
Spotify etc
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
With regard to this point - the PM6007 seems to be a stereo amplifier and not an AV receiver. If I am going down this route (stereo amp instead of AV receiver) then what would the benefit of an AV receiver been? Why would I have considered it in the first place?

I looked at the image of the 6009 (see below) and there don't appear to be any plugs for the centre speaker? Lastly, would I be able to connect a passive woofer to it?

I'm so sorry if the answers to my questions are obvious, but I am sure you can probably tell that my knowledge on the technical aspects is zero :confused:

View attachment 1634786
Yeah, it was a follow on from a comment I made earlier about maybe staying with Stereo at the start by upgrading your speakers first, then a subwoofer and if you was happy with the performance levels, then try the PM6007 Integrated Stereo amp as it has a number of digital inputs allowing you to hook up your TV and use its HDMI inputs. From that point the TV would transport the information via the Optical lead to the PM6007 (2ch PCM - needs setting) and if you are happy, your done. However if you still feel you are missing something, then it would be time to look at an avr. Hope that clarifies what I mean and apologise for confusing you further
 

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