Marantz pm5004/pm6004 or Yamaha A-S500, real novice in need of help!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Nicholas089, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Nicholas089

    Nicholas089
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    Hey everyone.

    I just signed up to this for some advice really, i've read a few threads on here and found it really informative.

    Basically i just brought myself a marantz pm5004 and a set of mordaunt-short aviano 1 speakers. I got these to replace a really old technics hifi but I wanted an introduction into seperates.

    My speakers are rated at 100W each but my amp is only 45W each. Although on the back it says 110Watts but i think it is 45 per channel.. Now I have spoken to one of the guy at the store where i got mine from and he's said I can exchange it if i want something with a bit more "drive" I looked at the AS-500. It seems to give out more power and it also has a dedicated sub out for if i ever get a sub which some day I would like too so I can have a 2.1 setup.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the marantz, but soon I will be moving into a bigger room in a new house, and we may have a few parties etc, I just want your opinions on whether I should upgrade to the yamaha as-500 for more power and the subline, or get the next marantz up or stick with what I have?

    All opinions are welcome and any advice is really appreciatd, as I said in the title I'm a real novice!

    Basically I'm wondering will it be better to have more power per channel if my speakers are rated 100W. So at the moment am I only giving them half of the power they are capable of taking and would the AS-500 give them a bit more.

    Also can anyone recommend a good DAC, just an intro one really as at the moment all I'm using is a rca to 3.5mm jack.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    45w/ch on your amp is the output capability of the amplifier section. The 110w on the back is the capacity of the amplifier Power Supply section. It should be and is greater than the output of the actual amplifiers, so you are good there.

    The 100w power rating on your speakers is the MAXIMUM power they are rated at, not the working power. A 45w/ch amp should have not trouble driving the Avaino speakers. With 5.25" bass drivers, the Aviano will make a comfortable house party, but if you are planning to throw a wild drunken RAVE, you a bit short on both power and speaker. But, again, for a more sophisticated party where people talk and drink, and perhaps as the night drags on, and inhibitions are lowered, a bit of dancing, in a normal size house, in a normal sized room, you should be fine.

    I spent several decades partying hardy with a 45w/ch Pioneer amp, BUT, I was consistently using a variety of 12" speakers over the years. Still, the amp could go well into the partying range, but not into the 'rock concert' range.

    What I'm getting at is reasonable expectation. Yes, a party can be thrown with a 45w/ch amp and 5.25" speakers. That is A PARTY can be thrown, but I'm not you, I'm not there, I can't read your mind, so I can't say that combination is capable of throwing YOUR party.

    As to the amps, while the PM5004 is highly rated in its price range, your amps can never be too powerful, and your speakers can never be too large ...sort of ...more or less.

    The Yamaha AS500 is a decent amp, award winning, modestly priced, and packs a solid 85w/ch, and is 4 ohm capable. Priced at a pretty decent £239. Just for reference, I have a 100w/ch Yamaha myself. Am I going to tell you it is the greatest amp in the world? No. The greatest amp would cost a very very very large pile of money. The Yamaha is a very good amp for the money. I'm very satisfied with my Yamaha for the money I paid.

    To come close to the Yamaha AS500, you would have to move up to the Marantz PM7004 with 70w/ch which is just short of £500.

    The only other high value amps or receivers would be the Harman Kardon. The HK3390 AM/FM Receiver with 80w/ch is about £250. The larger Harman HK3490 AM/FM which has an added DAC and Optical/Coaxial input, and pack a hefty 120w/ch comes in at a very modest £279. Additionally, if you don't need AM/FM, the HK980 is an Integrated Amp with 80w/ch price at about £287.

    The biggest misconception is that more powerful amps are louder ... they are NOT. At least not noticeably so. What you get is control of the speakers, more headroom before the amps starts to clip, and generally higher quality amps. Nice as it may be, the Marantz is a basic entry level £170 amp.

    Now if you want a more seriously high quality amp, then count on spending £500 to £700 on a stereo integrated amp.

    There is nothing wrong with the amp you have, other than it is a nice basic entry level amp. It should work fine. So, the question is, how much do you want to spend, and how far do you want to take it. Also, do you have any other specific need for specific features?

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. Nicholas089

    Nicholas089
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    Hi that's really great info! Also made me laugh several times haha.

    Well ideally I'd like something with a sub out line and I noticed even the marantz pm7004 doesn't have one?

    Now the yamaha has it and also phono input for records. But I know most of them have that.. I just want the best amp I can get for my money at the moment. I'm not expecting it to be incredible as I understand I'm not investing a great deal of money. I've not heard the harmon kardon amps but the one without a tuner is more expensive on superfi for some reason.

    The yamaha seems a good contender. The marantz pm6004.. I'm not sure what I'm getting for the extra 130 pounds difference. Apart from its made in Japan so better quality parts?

    Thanks again
     
  4. daytona600

    daytona600
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    never mind the amps power output consider the speakers effciency
    higher effciency speakers need far less power
    quoted in deicble per watts eg 80-85 low 85-90 normal 90-95 very high 95-100 very very high
    i use 100db + full range horn speakers only need 2watts and the police are at the door in minutes
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    The Aviano 1, which are an excellent bargain right now, have a Sensitivity rating of 88dB which is pretty decent. I really don't see them having a problem with a 45w/ch amp.

    But again, how much money can you afford to spend, and what specific features do you want? Those are the things to consider. The Harman Kardon HK3490 besides having massive amounts of power, also has desirable Digital Inputs. That makes it much easier to integrate a TV and movie watching into a Stereo System. Plus the price is pretty attractive.

    And yes, the HK980 is an integrated amp and costs more money than the equal powered high featured HK3390. But they put that money into the amp rather than into features.

    So, it is important for you to evaluate both what you want and need. I'm satisfied with my Yamaha Stereo Receiver. Prior to that, I had a Onkyo TX-8255 with 50w/ch. I have no complaints about the amp, yet can find nothing to brag about either. I very decent amp for a very modest amount of money. But, I like my very high powered Yamaha better.

    The Yamaha AS300 (60w/ch, £193) and the Yamaha AS500 (85w/ch. £239) are excellent bargains. The Yamaha AS500 received 5 STARS from "What HiFi?" magazine, and won a product award in 2010 from the same source. Some question the value of any ratings from "What HiFi?" but none the less they were very complimentary about the amp.

    What HiFi 5 Stars
    "A clear class leader. It sounds strikingly clear", "We get a fast, rhythmically taut sound that's as exciting as it is informative", "The sound is agile enough to resolve a complex mix like Eminem's Not Afraid, while having the sophistication to make Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata sound like the slice of magic it is".
    Awards 2010


    What Hifi Awards 2010
    "Where the Yamaha moves ahead is in sound quality", "The talented A-S500 is without doubt one of the major surprises of our year".
    Best Stereo Amplifier up to £500


    Keep in mind when they say Best Stereo Amp under £500, they are talking about the Suggested Retail Price, not the commonly available discount price.

    The Receiver versions of the amps are the RS300 (50w/ch) and the RS500 (75w/ch). It should not be hard to find reviews on any of these models; AS300, RS300, AS500, RS500 (also A-S300, R-S300, A-S500, R-S500).

    I think one model higher, the AS700 (90w/ch) does not have a Subwoofer output for some reason. But the price on the AS700 is getting up there at £384.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    When I checked for the Yamaha Receiver models, I used a USA site called Crutchfield. All the Yamaha amps and receivers were highly rated there as well. The one person who complained, complained that there was no 12v trigger to turn the Subwoofer on when the amp comes on. Further that there were no clear instructions on how to use the Subwoofer output.

    Keep in mind, you will find virtually NO Stereo Amps that has electronic Subwoofer management of the type commonly found in AV Receivers. You have to use the controls on the Subwoofer itself in order to integrate it into your existing speaker system. This makes Subwoofer setup a little more complicated, but at the same time, people do it all the time.

    It is unreasonably to expect electronic Subwoofer control from a Stereo amp, though if you have a spare £1000 to spend, you can certainly get a Stereo amp that has that feature. The Harman Kardon HK990, which is the only Stereo amp that I'm aware of that has electronic Room EQ, and electronics Subwoofer management.

    I think you will find the 12v Auto-On Subwoofer control is only found with AV receivers. Personally, that doesn't bother me, I simply buy large floorstanding speakers that have deep bass on their own, and get buy fine without a Subwoofer.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  7. Nicholas089

    Nicholas089
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    Thanks for your help! It is incredibly informative and i really appreciate it.

    Yes I am going towards the yamamha now. I think the best thing i can do for myself at the moment is get the yamaha as500 and also perhaps a small sub to get me by for the moment with the foresight of upgrading my amp one day and replacing my avianos with some speakers that have a good range of tonality on their own.

    That said i thought the avianos were a great buy at 119! And the yamaha amp also seems a good buy. As I said I do not believe i will get the best sound i could but for the price i think it will be a big improvement on my previous speakers. Also it is just mainly to enjoy music, and separates was something I wanted to get into. So I think this is a good introduction for me at the moment which should last me a while.

    I'll take a look at those receivers. The thing i liked about the Harmon Kardon was that it had a DAC built in so you could go straight in via optical output. But i think i do prefer the Yamaha overall. Could you recommend a good DAC for me to think about? Perhaps under the 100 pound mark?

    Thanks Steve!
     
  8. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    It you are looking at a DAC with Optical/Coaxial inputs, then for one of highly rated quality, you are looking at £200 for a new one, though you may be able to find older models used.

    The DACMagic 100 has Optical/Coaxial/USB inputs is well rated at ~£200.

    The Musical Fidelity V-DAC-II also at highly rated at ~£200.

    Project DAC Box FL Optical/Coaxial/no-USB £204.

    Now if this is computer use only, and you only need the USB input, then consider the ARCAM rPAC for £149.

    Also the Audioengine D1 USB DAC for £149.

    Project DAC Box USB for £159.

    HRT Streamer II USB for £159.

    Now it is possible to buy DACs for well under £100, and they work. Though how well they work is uncertain.

    As far as speakers, the Aviano's are a great buy at £119/pr. Their response is typical of a bookshelf speaker down to 55hz at an assumed -3dB.

    Consider this before you add a subwoofer. That is going to cost you at least £200. And you are already talking about buying new speakers. So, £200 for the Sub, and presumable an easy £200 for new front speakers, for a total of ~£400.

    Then consider the front speakers you can get for ~£400?

    Also, consider that perceived bass, is not the same as low bass. My good speakers with modest bass response number give the impression of very good bass.

    One example, is the Acoustic Energy Neo 3 (£359/pr) with only 43hz bass response, yet people who have and have heard these speakers always comment on the quality of the bass response.

    The same with the new Dali Zensor speakers. Reviews comment on the bass quality, but the numbers are as follows, for the Zensor 5 (2x 5" bass, 43hz @ -3db, ~35hz @ -6db, £499/pr) and the Zensor 7 (2x 7" bass, 40hz @ -3db, ~32hz @ -6db, £649/pr).

    Now, with a little thought and effort, a system with a Sub, can also be good. Having a Sub allows you to control the bass independent of the main speakers. If you simply turn the bass control up, then in a bookshelf only system, the bass driver is having to handle exaggerated bass, while still trying to maintain control of the mid-range. If frequently find that turn up the bass compromises the mid-range. However, with a separate speaker for low bass, the Sub, you can add more bass, without that compromise to the clarity of the Front speakers.


    So, yes, if bookshelf/Sub appeal to you, and you are willing to put in the effort to carefully integrate the Sub, then you should get good results, especially if you like your bass.

    Myself, I prefer the other route, where all the money goes into the Front speakers, but that's just me. My rattle the windows bass days are well behind me.

    Just a few more thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  9. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    That will be the Neo 3
    Neo 4 are £630 with 32hz bass response ;):smashin:
    Can vouch for the good bass. Needs a little space behind them tho.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Sorry, that was a typo, I should have read Neo 3. You are correct.

    I've corrected this in the original post.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  11. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    Thought so :).
     
  12. Nicholas089

    Nicholas089
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    Hey everyone, if anyone is interested in the end I decided to swap my speakers for some BX2's and also now have the pm6004. I tested the yamaha for a few days and it wasn't to my taste, the marantz seemed to have more feeling and the yamaha felt almost clinical. But that is just my opinion, i've heard people who like the Marantz and people who like the Yamaha and then some people don't like listening to music. It's a shame because I liked the idea of having more inputs and the dedicated subline, but I'm happy with the set up now.

    I found out my Grado SR80's earlier and just happened to find the headphone adapter to put into the amp. Now In the manual it states turn off speaker output to use headphones, so everything is connected no speaker source selected, volume up.. and nothing? Any ideas/thoughts? My only idea is that the adapter isn't working.

    Thanks guys
     

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