Marantz PM5005 vs Yamaha A-S301. Please help me to choose

Danieru

Standard Member
Hello,

I decided to replace my Pioneer A-656MarkII, after 30 years of use. It has 70 W per channel but it is probably too powerful because I never turn the volume dial beyond 1/3 and most of the time it is at 1/4. I live in a flat and the listening room is about 20m2 and moving soon to new flat with 30 m2 room.

I can get both at the same price: 309 €, but after reading a lot I do not know which one suits my needs the most.


I will use with:
- B&W DM-602
- Yamaha WXAD-10 streamer
- Sony PS-11 Turntable.

That´s it. No plan to buy a CD player. But I may add a subwoofer in the future.

According to my research:

Yamaha:
+ More than enough power for me (60 W).
+ It a classic design with very good quality components.
+ I like the continuously variable loudness feature (I listen at low to moderate levels)
+ The majority if reviews say it is very neutral (as every amplifier should be!) but some say has no bass (difficult to believe).
- I do not need the DAC because the WXAD-10 has analog output. I do not like the idea of paying for something I won´t use.
- It is bulky and does not have gold plated connectors.

Marantz:

+ More sophisticated design (current feedback) and also very good quality components.
+ Smaller and looks nicer to me.
- 40 W might be too low power (not sure)
- Reviews talk about warm sound (boost in the middle). I do not like this but not sure if this is true.


I would like something built to last. I could stretch my budget up to 400 € (Denon PMA-600 or 800?) but I see little benefit on spending to much on an amplifier. I think any of these two would be enough.

I was decided to go for the Marantz but read about the not neutral balance so at this moment I am leaning towards the Yamaha.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
 

AudioJosh

Active Member
It sounds like you would favour the Yamaha. Marantz kit are known for producing a warm "musical" sound. Not that I've ever heard the 5005 but this eperience was true for me with the PM 6006 and CD 6005 (I still own the CD player). If you do not like that type of sound then go for the Yamaha.

I own a AS-501 and it does produce a neutral sound which I love. I'm imagining the AS-301 would be somewhat similar. Plus Yamaha are known for making reliable kit, so if you want something built to last then it's a good option.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The Yamahas have better damping than the Marantz.

And the power figures of most amps are best ignored really, it’s the quality of the power supply that determines the current available for brief, but important dynamic swings.

As it happens, both the 5005 and the 501 have decent current capacity.

And both are good enough for the 602s. I’d still get the Yamaha because of the better damping factor.
 

Danieru

Standard Member
Thank you. I have already ordered the A-S301 at 299€ (arriving tomorrow :D), mainly because of the neutral response and the loudness control. It surprises me that some manufacturers design amplifiers with other balance than neutral. To me an ideal amplifier should always be "transparent" and only amplify the audio source so to try to recreate the original musical performance, an let the user do small adjustment with bass, treble and loudness controls. Who would like to see top art paintings with tinted glasses?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’d be very interested to hear what you think of the new Yamaha with the B&Ws sir :smashin:

Despite being the smaller of the Yamaha integrated amps it still has a respectable power supply. I think you’ll enjoy what it can do with the 602s.
 

Danieru

Standard Member
Mmmmh there seems to be problem with the B&W DM-602 , let me explain:

The main reason of buying a new amplifier was that the Pioneer sounded a bit metallic and harsh. For example in the vocals some "sh" or "s" sounded a bit too loud, also some snare drums. The volume pot was also dirty or probably worn out so I thought that after 30 years it was time for a new amplifier. It used to be a very neutral amplifier but after coming back to listening music after many years the sound was totally different to the neutral sound what I remember when it was new.

The thing is that with the Yamaha the situation has not changed much. I can hear a little more detailed, "clinical" sound that sometimes is almost like listening with headphones but this harsh metallic sound is still there and with some types of music I get fatigued quite soon and have to lower the volume.

Then I thought it could be my hearing, that indeed has change a lot (I am 49)...as detected in hearing test but it does not seem to be the case because the listening with my Grado SR60e is musch better.

Then I realized that there is a kind of resonance in the B&W when listening to this song. At min 0:35 starts a kind of glockenspiel and the first notes sound much higher than the following, not flat.



Repeated the test with the Grado at my laptop and could not hear any resonance.

Then thought that could be the WXAD-10 streamer (unlikely) so I played the same song but this time plugged the headphones in the Yamaha A-S301. No resonance or metallic sound.

I think it is very unlikely that it is a resonance of the room, because the sound level is low and room resonances occur at much lower frequencies.

I arrived to the B&W 30 years ago after testing Bose (I think 301) which were too loud in the middle and JBL (do not remember the model) that were the opossite, only bass and treble and nothing in de middle. The B&W were amazingly neutral and a joy to listen. But now it is not the same.

What can have changed? Could the components in the crossover filter have aged to the point of changing the sound. if so, it could be repaired if replace parts are available.

I am thinking of testing with REW to find the the exact resonance frequency and contact B&W.

On the other hand, the Yamaha A-S301 is fantastic. I love the loudness, which I can use to compensate the metallic sound to a point. Very detailed sound and it looks amazing.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Grado SR60e
That's because the headphones are taking the room out of the equation. The room is so important, hard surfaces without any soft furnishing will give the bright sibilance on certain voices and instruments.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
It is not at all unlikely that the x-over components may be on the way out.

They’ll certainly not be at original spec after all this time. Even drying out solder points can cause nightmares.

The 602 x-overs aren’t hard to get at, it may be that a peek at them shows something obvious and easy to repair or replace.

You could first try swapping the speakers left to right, to see if this alters the problem in any way.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
... also of course, the 602s are getting on and everything wears out.

Having said that, the 602s were never Uber neutral, just about every review mentioned the treble could tend to harshness.

My pair of 601S2s could certainly do do. I used them briefly with a Nait 5 and an MF XA-50.

They were excellent speakers for the price, but they did get a bit grating with some music, usually compressed stuff.

And that is unlikely to have gotten less so with age.
 
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Danieru

Standard Member
Thank you for your responses. The room certainly plays a big role and I will look into this definitively.

I have been doing some measurements with REW. They are not reliable at all because I do not have a calibrated mic. Also I have no experience with REW.

Imagen.png




The red line was obtained with flat settings in the A-S301 and the green show what happen with half of the loudness.

I can see the curve is higher between 3-6 kHz and another anomaly around 1kHz. The roll off at a 7 to 20 KHz must be caused by the cheap mic I used.



I try to find this measurements online but I could not. I found this excellent review for the S2 model (mine is S1):


I cannot compare my measurements with the measurements of the 602 S1 when they were launched to determine if there is a degradation.


If my measurements are right, I guess this could explain the bright and sibilant sound. But I did not notice this when they were new. The reason is probably my hearing loss . I have done an online test and it is depressing. I have an appointment with an Audiologyst next month to see what I can do.
 

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