Marantz Pearl KI limited edition

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Entrigo

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I don't give much credence to whether an amp is neutral, smooth or warm. It's how it fits into the rest of your system and room acoustics.

My Leema, if you read the reviews, is a neutral amp, yet to me it sounds cozy, but does have punch in the LFs rather than deepest bass. This is why we all say a demo is a must.
Yes I like that. I immediately thought I took to the Marantz 7200 as warmer than the Denon, but it could be a million different reasons. It’s definitely more dynamic first of all (and despite being roughly the same “level” price wise, from what I gather it was the 7200 price back in the day) it’s a much better amp. And maybe, as you say, just works better with my setup.

On demos, I have long felt that, unless you can demo at home, not much point. Unless a shop or seller has the exact same setup and similar acoustics… For example I demoed my Focal Aria in store and was a bit nonplussed - went for them anyway as they were the only front ported ones (as they initially were against the wall) and absolutely loved them at home.
 
Yes I like that. I immediately thought I took to the Marantz 7200 as warmer than the Denon, but it could be a million different reasons. It’s definitely more dynamic first of all (and despite being roughly the same “level” price wise, from what I gather it was the 7200 price back in the day) it’s a much better amp. And maybe, as you say, just works better with my setup.

On demos, I have long felt that, unless you can demo at home, not much point. Unless a shop or seller has the exact same setup and similar acoustics… For example I demoed my Focal Aria in store and was a bit nonplussed - went for them anyway as they were the only front ported ones (as they initially were against the wall) and absolutely loved them at home.
A couple of years ago I was looking replacement speakers, I home demoed Amphion Argon 1 which were very impressive. A few weeks previously, I shop demoed Neat SX2, Iota Alpha, Monitor Audio Gold 100 and Dali Rubicon 2. All very good in their own right but the Rubicons made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up. I still had the Amphions (the owner went on holiday) so blagged a 2nd Demo of the Rubicons alongside the Amphions. Immediately you hear the improvement with the Dalis despite the Amphions blowing me away at home.

The Dalis have been a permanent fixture (after waiting several months due to supply issues). It's the old adage: the best things come to those that wait.

This proves hi-fi isn't an exact science, best not to take mag reviews too literally. Trust your ears.
 

Entrigo

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A couple of years ago I was looking replacement speakers, I home demoed Amphion Argon 1 which were very impressive. A few weeks previously, I shop demoed Neat SX2, Iota Alpha, Monitor Audio Gold 100 and Dali Rubicon 2. All very good in their own right but the Rubicons made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up. I still had the Amphions (the owner went on holiday) so blagged a 2nd Demo of the Rubicons alongside the Amphions. Immediately you hear the improvement with the Dalis despite the Amphions blowing me away at home.

The Dalis have been a permanent fixture (after waiting several months due to supply issues). It's the old adage: the best things come to those that wait.

This proves hi-fi isn't an exact science, best not to take mag reviews too literally. Trust your ears.
Ha! I demoed Dali speakers alongside my Aria - can’t remember the model but I remember I liked them more. Actually could have bought them as in the end I moved my speakers away from the back wall… One day.
 

Entrigo

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That’s sounds a great deal. It’ll take some care handling as it weighs a lot!
It does indeed. What I did not expect is that it would be so much deeper than my other amps! Sticks out a good two inches plus from my custom made shelves. Will need to look again in the morning to see how I feel about it (and possibly consider chipping away at the plasterboard to expose the brick and gain hopefully an inch - wife already protesting but hey - needs must 🤣).

Because I am obviously pretty happy with it so far. Planning to demo a bit more tomorrow in any case as started to get some headache today - don’t think it was listening fatigue though. But in my mind it’s a keeper. Just need to figure out how to make it fit haha
 

DougK1

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It does indeed. What I did not expect is that it would be so much deeper than my other amps! Sticks out a good two inches plus from my custom made shelves. Will need to look again in the morning to see how I feel about it (and possibly consider chipping away at the plasterboard to expose the brick and gain hopefully an inch - wife already protesting but hey - needs must 🤣).

Because I am obviously pretty happy with it so far. Planning to demo a bit more tomorrow in any case as started to get some headache today - don’t think it was listening fatigue though. But in my mind it’s a keeper. Just need to figure out how to make it fit haha
Forgot about this aspect :) I remember holding off for some years due to the depth of the bigger Marantz amps as it would need a major mod to my storage unit. In the end I just removed the back of the unit but still had to use spade connectors for the speaker terminals as banana plugs wouldn't fit.
You might need deeper custom made shelves :)
 

Entrigo

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Forgot about this aspect :) I remember holding off for some years due to the depth of the bigger Marantz amps as it would need a major mod to my storage unit. In the end I just removed the back of the unit but still had to use spade connectors for the speaker terminals as banana plugs wouldn't fit.
You might need deeper custom made shelves :)
I completely missed this!! Looked at the weight but not dimensions as stupidly assumed they would all conform to some standard I vaguely had in mind.

Having the shelves redone is a no-go - they are floating shelves next to and flush with the chimney breast wall - would be just too much money anyway. I’m now considering right angle power and RCA cables and removing drywall and plasterboard behind the cable and RCA connections (it would be hidden anyway). That should just about make enough space . It would probably still overhang but not too much.

I just wish I measured before listening to the amp as don’t want to return it now hahaha
 
I completely missed this!! Looked at the weight but not dimensions as stupidly assumed they would all conform to some standard I vaguely had in mind.

Having the shelves redone is a no-go - they are floating shelves next to and flush with the chimney breast wall - would be just too much money anyway. I’m now considering right angle power and RCA cables and removing drywall and plasterboard behind the cable and RCA connections (it would be hidden anyway). That should just about make enough space . It would probably still overhang but not too much.

I just wish I measured before listening to the amp as don’t want to return it now hahaha
Might it not be easier to stick a bit of MDF, of the correct size, to the shelf under the amp.
 

Entrigo

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Might it not be easier to stick a bit of MDF, of the correct size, to the shelf under the amp.
I thought about it but it is a custom made shelf with “cut corners” (pic below) so it would look a bit odd to say the least.


Actually starting to feel my wife is right - breaking the wall to fit an amp might be a step too far. It might need to go back.

Though had a last minute brainwave - bought some right angle cables from Amazon. Might shave enough (about 1inch). If not, will regretfully take it back tomorrow.

Also realised all newer reference Marantz amps are the same size. If this doesn’t work, might have to try Rega as was suggested elsewhere (after measuring it of course 🤣).
 
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Revolutions

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I thought about it but it is a custom made shelf with “cut corners” (pic below) so it would look a bit odd to say the least.


Actually starting to feel my wife is right - breaking the wall to fit an amp might be a step too far. It might need to go back.

Though had a last minute brainwave - bought some right angle cables from Amazon. Might shave enough (about 1inch). If not, will regretfully take it back tomorrow.

Also realised all newer reference Marantz amps are the same size. If this doesn’t work, might have to try Rega as was suggested elsewhere (after measuring it of course 🤣).
Don’t give up after a few days. Do a bit more research, sleep on it. Let the problem marinate for a bit. More ideas will start to come to you.

But there is definitely a chance that the simplest option is to accept your current setup is fine & you don’t need a new amp…
 
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I thought about it but it is a custom made shelf with “cut corners” (pic below) so it would look a bit odd to say the least.


Actually starting to feel my wife is right - breaking the wall to fit an amp might be a step too far. It might need to go back.

Though had a last minute brainwave - bought some right angle cables from Amazon. Might shave enough (about 1inch). If not, will regretfully take it back tomorrow.

Also realised all newer reference Marantz amps are the same size. If this doesn’t work, might have to try Rega as was suggested elsewhere (after measuring it of course 🤣).
It can stick out as far as the front feet allow, before slipping off, but obviously it isn’t discreet! You need plenty of space fior ventilation too.

It would be a shame to return it for reasons of size.
 
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Entrigo

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It can stick out as far as the front feet allow, before slipping off, but obviously it isn’t discreet! You need plenty of space fior ventilation too.

It would be a shame to return it for reasons of size.
Yeah ventilation is one of the key reason why I decided to swiftly move on from the 7200. That is actually too high and has precious little space between it and the top shelf. Topped with it not having an energy saving auto-off switch (and my natural ADHD forgetfulness) means it’s almost always on and gets extremely warm - even the TT at the top gets warm. Not good at all.

And yes, not discreet (and being a perfectionist it really really bugs me sticking out like that) but I am also not happy about having to push it all the way against the wall.

In short, I am seriously space - challenged 😝.

I am really in two minds. Ordered some right angle cables and will see.

At the moment it’s 60/40 for going back. Further demoing will hopefully help.

So far it’s positive verging on great: insightful, dynamic, punchy.

One potential downside I noticed is that it can actually be a little too revealing - I now understand what it’s meant in reviews when they say “unforgiving of bad recordings”. For example, listened to a CD which I have had since the 90s (punk band) and the drum sounded pretty bad. Annoyingly so.
 
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Entrigo

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Don’t give up after a few days. Do a bit more research, sleep on it. Let the problem marinate for a bit. More ideas will start to come to you.

But there is definitely a chance that the simplest option is to accept your current setup is fine & you don’t need a new amp…
Unfortunately I don’t have that much time. Seller has agreed a 3 day demo, so by tomorrow lunchtime need to let him know.
 
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DougK1

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So far it's positive verging on great: insightful, dynamic, punchy.

One potential downside I noticed is that it can actually be a little too revealing - I now understand what it’s meant in reviews when they say “unforgiving of bad recordings”. For example, listened to a CD which I have had since the 90s (punk band) and the drum sounded pretty bad. Annoyingly so.
Definitely a warts and all presentation, taking no prisoners. My previous Amp/CDP was kinder and more forgiving of poor recordings, the current pair dig far deeper and any weaknesses are exposed. It's a double edged sword as good recordings sound absolutely stellar.

There is no way I could go back now I've heard what is capable, I just accept the limitations of some of my recordings.

Maybe the jump to the Pearl might have been a bridge to far for you :)
 
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Entrigo

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Definitely a warts and all presentation, taking no prisoners. My previous Amp/CDP was kinder and more forgiving of poor recordings, the current pair dig far deeper and any weaknesses are exposed. It's a double edged sword as good recordings sound absolutely stellar.

There is no way I could go back now I've heard what is capable, I just accept the limitations of some of my recordings.

Maybe the jump to the Pearl might have been a bridge to far for you :)
Yes. A more visceral part of me feels the 7200 actually hits the sweet spot for where I am at in my audio discovery journey right now (from fairly casual listener a couple of years ago). To be fair, my plan was to enjoy it at least until around Christmas time before the proper upgrade. But a severe acute attack of upgradeitis, and the PM14 cropping up at a decent price were too much to resist.

And the concern about the overheating. Lots to ponder.

But I totally see what you’re saying. On some records it is glorious. But I am probably not quite ready for such a revealing sound.
 
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DougK1

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Yes. A more visceral part of me feels the 7200 actually hits the sweet spot for where I am at in my audio discovery journey right now (from fairly casual listener a couple of years ago). To be fair, my plan was to enjoy it at least until around Christmas time before the proper upgrade. But a severe acute attack of upgradeitis, and the PM14 cropping up at a decent price were too much to resist.

And the concern about the overheating. Lots to ponder.

But I totally see what you’re saying. On some records it is glorious. But I am probably not quite ready for such a revealing sound.
You have one more day to decide :) If it isn't for you then explore the Rega route or maybe the Marantz 8000 series? My Pearl Lites (8400) stayed in my system for about six years and I have yet to move them on.
 
One potential downside I noticed is that it can actually be a little too revealing - I now understand what it’s meant in reviews when they say “unforgiving of bad recordings”. For example, listened to a CD which I have had since the 90s (punk band) and the drum sounded pretty bad. Annoyingly so.
If punk from the 90s isn’t awful then the amp is hiding the truth. I’ve heard punk bands live and that’s what they sounded like to me. Deliberately I mean!
 

Entrigo

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If punk from the 90s isn’t awful then the amp is hiding the truth. I’ve heard punk bands live and that’s what they sounded like to me. Deliberately I mean!
Hahaha yeah I hear you. This is an official release of their best of, so shouldn’t be all that bad. And it isn’t actually.

Anyway, just did a side by side comparison with the 7200 using a 2nd pressing of Dark Side of the Moon.

In all honesty, I did not hear all that difference. Certainly the PM14 is bit tighter and clearer but not enough to justify the extra £850, once included the “space saving” cables and the A/B speaker selector switch to drive my kitchen speakers. And certainly less of a difference than I felt between my Denon PMA-800NE and the Marantz 7200 - didn’t even need to do a side by side comparison in that case. I immediately heard it.

Most likely I don’t yet know what to look for but then… does it really matter if both sound pretty much equally good to me?

Will do another test with a different LP but so far I am starting to feel more and more that I should return it and enjoy the 7200. And sort out the overheating issue somehow (timed or smart plug maybe)
 
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Entrigo

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You have one more day to decide :) If it isn't for you then explore the Rega route or maybe the Marantz 8000 series? My Pearl Lites (8400) stayed in my system for about six years and I have yet to move them on.
Well. As I was just saying in reply to nopiano, I think I should just stay put and enjoy the 7200 for the moment. Main reasons why I felt the urge to upgrade:
1. It’s a bit bulky and not as sleek looking as modern ones - can live with it.
2. In today’s prices, it would be a mid range amp (about £700). A reference amp should be in another league - doesn’t feel that way.
3. It overheats - especially as it has a couple of inches room at the top and I never remember to turn it off - I can find a way.

So, most likely staying with the 7200 until at least Xmas as per my original plan. Which will give me time to demo the Rega (was highly recommended by someone else as well - and it fits!) and any other apart from the super-deep Marantz reference series haha!
 

DougK1

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Well. As I was just saying in reply to nopiano, I think I should just stay put and enjoy the 7200 for the moment. Main reasons why I felt the urge to upgrade:
1. It’s a bit bulky and not as sleek looking as modern ones - can live with it.
2. In today’s prices, it would be a mid range amp (about £700). A reference amp should be in another league - doesn’t feel that way.
3. It overheats - especially as it has a couple of inches room at the top and I never remember to turn it off - I can find a way.

So, most likely staying with the 7200 until at least Xmas as per my original plan. Which will give me time to demo the Rega (was highly recommended by someone else as well - and it fits!) and any other apart from the super-deep Marantz reference series haha!
You don't list your kit in your signature, what is the rest of your kit?
 
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Entrigo

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Right, done. Returned - guy actually popped round immediately to collect, really nice about it.

Paradoxically, this made me realise just how good the 7200 is. Now will need to address the overheating- and the occasional hum I had forgotten about. And spend my money on records instead haha
 

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