Marantz PM-64 Update

ABM78

New member
Oct 24, 2009
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As I posted earlier my PM-64 purchased on e-bay arrived with no cable (as described in the sale) and looked far and wide and found a cable company in the UK (Im in Australia) selling the C-9 cable in limited stock. Anyway when the cable arrived the amp was still sitting at the local electronic shop to see if they had any ideas and them being useless and not having a clue I just took it back and hooked it up. No sound, played around with the buttons etc and found that when the 'Direct' button was half pushed in I would get sound. Using a piece of cardboard I maged to get the amp playing the sound through my speakers. I must say as Rick and some others suggested it was a lovely sounding amp, vocals were very nice indeed yet I felt it took away from the flow of music that the Nad 545 bee brought. I speak in past tense because 6 weeks later the amp is no longer working. I have sent an email to the seller and although it did not cost me much he did state he had tested it and it was working well (this I doubt). ANYWAY back to looking at a new amp. I listen to a wide range of music and want a well rounded amp that is not too bright (like my AV receiver) should I now be looking at the likes of a NAD 355 (if can find here) or a 356 both fairly priced here. OR even the Rotel RA-1520 to run my Xcite 12's? I want something with nice vocals and can be delicate, yet can bump along with some R@B and bounce along with some dance/trance? What would you suggestor am I asking too much?

Regards
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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This is the only problem with buying amplifiers that are 20-30 years old. While they were very well built in their day and were probably more reliable than many amps today, inevitably some parts can easily fail, after all, many parts in amplifiers are standard, off the shelf types. Anyone buying an older amplifier should be prepared for the possibility of failing parts.

You should find that the Rotel 1520 will run the Excites just fine, and you should also look at the Audiolab 8200A. It might also be worth trying a Naim Nait 5i as they pair pretty well with Dynaudios, although I find the combination a little soft.
 

ABM78

New member
Oct 24, 2009
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Seriously the blank looks a I got when I took it into the repair store I don't think I am willing to invest any more money on it. All said and done it did not cost me that much money, and again while it was great for gentle sunday arvo listening I just don't feel it offered enough to satisfy me with the other musical genres I listen to. Whether this was due to it not working the best to begin with or not I am not sure. I was just about to hook up the B@W 685's too see how they went but she died before I got a chance.
 

ABM78

New member
Oct 24, 2009
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Yeah I am not fussed about the whole thing, I don't beleive the seller was entirely honest with his sale blurb though and thats what annoyed me the most. The Naims, Audiolabs, Cyrus's and roksan etc brands are way over priced here in Australia, NAD seems very fairly priced here, while Rotel is also priced without the what tha reaction! just had a quick scan and a shop is still selling the Audiolab 8000s (older model right) for $2200 AUD while the Rotel RA-1520 is $1300 AUD and the NAD 356 can be had for about $900 AUD. Testing is not possible, I think I am leaning the Rotel but I have a few months to save the pennies.
 
ABM78 said:
As I posted earlier my PM-64 purchased on e-bay arrived with no cable (as described in the sale) and looked far and wide and found a cable company in the UK (Im in Australia) selling the C-9 cable in limited stock. Anyway when the cable arrived the amp was still sitting at the local electronic shop to see if they had any ideas and them being useless and not having a clue I just took it back and hooked it up. No sound, played around with the buttons etc and found that when the 'Direct' button was half pushed in I would get sound. Using a piece of cardboard I maged to get the amp playing the sound through my speakers. I must say as Rick and some others suggested it was a lovely sounding amp, vocals were very nice indeed yet I felt it took away from the flow of music that the Nad 545 bee brought. I speak in past tense because 6 weeks later the amp is no longer working. I have sent an email to the seller and although it did not cost me much he did state he had tested it and it was working well (this I doubt). ANYWAY back to looking at a new amp. I listen to a wide range of music and want a well rounded amp that is not too bright (like my AV receiver) should I now be looking at the likes of a NAD 355 (if can find here) or a 356 both fairly priced here. OR even the Rotel RA-1520 to run my Xcite 12's? I want something with nice vocals and can be delicate, yet can bump along with some R@B and bounce along with some dance/trance? What would you suggestor am I asking too much? Regards
Hi ABM78

Thanks for your update. I am sorry to hear of the issues and mildly surprised by the reaction of the repair shop :( I last heard a PM64 nearly eighteen months ago and amongst the components used were my demo C545BEE and Excite X12's. My client and i used a variety of music and i can honestly tell you the PM64 superbly matched the C545bee and X12's. Now having said this my client informed me that he had bought the PM64 new and had the amp had been serviced in 2000 and 2008.

Anyway i hope this hasn't diminished your confidence in considering used/discontinued components again. Fwiw, i would say the NAD C370 and Rotel's RA-1062 (the finest overall amp which Rotel have produced in the last ten years) are still work a look.

From new amplifiers the NAD C356BEE is the one i would recommend. I feel that not only has the C356BEE got tonal qualities that you're looking for but the amplifiers PowerDrive circuit will offer control, drive and stability thereby helping keep the X12's in greater check :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

ABM78

New member
Oct 24, 2009
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Thanks Rick,

Maybe the amp I had was not working at its best, there were certainly things about it I loved. I almost got my hands on a C370 but got outbid at the last moment. There is a NAD 355 and a 356 on ebay Australia at moment, is there much diffence between the 2? Is one better than the other? I also appreciate the fact that the suppliers here are not charging us to the hilt for one. Well I am patient so something will show up I am sure, the wife is not super keen on the 2nd hand route now.
 
Hi ABM78

Your welcome.

I hate to say it but it does sound like the your PM64 was not at it best. Anyway the C356BEE has the facility for Modular Design Construction (phono stage or other possible modules such as a DAC, etc.) and reduced power consumptiion. Either NAD amp will work well with your X12's :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

ABM78

New member
Oct 24, 2009
41
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0
Just re-hooked up my Sony 1200es and my toes are tapping again. Maybe I don't like my music as warm as I thought... but the vocals are no where near as good... I just wish I had more options here to go and try out a few amps so I know what I like... Might head down to the one and only specialist shop and see what he has.
 

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