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Nad 355, or Marantz PM7003

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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Hi all

I'm looking to buy a Hifi amp to hear my music proper but need some advise.
At the moment i'm using a CA 540R Azur to listen to music which sound good, but after hooking up my mates old Tecnhics amp to my speakers, i immediately realized i was missing out. My music was transformed and drove my Neo 3's speakers how they should be driven with all kinds of music.
My type of music varies but leans more to bass oriented sounds. However, i also like jazz, recorded concerts and listen to the odd classical.

My setup
CA 540R AV amp
CA 540C V2 CDP
AE Neo 3 speakers.

My limit is £400 and I've narrowed it down to the following.

CA 640A V2
Nad C355BEE
Marantz PM7003.

Roughly all the same wpc and price, The problem is that i'm unable to demo any of them.

Getting the CA 640 might seem the logical choice but that doesn't mean the best choice. I heard NAD amps in the past and they were top notch then and the reviews i've read( and i think i read to many already) suggest that the 355 are just as good or better. The Marantz is the newest here, so there is hardly any expert or user reviews. It is also the most expensive and at the top of my budget. The built in Phono stage is an added bonus as not many amps have them nowadays but the Direct In feature allows it to be used as a power amp which is very appealing to me as i would like to connect my AV to it. The CA and NAD could possibly do this as well but it's not clear how and i don't want to hear a pop and crackle or smell that burnt electrical smell when i do connect them up.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks

PS: WHF-will you be reviewing the Marantz PM7003?

H
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi there is really no noticable difference that i can detect between the C355 AND C352, so purchase the 352 second hand on ebay for 200.00 or less and problem solved

I have not heard the Marantz you mention but it definitely offers more presence and a deeper sound than the CA you are thinking about.
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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The CA is definitely out of the running, not really for my musical tastes. A more 'warmer' feel to the Nad is what i got from the reviews, that and as you described it 'more presence and a deeper sound' is what I'm after .

I thought exactly the same thing about the Nad's as you regarding the difference and i looked at the ebay option and 1 in silver was available when i tried. Not keen on silver at all.
But I've since came across the Marantz and had to check it out before i tried ebay again. Admittedly at first i was drawn by it good looks (not hard to do when compared with the Nad) but i know Marantz is 'from Good Stock' and produces some great stuff. So after some research combined with some past knowledge, it has become a serious contender.
I suppose I'm hoping the Marantz with the phono stage and Direct In features, sounds and feels as the Nad to make my choice easier. I just need a proper review or a demo to totally make up my mind.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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I know it's easy to suggest spending more but that is what I would do if I was you. Denon's PMA1500AE is only marginally over your budget. A really good allrounder which lacks nothing.

http://www.denon.co.uk/site/frames_main.php?main=prod&MID=3&sub=2&fill=1&action=detail&Pid=253&

regards
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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I had an Albarry PP1 amp for 18yrs before the left channel blew and that cost £400 then so i am aware how much more quality and possible longtivity a more expensive amp will bring.

I had looked at the Denon and it does suit my purpose but the pocket determines how much i've got to spend at the upper most end. I shall not totally dismiss it but i do not have the extra £80-90 to spend on it. If i did, we be discussing totally different amps

Thanks tho.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ah yes, you certainly don't pay for the asthetics of the thing when you buy a NAD lol. I think the amplifier mentioned comes in black or silver, neither looks particularly great but pick your poison
.

The Marantz look extremely stylish in comparison but hey it's all about the sound quality
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You could also take a look at the Marantz PM7001, the last ones are a bargain in most shops
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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0
hi fi newbie:

The Marantz look extremely stylish in comparison but hey it's all about the sound quality

Agreed, but it helps alot and if i got the Nad without investigating the Marantz properly i be forever wondering 'What if...'.

I looked at the PM7001 after i saw the 7003 and that was that. I don't mind paying a little extra for something more asthetically pleasing so long as the quality is there.

Ducati: How does your PM7001 sound with the type of music you listen to? and does it fair well with the more bassey sounds, i.e. reggae, soul, etc?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'll use a thaiman line here; Chalk and Cheese.

TBH I think you'd be so very much better off to pinch pennies a bit longer and buy a Kandy LIII or something on the used market. This entry-fi stuff is okay, but step up a few hundred quid and the difference is night and day.

EDIT: I'm gonna go ahead and acknowledge that my system has some pretty lame elements in it. JIC anyone took offense to my "entry-fi" remark.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hendy00:hi fi newbie:

The Marantz look extremely stylish in comparison but hey it's all about the sound quality

Ducati: How does your PM7001 sound with the type of music you listen to? and does it fair well with the more bassey sounds, i.e. reggae, soul, etc?

For me its a real jewel, i can only compare it with my former amp a VanMedevoort MA110 (class A amp 2x69 watt)

The bass is even too much for my room with reggae etc. but there is a tone control (new for me...)
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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0
Thanks Ducati and ray

I don't know much about the Kandy L111, it is a excellent amp and is way outside my price range. TBH, i really don't want to spend that much.

I've came to the conclusion that, as good as they are, i dont want a 2nd hand amp. I've not updated my hifi amp in 18yrs before blew in july, so i want something new.

I found the PM7003 at Sevenoaks hifi so i'll give them a call after xmas for a demo. There's no mention of Nad or Denon on their website but maybe they can arrange something.

Not fancying lugging the AE's into the car tho, but hey its gotta to be done.

Merry Christmas
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Merry christmas to you also, it might be worth finding an alternative hi fi shop because like you said neither the Denon nor the NAD is listed on their website. I understand what you were saying about the marantz by the way and certainly wasn't recommending that you simply bought blind. Marantz do make good hi fi it's just I don't think it's not as good as NAD but let your ears decide
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
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0
hi fi newbie:

it might be worth finding an alternative hi fi shop because like you said neither the Denon nor the NAD is listed on their website.

'let your ears decide'


I hear you on that newbie...

if i can get all 3 in the same demo, that will be great and i will keep looking for that. But while i got the chance to test the Marantz, i might as well use it.
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
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EUREKA!!

I've found a place which can demo all 3 amps (Hifi Confidential), but not until a few weeks time when they cleared the room of xmas and sales stock. They will call me when they are ready to go. They can even supply the AE Neo3 which I'm extremely happy about.

Funny enough it is the same place where i got my 1st hi fi setup umpteen yrs ago and they steered me right then. As I spoke with the guys there they said that there is not much difference in quality between the Marantz, Nad or Denon and all are excellent amps, but for the type of music i listen to, the Marantz or Nad are better suited and don't think the Denon is worth the extra ££ as it not giving anything extra to warrant the extra cost, which is fine by me as the Denon was more out of curiosity than actual want.

Obviously that was his opinion and i tend to agree but i shall let my ears do the talking.

Shall let you know what i decide on - if you are interested that is.

Thanks all for your advice
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Hendy00,

Have you been to Hifi Confidential yet for the demo? I am actually quite interested in the results since I am also wondering whether to get a Marantz or a NAD. I think it will be the Marantz for me, but I didn't have the opportunity yet to listen to it in combination with my speakers (Elac BS243).

Cheers!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Hendy00:EUREKA!!

I've found a place which can demo all 3 amps (Hifi Confidential), but not until a few weeks time when they cleared the room of xmas and sales stock. They will call me when they are ready to go. They can even supply the AE Neo3 which I'm extremely happy about.

Funny enough it is the same place where i got my 1st hi fi setup umpteen yrs ago and they steered me right then. As I spoke with the guys there they said that there is not much difference in quality between the Marantz, Nad or Denon and all are excellent amps, but for the type of music i listen to, the Marantz or Nad are better suited and don't think the Denon is worth the extra ££ as it not giving anything extra to warrant the extra cost, which is fine by me as the Denon was more out of curiosity than actual want.

Obviously that was his opinion and i tend to agree but i shall let my ears do the talking.

Shall let you know what i decide on - if you are interested that is.

Thanks all for your advice

Brilliant news, even better that you can hear all of them together; best way to do it IMO short of a home demo.
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
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0
ChemicalCurry:
Hi Hendy00,

Have you been to Hifi Confidential yet for the demo? I am actually quite interested in the results since I am also wondering whether to get a Marantz or a NAD. I think it will be the Marantz for me, but I didn't have the opportunity yet to listen to it in combination with my speakers (Elac BS243).

Cheers!

Mate,

Afraid not. I spoke with them today (again)- still waiting for them to clear the room. Getting kinda impatient and was almost tempted the get the Marantz blind, but no...i will wait. Got me over a barrel -slightly as it the only place nearest to me that do all 3. I will call back on monday and convince them give a demo for the weekend, I will even help move a few boxes for them if i have to.

I SHALL NOT BE DENIED!! I WILL BE COMING HOME WITH A AMP NEXT WEEK. :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You SHALL have your DEMO!!!


I really don't think they can refuse your offer to help them moving some boxes... Or can they?

Maybe you can gently push them in the right direction by saying that you will do a karaoke show in the middle of their shop if they don't give you the demo (unless you can actually sing of course).
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
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0
With my singing they probably give it to me to get me out the shop. LOL!

Anyhoo, got a demo this Wednesday morning. So hopefully by the afternoon, I shall be running thru the cd's intently listening with a big ol smile on my face.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'd go there and use the CA as a foot stool while listening to the others hahaha

ÿ

I would go for the NADÿ
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
0
0
LOl,

Too late as it has already been sold. But to be fair i must give credit where credit is due. The CA was a very good AV amp but not up to the job i wanted it to do. I would need to spend over best part of 2 grand on to get that.

As for the NAD... well, we will see..
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
0
0
Right,

After much drama in the morning i manage to get to my demo and which one did i choose - NEITHER!!

But I did get a Marantz!!

Here's the story.

I was late , with none of my own music and only what they had, but they weren't ready for me anyway. It wasn't the best demo room by any stretch of the imagination but a room none the less. 1st up was the NAD,(while he was looking for the PM7003) hooked up to a pair of Acoustic Energy Neo 3 (Same as my own) and a Roxan Kandy K2 cdp. Great amp. Confirmed from the the start what i had been missing. Very warm, probably a little too warm when it came to vocals and detailed slightly dulled, but enough to nod your head and smile. And to think it will get better after running in had me smiling more. The same with the ipod connected, but with even more appreciation as tunes that i wanted to hear was played.

Next was the Marantz - NO PM7003- the one he had line up got sold. He was apologetic(not that it helped me), I was gutted, screwing and was considering to go elsewhere, but demod a 7001 KI instead. 'm o glad i did. I'm not sure if the PM8003(rrp is £600-£650)is the replacement for it but i have read good reviews and thought to be over of budget, but thought, what the hey.
With the Roxan connected, immediately there was clarity to the detail, more roundness and depth to the bass. Treble not as harsh as i thought it might have been - just right in fact. With the ipod tunes, it blew me away and the NAD out of the water. So much so that both me and the salesman leaned back with raised eyebrows as if to say 'WOW'. And he was pro NAD. I knew the KI is a step up and it showed.

The upshot: got the ki in black for the same price as PM7003.

I've now got it hooked up within my setup and I know I've made the right choice. It has Revitalized my music with aplomb and even at low volume, it still manages to shine.
The best is yet to come after running in. Can't wait.

Sorry that i couldn't give a review on the PM7003 but its clear i was not meant to hear it. Even if i did and then heard the Ki, i firmly believe i still would of chose the Ki- especially if i can get it for the same price or cheaper.

PS: The guys at Hifi Confidential were very helpful. Even though they had their views, they never push me one way or the other and allowed me to make up my own mind on things. So a big thanks to them.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Congrats!

ÿ

I haven't heard this amp, but it sure looks nice too! :)ÿ
 

Hendy00

New member
Jul 25, 2007
7
0
0
Pmaninit:
Congrats!

ÿ

I haven't heard this amp, but it sure looks nice too! :)ÿ

It's a sexy beast alright.

I should be in bed aslseep but i'm struggling to take my eyes off it. :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
hahaha, I do that sometimes, just stare at my equipment (weirdo)
 

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