Marantz PM-5005

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by robthemac, Jul 13, 2015.
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  1. robthemac
    I managed to pick one of these up brand new earlier this year for a steal (NZD $450 - about the same price as a pair of Sennheiser HD-498's for your reference).
    I use it mainly as a headphone amp, but also to drive some obnoxiously large floor-standing speakers. I always thought the headphone amp sounded pretty damn good, but I managed to borrow a Lehmann Rhinelander to compare for the past few weeks. The Marantz surprisingly sounded as good as the Rhinelander with my AKG K-812 and Sennheiser HD-800. This is despite the Rhinelander being a dedicated headphone amp (with rave reviews) costing twice as much.
    If anyone is in the market for an affordable integrated amp that can drive a pair of high-end headphones, I can't recommend it highly enough.
    Rippedgeek likes this.
  2. esco Contributor
    Thanks for the suggestion. Currently in the market for an amp with a phono stage for a turntable setup at the girlfriend's place. Was between getting the PM-5005 and connecting them to some old Polk RTi's that I have or going the active speaker route with the Audioengine A5+ and a cheap phono stage. I think I'll just go with the PM-5005 now!
  3. pp312
    I wonder why this thread is dying on the vine. I'd have thought the news that a widely available, relatively cheap integrated that powers headphones so well would be cause for some celebration.
  4. robthemac
    I'm actually celebrating right now. 
    Rippedgeek likes this.
  5. tdebug
    Does your 5005 have electric noise at about 20-25% volume and above, when using headphones? I just got that amp and the noise is pretty annoying. I actually never had an amp so noisy as pm5005, could be a faulty unit but can't be sure about that. I read some complains about pm6005 which also has noise, but can't find much feedback about 5005..
  6. robthemac
    Nope, it's been dead silent with HD-598, HD-800 and K-812. It has to go to above 50% before I hear anything out of order.
  7. tdebug
    Thanks! I also checked with Maratnz support and will be sending my amp back the the retailer. 
    I have to say I lost my faith in Marantz brand as quality control seems to be something non-existent at their factories. Otherwise I am at loss to say how such faulty unit even came out to retail :frowning2:
  8. derbigpr
    About 2 years ago I went on a quest to find intergrated amps that have good headphone outs, tried about 30 models, from entry level to high end. I found that all of them have excellent headphone outs and in most cases far better than equally priced headphone amps. I remember comparison (now mine) Onkyo A5VL amp with several really respected headamps and dac/amps that cost twice as much, and they didn't sound as good, not to mention they were a joke physically next to the 25 pound heavy integrated amp.
    People have this ignorant notion that integrated amps don't sound  good with headphones because the headphone outs are "afterthoughts", which is just nonsense. The whole device was built to sound good, it's a hi-fi product, and headphone out is a part of it. Of course, you have to know that integrated amps have high output impedance, usually over 120 ohms, due to resistors being placed in the path, but that is not an issue with high impedance headphones and most low impedance ones either.  In terms of power, authority, soundstage, smoothness, I find that most integrated amps beat dedicated headamps.  I got myself an old Onkyo too, A8822, old amps, from late 90's, made in Japan, for about 40 dollars...and the bastard sounds at least as good as the 900 dollar Musical Fidelity M1 headamp, that's with Beyerdynamic T1's. On top of that it has infinitely more  power, proper tone controls that actually work, perfect channel balance, no hiss whatsoever, etc. And it looks and feels more expensive.
  9. robthemac

    Headphone outputs are probably low on the priority list for quality control, sadly.
  10. derbigpr
    I assure you they're not.
  11. tdebug
    In the end I took the pm5005 to the retailer and we tested it with other pair of headphones and loudspeakers. Both loudspeakers and headphones had noise in right channel. So that only proves the theory about non-existent quality control at Marantz factories, as such issue would be impossible to miss should anyone ever tested it. Returned and probably won't be getting another Marantz anywhere soon.
  12. robthemac
    Really? I would think that they would be used so infrequently, especially in the lower-end models, that it would barely be worth their effort.
  13. tdebug

     I am also not really following this idea, why headphones would be not important in audiophile amp. Of course PM5005 is not a high end one device, but still a lot more high end than many micro "hifi" series etc. Besides, ppl may buy lower model simply because they don't need much power to loudspeakers as they would be using those amps with headphones mostly - that was my idea too when I bought PM5005. And what if you simply don't need a powerful amp, even for using solely with loudspeakers, why would more expensive and quality amp always mean - more power? Do you usually listen more expensive amps louder? How stupid that idea would be.
    Not even saying that headphones is simply a feature (whether you call it 1st ot 2nd important one) and need to be in fully working condition, since customers are paying for it.
     Anyway, as I explained before, right channel in my pm5005 was equally noisy with both headphones and loudspeakers connected. So no testing priorities here in case of Maratnz - just lousy production with no quality control whatsoever, other than "no scratches" inspection.
  14. robthemac
    It's not an expensive device - I paid only about the equivalent of USD$300. Every minute that someone spends testing it in the factory eats significantly into Marantz's (small) profit margins. If I was running that company, I'd check as little as possible. It's probably more economical to repair one broken headphone output on an amp already sold than to test 1000 headphone outputs at the factory to find one dodgy one, and repair it anyway.
    TL;DR - It doesn't make economic sense to routinely check the infrequently used features on cheap devices.
  15. tdebug
     No it's not. There is no "cheap", it just a device with less features. Besides, it has "Marantz" logo on it, which reads the same as on expensive one. I wish they only have customers like you, who would "understand" every failure, however others simply won't go for Marantz. 
     Btw if read the thread more carefully, I explained that both headphones AND loudspeakers were noisy in the amp. Well, I am sure it just as it should be in case of Maratnz, just like you explained, so no worries :)
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