Marantz PM-11S3 Integrated Amplifier Review

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    The Marantz PM-11S3 100 watt/channel integrated amplifier is designed for the audiophile that values performance, and aesthetics equally without worrying about if he/she is getting the most watts per dollar they can afford. If you’re looking to assemble a great performing two-channel system with the possibility of expanding it to multi-channel someday, then this may just be your ticket. The PM-11S3 exceeds its published specifications. It will bring out all of the fidelity of the source material you throw at it while driving your speaker system with the quality power they yearn for. The PM-11S3 isn’t for the budget minded audio enthusiast but few if any audiophile products are especially ones that look as stunning as this baby.
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    Discuss "Marantz PM-11S3 Integrated Amplifier Review" here. Read the article.
  2. FlyhiG Audiophyte

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    Enjoyed and thanks for the review.. The Marantz PM-11S3 would be on my short list for a primary system. They make some great gear. In my secondary system I have the PM8004 and it is wonderful.
  3. avengineer Banned

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    Connection and Measurements

    This sentence may need to be explained or perhaps clarified;

    "As such, I connected up my Marantz TT-15S1 turntable and Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player via the balanced analog connections." I'm fairly sure that neither the TT-15S1 nor the PM-11S3 has balanced phono connections.

    And this one:

    "Oddly, Marantz still uses the old balanced connection scheme that reverses the hot/cold polarity so I simply flipped the configuration in the Oppo OSD setup to accommodate this to avoid a polarity shift."

    How was it determined that Marantz uses the older connection scheme? Was absolute polarity through the system tested?

    Absolute polarity is a straw man anyway, as there's simply no way to positively prove it exists from recording microphone through reporducing speaker, and some modern recordings don't use even microphones for every instrument. If the unit produces a phase inversion from all inputs to speaker output that would be interesting, but still a moot point since we never have complete assurance of the entire signal chain.

    The lack of balanced connections: It should be noted that the entire point of a balanced interconnection is common-mode noise rejection. With short connections between components, there is usually little if any need because there is little if any common-mode noise to reject. If you were connecting between rooms...or buildings...then we may have such a need. Otherwise, balancing output circuits and true-balanced high CMRR input circuits require more than twice the component count to achieve, and are often poorly done. A useful measurement would have been CMRR of a balanced input.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  4. avengineer Banned

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    One more thing...

    For a meaningful THD+N measurement of a phono preamp it has to be driven/terminated with a cartridge-like impedance. Was this done? The typical AP output Z is far to low to make this a meaningful test without some sort of adapter.

    It's not big deal for a phono pre to track the RIAA curve well, in fact that should be fairly easy to do, but it's more important to know what the input stage looks like to a cartridge. Thus, some sort of impedance with reactance measurement would be helpful. 47K resistive is given, but cartridges are often touchy about capacitance. That's why a frequency response measurement with an inverse RIAA curve in place is nice, but unless driven from a source Z that approximates a typical cartridge, it's kind of meaningless.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  5. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    It's kind of obvious the balanced comment was for the Blu-ray player since you can't have a balanced turntable connection but I will try to tweak it a bit.

    I strongly disagree with your assessment of balanced vs unbalanced circuits. With all things being equal, I would take a fully complimentary design from input to output ANY day over its single ended equivalent. It's not just for noise immunity but for the distortion reducing benefits of the topology. The best analog circuity for signal transmission is always differential.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
    gene,
    • Like Like x 1
  6. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    Not sure and I don't really care. Maybe 2 people will appreciate the measurements of a phono stage these days. The measurement was done for good housekeeping and it's unlikely I will be measuring many phono stages in the near future.
    gene,
  7. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    Do these things really sell, especially @ that price?

    They should have at least made the case gold color, not black since it looks like a regular $1K AVR.

    I figured most people would just get AVR or pre-pros + amps.

    It doesn't seem like it measures any better than a Yamaha or Pioneer or Denon AVR in terms of Crosstalk, SNR, Frequency Response, THD.
  8. RichB Audioholic General

    RichB
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    Yeah, but those blue LED's... :)

    - Rich
  9. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Blue LEDs remind me of Emotiva, not $4K amps. :D
  10. RichB Audioholic General

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    I know...I thought the same thing.
    Parasound has them too :p

    - Rich
  11. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    Agreed; I don't understand blue LEDs or lighting either, especially when it's not consistent. It's so jarring in a darkened room. Emotiva is a bad offender, but my Benchmark DAC1-HDR has an ugly, bright blue LED you can't defeat, and my Outlaw 975 Pre-Pro has a turquoise LED display that clashes with the deep blue light ring around the power button.

    I wonder if Marantz is trying to pay some weird sort of homage to vintage Marantz receivers and tuners? They have tuning scales and meters back-lit in bright blue.
  12. avengineer Banned

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    Ignoring noise immunity, what would be the performance advantage of a balanced interconnect?
  13. avengineer Banned

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    I agree, fairly low interest. Doubt anyone would buy this just for the phono pre. But rather than publish test results that don't relate to reality, just don't publish them. Or, do a noise test with a cartridge as the input termination. How hard is that?
  14. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    not talking about the interconnect. Talking about the distortion reducing benefits of balanced vs single ended circuit topology.
    gene,
  15. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    You are welcome to follow your own suggestions when you start your own AV publication.
    gene,
  16. darien87 Audioholic Ninja

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    That's one of the things I like about my AV7005. The blue "porthole" at the top matches well with my XPA-5 right below it.
  17. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    Very good. :)

    Most people probably like those blue LED. That's why Emotiva keeps the LED. But a few people don't like. They can't please everyone. :)
  18. cpp Audioholic Field Marshall

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    Love the blue LEDS in anything, reason : I'm color blind red - green and in electronics those red - green LEDS just look the same.
    cpp,
  19. avengineer Banned

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    Thanks, Gene. I'm only giving constructive criticism. If it's not welcome, then perhaps it at least informs other readers in some way.

    This would be the second time you've suggested I start my own AV publication, though. Do you really want that competition? ;)
  20. avengineer Banned

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    I'd be interested in knowing how balanced topology reduces distortion.

    Care to share your wisdom on this?

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