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Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier Review

I’m not an audiophile.

In fact, I don’t know who would be the ideal audiophile, in the present consumer market. In most forums, a person spending a ton of money on Hi-Fi equipment is considered an audiophile? That’s the impression I got.

The reason behind this little rant is that when I started looking for a basic stereo amplifier, 2 years ago, all these entry-level Marantz and Cambridge Audio weren’t recommended a great deal on popular hifi forums. Reason: They’re not considered as audiophile amplifiers.

Do you even need to be an audiophile? If you have a pair of good speakers, and if your favorite music sounds fantastic to your ears when these speakers are paired to an amplifier — you’ve found the best sounding setup at a price that makes sense to you. I have a pair of JBL Control One speakers, and I had them paired to my 8-year old Onkyo home theater amplifier (also known as, AV receiver). Pure stereo mode. The output was quite decent. Of course, I had an Onkyo sub-woofer connected to compensate for the lack of low frequencies from the JBLs. It made a good 2.1 setup. Though music sounded good with this setup, it wasn’t good enough. Clearly the Onkyo amplifier didn’t sound musical enough for my ears. Stereo image separation was evidently missing. The voice and instruments were peanut-buttered — spread flat.

Before the Onkyo, I had a Kenwood stereo mini system, and have an idea what stereo imaging and separation mean. The Kenwood served a good 13 years, before giving up.

So, in the quest to find the right amplifier, I signed myself up on a few high-quality audio forums. This was 2 years ago. And, until a couple of months ago, after following a few posts, and getting umpteen recommendations, I was still undecided. These were some of the recommendations:

  1. Go for a high-end audiophile system — Arcam, Rotel, NAD, Marantz 6000 series, Cambridge Azure series, etc
  2. If you can’t afford a high-end system, look at the used market
  3. I wouldn’t buy an entry-level amplifier, if I were you — because, they may not drive some of the floorstanders that you may buy in the future
  4. Get a pair of brand new floorstanders (starting at an insane price of INR 27,000/-) and get a used amp at less than INR 10,000/-

None of these convinced me. I auditioned a high-end Marantz AV receiver at Cinebels, Chennai. It sounded like crap. I was able to infer instantly that the amplifier-speaker pairing wasn’t making any sense to my ears. There was no punch, no fidelity, no richness. The sound was super-bright. The amplifier was paired to Klipsch speakers, all around. It was painful. Before visiting Cinebels, I inquired if they had the Marantz PM series stereo amplifiers in stock. I even specifically asked if they had PM 5005 and PM 6005 in stock. They said yes. When I went there and made comments about their crappy setup with Marantz, they got pissed off, probably. Suddenly, the Marantz PM5005 and PM6005 were not in stock. How so convenient. They weren’t ashamed to lie either — said, they’re the only dealers providing 1 -year warranty for Marantz products in Chennai.

Anyways, didn’t want to spend anymore time and headed straight to Cressida AV Zone, near Besant Nagar. Another mistake. Finding their place inside an apartment building was a challenge by itself. First impressions: shady. Their website said they deal with Marantz, Denon and Cambridge Audio products. I was interested in Marantz, and asked if they had one. The owner/manager said they don’t deal with Marantz because they are problematic. Marantz has power supply issues. Marantz has quality issues. Marantz is no better than Cambridge Audio. And so on. When I asked for Cambridge Audio AM10, this is the answer I got: “AM10 is very entry-level, and they don’t sound good. We don’t even deal with such entry-level products. We’re specialists in audiophile amplifiers and we have amplifiers starting only from INR 35,000/-. If interested, we can show you one.” When I asked about Cambridge Audio service support, he said “there’s no need for one. Cambridge Audio products are not problematic”. May be Cambridge Audio should use this guy’s testimonial and stop giving warranty support. I didn’t spend another minute inside that shady place. So, according to Cressida AV Zone, Cambridge Audio AM10 is clearly not audiophile grade. There goes another audition experience.

Back to square one.

A few months passed, and a few articles/reviews later on audio forums, What HI-FI, Crutchfield, Richer Sounds and Amazon, I decided to take the plunge. Not at all the recommended way of buying audio equipment. But heck, I decided to buy — Marantz PM5005. Ordered from HiFiMart, Mumbai. Received in a week’s time, well-packed!

The setup:

Marantz PM5005 paired to JBL Control One speakers. It may not be anywhere close to the ‘audiophile’ category. But, specs first. Stuff that matters underlined.

JBL Control One:

Drivers Bass/midrange (video shielded): 100mm
Drivers Tweeter (video shielded): 12mm Titanium Laminate
Frequency Response: 80Hz – 20kHz
Power Handling (Peak/Continuous): 200W/50W
Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 100W RMS
Sensitivity: 89dB/2.83V/1m
Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms

Marantz PM5005:

Power output: 40W into 8 Ohms
Total harmonic distortion: 0.01%
Current feedback topology: Yes
Signal-to-noise: 103dB
Supported speaker impedance values: 8 Ohms and 4 Ohms

Input sources: WiDAC WiFi audio from Crystal Acoustics (primary source), and an old Sony DVD player.

Sound quality: Awesome! I’m really happy with the way this setup sounds.

Connections: Plenty of connections, including a Phono stage. I’m using the network (WiDAC), CD (DVD) and Tuner (TV) inputs, and the most used being the network.

marantz PM5005 connections review

Power: Plenty of power to drive these JBL Control Ones. I hardly go beyond the 9 O’clock position. Of course, you have to be realistic here. If you have a 300 square foot room, your listening levels are gonna go up for sure. May be you need more than 40W RMS to retain the loudness without distorting the signal.

I really don’t believe in the amplifier ‘burn-in’ tech myth. This amplifier sounded fantastic right out of the box — of course, with a few tweaks to the bass, treble tone controls to suit my listening preferences. If the ‘burn-in’ myth is true, this is going to sound even better after about 100 hours of listening.

I play a wide genre of music, in many languages, via SoundCloud and 8tracks. Thanks to Airplay on WiDAC, this is a breeze. To my ears, Marantz PM5005 is very warm sounding, and pairing it to the bright JBLs only made it a better setup. There are going to be folks that say JBLs don’t produce bass. Wrong. The bass is decent, and the punch is evident. The amplifier just shines. Stereo separation is very likable to my tastes, and in some original CDs, I can even visualize the stereo imaging in full steam.

Marantz has a way with voices. Listening to Kimbra’s Settle Down and Love in High Places, the mid-range is inexplicably sweet and the instruments don’t mess-up with her voice. Mind you, this is not some lossless FLAC or CD audio — just some random stuff (bit-rate) from the Internet. Listening to Thrift Shop (Macklemore) was a totally new experience — the voices were separate, bold and clear. Unnai Kaanadhu Naan (Viswaroopam) revealed how good the recording was — Kamal Haasan and Shankar Mahadevan sounded so true, so melodious, so rich. I repeatedly listened to these songs from Indian Ocean — Indian Ocean and Mohit Chauhan-Maaya and Bandeh – Indian Ocean.

Impressions: Luxuriously rich, smooth mids, tight bass, and solid punch — to my ears. Value for money integrated amplifier from Marantz.

A couple of years down the line, I may pair this with Q Acoustics 3020 bookshelf speakers to unleash the full potential of this amplifier. Or, may be a Dali Zensor. Until then, the audiophile in me will be content with the current setup.

Cheers to Marantz for taking me back to good old, pure 2-channel stereo music!

[Image Marantz PM5005]

8tracks’ Bad Gateway Page

Like this 502 error page, as much as I do 8tracks!

502 error page bad gateway

Protecting Yourself on Social Media

UBiquitense is a great blog to visit if you’re interested in technology or photography, and I’m grateful that they have decided to share my article on their page. After you’re done reading, why not check out their article “4 Ways to Save On Your Mobile Services Costs”?

The rise in the use of social media websites has many of us sharing much more than we ought to. Even when we are just sharing bits of information with those on our friends list, there are still sometimes ways for people with malicious intent to obtain whatever we’re posting—or worse—hack into our account. You might have seen it before: your friend starts posting videos that have some text and a link included.

The text of course will be describing some reason why you must click on the link in order to view the whole video. And when you do, you may be sent to a website that asks for your login details or some personal information to sign up for an account. Unfortunately, with posts as these, it’s not always easy to spot which ones are the scams and which aren’t since they sometimes seem very natural.

So how do you protect yourself on social media with all these threats to your security floating around? It’s actually simpler than you think. Here are a few tips that should be able to help you avoid the issues that come along with some of the more common social media security threats.

Before Logging In…

It’s always a wise choice to have your computer, smartphone, or tablet properly secured before you even log into your online accounts. To do this, you should start by installing a good anti-virus program. If you’re using Android or iOS, you can easily find one by searching the app store on your device.

Avast Free Mobile Security is a great choice for those who prefer mobile devices over PCs, and it also comes along with anti-theft features, which can help you locate or wipe the data off of your device if it ever goes missing. For PC users, I would suggest that you consider installing Panda Free Antivirus. Though it doesn’t offer anti-theft features, it has an easy to use and modern interface that is suitable for every user, no matter if they are new to computers or already have several years of experience using the net.

Another very useful security program to have installed on your device is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Just as with anti-virus programs, VPNs are available for your mobile devices as well. If you’re new to the term, a VPN is a remote server that secures your connection.

When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic is routed through the remote server, which masks your IP address and encrypts your connection. Since your online traffic is being routed through the VPN, you’re more likely to be able to remain anonymous while browsing the net and also far less likely to have your connection hacked. This is especially important for mobile device users, as it’s not uncommon to use public WiFi while on the go, which is an unsecured network.

Just like with anti-virus programs, there are lots of different VPNs to choose from and their features vary. If you need help choosing a VPN, check out for a list of some of the best.


One of the main ways people can risk their safety on social media is by sharing a little too much information. On Facebook, your location can even be put out in the open if you’re not careful, and by location, I mean your home address or the address to wherever you are at the time you post. If you’re using a VPN, you shouldn’t have to worry about that, unless you accidentally share your location by writing about it on the site.

Whenever you travel somewhere, it’s best to wait until you return home before updating your page with details about where you went. The same goes for when you’re uploading photos that might clue someone in on where you are. For example, avoid sharing photos that include business signs or anything else that might easily give away your location. Of course, it’s also wise to avoid sharing your home address too.

Even outside of social media sites, it’s always a good idea to keep your personal information to yourself as much as possible. This includes banking information, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, where you work or attend school, and anything else that might make it easy for a scammer to find you or gain access to your accounts.

Avoiding Scams

Though there are new scams emerging on a regular basis, there are a few ways you can spot scams on social media sites. Many of the scams on social media pages tend to include a hyperlink that the poster is trying to persuade you to click. It could be that they are claiming that you can receive a gift card if you click on the hyperlink, or they might be posting a video clip that will require you to visit the link in order to view it.

Sometimes the websites the links lead to appear to be completely legitimate, but they will often ask you to provide your information, such as your name, address, and sometimes even your credit card number. Giving out all of this information to untrustworthy websites can unfortunately lead to identity theft, so it’s important to take caution when clicking on any unfamiliar links. Be aware that these types of scams can sometimes be posted from your friends’ pages too, as their accounts could have been hacked.

Fake Profiles

It’s not uncommon for social media sites to host a heap of fake profiles. Some might be the common “catfish” who is just looking for extra attention and someone to talk to, but others might actually have even more malicious intentions, such as hacking into your computer or obtaining your banking information. Unfortunately it can be hard to spot the phonies from the legitimate users online, so your best bet is to either avoid direct contact with unfamiliar people on social media sites or to just act with caution at the very least.

Even if someone might seem like your friend, there’s still no reason to be sharing your banking details or other personal information with them (such as your passwords, for example).

Internet Safety

Whether it’s just social media sites you’re worried about, or you’ve considered the risks associated with using the internet as a whole, the tips mentioned should make you more aware of how you can avoid some of less favorable aspects of the net. The truth is, scammers can be lurking just about anywhere online; no one is immune to falling into their traps, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t secure your connection at the very least. When you do, as well as learn to be wary of what you encounter online, you’ll be on your way to protecting yourself, both on social media and other sites.