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Marantz Pearls

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Crystalarts's picture
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Hi everyone,

Question regarding Marantz Pearls SACD and AMP (NOT THE LITES).

1. How do they compare to Naim offerings?

 

2. If you were to compare other amps and sacd  players, what would be a fair comparison to the Marantz?

 

3. I am being offered the SACD and AMP together for 3500 pounds (used). Is this a good price considering they are limited edition (only 500 of each were made).?

 

4. Anyone tested them or own them that can give me a good idea of their performance? I have 683's being driven by a Denon 1510 at the moment.

cannibal_ox77's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

I haven't compared them to Naim but at that price the Lites probably offer better value, if you like the Marantz sound.

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AUDIO: iMac / iPad2 (ALAC/AAC) > Airplay > Marantz NA7004 > Chord Codac Plus > Audiolab 8200CDQ (pre-amp) > Chord Chameleon Plus > Marantz PM-KI Pearl Lite (power amp) > Chord Odyssey 2 > Monitor Audio RS6

VISUAL: Sky+ HD / PS3 / Marantz UD5007Marantz NR1504 > Chord Silver Plus HDMI > Samsung UE40EH6030 (NR1504 L-R pre-outs into the 8200CDQ via Chord Cobra Plus)

OTHER: Vita Audio r4, Bose sound dock, iPod Classic 160gb, B&W P5 headphones

 

Al ears's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

They will sound different to the Naim equivalent (only there really isn't an equivalent) obviously.

Can you audition them? If you can and the sound is acceptabe to you then snap them up, they are collectors items and, quite possibly, a future classic.

If you can get them for nearer the 3 grand mark you will have a bargain.

I heard the combo years ago but unfortunately, at the time, they were way outside my budget, otherwise they would appear in my sig. now.  Smile

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Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

Where do you suppose they would sit in the Naim range if you had to place them somewhere? 

BigH's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

Have not heard the Pearl but have heard the lites which were OK, I may have bought the cdp but think there are better choices amp. wise. Price seems a bit high as I think there were £2000 new each, I would not want to pay more than £3000. I would aslo consider some British amps. Like Creek, Sugden, Exposure etc. Can you hear them? I would probably go for a Pearl Lite cd and then look around for decent amps.

 

What speakers do you have?

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

B&W 683s

BigH's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

Crystalarts wrote:

B&W 683s

 

I would probably look to change the speakers as well then.

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

What's wrong with the 683s?

James7's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

Pearls were £5000 new as a pair and are a major step up over the Lites. If they are in very good condition £3500 doesn't seem a bad price though obviously if you can talk them down to £3000 all the better. The Marantz sound is quite different from Naim - this isn't a matter of better or worse, just different, so if you like the Naim approach I doubt the Pearls will be quite for you. Personally, I would take the Pearls given the chance. Whether they would be a good match for the 683s I cannot say - if you can try them and see it would be good to hear your views.

Al ears's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

James7 wrote:

Pearls were £5000 new as a pair and are a major step up over the Lites. If they are in very good condition £3500 doesn't seem a bad price though obviously if you can talk them down to £3000 all the better. The Marantz sound is quite different from Naim - this isn't a matter of better or worse, just different, so if you like the Naim approach I doubt the Pearls will be quite for you. Personally, I would take the Pearls given the chance. Whether they would be a good match for the 683s I cannot say - if you can try them and see it would be good to hear your views.

Should hope they were a step up over the lites. They came out first and would KO the lites on build quality alone let alone sound quality.

They will drive the 683's and just about any other speaker with ease.

Point taken that in their presence the 683's might be a bit of a mismatch on the price front.

I don't think you can 'slot them in' to an equivalent position on the Naim assemblage as they are just different. You'd have to do it on a price-as-new equivalent I guess. However, you couldn't do that really when you factor in the rarity of the Marantz Pearls.

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Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

1. How much of the price is actual quality vs limited edition?

I guess i am trying to understand the pricing of the Pearl. Were they good value at full price? I understand that due to Marantz/Denon having a larger market share and working on more mid and entry level stuff, they are able to get cheaper materials compared to the more boutique outfits which could mean that the Marantz are cheap for what you get. then again they may not pass these savings on to the consumer and of course due to the "limited edition + KI name, they could inflate their prices for the model.

2. What are the main sound differences between Marantz and Naim. 

Being new to HiFi, and not getting a chance to actually test equipment where i live (Qatar), I ask because there IS a Naim distributer as well as Denon/Marantz.Everyone talks about the DIFFERENT sound, but what are these differences in sounds generally?

3. Given the option would you go for a Marantz Pearl at 3 - 3.5k pounds or spend 3 - 3.5k pounds on a new Naim amp (supernait intergrated for example)?

4. I currently have the Denon 1510 amp which was 1k upon release. Would the B&W 683's sound better with an upgrade to Naim or Marantz pearl?

I take your point about upgrading the speakers, but I can do that another time. I dont often see pearls for sale so am considering amps at this time.

5. The Denon 15010 has capability to be used as Pre amp or Power amp. The pearls also have this option. Is it possible therefore to use the two together as a pre/power amp combo? if so, would the superior marantz be better used as pre or power?

6. I have a Pro-ject Carbon Debut that i play LP's on by the way and a rubbish Denon 510 CD player although i ripped all CDs to AIFF on iMac and stream these through my ipad (Homeshare) into CA DACMagic Plus. Which leads to another question. DACMagic plus vs pearl as DAC?

 

By the way, i listen to Classic Rock, Brit Pop from the 70's (Kinks etc) & Prog mostly......followed by metal and some acoustic stuff.

 

thanks for all your input by the way, really appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

I will give them a try with the 683's if i get the chance

James7's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

Lots of questions there!

i don't think the limited edition nature of the Pearls was a key element in the pricing. If you look at where the Pearls sat within the Marantz range I don't think they were over priced, though whether any CD player / amp combo can ever be worth £5000 is a different question that depends entirely on individual circumstances.

You need to audition before parting with that kind of money I feel but in answer to your second question, this is generalizing of course, but the Marantz house sound tends to edge towards the warn side of neutral and to be un fatiguing; midrange tends to be particularly strong, particularly vocals; the sound tends to be a little fuller than some others. The Naim sound is generally leaner and arguably with better separation of instruments - more precise, perhaps if less organic; traditionally Naim equipment has been associated with particular strengths in pace and rhythm, though I think it fair to say this may be truer of older Naim gear. Personally I would take the Pearls but there are plenty of people out there who would prefer Naim, and plenty who would say Naim equipment might be better suited to your taste in music, though I share a lot of your tastes and, as I said, I would still go with the Pearls if I had the chance.

if you do buy the Pearl amp, it will outperform your Denon both as a pre and power and I cannot imagine why you would want to combine the two. The DAC in the SACD player will outperform the DacMagic too I would have thought.

Speakers wise, of course the 683s might not show off the Pearls' abilities as fully as some more expensive models, but that's not really the point. The key is will they work together well. As you say, you can always consider upgrading them later on. This is where I cannot help you - I think the 683s might well work well with the Pearls, but I cannot say for certain.

Best of luck.

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

wow! awesome reply to my massive list of questions! Smile ! thanks so much! really appreciate it!

 

 

anyone else got anything to add?

BigH's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

What is the buying situation, I take it these are used Pearls? Can you hear them?

I would be more inclined to buy if you could get them for £3K, as if you did not want to keep them you should be able to sell them on for no loss.

Really choosing between Naim and Pearls is down to your taste, some love Naim and some don't? At that price level I think there are other options.

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Marantz Pearls

You mention other options... could you name some? unfortunately my options are limited out here but i might be able to find something.