Marantz PM7000N review
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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019 winner. An entertaining just-add-speakers stereo streaming system
A practical, well furnished just-add-speakers streaming system that impresses with its entertaining performance
- Big, spacious and insightful sound
- Class-leading clarity
- Solid streaming platform
- Some plasticky on-unit buttons
The world is now accustomed to the hi-fi equivalent of Mary Poppins’ magic bag; components that miraculously (and conveniently) pack everything into one, compact box. The Marantz PM7000N may not house a hatstand or a lamp within its chassis, but it does pack in 60W per channel of amplification, a DAC, network module and access to a host of music streaming services.
Pair some decent standmounters or floorstanders with this just-add-speakers system and, as the no-nonsense nanny might say, “there’s the whole world at your feet”.
Given the familiar full-width design Marantz has persisted with for decades, you might question how new the Marantz PM7000N actually is – especially since the brand has adopted a more contemporary look for similarly spec’d systems, such as the Melody X. But as Poppins herself noted, you should never judge things by their appearance.
Of course, a streaming system is no leap in the dark for Marantz – the Japanese brand has a rich history in stereo amps, network players have become a staple in its two-channel offering, and Marantz has squeezed both into one package before. So, it’s no surprise to see Marantz’s proprietary technology inside the PM7000N.
Its pre-amplifier and phono circuit use the HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technology that’s been a key staple of Marantz kit since the 1990s. The newly developed preamplifier section leverages the brand’s latest electronic volume control, while the power amp section is fully discrete and the network module and digital board shielded to prevent interference.
Inputs USB, coaxial, 2x optical, 4x analogue
Outputs analogue, subwoofer, 6.3mm headphone
Max output 120W
Hi-res 24-bit/192kHz PCM, 5.6MHz DSD
OLED display Yes
In an effort to simplify the signal path and reduce component count, Marantz has integrated a field-effect transistor (FET) into the input stage of the new integrated phono design. And, as with its PM6006, Marantz has chosen a toroidal transformer here, as opposed to an El core, due to its greater efficiency and low mechanical vibration. There are new, upgraded speaker terminals too.
The PM7000N uses an Asahi-kasei AK4490EQ DAC over the Ciruss Logic CS4398 chip found in the likes of its PM7005 and PM6006 amplifiers, allowing for 24-bit/192kHz PCM streaming across the digital inputs (USB, coaxial and two optical) and music servers, and 5.6MHz DSD streaming across the USB input and music servers. For better performance, an Analog Mode can be used to disable all digital sections when not in use.
While those digital connections, plus four analogue inputs (one of which is a newly designed phono), allow you to hook up external components such as a CD player, turntable or USB stick, there’s plenty of source material within the Marantz itself. The PM7000N leverages the hi-res, multi-room HEOS platform created by Marantz and sister brand Denon, giving owners direct access to networked music servers, internet radio, and several music streaming services including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Amazon over wi-fi or ethernet.