Marantz PM-68 Amplifier

The acronym SE (Special Edition) is used by Marantz and other firms to refer to the audiophile grade equipment; it is highly valued by music lovers. The amplifier PM-68 has no such designation, but nevertheless it can boast excellent parameters. Retaining the soft contours of the curved front panel and the design of already proven models such as PM-66SE or PM-66KI, the amplifier PM-68 retains their two large dials of motorized volume control and input selector. The on/off status of each input is displayed with separate LEDs, which is very convenient. But unlike the aforementioned models, the PM-68 has the new tone controls, while retaining the ability of minimum intervention in the audio trace (by the way, this is one of the features of the SE-series). The DIRECT mode disables not only the tone control circuits, but also the balance dial and the record selector, and the signal is fed directly from the input to the volume control. Another external difference of the PM-68 is a marked increase in power output (up to 105 watts with 8 ohms). Such power, which was measured in continuous mode, requires a large power transformer and large-surface dissipation surface radiators. Both are present - a significant part of the weight of the amplifier (one of the heaviest ones tested - 12.3 kg) accounted for a large EI-shaped transformer and two massive radiators. Functionally, the amp is very well-equipped, and can accommodate connection to seven signal sources, including an MM-headed vinyl player. The group of jacks on the rear panel marked as PROCESSOR contains pre-amplifier output and power amplifier input. They are closed with thick connectors and, if needed, any sound processing device can be connected to them. The amplifier is supplied with an RC-68M universal remote control, which uses the available bus to run several dozen functions of the entire complex. In the manual three pages are set aside to describe these functions. It is possible to remotely turn the RC-68M on, choose any of the seven sources, adjust volume and turn MUTE mode on. Structurally, the amplifier is designed in full accordance with modern ideas. More precisely, the symmetrical design of the power amplifier with two large radiators and the symmetrical arrangement of the transformer and the component board on the chassis. On each radiator four output transistor are mounted. Special audio capacitors are used not only in the signal path - the power supply filter is equipped with two AUDIO-grade super capacitors (12000uF/63V). And all this is fixed with copper coated screws, which, obviously, the manufacturing company has in abundance, thanks to the numerous devices signed "K.I.". The sound of the previous Marantz models is known well enough, and the new amp did not disappoint any expectations. Traditionally soft, one might say luxurious, powerful bass and trebles lacking too much dryness put the PM-68 as the leader of the sound test. Of course, there will always be connoisseurs who might dislike the soft and non-aggressive sound. But we liked it. Definitely its sound corresponds to the price, and versatility regarding music of different genres is a winning feature.

Marantz PM-68 Stereo Integrated Amplifier, Power output 95 Watts into 8 ohms