Marantz PM7200 Amplifier

The big and solid device, weighing more than 12 kilos (26 lbs), the high front panel anodized in black (there is also gold yellow variant) of one piece ground plate of metal and large point handles of selector and volume. PM7200 looks solidly and delicately and it is typical for all devices of Marantz brand.

The amplifier is rich on commutation means. It is equipped with phonocorrectors for dynamic reproducer, which has inputs and outputs for work with external sound processor or equalizer.

Examining the front panel of PM7200, you will see a light emitting diode indicator of sources in the centre, loading selector, convenient revolving recording commutator, timbre block and button of its disconnection in the low part. Near by the button you will see one more button, which is used for conversion of amplifier to the class A.

Availability of such a function in the device of average price category immediately provokes curiosity and a lot of questions. Even "related" classes of amplification A and AB differ from one another not only by standing current of output transistor, but by circuit manner in the main as well. Probably, engineers of Marantz succeeded to create a universal stage, which can be transformed into one mode to another. But, what if this function is created for business purposes? However, Marantz is not a company of that sort, and it will not agree to compromise for outward appearances.

PM7200 has one more special feature. It can not work with low resistance load. The note on the back panel indicates that in case of connection of one pair, it is acceptable to use the loudspeakers with resistance not more than 8 ohm. If you use two pairs, they can be parallelized, accordingly, not more than 16 ohm. According to the description, output stages of amplifier are powered from the source of linear load characteristic. This gives some advantages from the point of view of sound quality, but makes the device really critical to loadings.

Listen. Begin with a standard AB regime. The common tone balance is normal, dynamic possibilities are good, the sound resolution impresses. The scene is large-scale, but not exact. The sources are well localized, but plan separation is not discrete enough. Generally, we have smooth, dynamic, detailed and spatial sound without any serious faults.

Nevertheless there are separate faults during sounding. Firstly, there is some crudity in transmitting the dynamic picture. PM7200 does not have problems with feeding the powerful passages, but it lacks the accuracy for examining thin superimposed on the background the dynamic components. Secondly, there are signs of a light color and high frequencies are stressed, but there is not a discrete clarity. Probably, the amplifier use the quite deep circuits of negative back coupling or a sound section is too long with a lot of separating stages. Is that really compromises?

Now, let's move to class A. The tone balance remains the same, but music balance is changing. The voice range is emphasized, the acoustic instruments sounds rich and interesting. Violins, flutes and clarinets and other musical instruments with rich range and high frequency components stop to sound formally and acquire heat and breath. In the middle the signs of color are disappeared, the upper level becomes more calm and fresh, the scene is deeper. The micro dynamics is really good, but absolute dynamics becomes worse; PM7200 can not cope with powerful orchestral tutti.

So let it be. For loud and quick-moving music, we have the first mode, for a quiet and gentle - class A.

Marantz PM7200 Integrated Stereo Amplifier, Power output 105 Watts into 8 ohms