Few components can boast the refined array of circuit innovation hidden in the PM8003’s chassis. All devoted to one goal – more natural music reproduction – they grew naturally from Marantz’s long history of sonic excellence.
At the beginning, Marantz engineers specified a power supply based on a large toroid transformer to control stray magnetic fields. They insisted on custom capacitors that efficiently stored and released energy to all circuits as needed. The circuits themselves? A careful amalgam of both thoroughly proven and promising new topologies. Parts selection? Not only the best under laboratory test conditions but also the best after careful evaluation by the most critical instrument of all – the human ear.
In both the preamp and power amp sections, the PM8003 uses fully-discrete, high speed current feedback circuits for minimal phase shift and better detail resolution. Even the phono input, normally a low quality after-thought in some competitor’s offerings, is a fully discrete, constant-current design optimized for moving magnet phono cartridges. Another discrete implementation – this time of Marantz’s notable HDAM® SA3 (the most recent addition to the High Definition Amplifier Module series) – performs critical voltage to current conversions throughout the PM8003.
Most inputs benefit from a common buffer circuit that minimizes unwanted interactions between source and amp. The CD input enjoys a separate buffer for even better isolation.
The amplifier section in particular is optimized for high instantaneous peak current capability. This involves both a mechanical and electrical redesign of previous approaches to minimize the length of power supply lines and their potential interference. The resulting amplifiers boast individual power supply segments mounted on the same heat sink extrusions as the output transistors themselves. An advantage is the ability to make the power supply traces wider and more efficient but the real benefit is the PM8003’s ability to respond instantly and crisply to musical transients that lesser amplifiers would simply blur.
For even more fastidious listening, the PM8003 includes a “Source Direct” switch that bypasses balance and tone control circuits. And the Record Out terminals sport their own buffer for enhanced clarity with your choice of recording devices.
In the PM8003, even the pre-out/main-in terminals serve an additional purpose. A convenient front panel switch optimizes the main-in terminals for use with a separate surround processor and disables the PM8003’s front panel controls (input selection, volume, balance, etc.). Another three-second push on the Power Amp Direct button restores the PM8003 to normal stereo operation.
The front panel uses a carefully chosen combination of aluminum and glass-reinforced resin to create a distinctive three dimensional appearance. Indirect reflecting blue LEDs indicating input selection, etc., heighten that elegant appearance.
Small details, those affecting both connectivity and convenience, add to the PM8003’s appeal. Rear panel speaker connectors, for example, are Marantz original designs. Rear panel input and output terminals are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance and better conductivity.
Aluminum front panel knobs add solidity while the high precision motorized volume control responds instantly to both touch and the PM8003’s included remote control.
As a proper foundation for this performance- and feature-rich component, the chassis itself includes a triple-layer bottom plate to insure long-term alignment and vibration control. In short, the Marantz PM8003 provides exceptional music reproduction for the most discriminating listener. And it doesn’t short-change the home theater enthusiast, either. But that’s only in keeping with the Marantz tradition. After all, man does not exist by sound alone. Even if we’d like to think so.