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Marantz MM-9000 versus MA-500 separate monoblock amplifiers?


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Al Roeth

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Posted November 24 2011 - 04:38 AM

I've been looking at both the Marantz MM-9000 and MA-500 separates and the specs for both are fairly close. The MM-9000 is 150wx5 RMS, 170w EIA 8 Ohm in a single chassis. The MA-500 monoblock is 125W RMS, 170W EIA 8 Ohm Both have very favorable reviews from over the years and owners of both seem to have been very pleased with their performance and sound quality. So I don't think one could really go wrong with either one. The MM-9000 is going for about $350-450 used, and one can get an MA-500 for about $100 used, sometimes as a set of 3-5 units for a little less as a bundle.. So the price is comparable for five channels. So, I'm wondering if there is a significant difference in sound quality or performance between the MM-9000 with its single (albeit hefty) power supply, or the MA-500 amplifiers with their individual monoblock design? Does anyone have any experience owning or testing the MM-9000 against the MA-500 monoblocks? Thanks, Al

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Al Roeth

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Posted November 25 2011 - 02:24 PM

Everyone comatose from turkey-day? :rolleyes: Any thoughts or experience? I'd also be interested to know if anyone has compared the MM-9000 to the MA-700 separates, which are rated at 200W at 8Ohm Thanks, Al

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted November 26 2011 - 02:13 AM

Everyone comatose from turkey-day? :rolleyes: Any thoughts or experience? I'd also be interested to know if anyone has compared the MM-9000 to the MA-700 separates, which are rated at 200W at 8Ohm Thanks, Al

Don't know much about the MM9000 - there are are other threads - e.g. http://www.hometheat...th-the-purchase I suspect as it is noted it the above thread that it does share power supplies so much will depend on what you will use it with (speakers - efficiency, impedence), the environment (size of the room) and how loud you play things. I have an MA500 on the rear center in the main system. I had a much higher end amp on the rear center at one point and the MA500 does a good job. I'm using a 4 ohm speakers so it is 175W and plenty of power for my needs.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Al Roeth

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Posted November 26 2011 - 03:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it very much. I have initially planned to use the MM-9000 or MA-500 units for my side and rear surrounds, and the MA-700 for the front three channels. However, the MM-9000 sits nicely (from a power perspective at 150W/ch x 5) right in between the MA-500 and MA-700 and I wonder if that 50W deficit and shared power supply really makes that much difference. That's why I was hoping someone had at one point tried an MM-9000 running all 5 channels versus using he monoblocks. Maybe the difference is minimal? Hard to know without trying I guess. Thanks again for taking the time to drop a reply. Al

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted November 26 2011 - 11:27 AM

Many moons ago, I had a Rotel RMB1085 in the main system with Thiel 2.3s as mains, a Thiel SCS2 center and PSB surrounds. The Rotel was rated at 5 x 100W and in my very large room I had to get another amp (ended up with a Bryston 4BST at the time). I ended up using the Rotel on the center and surrounds and it worked great for that purpose. As noted it will depend on other factors. If I had an MM-9000 going back in time, it probably would not be enough in the system and room I had at the time. You could always try it as you noted. I never got a 5-channel entry level high end amp after that and if in 2 secondary systems where I have receivesr, I use an outboard amp to supplement them.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Al Roeth

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Posted November 27 2011 - 05:18 AM

Thanks for the insight Phil. Much appreciated. Al

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   fyngyrz

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Posted December 09 2011 - 05:05 PM

The short answer is that the MA500's will easily and thoroughly kick the MM9000's fanny under high powered listening conditions. Why? Simple. Look at the mm9000's specifications: 400 watts input power. That tells you the size of the power supply. Now... you have five channels of audio, each potentially demanding 150 watts of power (that's 750 watts), what do you think that 400 watt power supply will do? It'll either blow a fuse/breaker, or it'll sag, resulting in distortion, lower power output, and general Bad Stuff. In contrast, if five MA500's are asked to deliver full power all at the same time, they will simply do it. Perfectly. Every time. Now, you may be asking yourself, when would I ask for full power from all the mm9000 channels. Yes, well, when would you? Not too likely. But... even THREE channels putting out 150 watts each will overwhelm that mm9000 power supply; or even four channels just asking for 100 watts each. Remember, when the power supply is sucking 400 watts from the wall, the amp doesn't get 400; the power supply isn't 100% efficient (it's close) and the amps aren't either (not that close, figure about 80% or so.) But again, five MA500's, and you just don't need to worry about it. So, if given the choice and the price is essentially the same and you know the MA500's have been well taken care of... the MA500's are the way I would suggest you go. Unless, of course, you can afford MA700's. :) --Ben