When it comes to high-end stereo amplifiers, there are many options on the market that promise exceptional sound quality and features. Two such amplifiers are the Arcam SA20 and the Marantz PM8006. In this article, we will compare these two amplifiers to help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
Design and Build Quality
The Arcam SA20 and Marantz PM8006 both feature sleek, minimalist designs that look great in any listening environment. The Arcam SA20 measures 17 inches wide by 13 inches deep by 4.5 inches high, while the Marantz PM8006 measures 17.3 inches wide by 14.9 inches deep by 5 inches high.
The Arcam SA20 features a brushed aluminum front panel with a large display screen that shows the current input, volume level, and other settings. It also has a row of buttons along the bottom for controlling the amplifier’s functions. The Marantz PM8006 has a similar front panel design with a brushed aluminum finish and a large volume knob in the center. It also has buttons for controlling the amplifier’s functions, but they are located on the top of the unit rather than the front.
Both amplifiers have a solid build quality and are built to last. The Arcam SA20 has a metal case and weighs 17.4 pounds, while the Marantz PM8006 has a metal chassis and weighs 26.5 pounds. The Marantz PM8006 is a bit heavier than the Arcam SA20, which may make it feel more substantial and durable.
The most important aspect of any stereo amplifier is its sound quality. Both the Arcam SA20 and the Marantz PM8006 deliver exceptional sound quality, but there are some differences to consider.
The Arcam SA20 is rated at 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 120 watts per channel into 4 ohms. It uses Class A/B amplification and has a linear power supply. It also features a Sabre ESS9038K2M DAC, which delivers exceptional digital-to-analog conversion for digital sources.
The Marantz PM8006 is rated at 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 100 watts per channel into 4 ohms. It also uses Class A/B amplification and has a toroidal power transformer. It features a high-quality AK4490EQ DAC, which delivers excellent digital-to-analog conversion for digital sources.
Both amplifiers have a neutral and transparent sound that delivers exceptional detail and clarity. However, some listeners may prefer the Arcam SA20’s slightly warmer sound, while others may prefer the Marantz PM8006’s more analytical sound.
In terms of features, the Arcam SA20 and the Marantz PM8006 both offer a range of options for connecting to different sources and controlling the amplifier’s functions.
The Arcam SA20 has four analog inputs, including a phono input for connecting a turntable. It also has three digital inputs, including two coaxial and one optical input, as well as a USB input for connecting a computer. It also has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music wirelessly from a smartphone or other device.
The Marantz PM8006 has six analog inputs, including a phono input for connecting a turntable. It also has two digital inputs, including one coaxial and one optical input, as well as a USB-B input for connecting a computer. It also has a built-in DAC and a headphone output.
Both amplifiers have tone controls for adjusting the sound to your preferences. The Arcam SA20 has a bass and treble control, while the Marantz PM8006 has a tone bypass and a loudness control.
The Arcam SA20 and Marantz PM8006 both represent a significant investment for most audiophiles. The Arcam SA20 retails for around $1,299, while the Marantz PM8006 retails for around $1,199.
While the Marantz PM8006 is slightly less expensive than the Arcam SA20, it does come with fewer features. However, it does offer a more analytical sound that some listeners may prefer.
Overall, both the Arcam SA20 and the Marantz PM8006 are exceptional stereo amplifiers that deliver exceptional sound quality and features. The decision between them ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you’re looking for a slightly warmer sound and more connectivity options, the Arcam SA20 is an excellent choice. However, if you’re looking for a more analytical sound and don’t need as many features, the Marantz PM8006 is a great alternative.
Ultimately, both amplifiers are great investments that will provide years of listening pleasure. Whichever one you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting one of the best stereo amplifiers on the market today.