Marantz PM-94BL Integrated Amplifiers

PM-94BL

140 Watt Integrated Amplifier (1989-1991)

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
juan   AudioPhile [Apr 19, 2011]

MARANTZ PM94 Integrated Amplifier.
I have owner this amplifier 2 or 3 years...I am impresed because is build like a thank, and beatifull finished. Really looks awesound.
But the soud for my taste is STERIL...I am surprised reading other opinions likke "tube sound, ...the best amplifier...etc...
For me is a BAD AMPLIFIER because it is NOT EMOTIONAL. I have turn off the amplifier several times because I do not like their sound.
I am big fan of tubes, and I have owned more than 20 amplifiers, jadis,Air tight,Audio research,Naim,Monarchy,Audion,Pass Aleph,Triode 845,triode 211,etc...All these are much better IMHO.
Regards

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Sabai   AudioPhile [Feb 01, 2010]

Hello,

The reviewer who suggested replacing the PM-94 U-jumpers (amp/preamp) hit the nail on the head. I was fortunate enough to pick up a PM-94 in beautiful condition recently. I was very happy with the sound but after reading his review I bought 4 RCA plugs -- nothing fancy, $8 for 4 -- and had my local electrical supply store solder in solid copper wire -- I had some in-wall 13 AWG lying around. I figured, what do I have to lose? The result -- my system has been transformed. The detail in the highs is now stunning and the bass is much deeper and tighter. The mids are equally improved. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these hard-to-find units this may be the best tweak you will ever make to it -- and it costs next to nothing if you want to make the upgrade by yourself. Maybe Goertz interconnects or another top brand (I prefer Synergistic Research) will do an even better job. I'll find out later when I add better wiring to my system. But, for the moment, this DIY upgrade is very, very impressive. It has created an incredible improvement across the entire frequency range. Delightful -- and totally unexpected.

Sabai

My System:
Marantz PM-94 integrated amplifier
Marantz PM-14 MKII KI soon to be added as a back-up or primary unit
Marantz CD5001 CD player soon to be upgraded to the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD player
Totem Rainmaker speakers
DIY interconnects and cables soon to be upgraded to Synergistic Research

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kb0000   AudioPhile [Jun 10, 2009]

A very hot running PM-94 means the bias is set wrong & you are asking for burning out the FETs which are very expensive to replace. Get it checked yesterday.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jasonbf   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 08, 2007]
Strength:

MosFet output runiing pure Class A to 35 watts, with Class B transition to 140 watts for dynamic peaks
Tonality like no other transistor amp I've ever heard...
Superb phono preamp...MC with high quality step-up transformer
Pre out / amp in allowing external connections
Direct in for Phono/CD bypassing all processing

Weakness:

Runs VERY hot...Supplied cage does not provide adequate ventilation...
No remote

The best way to sum up the Marantz PM-94 is to quote Sam Tellig from the September 1988 Stereophile..."Without a doubt, this $2900 model is the finest integrated amplifier I've auditioned, and the most beautifully finished, beautifully built integrated I've ever seen...The midrange is glorious...The PM-94 sound Class A...The PM-94 has a beguiling sweetness that can only be described as musical...It is almost tubelike--I say 'almost' because it is sweeter than most tube amps I've heard."
With that overview, its obvious that this is not a muscle amp...It is MosFet and pure Class A to 35 watts...It is sweet and subtle like SETs, not dissonant like most Class A/B bipolar transistors...If you obsess over tonalily like most reviewers obsess over resolution you will love it...It reproduces the human voice like no other transistor amp I've ever heard...In the final analysis, of course, it's all a matter of personal taste...
One note of caution...The PM-94, like all pure Class A amps, runs VERY hot...The supplied cage, while gorgeous with its rosewood sidepanels, does not provide adequate ventilation...If you search the forums, there are reports of solder joint failure due to heat fatigue...Those people had to dismantel their units and resolder the faulty connections...The solution is to remove the cover and run the unit open...It doesn't look pretty, but it runs much cooler, and should last indefinitely...Mine has had no problems after 15 years...
December 2007 Update...Since the initial review, the unit has been moved into an open location where the uncovered structure was visually intrusive...A cooling fan solution was devised...Two 120 mm ultra quiet, low speed (900 rpm) fans, gold grills to match the PM-94, large foam rubber feet, and a wall-wart plugged directly into the variable AC outlet of the unit...With the case restored and the two gold trimmed fans on the top, it looks superb and very high-tech...All the cage metal on top is now cool to the touch while on, and the fans are not audible beyond one foot!
One other "tweak" I failed to mention in the original review...Tellig, in his 1988 commentary, opined that the preamp section was perhaps not the equal of the output amp...What I had found was that the little U-jumpers on the rear of the unit were the culprit...I replaced them years ago with .5m of Goertz silver micro-purl interconnects...The difference was not subtle; the PM-94 was transformed!
A few words regarding the phono section...It is superb...The sound texture is remarkably open and expansive...Tone quality is entirely consistent with the unit as a while...Classical piano is rich and resonant; voices are those of real human beings, and strings (the Achilles heel of transistors) are completely natural...
An all around winner for musicality...

Customer Service

Never needed

Similar Products Used: Accuphase P-400 amp...Manually switchable between 50 watts pure Class A and 200 watts Class A/B
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ed   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 14, 2002]
Strength:

Well built. Great sound!

Weakness:

No remote...(I'm just lazy)

WOW!! What a great purchase. I decided to unload my Mcintosh system that took up way too much room and buy this intergrated amp. Needless to say I don't miss the stuff at all!! From the moment I fired this amp up and threw some music in the cd player I found the sound to be as clear and detailed as the mac. It has a look that shows that it was well built. I cannot say enough about this amp. If you find one buy it....You won't be let down!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Timothy Reed   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 2000]
Strength:

Raw power....I have Power hungry speakers and this does the job.

Weakness:

None detected yet

It is evident to me that there were not too many of these animals made. It's almost next too impossible to find any info or even someone @ an audio shop that is familiar with the product. I think that is good news for those of us that want an exceptional product at a reasonable price (if you can find one). This Amp is not really an integrated amp (other than it being in one case). There are outputs for the preamp and inputs for the amp on the back connected with a few bars. In other wards, you can use this product as a stand-alone preamp or amp. This Idea really appealed to me because I will eventually use the amp as two channels for a home theater. I've never used a product that was so versatile from a sonic perspective. Ever type of music as well as movies sound phenomenal. This piece is a great stepping stone and can be a valued part of your ever growing sound system for years to come....you will not be disappointed

Similar Products Used: Adcom GFA 555, Adcom GFA 555 II, QSC 1400 with a bunch of different pre amps: Adcom, Dynaco, Rane, and Acurus.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John S.   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 03, 2001]
Strength:

Well-built quality. Seems to be a "heavy-duty" amp/preamp.
Beautiful "Marantz" appearance. I've had this PM-94 now for several years - very reliable and trouble-free.

Weakness:

The amp section runs as Class-A mode, so it runs very hot to the touch; seems to run nearly as hot as a tube-type amp.
Be sure to have at least 1-inch of ventilation space above it to help dissappate all of that heat.

These are hard to find on the pre-owned market. I saw a preowned one offered on EBAY a couple of weeks ago and it sold for nearly $500 US.
I love my PM-94 and it drives my pair of 1.6QR Maggies' 4-ohm loads just dandy. Audiophile friends of mine says it sounds great, like a premium high-powered tube rig. Possibly the MOSFET output transistors running pure Class-A mode are the contributing factor.
The preamp section handles various phono cartridges quite well. A quality CD player will play transparently through this preamp section.
The Marantz PM-94 may very well be the best integrated amp that was ever produced, and certainly seems to compete with most any preamp and amp separates in terms of transparency, power and headroom. My audiophile friends say that it also sounds "musical".
If the signals are excellent going into its RCA input jacks, then those same signals are also excellent coming out of its speaker terminals.
I sincerely believe that Marantz should recreate and seriously market the PM-94 integrated amp again. It is THAT good of an audiophile product.
140 watts RMS/8ohms-per-channel of pure class-A musical delight!

Similar Products Used: Compared it with listening tests of several of Today's high-end amps and preamps, both tube and solid state.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 04, 1999]

This sweet sounding amp made in the late 80s is one of the few integrated which rivals seperate components.It is the best integrated that Marantz has ever made and it will blow away most any other integrated past or present.Very good build quality-copper chassis and premium parts and mosfet outputs.Can be a bargin on the used market.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Robert   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 1999]

This is a wonderful amplifier. It is built like a tank, has defeatable tone controls, 140W/channel Quarter A , copper dipped chassis, etc., etc., etc. If you need exact information, e-mail me or check out complete reviews:Hi-Fi News and Record Review Feb. 87, Stereophile Sept. 88, Audio Dec. 88. This monster has the best midrange I have heard in anything less than upper end tube amps in the dealer showroom. It is a late 80's product, so the used price should be reasonable. New it was about $3000; I picked mine up for $400 (an unbelievable deal). Grab one if you can, there were only a few made. The US version is slightly different than it's UK counterpart. Enjoy the music!

220WPC at 4 ohms
140WPC at 8 ohms
THD 0.01%
IMD 0.01%
Damping at 8 ohms 200
FR 10Hz to 200kHz
S/N Ratio 97db
MM and MC High/Low
Preamp out/Main amp in
Jacks-Phono,CD,Tuner,2 Aux,2 sets DAT/Tape and 2 VCR
51 Lbs.

Associated Equipment-
Marantz PM-94
Marantz CD-63mkII
Musical Fidelity X10-D
Denon DP-51F with multiple MC and MM cartridges
Marantz SD-57
Denon DRM-650S
Snell EIIIs with Tekna Sonics
Audioquest Crystal IIs
Straight Wire Maestros
Audioquest Feet, AT616 Feet and Mod Squad cones
Premier Rack

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott Fadeley   Audiophile [Mar 30, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent amplifier. Loads of power and built to last.

Weakness:

Had minor problem with delay circuit when powering up. Happens on a very rare occasion. Slap the right side of amp, solves the problem. Used electronic cleaner--fixed it.

I purchased this amp in 1991 for $700 new. It listed for $2000. I also purchased the matching tuner. I have used this amp for all of these years with no problems (except as listed above in weaknesses). This amp is built to last and has features that only high end amps employ. A cooper plated chassis, Mosfet circuitry, Main-in/Preamp-out for using as a preamplifier. I have connected my powered subwoofer to these inputs rether than wiring through the speaker terminals. This is a super great integrated amplifier. It weighs 51 pounds. It also has a separate bass/treble for each channel. A CD direct switch bypasses all of the potentiometers for added clarity. You can actually hear the difference when using CD direct. When I purchased it you could get either Rosewood or Oak sides. I chose the Oak. If I remember correctly, you could also get it in Black or Goldtone front, which Marantz is noted for.

Similar Products Used: Have matching STA-54 Tuner.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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