Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Diego Estan,

I’m reading all the articles on SoundStage! Access with great interest, and I would appreciate your advice. I recently bought a pair of Triangle Borea BR03 speakers, and now I need to decide on an amplifier to drive them.

My budget is quite small—about $500, maybe to a maximum of $600. But I found an opportunity to buy a Marantz PM5005 integrated amplifier for $300 (in USD); used, of course. Do you think it would pair well with my Borea BR03s? I’m asking because I don’t know how the Marantz’s timbre will match with them. The Triangles seem easy to drive, but I read that special attention should be given to their pairing with an amplifier.

And, if you feel the Marantz PM5005 isn’t quite what I should get for these speakers, what would you suggest? By the way, my room has almost exactly the dimensions of your listening room, meaning 4.5 meters (15′) by 3.5 meters (12′).

Thanks from the heart,

Thanks for reading my review. I drove the BR03s with an NAD C 316BEE integrated amplifier, which, like the PM5005, is rated at 40Wpc into 8 ohms. The PM5005 is also rated at 55Wpc into 4 ohms. NAD doesn’t give a 4-ohm specification for the C 316BEE, but I measured it as 65Wpc into 4 ohms. So, both amps are very close in terms of power, and I had no trouble driving the BR03s to very loud volumes in my room. As you say, they are easy to drive, so I suspect that the Marantz would have no trouble either.

In terms of matching, you’ll only get an objective answer from me. For example, if you find the BR03s too bright (and I did at times find them to be a bit bright, but I loved their midrange), a different amp (or DAC, or cables) will not solve your problem. Taming a bright speaker can only truly be accomplished by treating the room acoustically (with sound-absorbing materials, for example) and playing with speaker positioning. If it still sounds bright after that, room EQ may be the answer; if that fails, then the only solution may be a different pair of speakers.

I apologize if that’s not quite what you wanted to hear, but it’s my honest answer. . . . Diego Estan