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Marantz PM-11S3

Reference Series stereo integrated amplifier

5 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers

Item # 642PM11S3

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Our take on the Marantz PM-11S3

You were there once. Maybe when you were young, and "stereo stores" were still common, you went in and stared at — the Marantz. It didn't matter what it was — power amp, preamp, receiver — you just knew it sounded (and looked) great. Or perhaps amazing. And you wanted each and every product. But you were young and hungry, and Marantz wasn't an option for you then.

Nose... pressed... against glass

You were there once. Maybe when you were young, and "stereo stores" were still common, you went in and stared at — the Marantz. It didn't matter what it was — power amp, preamp, receiver — you just knew it sounded (and looked) great. Or perhaps amazing. And you wanted each and every product. But you were young and hungry, and Marantz wasn't an option for you then.

The Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Series integrated amplifier's interior

The Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Series integrated amplifier's interior is a thing of beauty.

Tradition — paired with the drive to innovate

Perhaps it's an option now. The Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Series integrated amplifier hasn't strayed from the traditions that have made Marantz one of the most respected names in all of consumer electronics. This component is a standard-setter. They call it "Reference Series" for a reason. Start with the concept of pure, uncolored sound, then uncompromisingly set out to achieve it with the best materials, under the guidance of the industry's best innovators. Pay attention to what works. Only make refinements if they improve the sound. Don't add features just because you can.

Toughness meets elegance

So take a look at the PM-11S3. It's streamlined, beautiful, and battle-tank tough. The substantial, black anodized aluminum casement is so sturdy that the 5mm aluminum top plate could probably protect you from flying shrapnel. Cancel that — at almost 60 pounds, it's not going to be easy to pick up. So what does that weight have to do with great sound?

Great sounds needs clean power

Well, at its most basic level, an integrated amp's performance is tied to how quickly, transparently, and efficiently it manages large amounts of power. So everything along the path is optimized, from the robust power supply, to the massive toroidal transformer (there's a good chunk of the weight) that's wound with oxygen-free copper, to the 40 individual Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) assemblies that maximize bandwidth, dynamic range, and response time. These things set your music free, because the matched preamp and amplifier stages have the ready power to let your speakers reproduce even the most challenging elements of the music you enjoy.

40 HDAM assemblies in the amp ensure instant, clean, full-bandwidth power

40 HDAM assemblies in the amp ensure instant, clean, full-bandwidth power.

This power path is supported by a rigid, vibration-resistant chassis that's copper-plated on all the internal surfaces for maximum resistance to RF and electrical interference. The dual layer bottom panel completes the envelope of rigidity that isolates the unit from mechanical interference.

The Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Series integrated amplifier

The Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Series integrated amplifier offers configuration flexibility.

Connections for configuration options

Connectivity is another place where the attention to detail shows. Six unbalanced RCA inputs will host your other system components like turntables, CD players and more. A seventh input pair bypasses the preamp stage, so you can use the PM-11S3 to drive the left and right front speakers in a home theater surround setup. And a balanced XLR input pair allows you to connect high-end and professional components. Plus, a switch on the back panel allows you to use two PM-11S3's in a four-channel configuration to bi-amp your speakers. The speaker binding posts are made of high-purity copper to ensure that no power is wasted on its way to your speakers.


Product Highlights:

  • 100 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.01% THD
  • 200 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.01% THD
  • HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module)-SA3 modules in preamp and amplifier sections
  • digitally controlled analog volume adjustment system
  • flexible configuration options:
    • conventional integrated amp
    • paired with an identical unit for dual-component four-channel bi-amping
    • left/right speaker power amp in a home theater setup
  • massive toroidal transformer wound with oxygen-free copper for maximum headroom and operational stability
  • phono section features constant current feedback gain stage for flawless musical reproduction from your vinyl recordings
  • frequency response 5-120,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 109dB line (XLR), 108dB line (RCA), 88dB phono (MM), 76dB phono (MC)
  • 7 RCA audio inputs (including phono input for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges)
  • balanced 3-pin XLR input
  • 1 RCA preamp output, 2 RCA record outputs
  • 2 sets of high-purity copper binding-post speaker connectors with A/B switching
  • biamp/stereo switch lets you biamp your speakers using two PM-11S3s for even higher-fidelity sound
  • full-size headphone output
  • remote control
  • rigid copper-plated chassis with 5mm aluminum top plate and dual-layer bottom plate
  • detachable power cord
  • black anodized finish
  • 17-3/8"W x 6-9/16"H x 18-3/4"D
  • weight: 58.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Integrated amplifier
  • 5.5' Power cord
  • Remote control (RC001PMSA)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • User Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
  • US Warranty information. Camada Warranty information

Marantz PM-11S3 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Marantz PM-11s3

Charles from Colorado Springs, CO on 9/1/2016

I've had the Marantz PM-11s3 for four months now and it continues to amaze! Before I purchased the Marantz I demo'd it against other Integrateds at it price point... I listened to the NAD Master Series M2, the Hegel H360, and the Deviate 120 and hands down the Marantz was a clear winner to my ear! The Marantz PM-11s3 is just so fast and precise its hard for its competition to keep up! Now one might think that that leads to a sterile listening experience but its anything but that! The Marantz delivers in a warm and musical way. It has beautiful mids and solid punch! The highs are crisp but never in your face... The PM-11s3 delivers that "Marantz" sound that the Marantz Reference famous for! The PM-11s3 is a clear winner, I hope you all will get to enjoy listening to it to!

Pros: Fast and precise with punch while still being incredibly musical... And it's dead silent!

Cons: Expensive and heavy

An impressive work of art!

Russell from Oak Point, TX on 8/16/2016

This is a remarkable piece of hardware. I would challenge anyone to come up with another integrated that rivals the build quality and sound at even twice the price. I have sampled other "elitist" brands and find this Marantz every bit as solid a performer. Impeccable build quality and excellent sound stage with absolute minimal distortion!

Pros: Wonderfully expansive sound, Amazing build quality, Great Looks! A bargain compared to other more expensive brands for what you get!

Cons: Out of many people's price range!

Marantz PM-11S3

martin from Douglas, WY on 6/15/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very well built amp. Sounds very good, with a Lot of detail and very good sound stage. It may be a touch weak if you are wanting to drive speakers really loud. But as I said earlier, at reasonable volume levels it sounds very good. This is my second one I have purchased and the first one has been steller since I bought it several years ago.

Pros: all good

Cons: Heavy, but thats because its built very well.

High-End Quality At It's Best

Ralph from San Francisco, California on 12/15/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an integrated amplifier which combines the highest qualities of both an exceptional preamplifier and amplifier in one heavy, solidly constructed unit. The sound is warm and lush like an Audio Research product which costs more than twice the price. The midrange and bass are felt like a soothing, burnished, comforting embrace. At the same time there is plenty of detail and no roll-off of the higher frequencies. The soundstage is magnificently wide and deep. It sounds like the players are behind the speakers with the listener in row 12. This is not a rock-and-roll piece of equipment; it is more suited for classical and jazz. And it delivers a decently loud sound but will not satisfy someone who wants to turn it up to blaring levels; it doesn't have that kind of brassy balls. Overall, the Marantz PM11-S3 is very well matched with a high end, refined stereo system. And it mates well with my Oppo BDP-105D universal player.

Pros: Nonfatiguing. I listen to music for hours on end and totally enjoy the sound. It is a big step up from my Peachtree Nova.

Cons: It needs to be warmed up for a couple of weeks to get "broken in". Just leave it play all day. There is a some unpleasant smell during the first two weeks while its electronics are breaking in. Just keep a window open and it is not bad, and goes away in two weeks. Two people are needed to lift this heavy unit.

Musicality at it's best!

gotoma8 from Oakland, CA on 11/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love this thing....the PM11S3 is amazing! It has that detail and transparency without the harshness and brightness that is sometimes attributed with detail and transparency. It beats out two products at it's price and one Pre / Amp pair that was more than twice it's cost! I have very inefficient speaker at 86db (sealed) 2.5 way and they drove it amazingly, however, it didn't have the last drop of juice needed to drive my speakers LOUD, so, if I can get two to Bi-Amp, that would be Awesome, but unfortunately, that's a lot of $$$.

Pros: Build Quality, looks, dead quiet and beautiful MC phono as well! It's extremely heavy and easy to use. Bass is full and slam / dynamics are one of the best I've heard in my system.

Cons: I don't like the speaker terminals...can't except large spades. Heavy!


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 100
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 200
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 0.01%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 108
Digital Music Features
Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) No
High-resolution Audio Playback No
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi N/A
Total Analog Inputs 8
Phono Input Yes
Optical Digital Inputs No
Coaxial Digital Inputs No
USB Input No
Preamp Outputs Stereo, Sub
Headphone Output 1/4"
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 17-3/8
Height (inches) 6-9/16
Depth (inches) 18-3/4
Weight (pounds) 58.6
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


Exclusive HDAM Technology: Featuring separate phono and line level circuit boards, the PM-11S3 is equipped with Marantz's exclusive HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technologies, which provide superior low noise wide band performance in an all-discrete configuration, compared to conventional op amp ICs. The PM-11S3 incorporates no less than 40 HDAM SA3 latest generation modules, which feature ultra fast slew rate for true wideband response and maximum dynamic range, including multiple HDAM SA3 modules in the phono stage.

Constant Current Feedback Technology: The MM/MC phono section incorporates Marantz's latest Constant Current Feedback gain stage, which features DC Servo equalization that eliminates the discontinuities in tonal balance caused by conventional RIAA equalization using ordinary dual band negative feedback topology, for the purest reproduction of your favorite vinyl recordings. The PM-11S3 also incorporates an HDAM SA3-driven current feedback balance buffer that faithfully transfers signals from components with quality balanced outputs, such as super audio CD players and D/A converters.

Robust Power Supply: Rated at 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms, the PM-11S3 features an extremely robust power supply and comparably rugged power amplifier output stages that together provide incredible low impedance drive capability, with a power output of 200 watts per channel into 4 ohms, easily able to drive virtually any audiophile loudspeaker with stability and utmost fidelity. The power supply features a massive 950 VA toroidal transformer wound with OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) for maximum headroom and operational stability, securely anchored to the chassis via its own solid metal sub-mounting plate which eliminates the possibility of transformer-induced vibrations. Instead of a conventional bridge rectifier, the PM-11S3 incorporates fast response, high current Shottky barrier diodes, which provide faster switching and lower voltage drop for a more pure DC output.

Versatile Connectivity: The PM-11S3 provides maximum configuration flexibility, as it can be configured as a conventional stereo integrated amplifier, or set up with another PM-11S3 as a dual component four channel configuration for bi-amp operation, and it can also be paired with an A/V surround processor/pre-amp and used as a stereo power amplifier for the main left and right speakers in a home theater system via the Power Amp Direct inputs. Line level inputs feature unbalanced (RCA) and fully balanced XLR options for maximum connection flexibility.

  • Floating Control Bus System: A Floating Control Bus System (FCBS) is a two way communication system that enables you to connect up to four PM-11S3s and control them simultaneously, This makes possible a number of applications, including bi-amplifying and multiple channel (surround, multi-channel SACD, etc) applications. A ground loop is not formed between multiple connected PM-11S3s, therefore sound quality is not adversely affected. When more than one PM-11S3 is used a different ID code is assigned to each.
  • Bi-Amp Mode: The bi-amp option offered by Marantz reproduces a sound environment never before experienced. This same bi-amp connection has been made possible with the PM-11S3. Two PM-11S3s are connected by FCBS in bi-amp mode, enabling each to work as a monaural amplifier.
  • Power Amp Direct Mode: In this mode, this unit works as a power amplifier. This mode will be useful in home theater systems
Dedicated Input Buffers: Each unbalanced RCA input (CD, Line 1, Line 2, Recorder 1, and Recorder 2) has its own input buffer built on HDAM SA3 technology. By providing each line with its own buffer amp, it is possible to prevent interference between input sources and thereby faithfully transfer signals from the input source.

A & B Speakers: The A and B speaker outputs are binding posts and will accept single banana plugs, pin connectors, spade lugs (up to 0.575" wide), and bare wire (up to 11 gauge). The amplifier supports speakers ranging from 4-ohm to 16-ohm. Use speakers with an 8-ohm impedance or above if you plan on powering A & B speakers at the same time. 

Rugged, Durable Construction: Weighing in at just under 59 pounds, the PM-11S3 features a new chassis design with beautiful casework that includes a new 5mm thick solid aluminum top panel for maximum chassis rigidity that allows additional components to be stacked on top. The chassis also features a dual layer bottom panel for additional strengthening, and all internal chassis surfaces are copper plated for maximum resistance to RF and electrically induced interference. Around back, the PM-11S3 is equipped with our newly designed reference grade multi-way speaker binding posts which feature pure copper contoured knobs for optimum connectivity with a wide variety of speaker cable terminations.

Intuitive Control Panel + Remote Control: Supplied with a newly designed remote control (which can also operate the matching Marantz Reference Series SA-11S3 SACD/CD player), the PM-11S3 features an all new digitally controlled analog volume control system, which provides the precision of tightly defined volume adjustment over the entire range with outstanding channel tracking (.5 dB) while keeping the audio information entirely in the analog domain.

  • Linear Control Volume: The PM-11S3 incorporates linear control volume which improve S/N ratio, enabling smooth control in ±0.5 dB steps across a 0 to -100 dB range.
  • Tone Control: The PM-11S3 incorporates adjustable tone control for adjusting bass (50Hz) and treble (20kHz) in 2 dB steps across a ±8 dB range. The left and right channels can be separately adjusted from the remote control.
  • Balance Levels: The volume level of the left and right channels can be trimmed in 0.5 dB steps across a 0.0 to -9.0 dB range.

Ultra-Low Noise LCD: Equipped with our distinctive Reference Series front panel design, the PM-11S3 features an improved contrast, ultra low noise LCD display that provides information including volume level, channel balance, bass and treble control levels, selected source as well as attenuation level, which can be user-set for -20 dB, -40 dB or full mute.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great amp. I also own one already, and plan to biamp my speakers. [ martin  Jun 02, 2016 ]
Quality of product. Compatibility with Bowers and Wilkins floor speakers. Highly recommended in a number of reviews. [ LAURA  Jan 09, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

I do not believe there any digital imputs on the PM-11S3 [ martin  Dec 06, 2016 ]
No digital inputs. There is no DAC in this amp. I use a OPPO BDP-105D for it's reference grade DAC. This amp does what it's supposed to do in a very good way. Feed it a good analogue signal and you will be pleased at the outcome! [ Stephen W.  Dec 06, 2016 ]