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Considering Marantz (without Ken Ishiwata)

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plus 1

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Things we sometimes do for insights…


"We don't do this very often, but I'd like to show one of our actual spec sheets":
would love to know what source, amplifier and speakers he uses when doing his listening test, featuring the harmonica recording, to select the correct cable directionality as mentioned at the 4m44sec mark.
 

Wil

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Did you see…

Caveat, that was 6 yrs ago.

would love to know what source, amplifier and speakers he uses when doing his listening test, featuring the harmonica recording, to select the correct cable directionality as mentioned at the 4m44sec mark.
 
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plus 1

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Took in a PM17 KI MK2 Signature in Champagne Gold finish as a trade in today which I had sold to our client back in September 2003 btw. Still looks and sounds great :cool: Proper old school :)
may i ask rick, what did you make of the cable test video above, post #53 ?
 

Wil

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I've that 17 MKII KI amp & cd player set too, have lent them to my uncle to use, which he enjoys…

Took in a PM17 KI MK2 Signature in Champagne Gold finish as a trade in today which I had sold to our client back in September 2003 btw. Still looks and sounds great :cool: Proper old school :)
And to link up some earlier Posts, price point of their 17 Series amps had a Warm-up Meter too:


Plus, AudioQuest has been distributed by Marantz Japan (MJ) for quite some time. Mind you, cable-wise, MJ also is the distributor for Kimber Kable.

Furthermore, although Bowers & Wilkins are also imported by MJ and used as their reference, Ken wasn't fond of the new 800 revisions:
 
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matthewpiano

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I'm quite surprised, given such a strong association with Marantz, that Ken Ishiwata started a project with Rotel last year, prior to his death. He worked on modifications to their CD11 CD player and A11 amplifier which are finally coming to light as the 'Tribute' versions of these models. It will be interesting to hear what the input of KI has achieved here, especially as on price they will be going head-to-head with the new Marantz CD6007/PM6007.
 

manicm

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I'm quite surprised, given such a strong association with Marantz, that Ken Ishiwata started a project with Rotel last year, prior to his death. He worked on modifications to their CD11 CD player and A11 amplifier which are finally coming to light as the 'Tribute' versions of these models. It will be interesting to hear what the input of KI has achieved here, especially as on price they will be going head-to-head with the new Marantz CD6007/PM6007.
Welcome back Matthew, have you been lurking or just rejoined recently? Quite the gear you have there, how does the Audiolab streamer pair with the 606s?
 

matthewpiano

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Welcome back Matthew, have you been lurking or just rejoined recently? Quite the gear you have there, how does the Audiolab streamer pair with the 606s?
Hi! I've been checking in every now and then. Hope you're well.
The Audiolab is excellent, but it's just the 6000N so it's more the amp that makes the differences with the 606s. I'm currently using the RA01 and it works very well with the 606s. I also have a Roksan K3 amp, but that sounds very upfront and slightly too bright with the B&Ws - almost aggressive. The Roksan pairs better with the Wharfedale Linton 85s I have, but over time I've found them to get a little lethargic at times, great though they are in many respects.
 

Wil

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I'm quite surprised, given such a strong association with Marantz, that Ken Ishiwata started a project with Rotel last year, prior to his death. He worked on modifications to their CD11 CD player and A11 amplifier which are finally coming to light as the 'Tribute' versions of these models. It will be interesting to hear what the input of KI has achieved here, especially as on price they will be going head-to-head with the new Marantz CD6007/PM6007.
Of Rotel Tribute, we may as well discuss Karl-Heinz Fink:

N.B.:
Screen Shot.png
 
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matthewpiano

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Of Rotel Tribute, we may as well discuss Karl-Heinz Fink:

N.B.:
View attachment 1602
It's sad to see people of such experience and expertise being pushed out of companies they have worked for over so many years.
 
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Pjl2122

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Ken RIP this New model 30 has all of his last efforts with the Ruby
i just got one of the first ,is is almost identical to the KI Ruby ,but more retro with the knobs on front
but all functions can operate from remote,
ruby didnot have a preamp out the 30 has a pre in and out. And $1500 less .it is very musical your power cord and cables will dictate its balance, your speakers to to a less extent a very well behaved integrated and same active preamplifier with seperate power supply no cheap alps volume pot ,all linear electric volume nice OLED
fully adjustable display. And in 1/2 db increments , integrated amp of the yearIMO dualmono Hypex amps direct coupled to the outputs and Descreet designed modules ,not opamps like most .i have been in audio 40+ years .
this sounds like a very good class AB setup. the ruby was $4k this is a more more linear not quite as warm.
get a good power cord and upgrade the fuse inside to a synergistic Orange fuse. The cdp,dac is equally good.
and I personally like the looks lI have it in Black.,and weighs around 16 kilos.👍🎼
 

Wil

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DougK

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Ken RIP this New model 30 has all of his last efforts with the Ruby
i just got one of the first ,is is almost identical to the KI Ruby ,but more retro with the knobs on front
but all functions can operate from remote,
ruby didnot have a preamp out the 30 has a pre in and out. And $1500 less .it is very musical your power cord and cables will dictate its balance, your speakers to to a less extent a very well behaved integrated and same active preamplifier with seperate power supply no cheap alps volume pot ,all linear electric volume nice OLED
fully adjustable display. And in 1/2 db increments , integrated amp of the yearIMO dualmono Hypex amps direct coupled to the outputs and Descreet designed modules ,not opamps like most .i have been in audio 40+ years .
this sounds like a very good class AB setup. the ruby was $4k this is a more more linear not quite as warm.
get a good power cord and upgrade the fuse inside to a synergistic Orange fuse. The cdp,dac is equally good.
and I personally like the looks lI have it in Black.,and weighs around 16 kilos.👍🎼
Congrats on the Model 30 purchase (y) However, you are saying that cables will make a major difference, moreso than speaker choice, and are suggesting that a mega expensive fuse will change the sound more than speakers! Are you for real??
 

Wil

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Autism, somewhat.
I think you might be a little obsessive, but life would be dull if we were all the same.

Seeing you're fond of MF, linking them with the subject of tuning products, I'll point to the following in case you (and others) haven't read it:
Two years ago, when [Antony] Michaelson opted to retire, [Heinz] Lichtenegger took over the company with the promise to rebuild the line while maintaining the Musical Fidelity tradition.

"Antony was never a designer," Lichtenegger said. "He was the idea holder, the man behind the sound whose specialty was electronic and analog design. For 10 years, I'd already been producing his digital and software line using Pro-Ject's digital engineers."

As part of the ownership shift, Lichtenegger welcomed the original designer of the company's analog layouts, Musical Fidelity's technical director and main engineer, Simon Quarry. David Popeck, who was involved in designing the digital side of the M8xi, also remained with the company and focuses mainly on software design for the Encore line of streaming music systems.

"Our philosophy involves both circuitry and components. You can take the best circuitry and components, put them together, and build something that measures really well but doesn't sound good. Antony knew how to balance circuitry with components. It took us two years to fine-tune the M8xi to its current level, which required finding the correct placement for components. The layout of every wire and transistor has a huge impact on distortion and sound. You don't just put something in and solder it and consider it done; sonic balance is only achieved by play, play, play.


It's very difficult to combine a certain warmth and sweetness with musicality in solid-state. Antony, whose first products were tube amplifiers, worked to get tube sound from solid-state amplifiers that could power big speakers. I'm very happy that I still have Simon and Antony on board to fine-tune the circuitry and components that create the famous Musical Fidelity sound."


LC.jpg

For over 20 years, supporting KI, I had studied, saved and bought mostly products he had worked on. Going forward, likely everything
 
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12th Monkey

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Who can take against a post with good old Laughing Len in it? Saw him in 2009 - wonderful.

Re the piece - it's a pet hate of mine where people use 'impact' when they mean effect - it's just that 'impact' sounds more dramatic. It's a favourite amongst politicians in this country.
 
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Wil

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Thanks to matthewpiano for taking the time, carefully sharing his thoughts regarding their 6007 set:
I ended up buying both players and I currently have both complete sets - the Rotel A11/CD11 Tribute duo, and the Marantz PM6007/CD6007. I've experimented widely with all possible combinations, and continue to do so, also trying individual components with other kit I have.

Both CD/amp combos are extremely competent in their own right, and offer good value for money at their matching price points. Marantz fans will be pleased to know that the house sound is very much in evidence - the warmth is still there combined with good levels of clarity. In many ways the CD/PM6007 are business as usual for the 600x line and capable of surprisingly captivating performance that wouldn't disgrace higher price points. They make good partners for speakers that offer clarity. I have enjoyed them with the B&W 606 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 200, but found the partnership with Wharfedale Linton 85s leaning a little towards sounding lifeless. Channel matching at low volume levels is good, noise levels from the amplifier are low, and the CD mechanism is quiet. I'd say the CD player is the champion out of the two, and it reveals even more of what it can do with the Roksan K3. Out of the two CD players I think the Marantz can withstand more downstream upgrades than the Rotel, for reasons that will be evident below.

In some respects the Rotel duo feels slightly more solid than the Marantz pairing. There's no exposed screw-heads on the side panels of CD player or amp and, of course, the trademark Marantz curved plastic front-panel ends aren't anywhere to be seen. Features are similarly matched overall. The A11 Tribute doesn't offer digital inputs like the Marantz PM6007 does, though both have aptX Bluetooth capability. The Rotels are quirkier in operation. The A11 Tribute has a display that shows active input, tone control status and volume level. As the volume is adjusted there is an audible switching sound through the speakers with each step. Volume adjustments are nicely progressive. The A11 Tribute's noise floor is noticeably higher than that of the Marantz, though only when with ears fairly close to the speaker and with no signal, and the hiss doesn't change with volume level adjustments. The CD player is a little noisier than the Marantz in its transport operations, but makes no noise that is perceptible from the listening position during playback.

The Rotel combo certainly has a more sprightly sound than the Marantz one, and if pace and timing are your thing you may well prefer the Rotels. Despite this, as a duo they never become overly bright or uncomfortable to listen to and further experimentation suggests this is down to the balance between the CD player and amplifier. Trying the CD11 Tribute with the Roksan K3 reveals an inherent brightness, exacerbated by the Roksan's infamous 'party animal' temperament. Matched with the A11 Tribute it offers a very well balanced sound, even with the brighter and more forward sounding B&W 606s. They get more life out of the Linton 85s than the Marantz combination, but the Wharfedales ultimately prove a little too exposing, showing some smearing of inner detail that they don't expose with the Marantz.

Overall, both are solid combinations in this sector of the market, and it's down to personal preference as well as speakers and music choices as to which will best suit an individual user. My choice out of the two would be the Marantz duo as the basis of an affordable system that would be more capable of luring most listeners into longer listening sessions. The 6007 components offer fine balance across a wide range of music, and the CD player in particular could prove a longer-term companion through further upgrades of amplifier and speakers.
I don't have time right now to satisfactorily write up all I've in mind to say. Yet, 2 quick points, the person currently tasked with leading their product-finalisations is "Sound Manager" Yoshinobu Ogata:


Secondly, it's imperative he continue to be "successful in this category" e.g. as KI had explained to AE, 9 years ago:
 
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