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Engineers' Insights—Marantz Interviews


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Well, mainly insights concerning DACs I will take from interviews of Ken Ishiwata. Plus, his Japanese colleague, Ryuichi Sawada—because he too speaks authoritatively with reporters.

Okay, I've already delayed starting this Thread, which may help readers, for nearly a week since coming across Ken's Polish Q&A and it's English email exchange. Let's just begin :

« As you are well aware, DA converters (IC Chips) have changed so much from the time of introduction… Today, you can have very high specification DAC to fulfill all High Resolution Audio formats!! However, do they sound good??? That’s the pertinent question…

 

Personally, I love old non-CMOS DAC like old Philips types (BiMOS) but unfortunately you won’t get those anymore and they are not compatible with new High Resolution Formats…

 

If we can keep everything in Analog, then of course we would stick with Analog but, as you know, that’s not possible…

 

DSD is indeed very popular but not many people know why… In my opinion, it’s related to your first question about DAC IC! Every DAC commercially available nowadays are using delta-sigma conversion for PCM… In other words, you are not getting same DA conversions we used to have with PCM!! Therefore, if you feed DSD signal to such DAC, then you bypass the delta-sigma stage!! Of course it sounds better!!! As you were remarking, Less is More applies here!!! »

 

Yeah, I've left out the questions because I find them overlong, fatiguing. English isn't our first language :)

 

So you can picture the man, here's a photo of Ken during a presentation (which I had once projected the CS4397 flowchart...) :

ken_shows.jpg

More relevant quotes for your consideration another time

 

 

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Another segment of KI's answers, especially appropriate for holidays or enough leisure-time :

« There are still many DIY everywhere but it’s quite different than what we used to do… Actually you can build almost anything yourself nowadays… Even DAC!! Just take DAC IC Manufacturer’s recommended circuit to build!! It works!! Of course, sound quality is another matter…

 

There are indeed some DIY resulting amazing qualities and, on top of it, satisfaction of making product yourself is also very important part of doing DIY…

 

Regarding your question about what had changed… Actually nothing actually changed in last 40 years or so… However, everything is now digital… That is why you have so many digital amplifiers as well… Here again sound quality is not as easy as linear amplifier to control but there are many technical advantages which manufactures may be interested in… Especially with the demand from end-consumer asking for it… »

 

Incidentally, of my interest in auditioning—when released into New Zealand—their new 11.2 MHz DSD&384 kHz 32 bit PCM (¥140,000) HD-AMP1 :

90.jpg

開発試聴室でHD-AMP1の説明を行う澤田氏

 

86.jpg

発表会ではB&W「803 D3」と組み合わせてのデモも実施された

 

l_hm_ma02.jpg

背面端子部

And last Christmas' date=' I did this to [b']RS[/b] :D

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Regarding how S/PDIF are mentioned regularly in various Threads, recalling Ken Ishiwata's reply, earlier this year, to me :

« I have a feeling that you believe all digital audio data can easily be transmitted with optical connection, unfortunately it’s not at all as simple as that!! As you may know, almost every optical connection is not working properly… Best is of course analogue connection, then followed by coax, and optical comes as the last… »

Thus, in practical terms, for S/PDIF through what products I have, I've primarily used coax :)

 

And their pursuit at perfecting USB-B connectivity is a parallel matter (which I'll express more another time), began significantly when engineering the NA-11S1, then implemented throughout subsequent products...

marantz_na-11s1_digital_connectors.jpg

 

My USB-B pick, for my needs, is indeed their HD-AMP1 (but, sigh, when will New Zealand importer's order land )

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

While I certainly appreciate the motivation these Marantz guys seem to have for audio I still can't seem to get past the Mid-Fi build quality they stick to, even on their high end end offerings.

 

As an example, the lack of reinforced RCA Input/Output jacks found on ALL their gear. The lack of an anchor bolt on an RCA jack IMO screams Mid-Fi gear and Mid-Fi build quality despite Hi-Fi price attached.

 

Even this simpleton product pictured below "gets it" in terms of proper RCA jacks.

 

image.jpeg

 

 

These guys are no doubt fully into the Audio scene but somehow still always end up at the end of the line in terms of popularity and SQ despite playing in the higher end world with regards to price.

 

Hrrrmmm, it just makes me wonder if they seem to be focusing on the wrong things and ignoring what matters :(

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Shrug, public forum... We're only sharing viewpoints and information so as to be able to become informed consumers...

Who's the importer of Marantz into your country ? How much do they charge ? What Marantz products have you bought and lived with ?

RCAs of NA-11S1 (mentioned in Post #3) :

na-11s1_analog_outputs.jpg

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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