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Marantz launches HD-AMP1 integrated at Potafesu 2015

  • potafesu2015D&M. For the Aussie-in-the-street engaged in more than small talk, it’s a deep and meaningful. For audiophiles, it’s Denon & Marantz – two Japanese heavyweights who merged in 2002 to form D&M Holdings.

    In Japan, D&M aren’t simply manufacturers either. They distribute AudioQuest and it was their quietly formal representative Koichi Kosuge who took care of introductions and translations as team AudioQuest toured their soon-to-be-released Beetle DAC around the Japanese audiophile press. That was October.

    Behind the D&M table at the e-earphone Portable Audio Festival in Tokyo two months later sat a much more relaxed and less formal Kosuge-San. On show, hooked up to a pair of B&W CM1 standmount loudspeakers with AudioQuest cabling was Marantz’ latest offering: the HD-AMP1, available in black and the company’s trademark silver-gold finish. Those rather stylish burled wood-effect side cheeks are fashioned from ABS plastic. Pricing? A none too outrageous 140,000JPY. US$1099 is the list price in the USA.

    What’s the story? Take it away Kosuge-San:

    Per the video, we saw this casework styling in the previously released and smaller HD-DAC1. The HD-AMP1 also takes its internal cues from that headphone amplifier before adding Hypex Class D power amplifier stage, capable of pushing ~30wpc into 8 Ohms via Marantz’s current feedback topology, improved digital input stage and broader rear-panel connectivity: two analogue inputs, two Toslink, one coaxial, one USB and a subwoofer output.

    This newer unit also takes DSD compatibility to higher levels than the HD-DAC1. Its rear-panel USB input can decode up to DSDx4 (aka 11.2MHz). Front panel USB input is for iDevice convenience and restricted to PCM 24bit/192kHz.


    Internal D/A conversion comes from an unspecified ESS Sabre chip and two separate oscillators (clocks), one each dedicated to 44.1kHz and 48kHz sample rate families. The HD-AMP1 also promises an improved USB implementation over its headphone-only sibling but head-fiers note: the HD-AMP1’s headphone output stage isn’t as highly evolved junior’s.

    Best suited to low/er listening levels in smaller spaces, a ball buster the HD-AMP1 is not. D&M most likely have high density city dwellers in their crosshairs, of which there are 14 million in Tokyo alone. A modern day amplifier that’s big on style and one of the few that could go up against Peachtree Audio in a fashion contest.

    Further information: Marantz Japan | Marantz USA

    Right: D&M’s Koichi Kosuge








    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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