Author Topic: Marantz CD12  (Read 669 times)

Offline stevenvalve

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Marantz CD12
« on: July 02, 2018, 03:54:04 AM »
Picked this Marantz CD12 up and not via eBay. Its one of 2 CD players Ken Kessler still uses today and considers to be one the best of 100s of cd players he has reviewed. This one is mint and deliciously immaculate and all original except for Danny Digital replacing the sockets for the TDA1541A double crown and for the big A and B chips in the transport. He also went all over this machine with loving attention because he wants it badly and will eventually pry it of me because he just loves the quality vintage Marantz stuff and it does not come much more sought after than this. It sounds amazingly good in standard form and one wonders what it could be with some modifications, but i will leave it as is, because it is like new and i can not bring myself to butcher its originality. Only 5 where ever brought into Australia and i know where 2 others are today and of cause one is right here with me. Nice indeed
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 08:38:27 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 03:56:23 AM »
More pictures of the juicey little toy. The copper inner covers are of cause off because i am trying TDA1541 S2 chips including the A and B chips in the transport. Believe me they also have a big effect on the sound of this player. I ended up using a made for Studer TDA1541A S2 1994 chip. It really annihilated the standard S1 Crown.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 08:40:06 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline Tweedle12

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 08:28:48 AM »
Steven, lovely machine indeed - what DAC chip was fitted as standard? Mine has a single crown 8805 and I have never seen a double crown as standard, but perhaps late production models benefitted from this?

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 09:03:55 PM »
Steven, lovely machine indeed - what DAC chip was fitted as standard? Mine has a single crown 8805 and I have never seen a double crown as standard, but perhaps late production models benefitted from this?
I do not know if these players ever had S2 chips. Here is a picture of the chip that came out of this player. I also put up a picture of the Studer Double Crown i dropped in, interestingly it too is made in Holland. The Studer is a fabulous sounding chip almost a cross between a 1988 Holland and a Taiwan 1997 chip. The best of both worlds. Have you modified your CD12 if so pictures please.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 12:10:53 AM by stevenvalve »

Offline Tweedle12

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 03:51:04 AM »
Hi Steven, my CD12 is completely original. Un did contact Ken Ishiwatta about having the KI upgrade, but the cost was significant. I prefer to mess around with several CD94 / CD94II and keep the CD12 as a reference. The CD12 is still to be surpassed in my system for imaging and beautifully pitched treble. I can only dream what a Studer S2 would add to the mix. I have used one in another player and also highly rated it.

Offline brenden

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2018, 05:04:50 PM »
My experience  is much  the same as both of  yours.  I was really surprised how close my unmodified cd12 came to my extensively modded  94 mk2 .
      I  am not normally shy to mod even really high end gear but ended up selling to a friend in my circle. .It may come back one day  ,but there was a lot of hand wringing as i packed it up especially  after playing it for a few hours . It was just so right .
    I still wonde what i could have done with it as many of the same mods to the 94 are applicable.
     One thing  the cd 12 has over the other machines  is much better caps  made by Soshin Japan  around the  dac chip. .vastly better than all others. 
   The CD 7  also has top caps around the chip as does the   Marantz  project d1  dac
    My 94 mk2  has Panasonic  pps copper foil caps  which are excellent  but not obtainable any more but I have  aquired some   panasonic pps  aluminium   film foil  for other machine  upgrades .
        If the CD12 wasnt so rare  and collectable  would have modded in a heartbeat.
   
       

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2018, 07:18:08 PM »
What is this upgrade. Do you have some info.

did contact Ken Ishiwatta about having the KI upgrade

Offline Tweedle12

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 08:02:44 PM »
Steven, I am not sure of the various elements of the KI upgrade, except it involves the installation of a hand picked (by KI by ear) S2 chip, extra power regulation and perhaps modification of the output stage. There are very few details available anywhere, but it is a KI upgraded CD12 that both Ken Kessler and Ken Ishiwata use.

Offline brenden

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2018, 09:18:37 PM »
Here is a pic of the DA12  dac and caps .
     This was mine and had the same chip as Steve's .
     My 94 mk 2 has    two    8805  single crowns .

Offline Tweedle12

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 03:53:39 AM »
I first heard a CD12 when I was a student - around 1994/95. I had assembled a decent enough starter system - Marantz CD63, Aura Evolution amp, Linn LP12 and Mission 760i SE speakers and called in to my local Hi-Fi shop. One of the sales guys was around my age and he asked if I had a bit of time as Marantz UK had sent over four new, unused CD players that they found when they were clearing out a store room. He said they were older machines - two CD11LE and two CD12 players. He and I spent a couple of hours listening to these remarkable players through, I think, a high-end AV amp and floorstanding B&W speakers. I was transfixed - I had never heard the like of it before. I remember that the CD12 stood out for me. The sales guy preferred the CD11LE - it was a more modern model, he said.

Anyway, I couldn't find the money to buy one of the CD12 players and had to satisfy myself with the memory of it, but it remained my dream machine.

After I started to work I picked up a secondhand Marantz CD80 and later a CD16, but neither recreated the magical sounds I recalled from my encounter with the CD12. Imagine my amazement when an absolutely mint CD12 was advertised for sale less than 10 miles from where I grew up. It came with all the original packaging, accessories and documentation. Well I am sure you can guess the rest...

Of all my Hi-Fi items I treasure the CD12 the most. It truly is a CD player for life. I am glad that other 'custodians' have similar connections with this fantastic machine.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 05:12:59 PM by Tweedle12 »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 06:27:34 PM »
Great story. Mine was also a one owner. Now doubt he would not have sold either, while alive anyway, This wife took it to the local HIFI shop and sold it probably cheap. It had 10 years of dust and obviously had not been moved or used for years, i suspect because the belts had gone on the transport, so i received a phone call, are you interested, i know you like this old vintage stuff, price, make an offer, OK, so i made a very generous offer, the rest is history.

Offline Tweedle12

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Re: Marantz CD12
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 09:48:22 PM »
Some other random info - back in 1988/89 CD12 sold for 3000 (more than 10,000 in today's money), only 500 were produced worldwide, I was told by the guy who used to run the Marantz service centre that various celebrities and a member of the Royal family were owners.