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Marantz Launches Premium CD Player

Marantz has launched the HD-CD1, a premium-class CD Player with classic looks from a mid-size design.

Marantz has launched the HD-CD1, a premium-class CD Player with classic looks from a mid-size design. While small in size, it makes use of state-of-the-art Marantz technology carried over from the company’s legacy CD players, including the Marantz HDAM-SA2 amplifier modules. This unit builds on the success of the HD-DAC1 Headphone Amplifier and HD-AMP1 Integrated Amplifier. The new HD-CD1 CD Player is expected to be available this month for $599. 

The HD-CD1 is a high-quality CD player in the same compact form as the HD-AMP1 amplifier. This product combines more than 30 years of Marantz expertise in compact disc playback with the latest developments in digital audio technology. It is well suited for use as a CD transport when used with the HD-AMP1, or as a CD player in any situation where a compact form factor is required without any compromise on sound quality. 

Selected components are used throughout the audio signal path, for the very best reproduction of music. A centralized CD mechanism, able to play MP3, WMA, and AAC files as well as standard CDs, is also used for ultra-accurate disc reading. This, along with its analog audio outputs, optical and coaxial digital connections, allows the HD-CD1 to be connected directly to the HD-AMP1’s ultra-high-quality digital-to-analog conversion. The HD-CD1 also features a solid aluminum front panel, double-layer chassis for vibration isolation, and retro-style side panels.

Central to the player’s performance is the use of the Marantz-designed HDAM Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules: in place of the all-in-one ‘chip amplifiers’ used elsewhere, these miniature amplifiers are built from separate, optimized components for the very best sound quality, and are found in Marantz products all the way up to the Reference series players and amplifiers. In the HD-CD1, the latest-generation HDAM-SA2 version of this technology is used to provide a wide dynamic range and wide frequency response with minimal distortion. HDAM technology is also used in the headphone section, which has its own dedicated amplification.

The HD-CD1’s CD transport mechanism is designed for ultra-accurate disc reading, and sends data to the player’s high-resolution digital-to-analog converter, which is the same Cirrus Logic CS4398 device found in top-flight digital hardware. This is used together with a crystal oscillator master clock designed for ultra-low phase noise, and a low-impedance capacitor, also designed for low noise, ensuring digital data is converted into an analog sound with lifelike dynamics and timbre.

Whether listeners choose to use the HD-CD1 on their desk for full-time headphone listening, or just occasionally want to connect a pair of headphones for a private music session, the dedicated headphone section in the player is engineered to be up to the task. To make the most of personal listening, it has its own volume control and a dedicated HDAM-SA2 amplifier, complete with adjustable gain setting—low, medium, and high—to enable it to drive even highly demanding audiophile headphones.

As well as its own high-quality analog outputs, the HD-CD1 is enabled to be used with any amplifier, including the matching HD-AMP1, and the HD-CD1 has both optical and coaxial digital outputs. With this it can be used as a CD transport straight into the digital input on the HD-AMP1, allowing it to make use of the ESS Sabre DAC built into the amplifier. Like the analog outputs, the coaxial digital connection uses a high-quality gold-plated RCA socket, and a digital cable is supplied with the player.

Noise is the enemy of great sound, and the HD-CD1 has extensive measures to suppress both electrical and mechanical interference. A high-current power supply with high-capacity storage capacitors is used to ensure the player is able to deliver the dynamics of music, along with high-speed Schottky Barrier Diodes. The player also has auto-standby and very low power consumption when in standby mode. The HD-CD1 is built on a double-layer baseplate for rigidity and vibration suppression, aided by the use of compliant feet, a solid aluminum fascia, and a rigid top-plate, and is finished with retro-style side-cheeks for that ‘classic Marantz’ look.