Thoughts on the Marantz TT-15S1?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheRavenPoe, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. TheRavenPoe

    TheRavenPoe Active Member Thread Starter

    While I work on my SL-1200 I'd like to have the best player I can in reserve for less than $1000. Ideally I'd like it to sound better than the Sl-1200 which I'm already very happy with.

    Is the Clear Audio built Marantz TT-15S1 a table people generally like? Does it sound better than the 1200?

    picture from Google:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I had a friend who had one and he liked it a lot. Seems like a lot of table for the money.
     
    sound chaser likes this.
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    What I heard is that although it's a lot of turntable for the money, it's pretty much topped out already. Apparently, the tonearm isn't the greatest and the plinth is more susceptible to vibrations. Lastly, I've read that even though the cart is quite expensive that it's nothing special on the sonic front and since most of the value of this turntable is put into the value of the cart, I'd look elsewhere. That's why I ended up buying something else.

    If these aren't problematic to you, by all means, go right ahead.
     
  4. warp2600

    warp2600 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    I have heard, read and experienced quite the contrary.
    I have had this turntable for years. I love it to pieces. The tonarm is great. Almost worth as much as you pay for the whole turntable. Of course, you can buy better tonearms. There is always a better one whatever you buy...
    The plinth is absolutely solid and not susceptible to vibrations. Where did you hear that? My table is not placed on an isolation board, just a simple stand. I have a wooden floor and still absolutely no problems with footfalls or what you call them.

    Now, the cartridge. I like it, some don't. I would not buy it separately though. A bit pricy. When I had worn down the stylus, I replaced the Clearaudio cartridge with an Audio Technica MC cart. When that was finished, I got back to the Virtuoso, bacause although the MC cart was nicely detailed and produced fine top end, I missed the more powerful low end (I mainly listen to rock and electronica). So I replaced the stylus on the Virtuoso with an Audio Technica AT95 stylus (you can buy them with upgraded Hyper Elliptic and Shibata tips!).

    I must mention though that you have to be very careful when changing carts on the table because the exposed headshell wires are very short and thin (actually running all the way to the RCA output to eliminate unnecessary connections between headshell and tonearm wires). You don't want to snap them.
     
  5. TheRavenPoe

    TheRavenPoe Active Member Thread Starter

    What I like about my 1200 is that it's Rock solid, my kid and Dogs run around it with no problems at all and the whole thing is sitting on a cheap $100 Bestbuy glass/metal/wood stand. I'm also on suspended wood floors.

    If I'm happy with the 1200, do you think I'd be happy with the 15S1?
     
  6. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Just repeating what I've read multiple times. Glad you enjoy yours. :)
     
  7. warp2600

    warp2600 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    I have never heard a 1200 so I can't make a comparison. You should try to audition the Marantz table if you have a chance.
    What cartridge are you using?
     
  8. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    I own SL1210M5g and Marantz TT15-S1. Both sounds great, but the Marantz is so beautiful to look at and so simply and cleverly engineered. The platter is so well done and balanced, that if you give it a push with your finger, it will rotate for ages without motor involved. The motor actually just gently supports the self-rotating platter, an approach completely opposite to the Technics. I think both tables are among the best examples of different / opposite technology, and it's worth having both.
     
    H8SLKC, 4xoddic and TheRavenPoe like this.
  9. warp2600

    warp2600 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Before I pulled the trigger on the Marantz table, I myself had read a few reviews and threads on it.
    I remember a couple of people complaining about the on/off button, which is placed on the motor under the plinth. I don't find it difficult to use the switch. First, you have to figure it out how to flip the switch without pushing the motor to the plinth.

    I reviewer had some problem with the magnets in the antiskating mechanism (the magnets had been inserted with the wrong polarity at the factory).
     
    H8SLKC and TheRavenPoe like this.
  10. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    The Marantz seems to be a nice table for the $$$. I came very close to purchasing one last year.

    IME, the ClearAudio cart will significantly outperform your 2M Red, especially if your preamp has low capacitance, 100pf or less. I owned the lower end Clearaudio concept V2 cart and it was better than the Red

    Also, these two tables will likely have significant differences in PRAT. Belt-drives typically don't sound like direct-drives. To me, belt-driven TTs sound more fluid, more like analog. Direct drives tend to sound more clinical, like listening to a CD.
    As for resolving ability, they'd probably be comparable if equipped with the same cart.
     
  11. TheRavenPoe

    TheRavenPoe Active Member Thread Starter

    I wish there were places to go listen to Turntables around me but I can't find any. I really want to hear the differences and I'd like to be 100% sure I was buying something much better than what I already own for that kind of price. I guess that will come with trial and error and some years of experience.

    I don't think I'd do much more to that table just because the point of me buying it is to just have something high quality that I don't have to fiddle with other than changing the Cart occasionally. The 1200's the fun project table.
     
  12. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    The Marantz is incredibly beautiful.
     
  13. That tonearm looks like a Clearaudio Satisfy aluminum, which I believe sells for about $1,500 separately. I have that one on a Concept Wood 'table and it is actually quite good. Can't speak for the rest of the package though.
     
  14. PMCH

    PMCH Member

    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I purchased this Marantz TT used to see if I wanted to get back into vinyl. It exceeded my expectations and changed the way I listened mostly to music from CDs to Vinyl. It did make me want to upgrade for an even better sound, so I went to a VPI Classic 1 which was better for me and then to a VPI Classic 3 which I found even better still but these TTs were much more expensive.
     
    H8SLKC and TheRavenPoe like this.
  15. warp2600

    warp2600 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Yes, it is the Satisfy tonearm on the Marantz.
     
    H8SLKC and snorker like this.
  16. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Just a heads up, there's a Clearaudio Emotion MKII (what the Marantz was based on, though I like the look of the Marantz slightly more) up on the audio sale sites for around $800, looks like no cartridge though ... Clearaudio Emotion mkii
     
  17. Old Audiophool

    Old Audiophool Active Member

    Location:
    Melbourne, Fl.
    I just purchase the Marantz about a month ago from Music Direct as a demo with a brand new Virtuoso v1 cart (including cart setup which was right on when I received it) for $1195. It replaced a Pro-ject TT with a 2M Blue and I was amazed at how the CA cart blew away the Blue. All the frequencies sound realistic, great mid-range, plenty of detail, and slamming and precise bass. I think this table is a sleeper even at it's list of $1500. And it's rock solid.
     
  18. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, I really like this table, from afar, don't have one myself. But I'd love to take one and silicone glue the separate motor and plinth feet down to a heavy glass base, lock them all in place, I'd expect that to sound really nice. Might have to do that before long.
     
  19. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I bought a TT-15S1 just several weeks ago. Based on a post in a thread by Strat (see above) I grabbed one from a seller on Amazon for $1099 shipped. It has been an absolute joy. Yes, the tonearm is the Clearaudio Satisfy. The plinth is machined frosted acrylic that is just beautiful. The platter is silicone-acrylic that is machined so precisely that I literally cannot see that it is spinning from a few feet away. The machine is quiet and utterly teutonic in its craftsmanship and solidity.

    It's topped off by the Virtuoso cartridge V1, which sells online for almost $800. Yes, the CA MM carts are based on AT3400/AT95 bodies but with better listed-specs and I can attest that the Virtuoso sounds much better than my 2m blue, including in this same turntable. If I thought I could sell the 2m blue for 100 bucks it'd be in the mail tomorrow. Cherry on top is that I can replace the stylus on this $800 CA cartridge for $30-150, depending on flavor of diamond cut desired (AT95E, AT95EX, AT95VL, AT95SA), which will make it far cheaper to own over time than almost any other expensive MM cartridge on the market.

    To each their own of course, but I find this turntable to be a glorious machine and am very happy to see it and operate it every day. In a world of tons of threads describing silly problems with multi-thousand-dollar turntables that I see here every week, this thing just works. Glorious. With examples of this machine easily found online for $1100 I don't understand why I don't see more talk about it. It's an incredible table and an incredible bargain.
     
    John Woo, Dave, sound chaser and 8 others like this.
  20. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I also bought one for my father-in-law which is waiting for pickup at the US/Canadian border. That will happen on the 30th. I'll be sure to post my impressions in a thread, possibly this one if you're willing to wait before pulling the trigger, OP.
     
    Dave and H8SLKC like this.
  21. FashionBoy

    FashionBoy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Some excellent replies in this thread.

    Just wanted to add that when I was thinking about getting back into vinyl after a 20 year absence, the first table I was able to audition was a Clearaudio Emotion CMB w/ Satisfy & Virtuoso cart through a nice system.

    Ironically the first record we put on was Eva Cassidy wonderfully mastered by our host I believed from Blix Records. I was blown away and nearly to tears, after years of listening to CDs and iTunes files.

    Ended up purchasing the Clearaudio Concept as was recommended by a CA distributor who was familiar with all the tables and was thrilled when I dropped it into my system for the first time — couldn't believe my ears and it way exceeded my expectations.

    I do still think of the Virtuoso cart and how beautiful it sounds in bringing through the emotion in music, and hope to upgrade my cart soon.

    All in all the Marantz deal is tough to beat and I would have definitely considered it but could not get it shipped to Canada at the time and wasn't available here.

    Only downside might be the limited upgradeability of that particular table — something to keep in mind.
     
    4xoddic and H8SLKC like this.
  22. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Marantz did us all a favor by rebranding a Clearaudio. I had a rough experience with a second hand tt15s1 and wish I could have snagged a deal on a new out of box one, never should have given up the hunt!
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  23. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Mr. Sneis can you describe problems you had? I'd like to be aware of issues or potential problems in advance with this turntable. So far it's been right on the money but you never know.
     
  24. slovell

    slovell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chesnee, SC, USA
    It's a very nice table for the money, buy it if you like it.
    Sam
     
  25. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Chirping at startup, belt riding up and down causing a clicking noise, arm lift out of lube. Likely a p.o. who didn't setup carefully enough causing smaller issues later on.
     

Share This Page