Thoughts on the Marantz TT-15S1?

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

  1. GeorgeDJungle

    GeorgeDJungle Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen NJ
    Had issues with mine. Platter would wobble and then cartridge got bent and the needle can't be replaced. Also looked for the rubber platter belt for a replacement and the cheapest I could find was $50. Anyone want one for parts let me know.
     
  2. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Did you contact your dealer or Marantz?
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  3. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Marantz is not helpful I tried ;)
     
  4. kenbefound

    kenbefound Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Western Mass
    So much for the 5 year warranty :rolleyes:
     
  5. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I bet if you had glaring proof of purchase from authorized retailer and the issue was not a broken cantilever or worn belt they might help you. They just told me good luck and to find a local service (as in third party) operation!

    Marantz is dm holdings now so it's like trying to call most any large corporation for tech support.

    Back on regular scheduled programming though, it's a solid table, a sleeper for sure, like I said I wish I could have bought mine new and not had the issues I did.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  6. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Thanks Mr. Sneis! I've read just about everything there is to find on the Internet about this machine and learned about the chirping of the belt on the motor pulley at start up. That's the silicone belt grabbing and then releasing the pulley, slipping, while the heavy platter gets up to speed. When I was setting the machine up I noted that the belt is grippy and soft, much more so than the belt on other machines I own. At least one reviewer noted that the chirping/slipping simply went away after a few weeks of use, probably because of a change in the belt friction or such. Other users made the suggestion to give the platter a gentle hand-start just before turning on the motor, which has become my habit. It makes the whole start up smoother and I would guess it will make for longer belt and motor life as well. A side benefit of this procedure is that the motor pod, which is totally air-gapped and isolated from the plinth, doesn't move and stays exactly where I put it on day one.

    The belt on my machine (they ship two so you have one in reserve) is clear, smooth, continuous with no joint, rides motionless on the platter and makes no noise. It's possible your belt (did you try both of them?) was defective or there could have been a fault with the motor causing the clicking.

    Not including you, my impression of some complaints about the TT-15 from online users, apart from those who were unlucky and received machines with defects, is that they were caused by ham-fisted users and/or those who were too impatient to learn how to get the motor started and platter spinning smoothly. Any machine with an isolated motor pod that drives the platter externally takes a little finesse and getting used to. I've read many threads/posts from new users of such machines in all price ranges for whom there is a learning curve in using such machines. It took me a couple of days to refine my technique and it's been working like a charm. I'm listening to Dire Straits on the machine right now, loud, and am very happy with it.
     
    kenbefound likes this.
  7. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I'm sorry to hear you had issues with yours Mr. Sneis. For kenbefound, I forgot to mention that the machine does in fact come with a 5-year warranty, which I know can sometimes be worth less than one would wish. I kept my receipt and bought from an "official" dealer so (fingers crossed) if I have issues and can get some help or new parts for an actual 5 year period I'll see that as a helluva bonus.
     
    kenbefound likes this.
  8. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Where did you buy it from?

    Quite the assumption based on a post without any info whatsoever.

    The dealer I bought the turntable from assured me they would take care of any issues. They have a stellar reputation as well so I'm not concerned about that... hence why I asked the OP for details.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I had the same problem on my VPI. They suggested dipping the belt in talc powder. Tried it and the chirping went away completely. It's not 100% silent.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  10. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Got mine second hand from TMR Audio.
     
  11. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Also H8, I currently use a Michell Tecnodec; very similar style of motor separate the plinth, a plastic plinth, similar rounded belt style. The Tecnodec I purchased second hand so it has some miles on it; no chirp noise whatsoever cold start or assisted start, both old belt and new belt also silent. I think it has to do with the plastic pulley for the Marantz so it's more a design quirk in my book.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  12. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I've always recommended it as one of the best in its price range, but I am always a little leery of buying something that a company buys out. Seems they don't have the same commitment to back it up as the real manufacturer would. I'm still trying to figure out why it's so much less than the lowest cost CA turntable.
     
  13. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    My understanding gleaned from the Interwebs is that Marantz contracted with CA to build the table during a period during which they wanted a turntable that could be part of their "reference" series but had no intention of designing and manufacturing same in house. I've seen it said that the TT-15 is something of a loss leader for Marantz, or was. I'm not sure they are manufacturing them new anymore. Can anyone confirm that they are still building them? It's a design that's been sold since the mid-2000s I believe. I would hope and guess that between Marantz and CA parts will be available for years to come, especially since CA still sells the close cousin Emotion turntable.
     
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  14. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    DM Holdings no longer own Marantz or Denon.....Sold to Sound United. Back in the United States.
     
    Mr.Sneis likes this.
  15. kenbefound

    kenbefound Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Western Mass
    "Safe n Sound," an authorized vendor not too far from me, has one left in stock in their clearance section. As such I'm thinking they won't be getting any more in. Unfortunately they still want list price for it. Reportedly, some time back, vendors were clearing them out at a sub $1000 price point, so I don't want to pay any more than that.
     
    Mr.Sneis likes this.
  16. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    @H8SLKC and I got a refurbished one (which turned out to be new, really) for $1100.
     
    kenbefound likes this.
  17. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    That's the secret behind the tables being sold by one of the Amazon sellers of this turntable Strat. Not sure if still available but when I bought, the seller said the units for $1100 were floor models that were being sold with full warranty. The seller is an authorized Marantz dealer, so it's a win in the potential-return-repair-warranty area as well. As with you I would guess, when the turntable arrived it was clear that it was a brand new unit for which the box had never even been opened. Brand new unit for $1100, which again I think is a steal for what it is. As we've all noted multiple times now, the cartridge (which I'm loving and is hackable as hell) retails for between $800-900, the tonearm retails for more than $1,000, and IMO the whole is greater than the sum of the parts on this table. In an online world of endless Rega conversations, I'm happy to see this table get at least a thread's worth of play and am thankful that you pointed out the seller on Amazon a few weeks back. I hope your FIL enjoys the turntable and that it is problem-free for him.
     
    warp2600 and Strat-Mangler like this.
  18. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    I bought the Marantz TT15S1 recently after reading mostly glowing reviews. My advice is to negotiate with dealers. There's enough wiggle room to save 20% of MSRP of $1500 for a new one (I did). I'll say I'm very finicky, but this table is a clear winner. VPI to me is too costly and doesn't represent value (even when spending $2200 for a Prime Scout you still have to shell out an additional $400 just for their RCA connectors!). Of course you could cheap out on RCA cables, but is it worth losing sleep at night? (I'm an audiophile/enthusiast too. I get it).

    The other model I checked out was by Pro-Ject (for about $200 more than the Marantz). While the Pro-Ject included a dustcover, the table itself had a cheap feel. The motor was very slow to get up to speed (taking about 8 seconds!) After checking online this is the way ProJect motors are built. I also thought the carbon fiber tone arm looked a bit cheap. The sound of the Pro-Ject was ok, but nothing special (I think it had a Blue Point Special mounted).

    The Marantz table represents value, quality, and most important fantastic sound quality. I was using a vintage high quality Japanese deck for years, and this was the first model that sounded excellent and had striking good looks (I added some LED lighting and it glows like a $10 McIntosh!).

    The sound the Marantz produces is clear, lively, and 3-D. I use a Manley Chinook phono preamp and the MM Virtuoso included has a better sound than the low output Audio Technica At33Sa MC I was using. That could be the Manley though, but the Virtuoso to me has a better mid-band with vocals being more present and an overall better tonal balance.

    If you have $4000 to blow, then by all means grab a VPI Prime, a Clearaudio Statement, or maybe a Mitchel Gyro (if my budget allowed, that's probably what I would of went for. Really though, you don't need to spend that much to get a quality product).

    For the working stiffs like me with a family that want good sound without breaking the bank, this table makes for a great choice. Everything is included needed to start spinning vinyl. With the money I saved I scored a dust cover on Ebay for $225 (with shipping) that is twice as thick and durable than what the manufactures supply.

    BTW I had an initial problem and if you have your original sales receipt and a little patience, Marantz will take care of you. The belt does chirp at first at times on start up, but it slowly goes away. A second belt is supplied with the table so no worries there. The power switch took a little getting used to, but once you do, again no worries. Everything including the RCA connectors are of very high quality.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    PhilBiker, H8SLKC, warp2600 and 2 others like this.
  19. kenbefound

    kenbefound Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Western Mass
    Would the Dynavector DV-20X2L be a good match for this TT? I understand there's a way you can calculate such things but the math eludes me.
     
  20. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    It is worth mentioning that the initial problem I had with the Marantz was the tone arm shifting toward the right when being lowered. I see there are several people that have also had this problem. This is a defect and an annoyance I wasn't willing to live with. I ended up getting a replacement unit and the new arm drops perfectly straight. If you do have this problem, I would encourage getting a replacement. Also, even though the instructions state to slide the cartridge to the front of the head shell, this conflicts with their 'suggested' 32 mm measurement from the stylus tip to the arm. Using a Geodisc I found mounting the cart a little past the halfway point toward the front of the arm is where the cart both aligned in the grid and measured approximately 32 mm (perhaps when the instructions were written back in 2005 Marantz used a different cart?). To check the anti-skate I used an Alice In Chains record that is mostly blank on one side. Floating the needle in between the run out grooves I tweaked the anti-skate. The anti skate works fine and is effective. The only additional helpful tool I recommend for setup is a stylus force gauge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  21. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Using the resonance calculator at vinyl engine, with Clearaudio Satisfy tonearm effective mass = 9 gm, cartridge compliance = 12x10-6 cm/dyne, and cartridge mass with hardware = 10 gm (DV-20X2L = 9.2 gm), resonance comes out around 11 Hz, which is good. But it's hard to know for sure how accurate the compliance spec is, or which method was used for measurement, so it's just a guess. You would need a test record with resonance tracks to know for certain where it falls (you observe the cartridge for exagerated movement as the record tracks through the low frequency range, usually with a recorded voice announcing the frequency).
     
  22. kenbefound

    kenbefound Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Western Mass
    Awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback/guidance, I really appreciate it :frog:
     
  23. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    That doesn't sound right. I adjusted one for my father-in-law and experienced the same problem which was actually caused by the anti-skating mechanism which is purely magnetic in nature. After I adjusted it, the problem was solved.
     
  24. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    So in theory would a medium compliance cartridge work best on this arm?
     
  25. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    I tried adjusting the anti skate, but it had no effect on the arm dropping to the right. The replacement unit works perfectly. The problem appeared to be in the lifting mechanism.
     

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