Thoughts on the Marantz TT-15S1?

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

  1. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    It comes with a medium compliance cartridge in the Clearaudio Virtuoso (looks like compliance is around 15, and mass about 8.4 gm, so I would guess the answer is yes, it looks to be similar specs to the Dynavector mentioned above. I like the table, but I don't have one, so can't be much help, but there are a bunch of people here that do have one.
     
  2. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    Thanks for the info. Good to know. The supplied cart to me sounds great and I'm not going to upgrade it. I remember now for anyone curious, the Pro-Ject model I compared the Marantz to was the Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB.

    This is my first manual turntable. Personally I wish one of the Japanese companies like Sony or Denon would launch a new generation of fully automatic high end direct drive turntables. Techniques brought back the 1200 and I have read it is quite a machine (at quite a price).
     
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  3. svenhoek19

    svenhoek19 Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    New memeber, but long time visitor of the forum here. . . I've owned this table for a little over a year. I bought it without the cartridge for a really good price and have fitted it with a dynavector xx2 mk2 running through a PS Audio GCPH. That's a lot of cartridge for this particular table, but I got a really good deal on the cartridge as well. I have been very happy with the performance of this table. Setup, for the most part, was pretty easy save for getting the Dynavector cart aligned properly, but that's no fault of the turntable. I can vouch for what another member has stated here that the lead wires are extremely fragile! Also, I have heard people say that this table is susceptible to vibrations and others say it is rock solid. In my experience it is somewhere in between. I have my table sitting on a thick piece of plexiglass with vibrapods underneath, and now even if I jump up and down on my wood floor I have no issues. Turning the motor on and off is not an issue at all, just a learning curve as far as I am concerned. I always spin the platter by hand before turning the unit on. This table really is stunning to look at. I have a lot of friends who are clueless about vinyl who comment on the appearance of the table. Build quality is top notch, German made things usually are. Overall I have really enjoyed this table and have had zero desire to upgrade since purchasing it, which for me is quite a feat.
     
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  4. TheRavenPoe

    TheRavenPoe Active Member Thread Starter

    My cost for the table after my wife retailer discount is around $999. Which is usually 5% over store cost. (Not always).

    I still haven't bought it yet but I plan to real soon after I get done setting the music room and my other project table. I became side tracked with my latest disaster project, a '68 mustang.


    The room that this table will be in is the most active room in the house so isolation is a must.

    Other tables I've had have been tossed out as quick as they came because they couldn't be isolated enough. My 1200 with isonone feet and rubber cups not only withstand the towers flanking it by only 4 feet but also a rambunctious 6 year old and her 2 year old Labrador.

    I initially found this table not from research but from seeing it was the most expensive table offered at my wife store. Which also has a steep discount. I couldn't imagine spending more than 2k on a new table and this ones price and reviews seem perfect to at least give it a shot.

    I'm not sure if I said it before but I'm very happy with my KAB equipped sl1200 (2m Red & blue) I just want to try a slightly different sound.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  5. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I've had a TT-15 for several months now and can attest that it is a wonderful machine. It has not given me one ounce of trouble and makes delicious music. It's built like a brick house and it magically healed any wanna-gotta-impulse-buy-better inclinations I had before the purchase. Especially for the price that it can be found for, it's a winner. The Marantz-to-Rega fluffery ratio really, really needs to change around these parts IMO. There is no way the Regas provide better sound, nor better value, for the money.
     
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  6. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    Does everyone used the supplied mat? I found the table to sound a little better with it. I also set the arm a hare higher because it looked a bit higher toward the front.
     
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  7. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I use the supplied mat, although I doubt it makes much difference to be honest. It's easier to continue to use it since I set the VTA using the little felt pad.
     
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  8. kenbefound

    kenbefound Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Western Mass
    I believe I read in the Operator's Manual that if you use the provided mat to use the included sample with the counterweight spacer to set the tonearm height for proper VTA.
     
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  9. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    I've never actually tried it, I use it 'nekkid' as I was of the understanding that acrylic is pretty much inert and a mat may introduce static, but I will monitor future responses.
    It would be nice to see owners tables in situ:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Spsesq

    Spsesq Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    [​IMG]
    My suggestion on isolation is to mount the table into the wall stud as I did. No vibrations, unless there is an earthquake!

    Steve
     
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  11. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Yep. That's the ticket. I've been tempted to reset the VTA and use no platter mat, but haven't done it yet and I doubt the sound will change at all. I will likely go mat-less when winter arrives and the air gets dry.
     
  12. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

  13. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Another great thing about the deal that this turntable is, has to do with the phono cartridge that comes with it. Not only is the Clearaudio Virtuoso highly regarded, and highly (crazily) expensive, but it sounds great to me and it's dead easy to replace the stylus for next to nothing. I hope to use the table just as is, swapping in new styli every year for $30-$130, for many years to come. Show me another table/cartridge combo at this level that you can say that about? Ridiculously good value. Why are there any of these things left on the shelves?

    Seriously, this table has put an end to my version of the idiotic upgrade-anxiety merry-go-round that runs rampant in this hobby. It would cost far, far more money than I will ever throw at this stuff to get better sound than this machine produces. That alone makes it worth the money spent on this table.
     
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  14. dchang81

    dchang81 Active Member

    Does the frosted acrylic get marked up from greasy hands? Some stuff I have gets kinda gross looking after awhile. Also does the on off switch on the foot get annoying at all, or is that a non issue
     
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  15. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    I've never had these issues and I've been using mine for about 8+ years.
     
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  16. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The switch is a non-issue. I give the platter a little nudge to get it rotating and then turn on the switch. I suppose that if one were very ham-fisted, or dealt with hand tremors or such, switching the motor on without having it move and touch the plinth could be a problem. There have been reviews online (and posts here) that made what I considered to be false and misleading claims about how hard it was to get the motor started. It's dead easy, 100% non-issue and laughable for me that anyone would say that.

    The frosted acrylic has not shown a smudge, even though I do not treat it with kid gloves and have no cover on it. I think you'd have to have seriously greasy grimy fingers to leave marks on the surface. Even touching the side of the platter with every start, I see no prints or marks anywhere on the platter either.
     
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  17. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    The acrylic doesn't show any marks and the motor switch is easy to use (so long as you leave room to slide your hand back to the rear). It really isn't cumbersome at all. It would be better on the front, but certainly is not a deal breaker. Once the belt settles in there is no startup squeaks. I personally don't find the need to nudge the platter, it starts just fine on its own. Once I got the motor is seated, I haven't had much problems with it shifting or moving around. This setup really is a keeper, although I probably will up grade one day, the Marantz is enough to keep me satisfied for many years to come. Really to upgrade from the Marantz you'd have to spend well over $4000 for something like a Mitchel Gyro or VPI Prime and then invest another at least $1000 in a cartridge. The Marantz is that good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  18. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    Where do you swap a new styli for $30-$130?
     
  19. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    I suspect it's the AT95 or similar.
     
  20. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The body of the Virtuoso accepts styli from the AT95e, AT92ecd, and multiple options available from online retailers. You can put anything from a plain-jane .4X.7 elliptical to a shibata stylus in the Virtuoso, without ever even taking it off of the tonearm. Easy.
     
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  21. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK.
    I have the motor switch facing out of the back so I instinctively reach around while giving the platter a finger's nudge to get going, it never seems to move, the motor assembly is nicely weighted and fits in the plinth so deliciously :), a joy to look at, and like I said, no evidence of finger marks.
    This is precision German engineering at it's finest IMO.
     
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  22. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    This morning I took the felt platter mat off, adjusted the VTA accordingly, reset the VTF and am playing records on the now-naked platter as I type this. It sounds the same, although there is always the temptation to wonder if the sound has changed when we tweak. I believe that much of that is nonsense, assuming things are set reasonably well, but it certainly doesn't sound worse than with the mat. Maybe the bass is a bit tighter? See, I'm doing it now too. Really though, I don't think it matters whether one uses the felt mat or no mat on this TT. I'll leave it off since we'll be approaching dry air months soon.
     
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  23. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Active Member

    Location:
    United States
    This really resonates with me. I always try to identify the best quality-price ratio options for most everything I buy, and ths Marantz TT may fit that bill for me.
     
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  24. Addman27

    Addman27 Member

    And negotiate. These items have huge mark-ups. I got mine brand new for $1200 with free shipping and no tax.
     
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  25. A little late to the party, but my 2 cents for this TT, and a few things about it that improve the sound and a few things that did nothing. I bought mine back in May 2008 when they first came out. It didn't take much of an audition to prove to me this table was the best bang for the buck, period. I accidentally broke the cantilever a couple of months later while playing my 30th edition of DSOTM and the shop I got it from gave me a replacement cartridge for free! The motor spends most of it's time touching the platter because the belt's tension pulls it that way. Thankfully, on my system, which is sensitive enough to reveal any vibrational pickup, I detect none. The belt does often skip on the spool upon start up, but a nonissue sound performance wise. I played that cartridge for what I ended up discovering was wayyyy too long, lol, 8 years! That's 8 years of regular to heavy use. I noticed the dynamics were compressing and the music was lacking the punch it once had, so I replaced it with the updated Virtuoso wood (seen in my avatar). That fixed the priorly listed issues. About the same time the needle was failing I had also noticed the rpms had shifted faster. It took a while to figure out the problem, but I ended up discovering the belt was stretched causing the machine to rotate at 34-35 rpm. The replacement belt fixed that instantly (thanks Marantz for including a second belt). During that time I re-lubed the bearing too. My first belt lasted around 7.5 years or so. I play my unit with the included mat, but have set the tonearm and played it without, and can tell no difference in sound quality. I do like the idea of not using the mat to reduce static electricity which is a problem I have from time to time. I can't image a different mat making the unit sound better, but maybe . . . I've never had any trouble with the antiskating or the tonearm drifting as it lowers. Last week I picked up the Beatles Mono box set for a great deal and one thing I've been playing with is the mono button on my amp, which I had never paid attention to until now, though I have had a few other mono lps for years now, lol. That button does make a difference! It lifts the mids and tightens the sound stage a little. I guess it make the unit sound more mono, lol. While this effect is noticeable, it is not terribly drastic and mono still sounds excellent in stereo mode.

    I recently purchased a restored 1950s/1960s Silvetone AM/FM tube radio and that thing has got me lusting after a tube setup for my main stereo. I currently use a McIntosh MA6850 which sounds as good, or better, than anything else SS I've heard, including modern Mac stuff. However, the way that cheap little radio throws it's sound out and sounds soooooo good in the mids it just astonishing!! Of course the tubes in it are too small to have any real bass, but the chassis design helps round out the bottom end. It actually does have a nice deep and rich sound that just sort of emanates from the speakers (it has two). I would love to get an MC275 and run it with the 6850. That way I could run the 6850s SS power for CD, TV, DVD, etc and switch it to the tube amp and use the 6850s preamp for TT stuff. Dreams are only fun if you can make them a reality, lol.
     
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