Thoughts on the Marantz TT-15S1?

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

  1. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Have been seriously considering this table for a while. Would it be a considerable step up from a KAB Sl-1200 Mk2?
     
  2. Fitero

    Fitero Member

    Location:
    Pacific North West
    I installed one recently for a customer and made the suggestion at the time for him to place a small strip of LED lights beneath the plinth.
    He loved it! Cheap fun for a very nicely made table from Clear Audio.
     
  3. ti-triodes

    ti-triodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC

    I've been using LED's under the plinth for years. Put them on blue and spin some vinyl! :)
     
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  4. sound chaser

    sound chaser Forum Resident

    Location:
    North East UK.
    True:) I stuck mine along the rear of the plinth (not underneath) for a laugh and it lit up the platter:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  5. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    With tax refund pending, my partner Sara approached me with the idea of "dual gifts" to each other, out of a chunk of our refund, since we've generally been doing well with savings and fiscal responsibility in recent years...

    She wants a "roomba" robot vacuum cleaner for $800-1,000, and she suggested I could get a new turntable to replace my approximately 20 year old Thorens TD 280 MK IV, for a similar budget of up to $1,000. Well, I checked out the turntables in the $800-1,000 range, but was enticed to spend just a few hundred dollars more and get something much more outstanding ... So my next challenge is to convince Sara that spending just a little more will be worthwhile! :)

    I'd narrowed my choices down to between the Music Hall 7.3 and this Marantz, but it seems that this Marantz has the potential to sound much better, for a comparable price. So I'm currently leaning toward the Marantz. (Though, frustratingly, the Music Hall seems much more user-friendly to setup and use....)

    Seems like there's a lot of love and appreciation for this turntable here, and I've been reading a lot of good reviews for it in many places elsewhere online. I'm actually kind of surprised that it's still available over a decade after it was introduced (the manual available as a PDF online has a date of 2005), as I wouldn't think they're still actively producing these devices anymore. Are the ones available in stores today manufactured years ago?

    And it doesn't seem like there's been any outstanding new values in "bang for the buck" turntables introduced in the last 10+ years either, so this turntable remains so appealing after all these years (a very good sign!).

    While I'm not adverse to tinkering, I'm a bit daunted by the care that this turntable will need for setup, given that I've never owned or used tools like alignment protractors, force stylus gauges, and whatever else we're supposed to have handy when we're setting up or tuning up a turntable (yes, I have been using the Thorens out-of-the-box without significant adjustments or treatment, other than a stylus brush, in all these years!). I probably will buy these setup tools at the same time I get a new turntable, to make sure I have what I need to set up this turntable correctly, and so I can make adjustments on my own as needed in the future.

    So I ask the choir: I am on the right track by begging for a bit more budget to buy this turntable? Or do I stick to available funding and "settle" for a Music Hall 5.3, Pro-Ject 1XPression, or similar? Just not convinced I'd been gaining that much with those sub-$1k 'tables, versus just investing that same money into a complete tune-up and potentially upgrading the cartridge/stylus on my Thorens... But this Marantz, on the hand --- seems like a whole other league from what my Thorens would be capable of, even with upgraded cartridge. Yes?

    Craig.
     
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  6. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Get the Marantz
     
  7. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    I second that. There are some deals < $1500 out there. I scored a TT-15S1 + Gingko cover for ~ $1K in 2009. The MSRPs haven't risen in the 9 years since. I've seen a store demo with another manufacturer's cartridge (one on audiogon today is another example). Shops should be wary letting people randomly needle-drop that Clearaudio cartridge! There are a couple of Amazon warehouse returns (I have several, original box damage doesn't bother me; return IF you want). BestBuy/Magnolia carries the Marantz. MusicDirect has refurbs from time to time.

    I have a cognitive visual impairment (sometimes what I see is NOT what I get :cool:), the assembly directions are XL, IMHO.
     
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  8. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not only that but quite easy to follow, even for a novice.
     
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  9. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I've had the TT-15 for almost a year now and it's a wonderful machine. I think you'll find it not difficult to set up at all, although it would be best to buy a protractor and digital VTF scale to learn how to effectively change cartridges. You can often find demo/open box Amazon deals around $1100 for the TT-15. I believe it's a fantastic value but more important, a truly nice machine to own. Built like a tank, beautiful to look at, easy as hell to adjust, sounds quiet and "right". I heartily recommend it.
     
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  10. dolsey01

    dolsey01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I had the original MMF-7 and MMF-5 before the TT15S1. As everyone previous to my post said, get the Marantz.
     
  11. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    So much for the responsible financial habits...lol! I don't think that and our hobby even remotely go together. I also looked at the Marantz, but went nuts and got the VPI Prime. But, I was close to getting it and wow, those leds really look nice. Another comfirmatin Best Buy/Magnolia stocks it. Take a listen there. On price, Best Buy willingly will match on line prices, though I don't know about a warehouse price but perhaps they would come down a hundred, you don't know if you don't ask. I would be willling to pay them a bit more for othe ability to sit down and audition it, so maybe you could come up with a happy medium. Good luck with the hunt...that's half the fun.
     
  12. H8SLKC

    H8SLKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I've already mentioned how much I love the TT-15, but your partner is also VERY right about the Roomba. We have one upstairs and down and they are great. You'll both be making excellent purchases. You'll be amazed at how well the Roomba works and how reliable it is.


     
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  13. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Well, since I got 20 years out of my last turntable - which I know I spent less than $1,000 for (maybe it was around $500?) - that means I invested $25-50 a year to be able to listen to my records on a good Thorens turntable. I am expecting that whatever turntable I buy next will last 20 more years, which will take me right to retirement age. Maybe by then, I'll be ready to upgrade again. :)

    At $1,500, I'd be investing $75 a year for the next 20 years, into what by most accounts will be a sublime listening experience compared to the "good" listening experience I've had previously with the Thorens.

    Seems reasonable to me. I probably spend nearly $75 a month on vinyl, over the course of a typical year. Certainly it makes sense to spend 1/12th of that on equipment to play all that media.

    Regarding Magnolia: I do have several Magnolia listening departments in my area, so I was thinking about calling around to see who might have this Marantz TT-15S1 available in-stock and/or to audition. But I'm also considering it might be best to purchase from a local independent authorized Marantz dealer who might provide better support and service after the sale, in case I need to return the turntable due to defects or warranty issues. Everywhere I check, the price is the same: $1,500 ... so it may come down to the best price I can negotiate with a local dealer who has it in stock ...

    (Music Direct is offering me $200 as trade-in for my Thorens table, toward the full-price purchase of the Marantz, but I'd have to pay shipping to get it to them, and I don't have the original box so I'd put extra effort/money into packing it up safely for the journey, to avoid having them tell me it's trashed in transit by the time they receive it. Also, they tried to upsell me to the $1,800 Clearaudio Concept, telling me it's a far superior turntable to Marantz TT-15S1. But I'm not so sure...)

    Craig.
     
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  14. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks! We have two cats, so litter throughout the house is a constant losing battle. (I know, gross; sorry.) Would be wonderful to have a reliable robot to be vigilant about regularly vacuuming those little bits of litter up off our hardwood floors, area rugs, and carpeted parts of the house.
     
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  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    There's a so-called "refurbished" model on Amazon in the Used section, sold by IQ Entertainment. I say "so-called" because both myself and @H8SLKC bought one through that dealer and it was clear we both got a brand-spanking new unit. My guess is they're not allowed to advertise a lower price than $1500.

    It's being sold for $1200 so jump on it while you can, sir! :)
     
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  16. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Did you try a covered litter box?
     
  17. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Well, this thread has taken a strange turn ... ! :nyah:

    We have over $1,000 invested in our cat litter box solution. Yes, this is :yikes: -worthy. And perhaps also :crazy: .


    We are going to explore some different pads/mats in front of the litter box, to hopefully catch even more of the litter bits before they get carried too far away from the litter box cabinet area... But our cat Gracie in particular tends to run like crazy as soon as she finishes doing her business, so her gallop is flinging litter bits everywhere for 100-200 feet away. Thus, our desire for a Roomba vacuum robot to do the cleanup work for us.

    To bring this comment back around to the topic of turntables, it may be worthwhile to share a photo of how I have my current turntable mounted. In the photo below, I have it on a pull-out shelf in a Can-Am steel cabinet. Each of the four feet of the Thorens is resting on a pair of stacked E.V.A. Anti-Vibration Pad, 3" x 3" x 7/8" . Walking around that setup never causes a skip (there is thick carpeting underneath and in front of these steel cabinets), but I'm wondering if the Marantz has such greater sensitivity to vibrations that it might become a challenge to overcome. I guess there's only one way to find out for sure ... (give it a try).

    Once installed on that pull-out shelf, the shelf should stay pushed in except to pull out the turntable for any maintenance. I realize the Marantz TT-15S1 power toggle is in the back of the unit, so I will buy a remote controlled power plug to power the turntable on/off without needing to reach back there, as it would be too tight to do so conveniently.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    There are much lower cost alternatives to Roomba which are just as good from what I understand. That may not have been true a few years ago but is now. Lots of them have apps. We're looking into something like that for our house as well (we have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the amount of shedding from that little dog is truly incredible); though I'm concerned about the fringe on our oriental rugs causing issues.
     
  19. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    I had a roomba, I also have dogs. This one time a dog pooed in the house and the roomba smeared it across ever horizontal surface in the in house. I no longer have a roomba.
     
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  20. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Yeah, it's happened to a bunch of people. Some even posted pictures. I didn't need to see evidence. lol!
     
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  21. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    This is not uncommon with pets and robotic vacuums from what I understand.
     
  22. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Back on the topic of the Marantz TT15, I bought one here NIB a little while back and have been using it for a couple of weeks now. Very pleased. Setup went smoothly.

    One minor mod I'd suggest is a small circle of the tacky matting used to keep dishes from sliding around inside cabinet drawers, placed under the motor unit. This raises the motor slightly, making the belt ride a bit higher on the platter (in stock form it rides pretty close to the bottom) and also keeps the motor from shifting around when you turn the table on and off, since the switch is on the side of the motor. This effectively solved (for me) one quibble that some folks have with this TT. (Full credit: I think I read about it here on SH at some point.)

    The one issue I had was that I could not get the two front feet to rotate, as they are supposed to do in order to level the table. Another member here indicated that he had the same issue, but was able to get them moving by pulling them outward from the plinth, then rotating. I had given up and completed setup before reading that, so haven't tried it yet. FYI. I have a bubble level on order, and will just use shims if needed to level the table. At some point I may disassemble the table and try to loosen the feet again.

    As an aside, when I first started researching this table a couple of years ago, I was told by a dealer in Portland that Marantz wasn't making them anymore. I think he told me that Clearaudio felt they were losing too many sales to Marantz, and therefore decided to end the arrangement they had to make the TT15. FWIW, I have not seen this verified anywhere else; just passing it along.
     
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  23. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    Good luck with finding a local TT-15S1, I just tried that using the Marantz dealer search page. The results were similar to my search in 2009; diddly. I do live in the hinterlands, but Marantz shows several dealers within 150 miles (didn't check 2 Magnolias). A check of their websites shows none stocking the TT (even Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, a Marantz Reference Dealer, doesn't stock the TT-15S1). IMHO, a dealer stocking turntables may find the TT-15S1 is stiff competition for more profitable tables.
     
  24. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    I've seen it at three different shops in Ohio, never at Magnolia.
     
  25. CraigVC

    CraigVC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for the tip about raising the motor by putting something tacky underneath it. The way the belt angles down toward the motor (as designed) is perhaps why I read some reports online from users that the belt sometimes slips off and under the platter. It seems that lifting the motor slightly would reduce the downward angle and thus less likely for the belt to be pulled downward and eventually under the platter.

    Where did you buy your Marantz TT-15 in Portland? Was it the "S1" with accessories included like the spindle clamp, etc.? How much did you pay?

    I'm still up to a month away from a purchase, as we probably won't have our taxes filed for another week or two.

    Craig.
     

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