Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DrZhivago, May 16, 2019.
Marantz brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata leaves company after 41 years
The end of an era or the end?
In a message to What Hi-Fi?, Ishiwata noted: "It must be [a] big surprise that I’m not part of Marantz organization... I thought I’d be forever a part of Marantz. Unfortunately that’s not the case."
Sounds like it wasn’t his decision.
Maybe he’s going to start his own company and make a new line of universal disc players...
It would strike me as most unprofessional to of handled this situation, however it arose, in such a way it would lead a key part of the organization to that conclusion.
Likely not unrelated to the recent acquisition of Marantz by that emerging audio behemoth, Sound United.
I guess we can kiss any future Reference Line product goodbye. Get 'em while you still can.
Um... The guy's 72, IIRC. Probably glad to be shut of all of it. Don't cry for him, Argentina.
Yeah - I don't think Ken was showing up for work at 7am every morning for a long day of amp designing. As a general rule, when your job title contains the word "ambassador" and you don't work for the State Department it means you don't do anything.
Very bad news, but not surprising since Sound United is pulling the strings now. They certainly have a way of making bad decisions.
With it being a mutual decision one has to wonder who initiated that the departure. Was it Marantz that wanted him out and likely gave him a nice settlement or was it Ken who decided the time was just right.
Good riddance! He drove that company into the ground. Time for new blood. Progress trumps paternity.
And how did he do that?
From the link:
Ishiwata noted: "It must be [a] big surprise that I’m not part of Marantz organization... I thought I’d be forever a part of Marantz. Unfortunately that’s not the case."
That was in the 2nd post.
I think the answer is that Marantz left Ken, not the other way around. The company that started out as Standard Radio in the early '50s has now disappeared, essentially, along with Saul Marantz and Joe Tushinsky. I must admit I'm flabbergasted at the "good riddance" comment; totally unwarranted and ignorant of the man's contributions.
Ishiwata-San's expertise lay in taking an existing straightforward commercial product and knowing just what to change to make it "Special". A better cap, a redesigned power supply, perhaps some strategically applied damping - all in furtherance of taking a design from "good enough" to "Aha!"
As always, just my opinion, YMMV. But there ain't gonna be any "new blood", I betcha.
Perhaps he just understands the direction Marantz is going, and doesn't want to be on board when that happens. Sound United already owns Denon and Onkyo, and, as of late - Pioneer. All of them are glorious brands of yesteryear, nowadays reduced to nothing but old names slapped on top of mediocre Chinese consumer grade products, with emphasis on AVR, nowhere near the level of gear they produced in the distant past, let alone hi-end.
Marantz was the last Japanese holdout of what could be termed "near-hi-end". Now, it's probably going to join the same stable of "names", and the products will come from the same places these new "denons" and "onkyos" come from. So, my take on things is Mr. Ishiwata just knows this and decided not to be associated with that kind of future for a brand at which he spent a lifetime of dedication.
Normally I try not to get overly wrapped up in changes like this, it's a very different world we're entering and old guard HiFi is going to become even more of a niche than ever before. Still though, if it's true that Marantz is headed to the dustbin then I'm going to allow myself to be sad about this for a while.
Are you kidding? He has seemed to me to be more like the driving-force who drove the revival of Marantz as a high-end manufacturer once they finally escaped the clutches of their SuperScope-imposed mediocrity.
Basically, no KI signature model of upcoming Marantz wifi lifestyle speaker.
Huge bummer. A true renaissance man. A real audio genius.
Being able to afford HiFi is going to become even more of a niche than ever before.
You sir, are CLUELESS.
There may well be "new blood" but I wonder at what cost?
While mathematical and technical science can prove how a system should work, sometimes the designer just has a feeling about what will work together despite what the computer models states.
This is where the new blood may lack prowess. They will have the proper credentials for sure, but will they have the magic?
Denon is quite big in Japan, have many top of the line amps that we don’t see outside aside.
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