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Ken Ishiwata leaves Marantz

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DrZhivago, May 16, 2019.

  1. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Their DCD-1600NE is a helluva SACD player.
    PhantomStranger and GyroSE like this.
  2. Burt

    Burt Forum Resident

    Kirkwood, MO
    My understanding is that he was a good guy, so to speak, emphasizing product quality, but corporate politics in Japan is a whole different animal and tough to understand without a much better understanding of the culture than I possess. Certainly, Saul Marantz's dedication to quality at any price (he was a great audio guy but a mediocre businessman, who unlike McIntosh and Gow had no idea how to manage build cost) was not to be continued because it was simply untenable businesswise but he did oversee a quality oriented organization. Many JDM only Marantz products were considered quite good, better than their US marketed products. That's true of several Japanese companies, particularly Luxman, which made some really good tube stuff not sold here.

    There is no magic in electronics, audio or otherwise: all engineering is by definition compromise. But a company can make good decisions making a product that holds up, is repairable, performs well, and is reasonable value for money or it can choose to not do these things. For the most part Japanese Marantz product succeeded as well as their competitors, sometimes better. It's interesting to note that when Marantz decided to reissue their vintage tube products they outsourced the build to VAC in the United States, the transformers to Magnetic Windings in Easton, PA. This was a correct decision IMO as was not even attempting to reissue the 10B tuner, the product that bankrupted US Marantz in the first place. They did err in not sewing up the contract as VAC proceeded to sell these designs under their own label after this agreement ended. At least one retailer is selling Model 9s (an amp I'm not personally that fond of) by VAC under their own house label even today.
  3. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    I missed that somehow. Just looked at the "brands" (a word I loathe to the point of nausea) they have, and they have been collecting them like sweets. Denon, Polk, Boston Acoustics, Classe etc. And the board of directors are all West Coast corporate finance guys (no women of course) and not a sneeze of technology between them. Even the next level down all talk about "brands". Aagh.
    TarnishedEars, jusbe and Sneaky Pete like this.
  4. sushimaster

    sushimaster Forum Resident

    Okay well this sucks...first Oppo now Ken, time for me to hop on the Technics revival bandwagon. Oh wait I forgot, I can't afford it.
  5. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    It doesn’t bode well for the future of good sounding high-quality mass market audio products. Marantz has been rejuvenated by returning to its roots. Ken has been instrumental in that process. With all major consumer audio products coming from two or three companies it cuts competition and innovation.

    Maybe the new owners will surprise us in a good way, but I doubt it.
  6. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Agreed and the Denon PMA-2500NE integrated amp is also very, very good.
  7. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  8. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Delta, BC, Canada
    And today we hear that Mr. Ishiwata has passed away :(
  9. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    Very sad. I bet that Marantz was his entire life. It seems like this is often how it goes for people who's whole life revolves around their work...
  10. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Intermittent audiophile

    Colorado foothills
    I had the pleasure to meet him some years ago at a Marantz sales/training event. Very classy guy, and yes, Marantz all the way.

    Another great one gone. Seems the Sonia Dada lyric is appropriate:

    "And time moves on
    And the river runs slow
    Watching you growing old..."
  11. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    SandAndGlass, Shiver and teag like this.
  12. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Oh dear. RIP Mr Ishiwata. Another good guy of high end hi fi gone.
  13. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    So. ME USA
    RIP to Mr. Ishiwata. I wonder if his departure from Marantz was due to health issues.
    joannenugent and scobb like this.
  14. LeeS

    LeeS Martini Time

    Rest in peace, Ken. Your life had quite the impact on the industry and you were a really nice guy as well.
  15. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    No...read the link and look at the video in the article.
    scobb likes this.
  16. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
  17. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    That is sad news. I hope it wasn't a result of being pushed out from Marantz. Retiring is one thing but when your whole working life is dedicated to a company and you are pushed out - I would imagine that could be devastating. When I was laid off from a company after only 7 years I was, at the time, crushed. I can't imagine what happens to the body, mind, and spirit when you are so integral to a company for so very long. Rest in Peace Ken Ishiwata.
  18. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I agree. Dedicating your whole life to your work is not a necessarily a bad thing at all, if it is your life's passion.
    TarnishedEars and Slippers-on like this.
  19. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Love Marantz! All the best Mr. Ishiwata :righton:
  20. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    He passed away on Nov. 25th, 2019.
    Bingo Bongo likes this.

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