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New MARANTZ - HD-AMP1 Integrated Amplifier/DAC Integrated Amp


314carpenter
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Thanks. I snagged one.  Been looking at DACs and Headphone amps lately.  The power amp is icing on the cake for future proofing it for my needs.  I'm sure it will trickle down to the kids at some point, but I'll give it an audition on the Khorns.  I have yet to drive them with anything solid state, lol.

 

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Hi, for an ignorant person like me, this seems expensive even at the lower price.  Is the main cost the DAC?  To be able to bypass a computer's own DAC and still put it into a good sounding amp?  Otherwise, why wouldn't someone just get a NR1200?  I guess the form factor is cute. 

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4 minutes ago, SoundsGreat? said:

Hi, for an ignorant person like me, this seems expensive even at the lower price.  Is the main cost the DAC?  To be able to bypass a computer's own DAC and still put it into a good sounding amp?  Otherwise, why wouldn't someone just get a NR1200?  I guess the form factor is cute. 

Well I will say that the discount isn't as much as it appears. When I was shopping them hard, they were $799 every day, everywhere. Now they're showing msrp as the before price. I see it as more of a lifetstyle product which is why I leaned toward the Oppo at the time. I didn't need the amplifier or headphone amp feature.

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34 minutes ago, SoundsGreat? said:

Hi, for an ignorant person like me, this seems expensive even at the lower price.  Is the main cost the DAC?  To be able to bypass a computer's own DAC and still put it into a good sounding amp?  Otherwise, why wouldn't someone just get a NR1200?  I guess the form factor is cute. 

 

It has a very capable DAC, but it doesn't measure very good (DAC nerds are the worst).  I agree that it is a 'lifestyle' product, but it does pack lots of features into a small attractive package.  I bought it based on almost universal adoration espoused in the user reviews.  If it sounds like a turd, I'll ship it back.

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21 minutes ago, Godataloss said:

 

It has a very capable DAC, but it doesn't measure very good (DAC nerds are the worst).  I agree that it is a 'lifestyle' product, but it does pack lots of features into a small attractive package.  I bought it based on almost universal adoration espoused in the user reviews.  If it sounds like a turd, I'll ship it back.

I imagine it's going to sound really good. It looks great and I bet the build quality is nice too. I doubt you'll send it back :)

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23 hours ago, SoundsGreat? said:

Hi, for an ignorant person like me, this seems expensive even at the lower price.  Is the main cost the DAC?  To be able to bypass a computer's own DAC and still put it into a good sounding amp?  Otherwise, why wouldn't someone just get a NR1200?  I guess the form factor is cute. 

 

The NR1200 doesn't have usb input or the ability to decode DSD.

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I received the HD AMP 1 on Friday and spent a fair amount of time listening to it over the weekend.  The short verdict is it's okay.  It's a beautiful unit with a solid feel and fairly intuitive operation.  It has bass and treble adjustment, but I spent most of my time listening to it in 'Direct' mode which bypasses all of that for what was to me a much more natural sound.  The DAC played any of the flac files I put on a thumb drive (drive must be formatted in FAT which is kinda a bummer since all my digital music is on ntfs hard drives) and streamed google music to it vial toslink which sounded as good as any of my flac files.  Noise level was nonexistent with sounds emerging from that inky black background with authority and detail.  Midrange was especially nice with vocals and instrumentation having a very natural presentation.   I have not yet hooked it up to a PC to try any of the higher rez DSD formats it is capable of.

 

I used the analog input with my Parks Audio Budgie phono pre.  The Budgie is on the lower end of gain and it showed here as I began to run out of volume knob if I wanted to approach maximum listening levels.  In comparison to the digital side, the analog inputs sounded somewhat sterile.  Dynamics were still good, but the transients seemed to be lacking.  Again putting it in 'Direct' mode helps here somewhat, but I found my ears reaching for something in familiar passages that just wasn't there.  I start getting nervous when I have to turn an amp up beyond halfway, but realistically this is not an amplifier you're gonna buy to shake the rafters with.  I don't normally listen at super elevated levels anyway, but there are many reviews stating that they believe it to be conservatively rated at 35 wpc.  I did not find this to be the case.   My Scott 340a (36wpc) wipes the floor with it power wise and tonally,  but at least the Marantz did not heat the room.  It never got beyond warm even after playing it for hours.  Pretty amazing.

 

If Marantz would of just put some preamp outputs on this thing, they would of had a real winner at the $600 price point.   As is, it will probably end up as a desktop system or a as a headphone amp.  Maybe class D is just not for me.  Anyway, fwiw- my 2 cents.

 

My system-

-Volti Audio modded Khorns with Fostex t500 AMKIII tweeters

-Parks Audio Budgie 

-modded VPI  HW19 with Ortofon Black

marantz.thumb.jpg.142174bb0fa334d8206c13ad5f072b12.jpg

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