Marantz CD17 KI (Mk 1 or 2)

garysan

Active Member
Hello,

First post :)

I'm thinking of upgrading my CD63 MKII KI to a CD17 KI but am a little confused as to what differences there are (if any) between the MK 1 or 2 versions of the KI CD17 - can anyone help?

Are the differences important, is one better than the other, etc?

Any and all input appreciated.

Thanks, Gary.
 

garysan

Active Member
bump.
 

RossFlet

Active Member
Have you actually established that for what you listen to, the 17 gives any benefit over the 63? They are both pretty good players. I don't know the answer to your question but I strongly suspect, very little.
 

garysan

Active Member
No - never auditioned. Because the CD-17 is obviously now a pre-owned item and I don't personally know the seller, I would be buying blind but hopefully at a price I could sell on (relatively easily) if I found I didn't like or didn't notice any benefit.

This would be my first 'blind' purchase but I do remember one of the guys at my local Hi-Fi shop which is now sadly closed, waxing lyrical about it when they first got one in - about 12 'ish years ago...
 

RossFlet

Active Member
I'd close my wallet and put it back in my pocket. What some guy in a shop thinks....... Marantz have a good reputation in CDPs and yes, the CD17 has had excellent reviews, but would you buy a second hand car without trying it first? How much money are you going to have to outlay to conduct this "experiment"?
 

garysan

Active Member
Yes but the guy in the shop was a good guy (friend) who I'd bought all my existing equipment from and therefore knew my system and tastes (to some extent) - not just *some* guy :)

£400 is the ask although over the last week or so, my interest has started to wain...
 

RossFlet

Active Member
OK you didn't say the sales guy was a friend and would be more inclined to give you good advice.

Take a look at this

Marantz CD 17 cd player

I've always found tnt reviews to be reliable and more objective than many. I've bought gear based on their reviews and not been disappointed. The 400 pound price tag in our money would be regarded as very good. The CD17 was probably close to three times that when new. It's really a question as to whether spending that money on another part of your system would give more benefit. To some extent it also depends on the sort of music you listen to and the degree of detail you want or the music demands. Certainly the CD17 will deliver on detail and would compare favourably with Arcam's FMJ series.

If it's at all possible to contact the guy and arrange a demo, I'd go that way. Take some CDs that you know well. What amp/speaker combo are you using?
 

garysan

Active Member
Hi Ross,

Thanks for the info (I have seen several reviews but hadn't read the one you linked to).

I am currently using an Arcam AVR and Mission 752's musical tastes are very, very varied but no classical - pretty much everything else though to some extent ;)

I did have a moment where I considered buying an Arcam DV139 for about £600 which could have been my CD player as well as taking care of DVD duties but after reading some comments/reviews about its sound capabilities, perhaps it's best to keep these jobs separate.

Do yo have any knowledge of the various 'upgrades' that are available (from 3rd party companies) for upgrading the CD-63MKIII KI? Perhaps that might be an alternative avenue to look into.

Many thanks for your input/advice thus far.
 

seasidersrock

Active Member
:) Excellent CDP, built like the proveriable brick out house.
My first serious player was the CD63 MK1,then replaced with a Creek CD43.
Large improvement, better bass, more detail.
I then acquired a mint CD17 MK2 KI, paid £650, 10 months old, the original owner paid £1150 from Super Fi, ouch.
Straight to the bottom of the page, blew the Creek into the weeds.
Outstanding bass, detail, soundstage and no digital nastys.
Going rate for a mint 17 depending on MK1 or 2, or KI is aprox £300-£400, and for that money its a supurb player, plus there are upgrades available that will take it to another level. Recommended. :smashin:
 

garysan

Active Member
:) Excellent CDP, built like the proveriable brick out house.
My first serious player was the CD63 MK1,then replaced with a Creek CD43.
Large improvement, better bass, more detail.
I then acquired a mint CD17 MK2 KI, paid £650, 10 months old, the original owner paid £1150 from Super Fi, ouch.
Straight to the bottom of the page, blew the Creek into the weeds.
Outstanding bass, detail, soundstage and no digital nastys.
Going rate for a mint 17 depending on MK1 or 2, or KI is aprox £300-£400, and for that money its a supurb player, plus there are upgrades available that will take it to another level. Recommended. :smashin:
Thanks Seasidesrock, is it worth hanging on for a MK2 or are the differences negligible? (I have option to buy a MK1 at £400).
 
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seasidersrock

Active Member
:) £400 is a bit strong for a MK1, hang on and try for a MK2 KI,well worth it.
If you get the chance the matching PM 17 integrated is also well worth the money.:smashin:
 

RossFlet

Active Member
OK Gary the research I've done here says:

Don't touch the Mark I. Mark II and Mark III were huge improvements. One guy with a Mark III reported he just loves the warm laid back sound and has replaced gear around it but never the player itself.

Others reported problems with transport particularly failed drawer mechanisms, One dealer said they had hige probs with the crappy Philips transport (also used on Micromega and Krell for goodness sake). However, if you got a good one you were set forever :D

If it's laid back you might want to look again at Arcam - dedicated CDP. There might be some second hand CD 33s around now and these are stunning players. Reviewers such as Stereophile have raved about this player and I've tried one myself. Only the outrageous price tag (for a superceded player) prevented a sale.
 

garysan

Active Member
Many thanks RossFlet - all info greatly appreciated and absorbed/taken into account. I have already started considering an Arcam CDP as a good alternative so it's good to hear those comments.

Thanks again, Gary.
 

karkus30

Banned
Never had the KI version but lived with the standard 17 for quite a while as an upgrade from an old Arcam Alpha.

The 17 was a warm, mellow player with good detail but I always felt it was rather dull. Arcam by contrast had a more organic sound (due to the DAC chip used in the Arcam players at the time) although the bass was more flabby.

If you are looking to upgrade any players significantly then you need to be looking for those that contain the TDA 1541A DAC chip (preferably S1/S2). This was a DAC was poorly implemented on many early players because the digital process was not clearly understood. The reality is that it was one of the best DAC chips of all time and is the subject of counterfeiting these days due to it's popularity. Often used in NOS designs when they can be found.

Many other DAC chips in later machines had far better implementations and less benefit can be had by trying to upgrade the players. However, despite having better implementation the main engine is not of the same quality as the TDA1541.

That isn't to say that the 1541A isn't the only DAC ever made that sounds good and later DAC's from Wolfson such as WM4870 onwards are probably superior.

It doesn't answer your original question of course and like everything else it requires a long term home demo to see if you like it. KI editions of marantz 63players always sounded too bright and forward for my liking, they solved the issues with the dull sounds of the none KI models but ended up sounding a little too incisive. In many ways they are chalk and cheese. The KI always seemed fatiguing to me, I can remember having one of the Ki 63's and thinking

'Ok, you can knock it off now, you have proved your point, can I have the old sound back now please?
 

garysan

Active Member
Interesting reading your comments about the 63KI sounding 'bright' to you - I've found it to be very musical and not too forward at all. I've recently changed my speaker cable and found it even more rewarding and a bit more exciting but certainly not 'fatiguing' (currently running it though an Arcam Diva AVR and Mission 752's).

When I compare it to how the old cable sounded (Cable Talk Bi-Wire 4), I would describe it as a little 'shut in' whereas now (with Chord Odyessy 2), it's more open, exciting, more three dimensional and more engaging - the sound projects far more readily into the room.

When I originally bought the 63KI, I also auditioned the Cyrus dad3 (with and without the separate PSU) - I seem to remember there was another CDP at the time but I can't recall its make/model. I had them at home together over a long weekend and although the Cyrus (when the PSU was attached) sounded virtually identical, perhaps slightly better to my ear than the Marantz, it was well over twice the price. Hence why the Marantz prevailed.

I was upgrading from an Arcam Alpha 6 which had been upgraded by Arcam from a 5 and I felt since the upgrade, it wasn't 'working' in my system as well as before its trip to Cambridge... In hindsight, I should have probably taken it back for a check or perhaps even downgrade but at the time, I decided to sell it back to the shop I originally bought it from and upgrade to something else.

I was a loyal patron of that shop - which has since closed unfortunately, hence me now rooting around in the pre-owned sections as there isn't a Hi-Fi shop local to me anymore :( I can't imagine building a relationship with RicherSounds which would allow me over-weekend home auditions on a whim.
 

karkus30

Banned
Interesting reading your comments about the 63KI sounding 'bright' to you - I've found it to be very musical and not too forward at all. .
Bright probably isn't the right word. It just sounded unbelievably busy in my Naim amplified system as if it was trying too hard to be a piece of hifi. As I said, you have to try the things on a home audition to see if they fit with the rest of the system. How they sounded in my system is immaterial, but for the sake of trying to answer the post this is the best opinion I can give.
 
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