Proving high quality stereo still matters in this world of multichannel sound, Marantz has released its Special Edition 14 Integrated Stereo Amplifier and the matching Super Audio CD player.
They are not cheap, but are packed with premium components. The amplifier uses Marantz’s HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technology. HDAMs are packages of discrete, carefully chosen components contained in metal shielding and are used instead of off-the-shelf op-amps to ensure higher quality.
The Marantz PM-14S1 Special Edition Integrated Stereo Amplifier offers 90 watts per channel of power into eight ohm loudspeakers, and 140 watts each into four ohm speakers. That’s one difference between your typical home theatre receiver and a hifi amp. The receiver usually can’t deliver more power into lower impedances than it can into eight ohms, if it supports four ohm loads at all.
So, bullet proof power from this stereo amp. And bullet proof build as well. The premium chassis is designed to be very rigid, and the top cover of the amplifier is made of 5mm thick aluminium. Underneath are solid machined aluminium feet to ensure firm support.
An oversized toroidal transformer is used in the power supply, along with exceptional power supply capacitance to ensure massive support for short term power demands. Toroidal transformers are shaped like donuts and their shape reduces stray electrical fields to the minimum, keeping noise levels low. As an analogue amplifier, it of course includes a preamplifier for phono, supporting both moving coil and moving magnet cartridge designs. The RIAA correction equaliser features a constant current feedback design to ensure evan sound characteristics across the frequency range.
The Marantz SA-14S1 Special Edition Super Audio CD player matches the amplifier for build, and does quite a bit more than just spin CDs and SACDs. It can also decode other digital sources using its built in high quality DAC, thanks to optical and coaxial digital inputs, plus a USB-B connection. With this last a computer can be plugged in to deliver the highest of high resolution digital audio, up to 24 bit, 192kHz PCM and double speed Direct Stream Digital (also known as DSD128 or 5.6MHz DSD)
As I said, not cheap. The Marantz PM-14S1 amplifier is available for $5490, while the SA-14S1 Super Audio CD player sells for $4990.
Marantz equipment is distributed in Australia by QualiFi Pty Ltd.