|Marantz HD-AMP1 Integrated Amplifier & DSD DAC Review|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Integrated Amplifiers|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Wednesday, 27 April 2016|
Page 2 of 2
Santana IV -- the brand new release from the legendary band reformed with its original members some forty seven years after their debut -- sounded robust and exciting through the HD-AMP1. While it won’t be mistaken for a classic analog release, it is pretty dynamic by today’s standards, and the music is breezy and fun, full of latin, psychedelic, and bluesy jams. The HD-AMP1 made it easy to hear all the classic Santana percussion, background chants, and keyboard lines. The release of Santana IV prompted me to go back and listen to a bunch of classic Santana releases including the 24/96 remasters of Borboletta and Welcome, as well as SACD rips of Caravanserai and Love Devotion Surrender. I don’t think I have ever heard these albums sound better. The HD-AMP1’s DAC section was performing some sort of magic, as these albums sounded fresh and vibrant, even though I have heard them hundreds of times.
For something modern, I streamed several albums by Black Mountain, an excellent band from Vancouver. Their music incorporates everything from pych-folk, punk, heavy progressive, and even Black Sabbath. Their self-titled album was a real treat via the HD-AMP1, with its trippy, angular songs billowing out of the speakers with great clarity and purpose. Their most recent album -- the stunning IV -- sounded huge, with fuzzed out guitars, epic jams, and a very cool, spacey vibe. The HD-AMP1 pulled me in, and made me even more excited about the fact they were coming to play a local venue.
I tested the iDevice/USB input as well, and music stored on an iPad Air in AIFF sounded terrific, with an immediacy that was very enjoyable. Basically the same results I heard with the HD-DAC1 and its front iDevice input. The HD-AMP1’s front panel USB input can playback AIFF, WAV, and FLAC, to 192 kHz, and ALAC up to 96 kHz for removable storage. It also allows for DSD playback up to DSD128. This is a big upgrade from earlier Marantz products, which were limited in file type and resolution. This is fantastic news.
The Marantz HD-AMP1 is a great addition to the Marantz line. The sonics were absolutely beyond reproach at this price point (and well beyond). The feature set is remarkable, and the built quality is exceptional. I really wish I had something to complain about, but I don’t. Perhaps the only omission on the digital side is a Bluetooth connection. Hardly a deal killer.
Marantz HD-AMP1 Integrated Amplifier & DAC: $1099
-35 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.1% THD
DAC: Simaudio 280D
Tape Deck: Revox A77, Revox B77
Server: Bryston BDP-2
Preamp: Rogue Audio RP-5, Aric Audio Unlimited
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Simaudio 760A, Rotel RB-1590
Speaker: Bryston Mini T
Cables: Stager Sound, Acoustic Zen, Element Cable, DH Labs, iFi, SVS
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks and Svelte Shelves, Shakti Stone, Bryston BIT-15, Salamander rack
Music Server: SOtM sMS-100 w/ Battery XPS
Preamp: Aric Audio Expression, Belles Soloist 3
DAC/Streamer: Simaudio 280D w MiND
Power Amplifier: Onkyo M5000R
Tape Deck: Sony TC-350
Speaker: Magnepan MMG, Spendor S35R
Cables: Stager Sound, Transparent, DH Labs, SVS
Accessories: Cable Pro Noisetrapper, iFi iPower, Audience aR6