Marantz HD-DAC1 Review

September 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“In the opening of Kozmic Blues the cymbals sounded like they were out there in the room in front of us, rather than being pumped into our ears by the headphones.

The Beyerdynamic headphones are fairly bright, but not as bright as the Final B3 in-ears. Yet they were somehow an easier listen than usual. We doubt that the amplifier could have done that. Perhaps they are wearing in. Anyway, they have a similar sensitivity – 102dB/mW – to the Beyerdynamic headphones, but they are nominally 19 ohms rather than 250 ohms. No problems. Superb control from the Marantz and, of course, even more power on tap I’m certain, were we prepared to chance it.

We spent most of the time with the Focal Elear headphones. These have a tonal balance closer to what you experience with high-quality loudspeakers. They are also middling in impedance – 80 ohms. Throughout all manner of music from piano to vocals to hard, hard rock, the Marantz delivered perfect control, providing a clear window into the recording.

It’s only those few audiophiles that are experimenting with super-high resolution formats (352.8/384kHz and DSD512 and beyond), or those who use balanced headphones, who may be disappointed that they can’t use these formats or devices.”

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