... What parts of audio electronics are the most important in your opinion? In other words, what aspects of hardware design will give us the greatest sound benefit?
Unfortunately, it's not so simple. Everything is important! Buying so-called expensive audiophile components doesn't guarantee good sound. Many engineers copied what I did in Marantz products but they didn't know why I was using those specific parts in very specific places of each product. I'm always saying it's like a football team. Putting a world class players together doesn't mean the team will always win. It's the same with hi-fi products because there are so many different components inside them, and every one of these components has a different sound character, just like every football player has different personality and skills. It's very important to achieve a harmony, and simply putting together a lot of good components doesn't make the team work perfect. Often we have to pick a certain component with a specific sound character to counter balance the sound. And we are doing this with every single product we design! This became a very unique thing about Marantz as well. You'll be surprised how extensive the sound tuning process is in our listening room.
Κρίμα. Να και ο λόγος που μαλλον αποσύρθηκε από την Marantz. Ευτυχώς βρέθηκε στην κατοχή μου και υπάρχει ακόμα το CD63 MKii ki signature για να λέω και εγώ ότι έχω κάτι δικό του. Καλό ταξίδι με πολυ ποιοτική μουσική στον παράδεισο.
Ken Ishiwata: Forty years of preserving the Marantz sound . . .
The legendary CD63 MkII KI Signature is still a firm favourite
. . . What was your first job in audio?
I was radio communications officer on a commercial ship, but apart from seeing different countries, I wasn’t enjoying the job. Sony and Pioneer approached me at that time. They were looking for an engineer who could speak English, because they were expanding their business outside Japan.
Sony wasn’t looking for an audio engineer, but Pioneer was. That’s why I took the job at Pioneer, on the condition they sent me to Europe after a period of working in Japan
. . . How did you end up at Marantz?
Actually, Marantz Europe contacted me in 1977, as they needed someone technical who also understood European business. I went there for an interview, but when I gave my conditions they said, "Mr. Ishiwata, you are too expensive for us." I didn’t want to compromise, so I went home and forgot about it.
A couple of months later they contacted me again and said, "We can’t afford to have you in the European organisation, but Marantz Japan still want you to join the company." After that, I joined the company in 1978 as tech/commercial coordinator
Marantz LD50 speakers designed by Ken Ishiwata
. . . What are your favourite Marantz products?
I believe you can already guess which products I would pick. Yes, my choice is very simple. It’s the KI Ruby SACD player and partnering amplifier.
The player has a unique 1-bit DSD processing technology that makes all types of music so enjoyable. The amplifier has a high-quality phonostage. You can use a turntable with cartridges as good as a Koetsu Red Signature or IKEDA 9C III moving coil cartridge and make the most of them