Marantz CD-7 CD Players

4.88/5 (8 Reviews)


Product Description

Audiophile player with Double Crown converters and DSP


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cavalaf a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2011

Bottom Line:   
Having been searching for a better CD player/Dac for some months, trying different models including modded ones with valves, NOS types etc., I came to realise that the old style multibit DAC sound was what I was yearning for. A bit more research came up with the Marantz CD7 as being the ultimate version of that.

As you will know if you are reading this, the CD7 was Marantz's final high-end dedicated CD design. They used over the top components and materials, to make the best use of the stock of what they thought to be their best ever DAC chip - the double crown TDA1541 made by their parent company Philips. The limit of their chip supply meant they only made 750 of them. They originally sold for £3,500 in the UK, with inflation, that is the equivalent to about £4,800 in 2011.

I had looked at a number of potential Marantzes and saved the searches on ebay and forgot about it - I believed the chance of picking up one of these is so remote. However, a week or two later I was surprised to see a CD7 had appeared. I have learned my lesson with previous rare items - buy it fast because it can be years before you see another. So, no messing around, I clicked on Buy it Now and yesterday it arrived. Six hours of listening later and I am staggered by what I have heard.

Putting it through a Luxman L-507u into Spendor SP1 speakers (all also bought pre-owned), the speed and dynamics, the complex layers of instrumental textures, all are realised as if you are sitting in the concert hall about 5 rows from the front. Disks which were well reviewed but I found disappointing are now jaw droppingly good. Voices have greater presence and individuality. Acoustic instruments have all their harmonics and timbres, including string basses - this is the first time I have heard the woodyness and air in their sound, just as in real life.

I have never been a much of a fan of pop music, Jazz and Classical being my music. However, I found myself putting on my other half's pop and rock disks - and yes my foot was tapping, rhythm was sexy and tunes catchy in a way I did not expect. Also the beauty of some of their voices were a real surprise (Tracy Chapman nearly made me cry). Big band jazz was extraordinary, the classic Count Basie tightness was almost brutal. Small ensembles were wonderful, intimate and detailed. Miles Davis's Kind of Blue was restored to the sound I remembered from much my loved vinyl jazz collection.

I used to be interested in SACD and Hi-Res recordings. I no longer care - I cannot image any improvement, especially as the SACD recordings are rarely great performers (where are the opera SACDs? - no Pavarotti, no Domingo, no Corelli, no Bergonzi, no Sutherland, no Callas, no freni ... one Carreras, no modern ones, no classics - unbelievable).

The other fact of course is that pre-owned classic and rare equipment such as this is no longer falling in value - as long as you take care of it someone else will buy it from you and you might even make a profit. it's better than money in the bank - as you can enjoy it while you own it.

If you see a Marantz CD7 for sale and you care about CDs - then if you have the money just buy it.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paul barras a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2005

Bottom Line:   
The CD-7's playback is incredibly, almost ridiculously accurate and will destroy the worst of recordings, making them near unlistenable. Its bulk makes it a pain to move around, a critical consideration for those audiophile college students, if there is such a breed. It lacks flexibility by being unable to play anything other than CDs, no HDCDs, no SACDs, no DVD-As, as such it is an anachronism. The final factor, it must be admitted, does not affect the majority, who own CDs and do not wish to convert their entire collection to the latest and greatest.
In the end, with the advantages of a first class performance, build quality and the ability to act as a DAC for other equipment, the disadvantages can easily be discounted. If you are looking for the best CD playback, you need look no further, the CD-7 is it. It is still the player to beat.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $2680.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by global quest a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2001

Bottom Line:   

This CD player is well known the world over but in the US it is a complete sleeper. My advice to anyone looking at CD players in this price range is to audition the CD-7. I am sure there will be people who will not prefer the CD-7 sound but I think most people would agree that it is a stunningly beautiful approach to music reproduction.

The build is also very solid and the remote is very sexy.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $4500.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by James Henry a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2000

Bottom Line:   
As you can see I have tried out a number of machines, each with their own character and style. I have gone for the CD-7 as it does almost everything very, very well, whereas the other contenders just fell down on one or two things that I was not able to live with. The BAT - a little too warm, lacks the drive that the CD-7 most certainly has. The Wadia - I still don't know what to make of this machine. The Naim - still lacks tonal colour. The Sony - bound to be a sound investment but I'm going to wait and see as the CD-7 will take care of my 16 bit disks forever and I'll buy a dedicated SACD/DVD-A machine when the time is right. (Or maybe upsampling...?) To cut a long story short the Marantz is a great CD player, with drive, rhythm, clarity and transparency throughout its presentation. Ken Ishiwata, its designer, set out to make his statement 16 bit CD player and he has done so. It retails for £3,500 which is alot of money, but I have no doubt that I picked the right one. They say only 750 have been made. If you're in this price range for heaven's sake make sure you get to hear one before it's too late.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Justin Benn a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I've waited to see whether anyone else has woken up to this secret of high-end audio. Having been in the market for an audiophile cd player for the last year, I was on the verge of purchasing the impressive Naim CDS2 - a very good design, that has truly escaped Naim's usual cul-de-sacs.
The Marantz was introduced to me by an astonishing review in the British press, and having heard it, I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with Martin Colloms. Its an exceptional player, combining the strengths of players like Accuphase's DP 65V with those involving characteristics of Naim's top models.

The sound is utterly clear, and authoritative, and wonderfully engaging. Yet it still manages to sound rich and informative. For me it bests Wadia's 860, Naim's CDS2, Accuphase's DP65V, Mark Levinson's No. 39, and Audio Synthesis' Dax Decade. It performs more like a Linn CD12 with a bit more bite!

Auditioning is highly recommended, but you may be disappointed if you don't act quickly as only a few will be made due to the scarcity of the TD1541A Double Gold Crown mulitbit dacs employed. Please write to me if you want a further description.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




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