Marantz CD-17 K.I.Signature CD Players

CD-17 K.I.Signature

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Tim Field   AudioPhile [Apr 28, 2009]

I used this for over 2 years in my system. I did just do a big write up but lost it!

For me this was the greatest player ever, until I bought something better! It's one of those players that's one step up from a budget players of which I've owned many. That's where my praise stops. This is a product that many people moving from cheapo cd players will wow over. You can't fault the weight, looks and build quality. The remote is a work of art and pride of ownership is high.

So what's wrong with it? It's mediocre. Warm and fuzzy, with a poor stereo image, no slam at all. It's not bad by budget standards but up your price range to players like the Sony SCD777ES (considered an average cd player) and you get so much more! I stuck with this player for far too long, seduced by it's warm passable sound. In a really bright system I'm sure it'll tame that well but apart from that I have little good to say about it. Pure average all the way, not bad at anything and not good and for that it gets really low marks from me. Flat and lifeless.

So save up and get something really high end. Don't get stuck where I did with running mid-fi for too long!

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Tim F   AudioPhile [Apr 28, 2009]

Well ok how many of you are reviewing this from a perspective of owning a number of high end cd players? I ask as for me this is one of those legendary hyped products, which carefully appears to be high end due to it's weight, price and construction. For those qualities and beautiful remote you'd be hard pressed to fault it.

I owned this player for over 2 years and was utterly convinced it was great, using various other players such as Cambridge Audio and all manor of cheaper kit this was truely an improvement. Ok so if you're upgrading from something "budget" i.e. £300 or so (sorry I'm from the UK) then this will be good. However, it's really not that good! Switching up vastly in price a number of years back to the Sony 777ES which by all accounts is considered average for cd replay amongst the high end circles (I still think it's darn good though) it buried the Marantz and provided the grave and shovel.

The Marantz is one of those lacklustre players that does nothing particularly well. It's imaging is flat, the bass doesn't have any slam and the imaging leaves much to be desired. It's warm and can thus tame bright systems, however if your system isn't bright then it'll be too soft and wooly.

So you may get the impression I don't like this much! Comparisons with the CD 67 etc. which I've also owned in my day it's clearly better but up against the competition I'd stay well clear. No idea what some reviewers are on about as I didn't find this bright at all. I fully agree with Jochgem.

So the lesson is buy this if you want a bargain as it can be picked up cheaply, but don't expect this to be anywhere near as good as the likes of Wadia it's simply not. Bury the hype and buy something more expensive if you can. If not enjoy and save up!


OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
serge m   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2003]
Strength:

bold, detailed, very good depth and soundstaging, communicativeÃ

Weakness:

quite polite and lacking in vibrancy for some musica

The first few weeks I bought this product I got the initial impression that it somehow sounded smallish and a restrained compared to the arcam alpha 7Se I had. But after a few more weeks of leaving it on and running-in, this player finally revealed its true character of being detailed, muscular but refined, having a very good depth and soundstaging. It dissects musical nuances with finesse that add up to the enjoyment of listening to this player. It is definitely not the last word in having qualities that make up a truly outstanding player but it lives up much to its claim of musical hi-fidelity. r

Similar Products Used: arcam alpha 7SE. Marantz CD 17 KIS is connected to Roksan Caspian Integrated & power amps, Quad 306 power amp, using Kimber 8TC speaker cable and Kimber PBJ interconnectsb
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jochgem   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 11, 2002]
Strength:

Quite a lot of material for this price.

Weakness:

Too much money for a player like this. Try a meridian 507/508.

The first thing I expected when I plugged this CD-player in my Marantz PM 17 was a clear and bright sound. But none of this was true. Before this player I had a CD6000OSE. A bit electronically, but OK. The CD17 KI sounded very death, if you know what I mean. Absolutely no connection with musical experience. A shame, but true. Now I have a "normal" CD6000 with excellent new parts. New caps and a better power source. This player is ten times better then a Standard CD17 KI.

Similar Products Used: KEF Reference model 3-2, Marantz PM17, KEF C85.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Richard Phillabaum   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 19, 2002]
Strength:

It has the most realistic sound I have heard from a CD player.

Weakness:

Noisy transport.

I listened to several CD players before buying the CD17. It was the best sounding CD player I had heard regardless of the price.

Similar Products Used: I have had Sony and Onkyo cds.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mtcane   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 29, 2002]
Strength:

Timing, clarity, bass, power in presentation, overall musical enjoyment.

Weakness:

Bass a bit bland.

I bought this CD player (500 pounds sterling) as an upgrade to a Musical Fidelity X-RAY. I am very pleased with the results. Timing is fantastic, the music I play sounds richer (the X-RAY is a touch clinical) and the bass is powerful and extended. Detailing is very good, so overall I believe I have upgraded significantly. I also think although I am saying this player is great, it may easily give unconsistent results in other systems. My own system consists of Musical Fidelity X-P100 Pre-Amp, Musical Fidelity X-AS100 Power Amp, Dynaudio Contour 1.1 speakers with Kimber 8TC speaker cable and Van den Hul D102mkIII interconnects.

Similar Products Used: Naim CD5.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Arif Akhtar   Audiophile [Jan 20, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent detail, clarity, timing and imaging. No hint of treble harshness, tight bass. Looks great (particularly in champagne gold finish). Excellent build quality. Nice remote control. Is easy to match with other components. Outperforms and embarasses equipment costing several times as much.

Weakness:

None that are significant really, although for most people including myself it's hardly cheap, but worth every penny. Needs long running in period to really shine. Must be partnered with high quality components to make the most of it.

After spending several weeks listening to CD players up to the £3000 mark this came out the best. I have yet to hear a better CD player.

Similar Products Used: I spent several weeks auditioning equivalent models from Talk, Myriad, Cyrus, Naim, Meridian, Audiolabs, Roksan, Exposure and some more exotic makes up to £3000.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John McCann   Audiophile [Jun 21, 2000]
Strength:

Everything you need in an excellent CD player
everything you need in an excellent CD player

Weakness:

a bit bright sound... anyway it's negligible

This CD player is very good indeed. I don't want to discuss further about the peformance since I don't have much time to do so. However... in general, this CD player is one of the bests below 1500 pounds and added with the stylish cosmetic and elegant remote make this CD player irresistible. Do listen to this player if you want to buy a new player and i can ensure you that the clarity, openness and huge soundstage will amaze you. 5 star without doubt.

Similar Products Used: Cyrus... Naim
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Harold   Audiophile [Oct 19, 1999]
Strength:

Transparant, highly detailed, solid dry deep reaching bass, perfect timing and pace, very musical and real sounding.

Weakness:

May sound not that impressive at first.
Build quality not as impressive as Meridian.

My system:Aaron no. 5 amplifier, Audio Analyse interlink,Monitor Precision speakercable,Dynaudio Contour 1.8's.

After months of shopping for a new cd-player I ended up auditioning the Ishiwata tweaked "oldy" Marantz cd17 and the much praised "newcomer" Meridian 506-24.
Both players had been played in at least 100 hrs and were plugged in the electricity net using a multimeter to obtain the best connection.
To be honest my choice was made very quickly.....the Marantz outclassed the Meridian in all fields!
The latter sounding impressivly full and crisp but failing to produce real music. This may sound pretty strange because we are talking about a machine here.
What I mean is that the timing was way of as if the musicians in question had some sort of bad hair day. The bass sounded a bit uncontrolled, the highs (cymbals, bells etc.) where very clear but kind of metallic sounding and voices although clear and rock solid in the stereo image sounded unnatural, almost processed.
The Marantz on the other end managed to perform in such a way that all I did was listen to the performance of the musicians. Timing and pace are right on the spot, dynamics and tension building are superb giving me goose bumps with certain songs. The bass is extremely dry but the result is a very solid foundation that reaches very deep whitout sounding muddy. Drums and cymbals sound just like the real thing as do all the other instruments, especially acoustic instruments and strings (I,m a professional jazz-rock musician myself). The highs are very silk like without losing impact but most of all very natural sounding and the atmosphere is simply breathtaking with a superb decay of the reverb.
I must say that this player although maybe not absolutely perfect is by far the most musical and real sounding one I have heared to date and alternatives have to be found in price regions far beyond most audiophiles reach like 4 to 5 times the price. By the way if I had the money I'd probably still kept my current system because sound improvement compared to value for money is way of balance in these price regions, at least that's my opinion .
So if you like music and you are shopping in the Marantz' price region and you love beatifull music this may be it for you!!

Music used:
Al DiMeola - The infinite desire
Sting - Brand New Day
Chuck Loeb _ Simple Things
Brandford Marsalis - Requiem
Joan Osborne _ Relish
Different classical and Heavy Rock cd's
some poor and some perfectly recorded.

Similar Products Used: Meridian 506-24
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
stephen w   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 25, 2001]
Strength:

good soundstaging, holographic imaging, tapping pace, rich musicality, solid build

Weakness:

treble a bit soft, bass lacking ultimate extension

I'm always of the opinion that one has to try the machine for best matching, though it's not easy to do this buying new machines. I'm fortunate to have a second hand shop friend who would lend me for testing.

I'm also a believer of individualistic taste on hi-fi, though not music, because it's nearly impossible to achieve exact reproduction of live concert or show by using electrical stuff within a certain budget.

I'm a classical music fan so the 17KI fits my system well, which is composed of ruark crusader speakers and VTL 2.5 Pre and MB125 power monoblocks, and audiotruth and cardas cross cables. It also takes a few tweaks to squeeze the best sound from my current system, liking cones and isolation of cables.

I listed what I like about 17-KI in the Stregnth column, but I'd add that this heavy, solid, handsome machine is not a ubiquitous suiter. As I often go to concert of orchestral and chamber, 17-KI create the best "live" sound in the few machines I've tried. I can forgive all its weakness for the attractive music it brings me. And the human voice from it is enchanting, delicate and emotional, killing all the twang and ting from digital source. It flows in a creamy way.

I prefer tube sound, so my system always lack the attack the best transistor stuff gives out. But tube give me live concert, opera, recital and mass, touching my chord with its warm and three-dimensional sound.

For the money I got, there must be other cd players better suited to other systems for other people. But for guys sharing my taste of music, give marantz a try. And you must put cones under it for best result.

PS. I also listen to some jazz and pop, which 17 KI does equally well. I hope my comment will put the machine in to the fame hall.

Similar Products Used: teac p-700+D-700, meridian 200+263, luxman
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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