We first spotted Marantz’s swish HD-AMP1 High Class compact amplifier at the recent hi-fi show in Melbourne. It was hard to ignore its elegant, understated classic styling or its precision level of fit and finish.
In its gorgeous and rather sumptuous champagne gold finish it looked a treat and soon attracted a horde of admirers.
Powered up it filled the Marantz suite with music played back with believable tone quality, scads of detail and plenty of dynamic drive. A testament to the technology idling away in that compact chassis.
Marantz developed advanced switching amplifier technology for the HD-AMP. A technology yielding a hefty 70 watts per channel into speakers with a nominal 4-ohm load. The HDAM-SA2 modules inside the new amp are accurate and have the ability to give recorded music the feel and texture of high-resolution audio.
To enhance the listening experience Marantz has given the HD-AMP1 its own unique Marantz Musical Digital Filtering (MMDF). Users can choose from two different filter signatures to cater for differing tastes and music.
And with an eye to contemporary trends Marantz has tweaked the amp’s digital section to not only cater for CD quality 44.1kHz/16 music resolution, but to also handle signals of up to 384kHz/32 bit resolution and DSD 2.8Mhz/5.6Mhz/11.2Mhz.
The new amp carries both coaxial and digital inputs that are tailor made to connect to TVs and set top boxes routing their sound to be processed inside the HD-AMP1’s advanced digital section.
Music streaming from say, a PC or Mac is made easy using the amp’s USB-B port. Noteworthy is also the provision to connect iDevices using the USB port handily located on the amp’s front fascia.
The HD-AMP1 has a high quality headphone stage built with a dedicated amplifier module called HDAM-SA2. This stage caters to a huge variety of headphones and the gain can be changed from low to mid to high depending on the efficiency of the headphone plugged into the amp’s headphone stage.
In keeping with its luxury styling and build quality, the $2260 HD-AMP1 is housed in a dual-layer chassis bolstered by a sturdy bottom plate to add strength and minimize any adverse effects of external vibration on sound quality. Finally the feet of the chassis have aluminum die-cast insulators to absorb external vibration created by loudspeakers.