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shafesk's picture
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Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI Signature (Appreciation/Owners/Complains/Opinions welcome)
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Just got a Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI Signature for 80 pounds and its in great shape...everything is in working order and the unit has been well looked after. I have always wanted to own a Ken Ishiwata product and I'm chuffed. I will give my opions on sound later as I'm still in the honeymoon phase with it. First impressions, great build, sounds quite analogue and has less of the Marantz sound which I like but just enough to let you know that you are listening to one. It has a warm sound signature, sweet midrange and treble and the bass of a tube amp. My CD 5004 is going away as I can't bear to listen to it without my dac. Goes well with my Cayin. I would like to hear from owners whether current or past, as well as fans and haters. What do you think of this CDP? Is it overhyped? 

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

There is no doubt that CD63 in particular its MKII KI Signature was and is still one of the great CDP in the past 20 years.  With your stock CDP the SQ IMHO is comparable to present day's CDP of £800- 1000 price tag.

If you know DIY I recommend you to change the smoothing capacitors (to 4X 10000uF) on the digital and analogue rails and change the 7812 and 7912 voltage regulators with two low noise Regulators as well as all the dioides with schottky diodes; change the two stock opamps with better ones or discrete opamps; disable the HDAM circuit and the headphone output; and most importantly change the stock DAC clock by a low jitter clock of 16.9344MHz (and change the 8.467MHz clock to the servo if you can) then you will be amazed by its great jump in performance.  Apart from that you can change all the stock capacitors of 220uF to Rubycon 470uF and change the stock toroidal transformer by 3 bigger capacity toroidal transformers to provide indenpendent source to different circuits.

(Remark: the work is actually not that difficult as you might have thought.  I just followed what had been mentioned in the following forum having about 2000 pages of discussions on how modding can be done to CD63.  If you have time have a good look at the threads and you will have more confident to carry out the work yorself.  http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/54009-marantz-cd63-cd67-mods-list-1867.html)

What you will get at the end of the day is a CDP comparable to something of over £3000.  This is my personal experience and actually I have completed modding one myself.  The SQ is so smooth, the bass is so tight and extended and the vocals are so real and without lossing all the details in the HF.  Trust me my modded CD63's overall performance is so ear friendly that beats my Leema Antila IIS costing £3000.   I am seriously considering selling my Antila which is now seldom used Smile

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RE:

Absolutely superb CD player, up there with other legends like the Rotel RCD965BX. It's a machine from the latter end of CD's heyday, which IMO is a golden period to head to if you're looking for a fantastic 'classic' CD player.

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RE:

Not one of the fans of the CD63KI here ... I was glad to change mine back in the nineties to a Trichord/Pioneer one.

Having said that, memory is notoriously unreliable so its possible that I'd feel differently now. I remember though they had very high jitter, noise or data I dont know but that could explain the slightly 'tubey' diffuse sound I recall and you mention as well.

regards

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

Inter_Voice wrote:

There is no doubt that CD63 in particular its MKII KI Signature was and is still one of the great CDP in the past 20 years.  With your stock CDP the SQ IMHO is comparable to present day's CDP of £800- 1000 price tag.

If you know DIY I recommend you to change the smoothing capacitors (to 4X 10000uF) on the digital and analogue rails and change the 7812 and 7912 voltage regulators with two low noise Regulators as well as all the dioides with schottky diodes; change the two stock opamps with better ones or discrete opamps; disable the HDAM circuit and the headphone output; and most importantly change the stock DAC clock by a low jitter clock of 16.9344MHz (and change the 8.467MHz clock to the servo if you can) then you will be amazed by its great jump in performance.  Apart from that you can change all the stock capacitors of 220uF to Rubycon 470uF and change the stock toroidal transformer by 3 bigger capacity toroidal transformers to provide indenpendent source to different circuits.

(Remark: the work is actually not that difficult as you might have thought.  I just followed what had been mentioned in the following forum having about 2000 pages of discussions on how modding can be done to CD63.  If you have time have a good look at the threads and you will have more confident to carry out the work yorself.  http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/54009-marantz-cd63-cd67-mods-list-1867.html)

What you will get at the end of the day is a CDP comparable to something of over £3000.  This is my personal experience and actually I have completed modding one myself.  The SQ is so smooth, the bass is so tight and extended and the vocals are so real and without lossing all the details in the HF.  Trust me my modded CD63's overall performance is so ear friendly that beats my Leema Antila IIS costing £3000.   I am seriously considering selling my Antila which is now seldom used Smile

Thank you for the tips, I'm afraid I am not a great diyer. I struggle with screws! If there was a video tutorial I might have given it a shot but I think this is beyond my abilities. I think I'll give the insides a good clean first, can you recommend something I can use to clean the pcd and capacitors....is it ok to use contact cleaner and compressed air? 

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RE:

MajorFubar wrote:
Absolutely superb CD player, up there with other legends like the Rotel RCD965BX. It's a machine from the latter end of CD's heyday, which IMO is a golden period to head to if you're looking for a fantastic 'classic' CD player.
I completely agree and its great to see the forum member partnering it with such high end kit.
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RE:

drummerman wrote:

Not one of the fans of the CD63KI here ... I was glad to change mine back in the nineties to a Trichord/Pioneer one.

Having said that, memory is notoriously unreliable so its possible that I'd feel differently now. I remember though they had very high jitter, noise or data I dont know but that could explain the slightly 'tubey' diffuse sound I recall and you mention as well.

regards

Drummerman can always count on you for being honest with your opinion, I'm aware that there are a lot of people who dislike it and a lot that swear by it as well....people seem to be dropping 1500 pounds on this cdp to upgrade it, there must be something there I think
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)

I had one partnering the PM66ki si amp and i thought the combo was astounding sadly I sold it all about 10 years ago when I thought playing music from a iMac/external active speakers was the future - how wrong was I?

I wouldnt hesitate to own/buy a used one again thought it was lovely smooth sound!

Would be interesting to see how it compares to my current sert up!

 

Michell Gyrodec, RB303, Benz Micro Ace H, Icon Audio ST40 w/KT88s, PS1 Phono, Kudos X2, Rega Apollo R, DAC

 

 

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RE:

shafesk wrote:

....people seem to be dropping 1500 pounds on this cdp to upgrade it, there must be something there I think

Not so sure what that says about the player.

I would just enjoy it the way it is if you like it.

regards

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

shafesk wrote:

...... I think I'll give the insides a good clean first, can you recommend something I can use to clean the pcd and capacitors....is it ok to use contact cleaner and compressed air? 

Yes, contact cleaners e.g. from Malpline will be perfect. Compressed air and vacuum cleaner are also okay Wink

You may wish to know that I am in the process of modding the 2nd CD63 MKII KI which will be connected to my headphone amplifier and my Senn HD800 for use in my bed room.  The first CD63 I had modded previously is now in the living room connected to my Leema Tucana II and Spendor SA-1 ( I have put aside my Leema Antila IIS :wave: ).

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

Inter_Voice wrote:

shafesk wrote:

...... I think I'll give the insides a good clean first, can you recommend something I can use to clean the pcd and capacitors....is it ok to use contact cleaner and compressed air? 

Yes, contact cleaners e.g. from Malpline will be perfect. Compressed air and vacuum cleaner are also okay Wink

You may wish to know that I am in the process of modding the 2nd CD63 MKII KI which will be connected to my headphone amplifier and my Senn HD800 for use in my bed room.  The first CD63 I had modded previously is now in the living room connected to my Leema Tucana II and Spendor SA-1 ( I have put aside my Leema Antila IIS :wave: ).

That sounds great, I'm sure a lot of people would love to see a modding video of it. Would help a lot of people save a lot of money! Just curious, how much did your upgrades cost altogether?
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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

shafesk wrote:

 I think I'll give the insides a good clean first, can you recommend something I can use to clean the pcd and capacitors....is it ok to use contact cleaner and compressed air? 

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/cleaning-your-hifi

regards

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI

shafesk wrote:

That sounds great, I'm sure a lot of people would love to see a modding video of it. Would help a lot of people save a lot of money! Just curious, how much did your upgrades cost altogether?

It depends on what grade of electronic components you are using.  For the first CD63 that I had modded I used average grade materials (capacaitors; transformers; jow jitter clocks and low voltage regulators etc) and the they costed me about £400.  For the second one that I am now in the process of modding I am using top of the grade components and I expect the cost will be more than doubled.  The most expensive items are the two high grade low jitter clocks, the Burson opamps and a few very low noise voltage regulators which cost me almost £700.  When taking in acount of the high grade capacitors and the transformers etc the total material cost will be just less than £1000. 

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Inter_voice, based on your extensive experience of modding this player, how to you feel the transport stands up to scrutiny? It's quite possible to spend serious amounts of money buying just the transport alone. Some manufacturers even design their own. But your upgraded 63KIs are getting by with the transport in a unit which even to start with was a modded budget player (the basic CD-63mkII). The implications of your findings are surely that OTT expenditure on the transport is wasted.

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RE:

MajorFubar wrote:
Inter_voice, based on your extensive experience of modding this player, how to you feel the transport stands up to scrutiny? It's quite possible to spend serious amounts of money buying just the transport alone. Some manufacturers even design their own. But your upgraded 63KIs are getting by with the transport in a unit which even to start with was a modded budget player (the basic CD-63mkII). The implications of your findings are surely that OTT expenditure on the transport is wasted.

Well, originally I also had the option of just to improve the transport circuitry and do nothing on the analogue output stage.  If that was the case the modding cost using top grade components would be less than £500.  On the first project I did not use top grade components and the transport alone is already very good.  I have tested it by using my Yulong D100 DAC and compared it head to head with my Leema Antila IIS as transport.  As expected it beats my Leema.

It is difficult to say whether the money is well spent but from my ears I can hear a real difference and that explains why I started to mod another unit using top of the grade components in order to stretch the CD63 to its limit.  I can then use the finished product as a transport or as a stand alone CDP.   Just to take this opportunity to mention that my friend is going to buy me a Yulong D18 DAC when he goes to the far east on his business trip and hope the DAC will be in my hands in 2-3 week's time  :bounce:

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RE: Marantz CD 63 MK-2 KI Signature

I am a proud owner of one. I bought it in 1998 and its still going strong. I haven't modded it but I put some blu-tac on the horizontal cross brace and in the holes on top of the transport, to reduce vibration. T

he only complaint I have are the weak RCA output jacks. Interconnects can be hard to unplug and juggling can damage the solderings of the RCA output jacks. I have had to open the machine and re-solder the jacks.

Does anyone know of better RCA output jacks for this kind of player?

Marantz CD63 KI modified/Marantz CD6005 - Marantz PM6005 - Paradigm Atom Monitor - QED Qunex 3 - QED silver anniversary XT - Sennheiser Momentum/Sennheiser 558

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