41 years after joining Marantz as a technical coordinator, Ken Ishiwata, who has been the brand ambassador at Marantz for the past 23 years, will leave the company by mutual agreement this month.
The "golden ears" behind the brand, Ishiwata leaves an extraordinary legacy behind him, including the creation and tuning of several Award-winning Marantz products, and the launch of his own Marantz KI-Signature products, such as the CD63mkII KI CD player and PM66KI amplifier, the 30th anniversary Pearl Lites, and the KI Ruby series that commemorated his ruby anniversary last year.
A key player in the success of Marantz in Europe, and one of the most respected and influential personalities in the hi-fi industry, Ishiwata leaves his position as one of the key members of the team behind the sound of many Marantz products.
Prior to his four-decade-long spell at the company, Ishiwata worked for Pioneer from 1968, and then for several other tech brands before setting up shop as a fashion photographer in 1975 – a move that would come as no surprise to anyone who has witnessed his famously colourful jackets. Ishiwata made his way to Marantz in 1978 and has since been a regular face at both the company's HQ in Eindhoven and in demo rooms at hi-fi shows around the world.
In a message to What Hi-Fi?, Ishiwata noted: "It must be [a] big surprise that I’m not part of Marantz organization... I thought I’d be forever a part of Marantz. Unfortunately that’s not the case."
Bart Muller, senior vice president of European commercial operations at parent company Sound United, commented: "We would like to thank Ken for his exemplary track record and especially for growing the Marantz brand in Europe. Ken was working with a great team of like-minded engineers, sharing his knowledge to safeguard the Marantz sound philosophy. Marantz owners and fans can rely on the unmistakable Marantz sound in the future."