- Dec 12, 2019
No, it's a wood ("ebony", ostensibly) arm wand.I agree the Clearaudio brand is expensive. I have the Performance DC with the Satsfy Carbon arm plus I added the VTA lifter. It looks like the arm on the Marantz is the aluminum version of that arm. I really can’t fault the arm - I do have the magnetic ceramic bearing in mine, but it is a much more expensive package. What is it about the Marantz that makes it bad?
The arm and the tt are just kind of indifferently designed and constructed.
The pulley on the motor, e.g., is a hard, styrene-like plastic. It certainly doesn't give any sense of being carefully constructed, much less machined. It appears to be molded. It is user-installed on the shaft of the motor, and held in place by a similarly hard (brittle?) plastic setscrew. Nothing about placing nor securing the motor pulley inspires confidence in accuracy nor longevity.
As another example, the motor just sits in a little cutout in the "plinth" that's got an i.d. that's a bit larger than the motor. The exact tension on the drive belt thus "is what it is", depending on one's skill to center the motor in the hole.
Interestingly, the Marantz is noticeably "upgraded" from the CA model (Emotion) from which it is clearly (Clearaudioly ) derived. The platter is (much) thicker, the feet are beefier, and IIRC even the "plinth" is thicker (well, maybe not, see photos below... but it's certainly cosmetically different). The drivetrain is primitive, as is (as mentioned by another poster above) the arm height adjustment and the platter bearing isn't impressive either. The headshell doesn't allow for much in the way of adjustment and cartridge installation isn't particularly easy. The notion of its (ostensibly) magnetic antiskate is nice, but again the execution (just a screw that turns in or out to vary it) makes its accuracy and even usefulness questionable. I bought mine used, and the very cheesy plastic arm clip (meant to secure the arm when the tt was not in use) had been broken on it.
The CA Emotion of the TT15S1's era.