Marantz unveils 12 Series Special Edition models

Because music matters.

by Andy Bassett
Hi-Fi News

Marantz unveils 12 Series Special Edition models
SRP: £2,999.00

Marantz has unveiled its latest products which have been bestowed with Special Edition status - the 12 series PM-12 Integrated Amplifier and the SA-12 SACD Player with DAC mode.

The renowned manufacturer of audio products for both music and home theatre enthusiasts has established a tradition whereby it occasionally identifies some of its products which have the potential for even better performance, improves them and re-releases them as Special Editions. 

The metamorphosis into a Special Edition (SE) version often involves a more judicious choice of components and hours of patient listening sessions during which the products are tuned to wring every last drop of performance out of them. The resulting SE accolade proves extremely popular with enthusiasts and the models are highly sought after.

The latest products to have undergone the process are the original PM-12 and SA-12, originally created solely for the Japanese market, which both the Marantz ‘Sound Masters’ in Japan and the company’s European sound engineers have crafted into the PM-12 Special Edition Integrated Amplifier and SA-12 Special Edition SACD Player with DAC-Mode. 

PM-12 Special Edition Integrated Amplifier 

In pursuing the best possible audio performance from the PM-12 Special Edition amplifier, the engineers have opted for an analogue only design, sacrificing the convenience of a DAC with its electrically noisy associated circuitry and transplanting the conversion function to the DAC Mode which is available on the SA-12 Special Edition player instead. In this way, there is less internal interference to affect the delicate analogue signals passing through the PM-12, resulting in a low noise floor. 

Marantz PM-12SE
Marantz PM-12 Special Edition integrated amplifier - front

Also ensuring signal purity is a fully discrete two-stage design with separate power supplies for the pre-amplifier and power amp section. The high-resolution preamplifier stage uses Marantz’s proprietary HDAM SA3 technology along with a dedicated toroidal transformer for audio clarity and precision for the signals, which enter via the thick nickel-plated copper input terminals.

The designers have ensured the cleanest possible signal path to the amplifiers, which deliver 100W per channel into 8 ohm speakers, or 200W per channel into 4 ohms, and a load independent frequency response allows connection of any speaker via the high-purity copper speaker connections.  

Marantz PM-12SE
Marantz PM-12 Special Edition integrated amplifier - rear

Taking its cue from the design of the PM-10 and PM-KI Ruby Amplifiers, the PM-12 includes a moving coil/moving magnet phono stage with Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit and Marantz HDAM technology throughout. 

The PM-12 also features linear volume control with a new electric volume system.

SA-12 Special Edition SACD Player with DAC-Mode 

The SA-12SE has the same aim as its illustrious predecessors, the flagship SA-10 and SA-KI Ruby, in maintaining the listener’s emotional connection with music.

To that end, the disc mechanism has been purely built for audio and the resulting ‘SACDM-3’ is able to play SACDs, CDs, and compilations on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. 

Marantz PM-12SE
Marantz SA-12 Special Edition SACD player - front

As well as traditional CDs, input is also possible via an asynchronous USB port which is able to handle formats all the way up to PCM/DXD 384kHz/32bit and DSD11.2MHz. There’s also isolation of this USB and the optical and coaxial digital inputs to block noise from internal and external sources.

PCM file formats are upsampled to DSD format using the advanced filtering and proprietary processing of the Marantz Musical Mastering Stream (MMM-Stream) before the Marantz Musical Mastering Conversion (MMM-Conversion) transforms the 1-bit data stream directly into an analogue signal without the use of a conventional DAC.

The power supply uses a toroidal transformer and there’s a new analogue output stage with Marantz HDAM-SA3 and HDAM-SA2 technology and low impedance output.

Marantz PM-12SE
Marantz SA-12 Special Edition SACD player - rear

For late late listening there’s a dedicated headphone amplifier with all-discrete construction featuring HDAM-SA2.

The painstaking development of both the PM-12SE integrated amplifier and SA-12SE SCAD player means that  each perfectly complements the other and both will be available in September at authorised Marantz retailers in a black or silver gold finish, each priced at £2,999 / €3,300

Source: Press Release
Image Source: Marantz

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