Marantz HD CD 1 Awesome Transport

About a month ago my decade + old Pioneer PD 65 with extensive Musical Concept mods (including outboard power supply), spit out the laser lens. I glued it in but it still would not read the discs. I called Pioneer but they are no longer stocking parts.

my Oppo 105 (with upgraded incoming power wire loom, including IEC and linear power module did not come close to the Pioneer, which put me in an intense ’in search of’.mode.

The best replacement I found was the NuPrime CDT 8, but even at $800 it was more than I was comfortable spending. I came across a Marantz HD CD 1: MSRP $600. Even that was a stretch but the specs sounded like it was a high end bargain, so I hit the used audio market. I found one for $450 out of state, and just after telling the seller I wanted it, another one came up a days shipment away. AND, it was new, box opened only for inspection. I would rather it had been broken in as all the internals can take 100-200 hours to loosen up.

Opening the box I was very pleased to see how well built it is, and being a smaller chassis means less potential for bad vibes. I connected it to my Audio Alchemy DAC/PRE via WireWorld toslink and WW series 7 power cord, plugged into a Core Power 1800, which is plugged into a 20 amp dedicated line

I let it run 12-24 hours at a time with short breaks in between. I intermittently used several different burn in discs, too. Slowly it got better, but even after ~ 100 hours it was not strutting its stuff. I kept this up for another 6 days.

Well, last night it finally loosened up (both with a silent 3D sound stage and note breathing- extending to their full decay) and rewarded me with even better sound than the Pioneer ever did! .

2 CDs I layed were the ShoutFactory reissue of Famous Blue Raincoat followed by Frank Sinatra Live at the Sands, dics I know quite well.

The remote is not without it quirks: it is not backlit, and the input selector is directly above the pause/play button, which caused some palpitations. requiring a bit of investigation to figure ou as the manual is on a disc!

Anyone searching for a great transport that happens to be very affordable, look no further.. I have no idea what it sounds like as a player, and hope I never need to, but it’s there, and stuff happens

Here's a wild update that could skew the break in timeline

And to many its going to sound CRA-CRA

2 days prior to my system popping with new clarity, my own hearing was less, at least in my left ear, which has been that way for decades

So what changed? I had just completed a 2 day Water Fast (lots of YT videos). Lots of evidence of all kinds of healing, but hearing loss? Seems so. Last night same great openness in both channels:

whether it's my new found left ear hearing, or something else (I am also hearing better right channel information), cds I am extremely familiar with, like The Judds, or Chet atkins & Mark Knopfler Neck and Neck , which I played yesterday sound incredibly better than I ever heard it/them. The 3 dimensional separation of voices, and instruments made for most joyful listening

The HD CD 1 is a absolute bargain, at least as a transport
Thanks for your review. How is the bass? 
Currently out of the system

After adding Machina Dynamica New Dark Matter (highly recommended) the player started frequently skipping. No issues with my Oppo 105, so, probably just a coincidence

I was trimming the NDM while on the tray, and a sliver could have gotten into the mechanism. Haven't gotten around to investigating, which could simply be turning it upside down and giving it a few shakes. It is not in warranty, and at $80+ for bench time I haven't bothered

Been too preoccupied with many other system changes, mostly done now, so thanks for the reminder
SO.... after turning it upside down and gently shaking it, I just reinserted it. Fingers crossed that the skipping was due to a lodged sliver of NDM

Only been fired up for maybe 10 minutes played 2 cds, no issues so far. It is much more focused than the Oppo with a deeper sound stage, and a more organic sound. Plus, I am able to play it at a lower volume with excellent tone

Assuming it doesn't skip anymore, the Oppo will be relegated to SACD and DVD-A playback

Thanks for contacting me today!
Really good news so far, no more skipping 

The difference is the Marantz has an astonishing black (quiet) background for the music to present itself. The pluck on strings has the appropriate instant awareness and tone, voice is titled more into the midrange than the Oppo, which improved significantly, post upgrades. 

When I bought the Marantz I wanted a Jay's Audio CDT 2 Mk 2, which has a reasonable MSRP of $2500, but way out of my retired budget. I scored this virtually new HD CD-1 for $500!

Anyway, one thing I've learned, regardless of hobby, be it motorcycles, cars, boats... squeezing another 5-10% performance costs quite a bit more money over stock.

I am confident the Marantz will not disappoint, AND it's also a player, which I have not tried

Apparently MSRP is $599. I may have paid as little as $400 for mine

FYI: TMR is selling one. Here’s a bit of Marantz copy from their page

Combining more than 30 years of Marantz expertise in compact disc playback with the latest developments in digital audio technology, it’s ideal for use as a CD transport when used with the HD-AMP1, or as a CD player in any situation where a compact form-factor is required without any compromise on sound quality. Small it may be, but it makes use of state-of-the-art Marantz technology carried over from our Award-winning CD players, including a high-resolution 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converter from Cirrus Logic, a high-accuracy system clock, and the famous Marantz HDAM-SA2 amplifier modules, as found in our flagship Reference Series CD players and amplifiers.

and here’s a review (the white is only available in Asia, SIGH!)
Ok, Zug asked about bass, well...

When I was using the Oppo I had a WireWorld Eclipse Series 7 power cord ($300), which I left on as I wasn't sure whether I had resolved the skipping problem: seems like I did. ;)

Carefully listening to Eagles Hell Freezes Over, I noted the top end was rolled off (guitar strings a bit blunted) , but the Marantz hadn't been on 24 hours, so... about an hour ago I decided to move the Oppo from the top replacing it with the Marantz, so I plugged the WW into it. Not only did the top end open up, the bass got a lot more punch and tone


I have enjoyed reading this thread. If you like the WireWorld sound check out an Electra7/Silver Electra7 power cord. As always, buy demo or used and spend the monies saved on more music.

Happy Listening!

Marantz HD CD 1 Awesome Transport

Looks like it could be a good transport, as it uses a  CJDKT690 (Sanyo SF-P101N) laser/mech which is not a DVD laser just dedicated cd.

Same goes for the very good sounding Cambridge Audio CXC, a dedicated CD laser/transport only, even cheaper than the Marantz here in Australia.

Cheers George

Thanks for the tip.

I went to WW site: Looks like I do have the Electra 7 on amp, pre and HD CD 1. But now that the 8 series out, be interesting to hear how much better it sounds

Last night I played Jennifer Nettles ’Playing with Fire’. I love this cd but for the most part the recording sucks. And it still did last night, but sounded better than ever, by a long shot
Thanks George. Confirmation is always nice

Though the Cambridge looks well built, the Marantz is a beast, and the small chassis no doubt minimizes bad vibes

Saving my coin for a Jays CD II Mk II. They rarely come up used. I did see one that looked identical on Alibaba but the clamping device was not the Spider that the Jays has, so...? And it wasn't that much less

FYI, Ive been reading TNT for over a decade

and as always all my kit rests on Machina Dynamica Cryoed HD Springs
Saving my coin for a Jays CD II Mk II

The Marantz and Cambridge have lasers that are available cheap (<$50) at many sources, just check what comes in the Jay’s and if it’s available anywhere cheap and not just from Jay’s.

Cheers George
Thanks George

Last night I noticed an issue I also had with mine I can hear the disc rubbing.

Do you think that's the laser or a wobbly spindle
Last night I noticed an issue I also had with mine I can hear the disc rubbing.
Do you think that’s the laser or a wobbly spindle
Very common, it’s usually the disc clamper magnet just touching the top housing arm it sits in before playing, an easy fix if you study and are a little mechanically minded.

Cheers George

The CDT-2 Mk.2 latest version does NOT have a Spider clamp.
Thanks George. Different disc was not an issue, but, I had a lot of this before I shelved it. Will monitor and keep tools handy.

Can you elaborate on how to fix it?


Any ida why they went away from the spider clamp? Seems it would apply equal pressure much better

My other issue, were I to buy from Alibaba is warranty. Would Jay’s honor it?