Marantz TT 15 vs Clearaudio Concept

I saw a deal that includes a pretty nice Marantz iPod doc included with the TT 15 for $100 less than the Concept. Nice incentive but the TT is more important to me. I have heard a Clearaudio Concept with the $200!MM cart and was very impressed. The Marantz has a much better $900 cart (CA Virtuoso Ebony). My planned upgrade path is a $2K MC/MM phono stage, then a $1200ish MC cart, and eventually a better TT (VPI Classic/ Clearaudio Performance). Any upgrade should blow away my early 80's Luxman with a Grado Black cart. Will this Marantz satisfy me through my upgrade path?
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Showing 1 response by rodrigaj

I owned the Marantz TT15 for 6 months and was not happy with it. It was a downgrade from the Linn / Ittok that I owned since 1982.

I now have a VPI HW-19 MKIV , that is 12 years old which is much better and I can actually call someone to discuss repairs.

The Marantz has an excellent cartridge, a good arm but almost nothing else. The all acrylic plinth and platter have resonances that I was never able to tame, no matter what I did. This leads to an infuriating lack of focus in the midrange and base. I bought it new from a local dealer, who set it up, so I know it was not set up.

I've not heard the Concept, but this same dealer sells Clearaudio and thinks the Marantz is a better deal.

My suggestion based on your upgrade path is to go with VPI. They support there customers, they don't care if you bought it new or used and their products are worth it. A good used VPI Scoutmaster or even a new Traveler will be more satisfying than the Marantz in the long term.

BTW, to end on a positive note, the Marantz is a beautiful turntable, especially under a Ginko dustcover, and it truly is a good deal because of the arm and cartridge. My wife was really disappointed when I sold it. It is a great set and forget machine that has been very successful for Marantz. And of course you know it is made by Clearaudio.