Oct 202018

It’s always fun to hear from Yazaki-san, and he is staying as busy as ever with audio adventures!

Yazaki-san (center) visiting with friends.

In an email I just received from Yazaki-san he told me about how nicely a hot-rodded version of the Marantz Model 7 Replica turned out for Roy-san, and to complement his series “A Guest Article from Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki: “My Adventure With My Old Marantz Model 7” (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) he is going to tell us all about it in another guest article – that’s great news!

Roy-san’s Marantz Model 7 Replica that was modified by Yazaki-san.

It might be a little while before we see Yazaki-san’s article about Roy-san’s modified Marantz Model 7 Replica, as Yazaki-san says he wants to finish up writing about Alan-san’s PX25 SETs and vintage Altec Corona 832A system first (introduced HERE) – all of which are something I look forward to reading!

In the mean time I thought I you would enjoy seeing a few photos of the Yazaki-san’s modifications to Roy-san’s Marantz Model 7 Replica – enjoy!

I see lots of premium components inside with Arizona Capacitors and SPEC ruby mica capacitors!

Is that Belden 8402 cabling I see? And lots of nice SPEC ruby mica capacitors!

More SPEC ruby mica capacitors and Arizona Capacitors!

In due time Yazaki-san will be telling us about the specifics of his modifications to Roy-san’s Marantz Model 7 Replica, and as Yazaki-san likes to say, “Please wait for it!”

I’m really looking forward to read what Yazaki-san has to say about Alan-san’s system and Roy-san’s Marantz Model 7 Replica, and I want to thank you Yazaki-san for telling us all about these exciting audio adventures!


Update: Listening impressions from Roy-san on his Yazaki-san modified Marantz Model 7 Replica

“Dear Jeff,

First of all I want to thank you for introducing your readers to Yazaki-san! What a treasure! He is part of a small group of Japanese artisans such as Kondo, Yamada, Shindo and Sugano. Men whose passion for their work set new standards of performance.
The best way to convey my impressions is to simply describe the ‘Yazaki-san sound’ – the modified Marantz sounds remarkably similar to the SPEC equipment I use to drive my Quad 57 ESL.
The easy description is to say that the Yazaki-san sound combines the best attributes of both tube and solid state, but thats a little too simple. To me, the attributes are:
– the beauty of SET style tonality, harmonics and musicality without the overly warm, fuzzy glow that most SET have (a glow I find rather addicting but one that obfuscates a certain amount of both musical and phase nuance). In comparison, good SET and other tube equipment  tend to homogenize the sound slightly compared to Yazaki-san sound.
– lovely tonal coloration
– low inherent distortion. More SS like in presenting a clear view into the music. This often manifests itself as making the music more enjoyable regardless of the source. Like a SET it is highly ‘listenable’, but cleaner. Unlike SS the Yazaki-san sound has more palpable, round images. SS often tends to flatten individual performers while still maintaining reasonable depth(kind of like having rows of photographs of performers rather than the real thing.
–  Perhaps a bit ‘laid back’. Not so much ‘in your face’ as the latest/greatest from the big audio dreadnoughts (remember when Krell, ARC and Levinson were leaders in innovative sound?) I would venture to say that if you loved the sound of Levinson ML-2  or Kondo you would be quite pleased with SPEC/Yazaki-san sound.
– enormous, open and transparent sound stage. This is perhaps the first thing I noticed; I strive to optimize the quality of imaging in my system and all of Yazaki-san’ equipment produce a deep, exceptionally well delineated sound stage where one can easily detect the effects of multi-track/microphone recording effects. Unlike most equipment the soundstage depth does not truncate at the outer edges but goes as deep at the edges as in the middle.There is excellent transparency all the way to the back of the soundstage..better than i have ever heard. I think this speaks to very accurate phase response.
– a lovely flow to the music and excellent micro-dynamics. Again very SET like but minus the fuzzy warm bias. Frequency extremes are clear and pure relative to SET or other tube devices. 
I apologize if this is more of an overall impression on the Yazaki-san sound. Its just that the modified Marantz7 carries the same sonic signature as the marvelous SPEC amplifiers and RSP devices. It is a signature that i find very attractive and which leaves me content with the sound of my system. This is pretty rare in my 35 yrs in the audio hobby.
Just as many people love the Shindo sound or Kondo sound I love the Yazaki sound. Yazaki-san is a true student of musical reproduction and his love of music shows clearly in all of his products and modifications. 
I will add to these impressions soon – my tonearm wiring needs repair and the quality of my phono playback has been intermittent for awhile. I only discovered the wiring issue this past week. When my phono is back to full health I will try to add further impressions as heard from vinyl.
Thank you again Jeff for introducing Yazaki-san. He is a wonderful man with a good heart and musical soul.


Many thanks to Roy-san for sharing his listening impressions with us!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 6:43 am

  5 Responses to “Preview: Yazaki-san will be telling us all about his experiences hot-rodding the Marantz Model 7 Replica for Roy-san! Update: Listening impressions from Roy-san!”

  1. …better to use WE cables without plastic to safe the magic of vintage.

    • Hello MB-san,

      Yes, Tefron outer skin single wire is used for almost all of inner wiring and so
      Kato-san, my friend hepled me also this time and I felt a little bit concern about the sound.
      But it truly proved unfounded.

      I understand now that 20 GA or 22 GA single tinned copper wire would be fitted well to
      such munite signal current. Roy-san will be willingly to report the sound and timbre of his
      Model 7 later —-.

      Shirokazu Yazaki From Tokyo

  2. I deeply admire what Yazaki-san does to optimize the musical performance of the Marantz 7.

    The big problem with vintage equipment is precisely to change the components without degrading the sound character of the room. And after 60 years, you have to change them at least for reasons of reliability. It seems especially that the problem concerns the pieces designed by Sidney Smith. One of my friends has them all, models 1 to 20, and he keeps them as original as possible, because he says that all the changes he made in the past degrade the sound. I already have 8B and 10B myself and I’m dreaming of a 7 model. I will try to apply what you have suggested for model 7 on these pieces.

    In the early 1980s, Smith designed an updated model 7, with a new component (metal resistors, polypropylene capacitors, ECC803S, regulated power supply, simpler signal path, etc.). For Harry Peason of the TAS fame, the performance of the updated 7 model was better or equal to the Conrad-Johnson 3. In an interview in the 1990s, Smith mentions that some major record companies still use his reworked model 7 to evaluate new unamplified music discs.

    I see a lot more modifications then what was described in part 1 to 7 of Marantz Model 7 modification. I can’t wait to read you !

    • Hi Rémi,

      Thank you for your comment, both for its interesting content, as well as it bringing back some good memories.

      It must have been around 1997 or 1998, while my wife and I were visiting with Harry in Sea Cliff at a party at his house, Harry introduced us to Sidney Smith (and a lot of other very interesting audio designers that were there). It was a true pleasure meeting all of those audio luminaries, and I’m glad I got the chance to meet Sidney, as he would pass away not long after that in 2000.

      Still to this day the Marantz 7 is a milestone of audio design that inspires music lovers around the world – what a legacy for Sidney!

      Kind regards,


    • Hello Rémi-san,

      Your comment is surely so much honor for me, thank you very much!!
      And I’m happy to hear about a genious, Sidney Smith, I have long respected,
      from you and Jeff-san. Everytime when I restore and modify Model 7, I’m so
      imressed with the huge potential for reproducing “Music”, itself.
      I had produced Arizona Red, Blue and Green and also fine mica capacitor
      for improving the sound quality of low-pass filter of SPEC’s Class D ampifier.
      And in the process, thankfully, I met outstangly fine sounding resistors, such
      as OHMITE Brown Devil, WH, TEPRO RA and the rest. In my hearing, these
      compornents would surely improve the qualty not only for our Class D amplifier but
      also Model 7 and my tube amplifier, WE310A-DA30 SET, I believe.

      And so, I only described and share my experiences. It must be a geat blessing for
      me. Thank you, Jeff-san!! You have introduced me a lot of ” Kindred SpritS ” around
      the world.

      About the Part 8, I’d like to tell the way how to fitt well the sound and the timbre for
      Roy-san’s favorite music and his beoved system. And I hope, Roy-san’s impression could
      be make it clear some vast potentials of Model 7.

      Thanks again, Rémi-san and Jeff-san

      Shirokazu Yazaki From Tokyo

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