Stereo Amplifier

Review: Marantz 1060 Stereo Amplifier

The brushed duralumin front panel measures 14-1/4 by 4-1/2-inches and carries all the controls. In the top row are four press-buttons for loudness, tape monitor, left and right mono buttons. In the centre are three rotary controls for bass, mid-range and treble. To the right are four further press-buttons for low filter, high filter, main and remote speakers. Below is a further range of controls. On the left are two jacks for left and right channel microphones (or auxiliary 2), the input selector switch covering microphone, phono, tape, tuner, auxiliary 1 and auxiliary 2. In the centre is the channel balance control and then the volume control, a socket for sterephones and the power on/off pressbutton with indicator lamp.

On the rear panel is a 10-1/2ft captive three-core mains lead with correct colour coding, eight spring-loaded terminals for the main and remote loudspeakers and, below these, AC mains sockets, 200W unswitched and 60W amplifier switched. In the centre back are two twin-phono sockets, which connect the pre-amplifiers to the power amplifiers, and an earth terminal. On the right are four phono sockets for tape in and out plus a 5-pin DIN socket connected in parallel. Below arc four pairs of phono sockets for phono, tape, auxiliary 1 and tuner.

The back panel is finished in black with extremely clear white legend indicating the use of the various connections. The outer protective cover is constructed of steel sheet, finished in imitation teak and contains a well designed chassis. At the right back is a massive mains transformer with twin tapped primary windings so that it can be adjusted for use on 100, 120, 200, 220 or 240 volts AC mains, 50 or 60 Hz. There are seven printed circuit boards, one of which is the voltage stabilizing circuit for the power supply and also carries four accessible cartridge fuses. The two groups of four pressbuttons on the front panel also carry their own printed circuit boards, every component being clearly identified against the circuit diagram.

Similarly the bass, mid and treble controls arc directly mounted on a printed circuit board. On operating these controls, one feels that they are discrete eleven position switches. When the top cover is removed, one sees that they are conventional dual-gang potentiometers but with indents on the rear cover plate and a positioning mechanism. Thus there are eleven fixed positions, but one can also position the control knob at any arbitrary intermediate position. The input stages, with the RIAA phono correction circuits and the tone control boards, are mounted in cut-outs on the substantial cadmium-plated steel chassis, both sides of the boards being readily accessible for possible servicing. The driver stage and the power output stages are mounted on a vertical printed circuit board which is directly mounted on the massive heat sinks. Also mounted on the heat sinks are the electronic protection circuits so that, in the event of accidental short circuiting of the loudspeaker leads, no damage can occur.

The use of double screened phono links to connect the pre-amplifier to the input of the power stages is a welcome innovation. There are various devices on the American market (which will undoubtedly become available here) which must be connected between the preamplifier and the penultimate driver stages. Without this external link facility, they would be rather difficult to connect. For example, all listening rooms and auditoriums have their own acoustic characteristics which either boost or cut certain bands of frequencies. To equalize the room to a fiat characteristic, there are rather expensive graphic equalizers, which usually consist of a range of 1/3-octave filters controlled by slider faders. There are also compressor/limiter or expander units which can be introduced via the link phono plugs. I welcome this feature if only because it makes it easy to measure the performance of the individual parts of the system.

The user's manual is a fine example of clear instructions on the various controls and facilities: although printed in Japan, it is remarkably free from errors and includes five graphs, a functional block diagram and full circuit diagram

The Marantz 1060 has been in regular use for some weeks and has given every satisfaction. All the controls operate smoothly and, even at maximum volume, only a gentle breathing sound is heard from full-range loudspeakers with no input signal. With the facility of being able to connect a wide selection of inputs such as two tape recorders, the amplifier will meet all the requirements of domestic installation and its presentation will enhance any living room.