Ken Ishiwata 1947 – 2019


Hi-fi guru and brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata passed away on November 25th. Renowned for the KI Signature models he tuned for Marantz over forty years Ken started out working for Pioneer, Japan in the sixties where his speciality was loudspeaker design. When he went to work with Marantz, Netherlands to sort out issues with incoming product he started to take an interest in electronics. We wrote about Ken’s 40thanniversary last year when he launched the Ruby series of electronics in Amsterdam. He remained with Marantz until May 2019.

Ken was that rare thing an engineer who understood that sound quality is about more than great measurement, this is why his work proved so popular over the last four decades. The first KI Signature project was a 14-bit CD player, the Marantz CD 45 which had been made effectively obsolete by the introduction of 16-bit players in 1986. By tuning its circuitry Ken was able to turn it into an award winning product and a commercial success. Since that time the KI Signature products have been the most sought after in the Marantz range. Ken will be missed both by his relatives and the wider audio industry community, he was sophisticated, charming and wore the most stylish outfits at any event.

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