Rotel has released its Tribute to Ken Ishiwata, engineer and brand ambassador for Marantz who passed away last year, in the form of two Tribute components, the CD11 CD player and A11 integrated amplifier. The project with Rotel’s Darren Orth was finalised with the help of Ken’s children Micky and June as well as his friend, loudspeaker guru Karl-Heinz Fink. Ken spent his time at Marantz coming up with ways to enhance the sound of the company’s products and this approach was taken with two of Rotel’s most recent components.
For the A11 Tribute amplifier (£499), specially selected components were chosen to offer higher performance throughout the signal path. In the amplifier stage, all 10 capacitors and two resistors in the signal path were changed. For the pre-amp, six capacitors were upgraded, representing over 50% of the components in the signal path. All six capacitors in the volume stage were also upgraded. Custom damping materials were added to the A11’s mechanical chassis to reduce ringing and further isolate/insulate and dampen any vibrations within the amp. For the CD11 Tribute CD player (£399) eight capacitor changes and one resistor change were made in the DAC stage while in the power supply all nine capacitors were changed with improved components. Once again, a great deal of thought was given to the damping of internal vibrations with custom damping material added to the top cover to eliminate vibration and ringing, while further changes were made to the mechanical and electrical grounding.