Many early Marantz amplifiers, some of the most praised components in the history of high fidelity, produced only modest power by today's standards. In that light, the SM-11S1 – with its 110 watt per channel power rating – is fully in line with tradition. But tradition, however respected, is only the starting point for Marantz engineers today.
For one thing, the SM-11S1's output doubles to 220 continuous watts per channel when delivering power to low impedance speakers. That results in truly exceptional control and delineation of the most complex sources, be they music or movie soundtracks.
Brute force without finesse serves no real purpose for the sonically sophisticated. To that end, Marantz engineers combined many new approaches in designing this amplifier. At the circuit board level, the SM-11S1 benefits from parallel line layout which minimizes the size of current loops and L/R interference for superior ambience reproduction.
The SM-11S1 also boasts the newest version of Marantz's HDAM® (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technology – the HDAM SA3. With precision complementary cascade push-pull topology implemented with precision surface-mount components, HDAM SA3 modules exceed measurement limits of 200 volts/µsecond for exceptional ability to track and audibly define any input signal. And the SM-11S1 includes 34 HDAM SA3 modules at critical circuit junctions.
The two-stage amplifier (voltage amplifier and separate buffer/voltage-to-current converter minimize the back-EMF from speakers for even more clarity. In addition, the voltage amplifier stage now accepts balanced XLR inputs (with independent gain adjustment) and allows switching between stereo and bridged-mono modes.
A high current power supply based on a toroidal transformer the same size as the one used in our MA-9S2 monoblock Reference Power Amplifier feeds these innovative circuits. It's optimized for use in a stereo amplifier (acoustic isolation plates, silicon steel sheets, etc.), sealed in an aluminum case, and mounted to the chassis with a 10mm thick aluminum base plate.
Of course, high quality circuit parts – audio-grade capacitors, metal film resistors, special LAPT transistors, etc. – were chosen only after extensive listening tests to determine their positive contributions to overall sound quality.
Although you can't easily see these parts, you can use the WBT speaker terminals as an external indication of the rigorous parts selection process that distinguishes all Marantz products, especially Reference Series components.
The SM-11S1 benefits from more easily observed qualities also. As an example, consider a remote power turn-on circuit that lets you activate the amplifier by simply turning on a preamplifier. And the front panel digital power meter lets you monitor output levels. Even here, Marantz innovation delivers a real user benefit without compromising audio performance as the meter uses Hall-effect magnetic devices to monitor current flow to the speakers without directly tapping the output itself.
The sublly-curved front panel echoes the SM-11S1's internal sophistication with a substantial yet décor-conscious design equally at home in a custom cabinet or an open shelf.
In that, the SM-11S1 is fully a Marantz. Performance. Design. Appearance. A Reference in every way.
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