One of the audio industry’s longest-standing partnerships has been dissolved with the announcement that the legendary Ken Ishiwata will no longer be acting as the brand ambassador for Marantz.
The charismatic Ishiwata’s relationship with the Marantz brand stretches back 41 years, during which time he was involved in the R&D of literally hundreds of audio components, as well as being responsible for a series of special-edition models, fine-tuned by the master himself.
These KI Signature models were produced in limited numbers and remain in high demand today. They include now legendary Marantz CD63 Mk II KI, the PM-14 Mk II KI and PM-17 KI amplifiers, the SACD KI Pearl and Pearl Lite disc players, and most recently, the KI Ruby Series (which are now more desirable than ever).
A regular at all major audio shows around the world, Ishiwata’s love of music was always apparent, making his demo rooms at expos a must-visit for consumers and trade representative alike.
There was no indication from either side for the reasons behind the break-up. According to reports, Marantz senior VP of European Operations Bart Muller thanked Ishiwata for his exemplary track record and especially for growing the Marantz brand in Europe.
“Ken was working with a great team of like-minded engineers, sharing his knowledge to safeguard the Marantz sound philosophy. Marantz owners and fans an rely on the unmistakable Marantz sound in the future.”
We’ll have to wait and see to wait and see to what extent Ishiwata’s legacy lives on …