Completely engrossed by music

Fred Baas

For 30 years or so, Fred Baas has been on a journey to find the best possible stereo sound. There’s nothing he enjoys more than building his own speakers. “As a techie, I have a thing about properly-built equipment. Marantz provides the quality I’m looking for.”

Every journey begins somewhere – in Fred’s case with a Philips audio set. “I used to think that Philips had decent equipment, but when a former flatmate came home with a Denon amplifier, I knew there was quite some room for improvement. After a short detour via Kenwood and Cyrus, I ended up with the legendary Marantz cd63ki.” It turned out to be the start of a love affair that would last until this very day.

It is a totally relaxed and immersive way to listen

that brings out every detail in the music.

Stereophile

If you ask Fred why he has such a strong preference for Marantz, he doesn’t need to think long. “For me it’s dead simple: Marantz offers value for money. The premium line is very solid and built with an eye for detail, it offers high-quality sound yet it remains affordable. The price:quality ratio is outstanding. Moreover, the sound quality gets better with every new model. No surround-sound systems for me, I’m a true fan of stereo – I want it as pure as it comes!”

Never-ending hobby

Fred is the epitome of precision in this case. He has built speakers for years, following the advice of an ex-tutor during his aircraft construction degree. It started small, but grew into something more professional as the years went by. “I guess you could even call it extreme,” says Fred, laughing. “I build them from steel, the component parts are tailor-made with laser cutters and CNC lathes, after which they are welded and finished off by a professional welder. Costs a pretty penny, but you do have something to show for it! I used to have everything measured in detail at an audio store, until I realised that I could do it just as well myself. For me, it’s a never-ending hobby – I can keep on designing and optimising.”

Living room listening room

Value retention

Due to his years of experience in the design and construction of speakers, Fred knows exactly not what to buy. “If you’re building speakers, you become more streetwise as to how good it can get for the same price you would pay for speakers in the store. But I do not have the knowledge and ambition to design my own amplifiers as well. I am really happy with my Marantz equipment and don’t really see too much room for improvement.” He surfs the internet regularly for new or second-hand equipment. “My last three sets were indeed new, but that’s not a pre-requisite for me: I often see opportunities online that I can’t pass up. I sell sets that I no longer use online as well. The benefit of Marantz equipment is that it retains its value. There is always a fan somewhere out there to whom I can sell the equipment.”

landscape

Pride of ownership

Although Fred doesn’t boast and brag about his set, he obviously enjoys showing it to people. “Of course, that’s part of the deal – pride of ownership. It looks wonderful and sounds wonderful too. It is a totally relaxed and immersive way to listen that brings out every detail in the music – it is as if you are totally engrossed by the music, everything in the right place, surrounded by the soloist and even the orchestra in your living room with you. Marantz offers me everything my pampered ears want to hear.”