Does anyone know the back story / reasoning why Marantz DD82 and more than likely 92’s can either have a fixed mains lead or a mains socket? Could it be a revision or maybe just a different factory that made them? I have one of each, both of which say made in Japan. Tia
The versions with UL listing / USA Models always have a fixed power cord.
I believe that was part of getting the unit through this UL listing in the US.
The power supply depends on the market that the machine was made for; they were probably made in the same factory/factories by the same people and machines. The difference is not an “improvement” or “revision”, they were made at the same time (well… the factory probably made them in batches based on (expected) demand, so they might make, say, 400 DCC recorders with European voltage and plugs on Monday to Thursday, and 100 recorders with switchable power supplies and maybe multiple power cables for Japan and the USA, on Friday).
Philips and Marantz indicate this with a number behind a slash. for example, the DD82/02 was intended for the European mainland, with a 220-230V power supply and a German “Schuco” power cable. The DD82/05 and DD82/07 had a 240V power supply intended for the UK; one of them probably came with a UK plug attached and the other one might have come without a plug (I understand it was/is quite common for electric equipment to be sold without a plug in the UK). The DD82/01 came with a power supply that could be switched between 110-120 and 220-240.
The reason why they didn’t just make all recorders have a voltage switch is that it would make the recorder more expensive. Also, nobody is happy when a recorder has to be replaced because some moron didn’t think of checking the switch before they plug it in the first time.
Most people in Europe will never need to run their equipment on 110-120V and most people in Japan or America never need to run their equipment on 220-230V so they don’t need the voltage switch. And without the switch, the transformer can be simpler because it won’t need two separate primary windings that can either be in series or in parallel. So for something that’s sold in large numbers with a steady (somewhat) predictable demand, it’s best to just make the recorder for the voltage of the destination area. For other areas, they make recorders with a switch. The local distributors might put a sticker on the box saying “CHECK VOLTAGE SWITCH BEFORE PLUGGING IN” if they know the setting of the switch on the recorder in the box is wrong. Or they might open all the boxes and put the switch in the right position and even swap power cords.
The reason for a manufacturer to put in a switch (and a more complicated transformer) is that they can sell the machine in more places, and they can move supply to where the demand is, without limitations. For example, if it turned out that some country outside the main marketing areas (Europe, America, Japan) had a high number of sales, they could transport a couple of pallets of recorders from other continents to that country if they knew the recorders had a switch, but if the recorders only had one power voltage, they would have to care that the recorders to be transferred would be compatible with the destination.
There are also other considerations for making different versions of a device or power supply. For example, the DCC Museum has a portable recorder that the donor originally bought at a duty-free shop at an airport. It has a switchable power supply because it basically needs to be able to go anywhere in the world, and it has a smaller box because unlike the standard box that might have to stand out in a display of similar boxes (or would fit nicely on a standard 4 foot store shelf), it was more important that it would fit in someone’s suitcase.
Thanks for your informative answers
Just curious, do you know if they had separate 50hz and 60hz devices for the Japanese market or was this switchable on their models?
DCC recorders internally work on DC only, so the mains frequency is unimportant and there are no switches to accommodate for different frequencies.