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My DAC shopping is finally done...


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The old one or...

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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thanks, yea, i think so too......for not much more than the ifi nano and ifi power, i got the sacd spinner and usb a too...can't imagine anything sounding better.

 

Congrats Mike. I've also had a good experience with the Marantz brand over the years. Curious where you purchased your unit .. online prices I've seen range from $809 - $1200 (2-3 times more than the ifi combo you reference). Enjoy your new unit.

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Congrats Mike. I've also had a good experience with the Marantz brand over the years. Curious where you purchased your unit .. online prices I've seen range from $809 - $1200 (2-3 times more than the ifi combo you reference). Enjoy your new unit.

 

i picked it up on ebay for $925, where did you see for $809?

i mixed up the nano with micro...i meant not much more than the micro ($500) and ifi usb ($200) = $700.

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i picked it up on ebay for $925, where did you see for $809?

i mixed up the nano with micro...i meant not much more than the micro ($500) and ifi usb ($200) = $700.

 

Ahh .. I wondered (I'm somewhat interested in this unit). Neobits listed it at $809 (although it's now backordered). I hope you share your impressions after you've had it for a while. Thanks.

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The old one or...
huh?

Somebody announces a buy, so you ask if it's the new (nonexistent) one. :)

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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i too have been considering this player/dac.

it would trim down the number of boxes on my desktop.

looking forward to reading your impressions after you have had it a while.

PC(flac/foobar/wasapi)>Ifi Micro Idsd>Headphone correction filter>Garage 1217, Project Ember/Violectric V200>HD800>Old Git

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Ahh .. I wondered (I'm somewhat interested in this unit). Neobits listed it at $809 (although it's now backordered). I hope you share your impressions after you've had it for a while. Thanks.

 

I am afraid my ears are not as trained as many here. I could definitely tell a sq jump in improvement from pc dac to dragonfly dac, and then again, from dragonfly dac to just about any external dac. But i have not heard one external dac that sounds "better" than any other external dac. Some may have slightly different flavor, but none that i would say is "better" than the other. In fact, the DAC inside my $200 SONY blu-ray player sounded just as good as if not better than any other external dac i have heard. I also like the DSD dac inside an ONKYO reciever (NR535)i have had. THe marantz did win HI-FI 2014-2015 Award, so those with trained ears, must believe in it also. To me they all sound a significant jump from the dragonfly, but i would say they are all pretty much comparable for the 6 dacs i have listened to, even though they ranged from $200 to $2000 for the ones i have auditioned.

 

The marantz does have a few things i don't like. It doesn't play dsd or even flac from the flash usb port...although it will play both from the asynchronous usb port from pc...but sometimes i like just copying a file to a flash drive and playing it, so that is a big and unexpected disappointment. It also doesn't support multi-channel, dvd a, where i can buy a SONY BDP S7200 for less than $300 that will do more than this marantz will except for the aysnchronous usb dac...so now i am thinking of maybe switching again....ack...

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Funny.. doing the Google on this Marantz unit, I ran into a Computer Audio primer from them (that looks pretty ok):

 

http://www.marantz.co.uk/DocumentMaster/UK/Marantz_Whitepaper_PC-Audio_NA-11S1.pdf

 

I like the brand & used to own the original PM15 at one time. Now that was what one calls an integrated amp !

Bits to analog: Server [i9-10850k; Win10Pro, Roon Core + HQPlayer4 >all DSD256x] -> mRendu -> Regen -> Lampi GG

Analog to sound: ASR Emitter II Exclusive, Battery -> Gryphon Mojo S + 2 x REL G2

Details: Audio System

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I am afraid my ears are not as trained as many here. I could definitely tell a sq jump in improvement from pc dac to dragonfly dac, and then again, from dragonfly dac to just about any external dac. But i have not heard one external dac that sounds "better" than any other external dac. Some may have slightly different flavor, but none that i would say is "better" than the other.

 

This was somewhat the case for me as well, I could tell subtle differences but trying to decide which one to get based on what would sound the best in the long term in my setup was head spinning. I think there were quite a few that would have fit the bill, so in the end I made a shortlist based on my price range and my final decision was based largely on features.

 

Enjoy the Marantz!

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i have the same experience. tested $500 to $2500 dacs and the differences was subtle. i am still using my $600 dac and very happy with it.

 

 

I am afraid my ears are not as trained as many here. I could definitely tell a sq jump in improvement from pc dac to dragonfly dac, and then again, from dragonfly dac to just about any external dac. But i have not heard one external dac that sounds "better" than any other external dac. Some may have slightly different flavor, but none that i would say is "better" than the other. In fact, the DAC inside my $200 SONY blu-ray player sounded just as good as if not better than any other external dac i have heard. I also like the DSD dac inside an ONKYO reciever (NR535)i have had. THe marantz did win HI-FI 2014-2015 Award, so those with trained ears, must believe in it also. To me they all sound a significant jump from the dragonfly, but i would say they are all pretty much comparable for the 6 dacs i have listened to, even though they ranged from $200 to $2000 for the ones i have auditioned.

 

The marantz does have a few things i don't like. It doesn't play dsd or even flac from the flash usb port...although it will play both from the asynchronous usb port from pc...but sometimes i like just copying a file to a flash drive and playing it, so that is a big and unexpected disappointment. It also doesn't support multi-channel, dvd a, where i can buy a SONY BDP S7200 for less than $300 that will do more than this marantz will except for the aysnchronous usb dac...so now i am thinking of maybe switching again....ack...

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I am afraid my ears are not as trained as many here. [snip]

 

...so now i am thinking of maybe switching again....ack...

 

Hey Mike .. whether you have or don't have "golden ears" or "training", your opinion matters. Still would love to hear your impressions after you live with it for a while, if you decide to keep it that is. Thanks.

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Hey Mike .. whether you have or don't have "golden ears" or "training", your opinion matters. Still would love to hear your impressions after you live with it for a while, if you decide to keep it that is. Thanks.

 

Me to. Come on Mike give us a small review on how it sounds..

The Truth Is Out There

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Me to. Come on Mike give us a small review on how it sounds..

 

Well, it sounds marvelous! I would say it sounds as good or better as anything i have heard to date. Clearly the speakers make the biggest difference, and i think the amp makes a bigger difference than the DAC. I think i will just hold onto the marantz, as I believe it does isolate the PC better than the ifi would, plus it looks like a whole lot more for the buck. Plus i got the spinner in it. The driver worked easily, i had it up and running in 10 minutes, both in audiogate and in foobar (they were already configured for my korg, so besides installing the marantz driver i didnt have to do anything else). I only have one sacd, and i can't find it right now, but i ordered a sampler sacd. The DSD's sound superb, and even cd's sound better...i can honestly say i have heard things in a couple songs i am familiar with that i have never heard before. I am not going to say it is any better than the DAC in the sony bds7200, but it also doesn't have an asynchronous usb dac. Knowing everything i know today after all my research and auditioning, i would go with the marantz sa8005 or i would buy the sony bdps7200 paired with the ifi micro (haven't heard it yet)....but this marantz device does job of both, but the the sony/ifi combo would give me multichannel and allow me to play dsd from flash drive. I did email marantz and ask them if there is any planned firmware updates to allow me to play flac and dsd from the flash drive and told them that if not, i was going to return the marantz. I don't think i will, mainly because i am tired of shopping and I am content with the SA8005.

 

I still say, like most would agree, put your money in your speakers. I let a pair of paradigm studios slip through my fingers and they made the biggest difference in everything i have heard to date. THe sound stage, the way they throw music around the room, i literally can't tell where the music is coming from many times in just a 2.1 setup. If anyone has auditioned paradigm studios and ended up with different speakers for less money, i would love to know what you got...as i haven't heard anything close. I have auditioned probably 50 different pairs of speakers in the past 6 months.

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update...i was thinking i might get the bdps7200 in addition to the marantz since it is only $250 (cyber monday special). It plays dsd, but i just saw it only has hdmi output, no analog out, and my amp doesn't have hdmi...so i guess that's out. The previous sony player i had (BDPs790 had wonderful dac and analog out). So i guess i am keeping marantz for sure, at least for now.

Does the oppo play dsd512 and flac from usb port, and multi-channel, and dvda? Do any of the oppos have asyncrhonous usb so you can hook pc up to it?

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Does the oppo play dsd512 and flac from usb port, and multi-channel, and dvda? Do any of the oppos have asyncrhonous usb so you can hook pc up to it?

 

Mike, I have the Oppo 105D multi-player which plays up to DSD128 like your Marantz, and every other thing you can imagine. I'm very happy with the player, I think it's a great bargain. I get magnificent sound from its DAC section using the async USB input. I earlier had a Marantz SA8260 and it served me very well. The Oppo has better builder's specs, but I have no idea how they really match up sonically. I like that Marantz has a long term commitment to SACD. The non-transport units (headphone amp/DACs) from Oppo and Marantz do DSD256 and DSD128 respectively. Marantz has stuck with the obsolescent Cirrus CS4398 DAC chip for too long, IMO.

 

That said, I think that DS128 with any decent DAC will make a bigger difference than the particular DAC hardware; it does with my Oppo and HQPlayer software. I suspect that DSD512 doesn't matter at all, and that DSD128 matters a lot more than DSD256, but I haven't made those comparisons.

 

Good luck.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

Link to comment
Well, it sounds marvelous! I would say it sounds as good or better as anything i have heard to date. Clearly the speakers make the biggest difference, and i think the amp makes a bigger difference than the DAC. I think i will just hold onto the marantz, as I believe it does isolate the PC better than the ifi would, plus it looks like a whole lot more for the buck. Plus i got the spinner in it. The driver worked easily, i had it up and running in 10 minutes, both in audiogate and in foobar (they were already configured for my korg, so besides installing the marantz driver i didnt have to do anything else). I only have one sacd, and i can't find it right now, but i ordered a sampler sacd. The DSD's sound superb, and even cd's sound better...i can honestly say i have heard things in a couple songs i am familiar with that i have never heard before. I am not going to say it is any better than the DAC in the sony bds7200, but it also doesn't have an asynchronous usb dac. Knowing everything i know today after all my research and auditioning, i would go with the marantz sa8005 or i would buy the sony bdps7200 paired with the ifi micro (haven't heard it yet)....but this marantz device does job of both, but the the sony/ifi combo would give me multichannel and allow me to play dsd from flash drive. I did email marantz and ask them if there is any planned firmware updates to allow me to play flac and dsd from the flash drive and told them that if not, i was going to return the marantz. I don't think i will, mainly because i am tired of shopping and I am content with the SA8005.

 

I still say, like most would agree, put your money in your speakers. I let a pair of paradigm studios slip through my fingers and they made the biggest difference in everything i have heard to date. THe sound stage, the way they throw music around the room, i literally can't tell where the music is coming from many times in just a 2.1 setup. If anyone has auditioned paradigm studios and ended up with different speakers for less money, i would love to know what you got...as i haven't heard anything close. I have auditioned probably 50 different pairs of speakers in the past 6 months.

 

"" but it also doesn't have an asynchronous usb dac.""

 

Mike maybe I'm missing something in your comment can you explain : according to the Marantz site " The rear panel asynchronous high speed USB-B port lets you connect your home PC to the SA8005, so you can enjoy superb sound quality from your favorite PCM and DSD high resolution tracks stored on your computer"

The Truth Is Out There

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Mike, I have the Oppo 105D multi-player which plays up to DSD128 like your Marantz, and every other thing you can imagine. I'm very happy with the player, I think it's a great bargain. I get magnificent sound from its DAC section using the async USB input. I earlier had a Marantz SA8260 and it served me very well. The Oppo has better builder's specs, but I have no idea how they really match up sonically. I like that Marantz has a long term commitment to SACD. The non-transport units (headphone amp/DACs) from Oppo and Marantz do DSD256 and DSD128 respectively. Marantz has stuck with the obsolescent Cirrus CS4398 DAC chip for too long, IMO.

 

That said, I think that DS128 with any decent DAC will make a bigger difference than the particular DAC hardware; it does with my Oppo and HQPlayer software. I suspect that DSD512 doesn't matter at all, and that DSD128 matters a lot more than DSD256, but I haven't made those comparisons.

 

Good luck.

 

I own the 105D and the SA-14S1 (B-B DSD1792A) - as a DAC, I prefer the Chord Hugo to both of them but I still think the Marantz has the Oppo covered for long listening sessions. Even with Filter 1 - supposedly the 'detail' option - I find the Marantz a more relaxing listen but both dredge all the detail I could ask for from my SACD and CDs. In functionality terms, I just couldnt make a case for the Marantz or any other SACD player over the Oppo - even the most expensive model in their lineup is still well shy of the Marantz' asking price and it really is a Swiss Army knife. Add the fact that I can run balanced XLR from the Oppo into my headphone amp - the Marantz only has single-ended outputs - and I'm afraid I have to give the Oppo the bang-for-your-buck award. DSD has been a mixed bag for me - I occasionally play around with JRMC's DSD upsampling into my Sony PHA-2 or iFi iDSD nano but their own advice is to retain the native sampling rate for PCM and I'm happy to comply.

 

If Chord had put the Hugo in a decent case like the Qute, I believe they would have circumvented a lot of the issues with the case and the negative feedback re the aesthetics. They have a desktop version on the way and I look forward to the reviews. On the Marantz front, I'm still waiting for the NA8005 to arrive at my Marantz dealers but for now I'm content to enjoy what I've got.

 

Edit - almost forgot to mention that the headphone amp in the Marantz is substantially better than that provided in the Oppo, imo - I have no problems plugging most of my cans straight into the Marantz with the exception of the HD800s which still benefit from the Taurus' tight grip.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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"" but it also doesn't have an asynchronous usb dac.""

 

Mike maybe I'm missing something in your comment can you explain : according to the Marantz site " The rear panel asynchronous high speed USB-B port lets you connect your home PC to the SA8005, so you can enjoy superb sound quality from your favorite PCM and DSD high resolution tracks stored on your computer"

 

I was saying the SONY BDPs790 may be able to play dsd file from usb, and may have multi-channel sacd that the Marantz doesn't, but it doesn't have the usb-b interface....e.g. you can get the Marantz sa8005 or you can get the ifi micro/sony combo ... I really prefer to have one unit, and so for now I am sticking with the Marantz.

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