Jump to content
IGNORED

Marantz CD/SACD player advice


airheadair
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am still looking for advice about the purchase of a SACD/CD player to match my vintage system, based on a pair of Stax F83 loudspeakers. I am trying to choose between the Marantz SA-11S3 and the newer but less expensive SA-14S1. Unfortunately it will not be possible for me to compare these directly, so I have to rely on reviews and advice. Both have gotten mostly good reviews, but I have seen some concerns. With regard to the SA-11S3, there is a thread on this forum about issues with the USB drivers under Mac OS, and I have not been able to tell if these issues have been resolved. (Neither Marantz nor the dealers seem to know for sure.) Does anyone here have up to date information? The SA-11S3 seems to require special drivers downloaded from Marantz, but not the SA-14S1. This leads me to think the SA-14S1 will have fewer problems. Also, the SA-11S3 cannot handle DSD files. For the near term, I'm expecting to use the player mostly as a disc drive and also as a DAC through the optical inputs, but may want to use USB later. The real bottom line though is whether the 11S3 sounds substantially better than the 14S1. It is not so easy to figure out from the specs what the real differences are, but I did find out that 11S3 has a special Marantz DSP chip which the 14S1 does not. This seems to allow the SA-11S3 to use dithering, which I know is a very effective tool in other digital contexts, and they have a nice white paper about it (attached). However if this is used only in Noise Shaping, the reviews I have read don't seem to think that it is really a huge improvement.

 

Specific questions:

1. Does the (rear) USB interface work now with Mac OS X (latest version) on the SA11S3?

2. Does the 11S3 sound simnifically better than the 14S1 on most material?

3. Should I worry about DSD files in the future? Could I use HQ player to convert these to PCM and then play them with the 11S3 if necessary?

 

Perhaps I am overanalyzing; since tiny differences aren't that important to me. But if one of these units will sound much better than the other I want to know,

AMARASA11S3_WP.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am still looking for advice about the purchase of a SACD/CD player to match my vintage system, based on a pair of Stax F83 loudspeakers. I am trying to choose between the Marantz SA-11S3 and the newer but less expensive SA-14S1. Unfortunately it will not be possible for me to compare these directly, so I have to rely on reviews and advice. Both have gotten mostly good reviews, but I have seen some concerns. With regard to the SA-11S3, there is a thread on this forum about issues with the USB drivers under Mac OS, and I have not been able to tell if these issues have been resolved. (Neither Marantz nor the dealers seem to know for sure.) Does anyone here have up to date information? The SA-11S3 seems to require special drivers downloaded from Marantz, but not the SA-14S1. This leads me to think the SA-14S1 will have fewer problems. Also, the SA-11S3 cannot handle DSD files. For the near term, I'm expecting to use the player mostly as a disc drive and also as a DAC through the optical inputs, but may want to use USB later. The real bottom line though is whether the 11S3 sounds substantially better than the 14S1. It is not so easy to figure out from the specs what the real differences are, but I did find out that 11S3 has a special Marantz DSP chip which the 14S1 does not. This seems to allow the SA-11S3 to use dithering, which I know is a very effective tool in other digital contexts, and they have a nice white paper about it (attached). However if this is used only in Noise Shaping, the reviews I have read don't seem to think that it is really a huge improvement.

 

Specific questions:

1. Does the (rear) USB interface work now with Mac OS X (latest version) on the SA11S3?

2. Does the 11S3 sound simnifically better than the 14S1 on most material?

3. Should I worry about DSD files in the future? Could I use HQ player to convert these to PCM and then play them with the 11S3 if necessary?

 

Perhaps I am overanalyzing; since tiny differences aren't that important to me. But if one of these units will sound much better than the other I want to know,

 

Why are you limiting your options to Marantz?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why are you limiting your options to Marantz?

 

I have done some narrowing down, after considering a few other options (Line Magnetic, Rega, etc.).

I wanted a single unit (not separate transport and DAC), for simplicity.

I wanted a manufacturer with a good warranty policy.

I wanted the ability to play SACD's and some computer formats

I wanted USB and optical inputs.

I wanted well-reviewed units, with a reasonable price tag

 

I am sure there are other choices out there, but this is how I was led to Marantz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simply, Marantz particularly, consumers can rely on their designing-for-that-pricepoint (especially Europe where a senior-engineer-manger I befriended [through previous New Zealand importer] has extensive influence).

 

So America, you've essentially a SA-11S3 MSRP : $3,999 (that began development before its 2005 S1 release) vs. SA-14S1 (released in 2014) at $2,499

 

And soon there'll be an around €7,000 SA-10

It really depends on your needs, say if SA-11S3 were at a discounted price and you prefer balanced XLR outputs, happy with its DAC limitations because you mainly play your favourite SACDs, then perhaps for right-now...

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have done some narrowing down, after considering a few other options (Line Magnetic, Rega, etc.).

I wanted a single unit (not separate transport and DAC), for simplicity.

I wanted a manufacturer with a good warranty policy.

I wanted the ability to play SACD's and some computer formats

I wanted USB and optical inputs.

I wanted well-reviewed units, with a reasonable price tag

 

I am sure there are other choices out there, but this is how I was led to Marantz.

 

At different price points the Oppo105 or Esoteric range would both satisfy the above (maybe not the price tag criteria in latter case.). There were some very good deals around on the older Esoteric K07 model a while back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SACD/CD player to match my vintage system, based on a pair of Stax F83 loudspeakers.

 

Which players have you enjoyed before ? What's your amplification ?

 

Would there be a synergy with the Marantz « sweeter mid-range » sound ?

[video=youtube;h_-aShUYDEo]

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which players have you enjoyed before ? What's your amplification ?

 

Would there be a synergy with the Marantz « sweeter mid-range » sound ?

 

Thanks for the followup. My system is the following:

 

Stax F83 speakers. NYAL Futterman OTL3 amplifiers. Klyne SK5a preamp. Roger Modjeski subwoofers and active crossover,.

Well Tempered Turntable with Van den Hul Frog cartridge.

 

I think the above system sounds very good" transparent, musical, dimensional, with a very convincing midrange and very sweet and extended highs.

 

So far I have been using an off-the-shelf Onkyo CD player, which doesn't match the analog sound. (But it is not intolerable, mostly missing are excitement and dimensionality.)

 

I do think an aggressive sounding digital source would not work well with my system. Another reason consider Marantz?

As I may have said above, the main advantage of the SA11S3 over the SA14S1 is the DSP chip in the former, which enables the use of more sophisticated noise shaping algorithms and dithering. I am a bit concerned about high frequency noise that might get into the amplifier from DSD and SACD sources. The Futterman has very high bandwidth and slew rate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Publicly, on the internet, advice can easily overwhelm us ?

 

With Marantz, my position is literally a friendly commitment to understanding how their products can improve how I want to live (because music is a fuel ; Ken, a trusted friend—feedback from my purchasing and living with his latest work).

 

I'll quickly quote two previous Posts. Firstly, I prefer filter options and making a personal effort to always consciously use them. Norton can tell you too that Esoteric offers selectable filtering. Well, of Marantz, both the Premium players you're looking at have these 2 selectable characteristics :

Briefly' date=' myself—how I listen to spoken podcasts and all manner of eclectic favourites in various resolutions, [/i']citing one featureI switch often between Marantz' custom digital filtering :

22433d1448658987-marantz-digital-analogue-converter-disc-player-special-edition-sa-14s1-se-srp-%A31799-sa-14s1-filter.png

 

It does help to have favourites, fine-tuning how we best prefer them to sound. Well, « FIL 2 » has exquisite « analog [well-balanced, smooth sound] » qualities that delivers for my personal needs :)

 

Since we're all different, with different Hi-Fi system product chains, we essentially have to explore and determine if a product is right by ourselves. As Ken advises...

 

How they visually chart their 2 Filters :

hdamp1_9.jpg

 

Yes, SA-11S3 (see its User Manual) has extra customisation of Noise Shaper :

« Digital feedback is used to improve the low-sound linearity and the noise characteristics of the audible band.

Although no difference is observed in the measured values, the sound quality is changed, allowing users to specify a favorite sound quality. »

 

And DC filter :

« This filter is effective in preventing excessive speaker vibration when playing discs where audio with extremely low noise characteristics has been recorded. (The cut frequency is set at 1.7 Hz.) »

 

Yet, ultimately, what Ken said :

« People have to decide themselves!! Very simple' date=' either you like or not! Isn’t it?? What I found crazy is asking someone supposed to be the specialist and able to tell sound quality! However when you listen to the system he recommended, you don’t like it at all, yet—because he is the one supposed to be the specialist recommending this system—you accepted his advice and buy it!!! Don’t ever do that!!! You won’t be happy at all!!! You have to live with the system! You must love the system!! Just go for your own feelings…[/b'] »

 

 

Sure, price does come into it. Today, for example, I was made aware of tempting, nearby, Auckland discounts for...

 

Much to consider. When you prompt me, I promise to recall something else that might be of help

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...