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Marantz' new disc player & DAC converts PCM to DSD256


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Yup but PS Audio's DirectStream DAC "Upsamples PCM and DSD to 10x DSD rate." I think their upcoming player will do so too. FWIW.

 

I was surprised by the fact that I could load a CD into a player and have it's contents upsampled to DSD just as I do with HQ Player...

 

But I guess the PS Audio will do the trick, possible better (although I would rather not have the digital link between a transport and a DAC).

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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My wild guess is that they use the new AKM's sample rate converter chip (4.5 EUR/piece) that can do it.

 

I first thought the upsampling function in TEAC UD-503/NT-503 was based on that AKM chip, but based on the horribly bad measurement results I now doubt it. I can't believe AKM would make so bad algorithm.

 

Anyway the question is how good the result is in this case. :)

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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The Marantz SA-10 SACD/CD player/DAC ($6,999)

 

At last, a cost-effective alternative to ripping a CD and playing it back via Audirvana (or player with similar functionality).

 

You guys are missing the point of the article, where did Wilhelm's buddy get that scarf?

 

More to the point: Where did Wilhelm go?

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More to the point: Where did Wilhelm go?

 

Well there was an earthquake in NZ. Hope he ok, I miss his elliptical style.

And I would bet he has a good lead on that scarf!

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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I was surprised by the fact that I could load a CD into a player and have it's contents upsampled to DSD just as I do with HQ Player...

R

 

Esoteric SACD players have had that facility for several years now (whether it's "just as" HQ Player is another matter..) although it sounds like the Marantz is doing something different when converting to analogue -some kind of chip less solution?

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First thing I would do is run it against a Sony PS1.

 

At last, a cost-effective alternative to ripping a CD and playing it back via Audirvana (or player with similar functionality).

 

 

 

More to the point: Where did Wilhelm go?

A Digital Audio Converter connected to my Home Computer taking me into the Future

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Yup but PS Audio's DirectStream DAC "Upsamples PCM and DSD to 10x DSD rate." I think their upcoming player will do so too. FWIW.

 

 

KR brings up a very interesting point.

 

I believe the new PS audio Player REQUIRES the PS Audio DAC (and no other DAC) in order to accomplish what the new Marantz will do on it own.

 

In short, the Marantz solution will cost thousands less than the PS Audio solution!!

 

There are, without a doubt, technical aspects I am missing. If so chime in.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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In short, the Marantz solution will cost thousands less than the PS Audio solution!!

 

I really have to personally wonder why the cost is in thousands in first place... ;D

 

For $7k I can have 8 channels of DSD256 with digital room correction and all. And still have bunch of money left to buy music.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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My wild guess is that they use the new AKM's sample rate converter chip (4.5 EUR/piece) that can do it.

 

I first thought the upsampling function in TEAC UD-503/NT-503 was based on that AKM chip, but based on the horribly bad measurement results I now doubt it. I can't believe AKM would make so bad algorithm.

 

Anyway the question is how good the result is in this case. :)

 

According to the local magazine Audio Accesory 2016 Winter issue, pp. 101,

This DAC is called Marantz Musical Mastering DAC. They use two DSPs and one CPLD to convert incoming signal to 11.2MHz 1bit SDM. It consists of oversamping digital filter, 3rd order or 4th order noise shaper(selectable), a resonator to reduce high frequency noise, dither (selectable), SDM, 1st order moving average filter. Analog lowpass filter is 2nd order discrete circuit.

 

This is interesting construction. The order of noise shaper, Sinc (in frequency) filter, analog lowpass filter seems low. This may comes from some kind of design decision. Also I noticed their specification shows: SNR (A-Weighted): 112dB (hearing range)

This means something. I think they designed unique DAC by listening to music not by measurement value of spectrum analyzer? I'm interesting to see the measurement result, it may indicate the key to understand what "Musical Mastering" means.

Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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Yup but PS Audio's DirectStream DAC "Upsamples PCM and DSD to 10x DSD rate." I think their upcoming player will do so too. FWIW.

 

Only as intermediate internal format, it's converted back to DSD128 if memory serves me well for output.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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According to the local magazine Audio Accesory 2016 Winter issue, pp. 101,

This DAC is called Marantz Musical Mastering DAC. They use two DSPs and one CPLD to convert incoming signal to 11.2MHz 1bit SDM. It consists of oversamping digital filter, 3rd order or 4th order noise shaper(selectable), a resonator to reduce high frequency noise, dither (selectable), SDM, 1st order moving average filter. Analog lowpass filter is 2nd order discrete circuit.

 

This is interesting construction. The order of noise shaper, Sinc (in frequency) filter, analog lowpass filter seems low. This may comes from some kind of design decision. Also I noticed their specification shows: SNR (A-Weighted): 112dB (hearing range)

This means something. I think they designed unique DAC by listening to music not by measurement value of spectrum analyzer? I'm interesting to see the measurement result, it may indicate the key to understand what "Musical Mastering" means.

 

There's some (more) information in this page:

 

Marantz UK | SA-10

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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There's some (more) information in this page:

 

Marantz UK | SA-10

 

Looks like it's their own thing with Analog Devices SHARC DSP processors and the DAC section looks somewhat similar to T+A DAC8 DSD (less conversion elements than my DSC1, but otherwise similar). SHARC's 32-bit floating point vs computer/HQPlayer's 64/80-bit floating point.

 

I'm curious to see how that thing performs. Too expensive for me to buy just for measuring. And too bad it doesn't support unprocessed DSD256 inputs, but being limited to processed DSD64/DSD128, so it cannot function as plain bit-perfect DAC. I hope they'd add support for bit-perfect DSD256 pass-through.

 

But good to see more manufacturers doing their own thing instead of boring yet-another COTS DAC chip thing.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...

On a practical level, the new Marantz SA-10 has updated file playback functions (playing files from attached USB storage or CD-R/DVD-R). While the older models SA-11S3 and SA14-S1 can only play lossy or WAV up to 16/48, the new player plays FLAC (up to 24/192) and DSD files, which makes it a potentially useful function.

 

But there are still some limitations. The USB storage must be formatted in FAT32, and it's not clear to me from reading the manual in which order the files are played. It says it's in the order in which the files were written on the storage, but I suppose it will be possible to play the files in one album folder in alphanumerical order, otherwise it would be completely useless.

Claude

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I just completed a format shootout and couldn't tell the difference between FLAC files upsampled to 192/24 via my sound card and native DSD during a blind test. What made the biggest difference was how the music was recorded. Music captured during live events sounded much better than music recorded in the studio on my system. I used qello.com as a source for live recordings.

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