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In Reply to: RE: Marantz SA-10si Reviewed posted by hiredfox on February 16, 2017 at 11:05:41
" Only the February issue of HFN is in the shops at the moment. Do you have special access?"
Yes, but only to the extent that I am a subscriber ( print and digital) and if Royal Mail is on its toes.
Yep, that scoring system is pretty impenetrable and, as I have said, just reading the copy makes it redundant. Of course a magazine editor will tell you that some kind of rating system attracts readers who have neither the inclination nor knowledge to read the whole piece.
The cost and quality aspect of the scoring apparently works like this ( as far as I have been able to glean from Paul Miller's explanation). Let's say that a component costs 750 gbp. The reviewer imagines what capabilities such a component at that price would have to exhibit in order to score 100% (in the light of their expertise and experience of similar products). Then he rates the component under review in relation to that concept e.g. this scores 85% of that ideal. So it isn't cost = quality nor is it an absolute measure but more a kind of the best available at that price rating. So an integrated amp from, say, Musical Fidelity costing 1700 gbp may score 83%. Another integrated amp from ,say, Luxman at 7000 gbp may score 85%. But that does't mean that the Luxman is only a negligible 2 points better than the MF which could otherwise be purchased as a cheaper substitute for the Luxman ( see the April 2016 edition for these two amps).
Of course I could have got it all mixed up ( but don't think so). However it is pretty much a rubbish idea to begin with and I think that PM inhertited it from the IMO less than satisfactory editor that preceded him. So there it is (so far as I understand). It could and should be dispensed with but I bow to the superior commercial instinct of the publisher and editor. NB: most other audio magazines do something along the same lines with stars out of five etc. Hurrah for Stereophile - you actually have to read it!
"However it is pretty much a rubbish idea to begin with and I think that PM inhertited it from the IMO less than satisfactory editor that preceded him."
He got it from Martin Colloms IIRC. Back in the 80s Martin did most of the technical reviews for HFNRR and he introduced that scoring system. I agree it is stupid because you can't really gauge the progress made over time! It was his way of introducing a new reference and he even rescaled the values for old reviews if he referenced them in the context of the new reviews!
"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats
There have been several unsatisfactory editors of HFN & RR since John Crabbe.
Frank I- has a review forthcoming soon.
Time Frank I review appears we will all be much older. No need to look beyond hiredfox's final comments posted April 19 , he has experience of most of the previous Marantz top spinners that other commentators most probably do not and this is essential.
I still want to read about Frank I 's impression(s).
all posts so far except hiredfox find SA10 CD to be very good, IMO only well recorded Classical music should be the used for assessing SQ. Pop & Rock can sound impressive but its usually studio enhanced and has no meaningful reference standard.
Hope to read more reviews on this player.
fantja , you will be very unlikely to read a more revealing review than the one from hiredfox, Marantz SA-10 is only worth buying for those interested in stereo SACD and want to spend $6K or in UK £6K..
Looking forward to Frank I's review.
I look forward to Franks review too. I have a CD7 for many years and is thinking of replacing with a SA10. I am a analog fan most of the time but I hope SACD will come close in terms of sound quality when playing SACD.
SME20/12 V12 arm, Clearaudio Titanium V2, Nagra BPS, Marantz CD7, Marantz NA11S1, Airtight ATC2, Passlabs XA100.8 mono pwr, Sonus Faber Amati Futura, Kimber PK10 Palladian, Yter bi-wire spkr cables, Nordost Valkyrja & Audience AU24SE interconnects, N
Unless Frank has a CD7 his review will not help in comparing it with the SA-10 . hiredfox has said he prefers the CD7, whilst he says the SA-10 excels with stereo SACD. I have heard the CD7 and it is excellent, much better than the SA7-S1.
3 months in and delighted with the SA10-S1. By any measure this is an outstanding SACD player and has fully justified my gamble in buying without trying.
Using DSD recorded SACD as data source, the sound from this player is almost indescribably realistic. I can find no flaw in its presentation. Suddenly, all the hi fi characteristics that we have used to pinpoint the gains and shortfalls of all previous players are consigned to the bin. This player in this mode plays music as it should be heard.
The sense of presence is uncanny. Stereo only or not and we will argue that one until the cows come home, this system lights up the back wall of your listening room and the room itself in a way most of us have never experienced before. There is no sense that the sound you hear is coming from the boxes in front of you. In essence it creates its own hall ambience that renders mch almost unnecessary, it is truly difficult to imagine what else could be added by the 5-channel experience in a small room listening in the near field.
Musicians are arrayed in front of you, each player or section exactly in its place and firmly glued to the floor. You can literally listen to any section you choose or prefer and follow their tunes and this effect can be startling even if you think you know a piece of music well. Often you just do not appreciate all of the details that go to make the whole even in concert but boy does this player educate! Nothing is missing. This is musical heaven on Earth.
It is less accommodating on PCM recorded SACD even 'though the player reads a DSD signal from the disc. Sadly the damage has been done in the PCM mode with frequency cut offs at 48kHz and up depending on mode chosen by the recording engineers. The transcription into SACD for the Super Audio disc format cannot turn lead into gold. Images are far less precise and stable and the soundstage is always limited in width to between the speakers (at least on my system) although some DXD recordings approach the DSD standard but the latest DSD throughout recordings are simply sublime to hear.
This is the best SACD player yet in my experience and not by a small margin. It is head and shoulders above the SA7-S1 and all its high end offspring like the SA11-S3 and SA14 SE. Marantz have produced a real gem, a musical marvel that will satisfy even the most demanding of listeners.
This is no background music player by he way. You must really love sitting down, clearing your mind and listening to music for an hour or two without distraction. If you have that level of dedication then the £6K investment is well worth the candle. In fact that is only the same level of dedication needed to get off one's backside and go listen to a live performance!
Thanks for a wonderful review. When my Marantz SA10 arrive, I will make a comparison on CD playback with my CD7 and also with the DAC of my NA11S1. A comparison with my SME 20/12 will be interesting too pitting the best of analog with SACD.
(SME20/12 V12 arm, Clearaudio Titanium V2, Nagra BPS, Marantz CD7, Marantz NA11S1, Airtight ATC2, Passlabs XA100.8 mono pwr, Sonus Faber Amati Futura, Purepower 3000+, Yter, Kimber PK10 Palladian, Nordost Tyr)
Very interesting ,however IMO best SACD arrives in mch. virtually all SACDs have mch layer, why do they bother with it,if it is not better than stereo ?. How many are going to pay $6K/for a stereo only SACD player that fails to reach the CD performance of the Marantz CD7 according to your previous post.
Thanks! for sharing- hiredfox
keep us posted as you continue to become acclimated w/ this spinner.
Hopefully, Frank I will release his review as well.
Does he listen on headphones or speakers ?
Classical & Jazz.
Frank- is your review posted?
we need more reviews of this spinner!
Sadly, Andrew Everard's review of the SA-10S1 is brief and superficial, and disappoints as a result offering little useful guidance to experienced listeners. It's OK being first in line if you take full advantage of the head start that you have been given over your competitors by the supplier but this review just isn't good enough for a machine that has been years in development and boasts the long neglected single bit processing principles from end-to end.
Odd too that KK wasn't allocated the review, if anybody knows Marantz spinners Ken does and he would have offered far more insight.
Black mark Andrew, wonder who gets to have it next?
Thanks! for sharing- hiredfox
it is all too common w/ the Audio press currently. I can remember a time when a review was informative and well-written.
That was a long long time ago, there are no rewiewers today in UK who can match the very high calibre & professionalism
of Gordon J King, John Borwick Geoffrey Horn You could believe every word , without question, no political agenda .
What about Martin Colloms? I was always impressed by his reviews in the past, which struck me as thoughtful, thorough, and honest, many years ago. I bought my old Van den Hul MC One based partly on his review many years ago. (Now I use a Van den Hul Frog.)
I think he is still writing, no?
He is and has his own independent mag "Hi Fi Critic" although far too expensive to buy but that's the price you have to pay for having no advertisers and hopefully to not be their pockets so to speak.
I hope he does get his hands on the SA-10S1 in the UK before it goes too far around the hack block!
Yes he is still writing has his own audio magazine subscription only Hi-Fi Critic, has a crazy system for rating components, he is an engineer but I much prefer the reviewers from long ago that I mentioned Gordon J.King (The Audio Handbook)
John Borwick, Geoffrey Horn.
He does have golden ears which helps enormously in assessments. At least his crackpot scoring system puts everything on one scale so you can get an idea of relative performance. On the downside he tends to be hooked on his PRT parameter, "forgetting" that it is the music that matters and controls these things.
Martin Colloms does a pretty good job- reviewing.
Right On! Disbeliever-
I have read some of those guys' writings. Very professional indeed.
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