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In Reply to: RE: Marantz SA10 Reviews posted by hiredfox on April 24, 2017 at 09:23:54
Let me try to contribute on this topic even without being able to write a review proper.
I have been the (happy) owner of a SA7 for over ten years. My first exposure to the new SA 10 was about one month ago when I first briefly auditioned it at an official presentation with a Marantz dealer here in Turin (Italy). My daughter had come along (always wise to have a lady to join: the other half of the world definitely "hear" better than we do). Neither of us was particularly impressed. For surethe location was far from an ideal one, with people strolling and chatting and the material used for spinning was the usual "sounds good everywhere" demo material.
A couple of weeks ago I arranged for some more meditated listening with my usual "pusher" of hi-fi gear (I mostly purchase prevoiusly owned material). The gentleman is a former amateur musician with a sound technical background and very discerning listening skills (all genres). We had arranged for at least minimal burn in of equipment and spent about three hours listening to a set of CDs-SACDs I currently used for evaluating equipment (this is just for fun: I have no professional interests whatsoever in sound reproduction equipment). None of these is of demonstration quality: these are just exemplary of the kind of material I currently listen to (mostly classical with some jazz and world, (mostly brazilian). Equipment used included recent Mc Intosh electronics driving a JBL Everest pair (no idea of the cabling). My final verdict was again lukewark: good player, maybe with some edge over SA 7, but not worth the investment.
Rather unexpectedly, when back home while working I started playing again on the SA7 the same discs I had just heard on the SA10. At that point the improvement became evident. So I arranged to carry the SA 10 home for further listening. I have now purchased the unit (while keeping the SA 7, of course) and cannot but congratulate Ken and Marantz on their achievement.
While listening experience so far is short (I also enjoyed doing some tampering with filter options: a current preferred setting is Filter 1 - Dither 1 - Noise Shaper 4th-0), I would mention the following points as points of marked improvement over the SA 7:
- bass line: this is always much present without being intrusive (say it provides current RBCD's with a bass line of comparable SACD quality); it thus gives a correct amount of "body" to piano recordings which may sound slightly too lean: most Pogorelich recordings for DG are exemplary of this;
- imaging: this is outstanding both at macroscopic level (soundstage and exact location of instruments, e.g. telling exactly where the viola and cello are on the right side of a string quartet) and at a microscopic level (e.g. Individually perceiving the two violins on the left side of a string quartet);
- definite absence of any "glare": recordings of historical string instruments are revelatory with gut strings when heard live having a very acute tonal balance which may sound somewhat sour, yet not shrill. The SA 10 renders such sound admirably. On the same line this the first time I hear the glorious Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli (Sony SS 89173 - Single Layer SACD) with the full power of brass instruments with no shrillness (the spatial location is also just right).
To sum up: highly recommended. But do not trade in your SA 7: be wise enough to keep two Ferraris in your garage.
Welcome! Luciano IT
I doubt if many will buy the expensive Marantz SA-1O . hiredfox a very experienced Marantz user finds redbook CD inferior to the older CD7 and the SA7-S1 that requires a very expensive dCs master clock to give an adequate performance. No magazine reviewer even mentioned this , IMO having various filters is absurd. . No doubt D & M will accuse me of causing them problems as they did with the SA7-S1
"I doubt if many will buy the expensive Marantz SA-1O . hiredfox a very experienced Marantz user finds redbook CD inferior to the older CD7 and the SA7-S1 that requires a very expensive dCs master clock to give an adequate performance."
Since the CD7 is essentially unobtainable and was also very expensive, I don't think this is the right standard for most people. I would consider buying the SA10 if it plays both SACDs and CD's better than something like the SA14 (which I own, and which costs about 1/3 as much as the SA10).
I still haven't heard a comparison between the CD playbook of the SA10 and the CD playback of something like the SA14.
Another interesting comparison would be between the SA10 and the PS Audio two-box solution,
which they claim improves both SACD and CD playback. I expect we'll have to wait a long time for such a comparison, but I hope to hear more quickly about the CD playback of the SA10 compared to other players.
Actually the SA14 sounds pretty musical to me, and I am most likely going to just stay with it.
As the SA-14 sounds musical to you best to stay with it and not throw away money on the SA-10 which hiredfox after more time ,now says I doubt you will want to buy this machine (SA-10) for CD playback as its main duty.
what other gear, including cabling, is in your system?
"what other gear, including cabling, is in your system?"
Speakers: Stax F83
Subwoofers: Roger Modjeski woofers (made for his own ELS speakers), with a Beveridge crossover
Speaker cabling..... MIT I think
Amplifies: New York Audiolab OTL3 (Futterman design), generic amp for the subwoofer
Preamp: Klyne SK5
Turntable: Well-tempered, original model
Cartridge: van den Hul Frog Gold
CD player and USB DAC: Marantz SA14
Other cabling, a mix which I can't possibly sort out.
Headphones: Stax SRX MKIII
Headphone amp: McCormack mini (don't remember the exact name)
I'd still like to hear more from Hiredfox....
I understand both pov (points of view) per hiredfox and Disbeliever.
Until I can demo this spinner, I enjoy Esoteric spinners, for SACD only!
Their players feature "filters" for RBCD. Very thin, dry in presentation to my ears.
Esoteric SACD playback is outstanding!
I doubt if many will buy a Ferrari - after all, most of them only have 2 doors. True - and yet completely meaningless.
Actually, one area I agree with the otherwise stuck record of Disbeliever's monologue is that I am not a great fan of lots of different filters on playback units (nor on comfort suspension settings in cars). Let the manufacturer choose their sound, and let me choose the manufacturer.
And neither effect SACD or DSD recordings. It shouldn't be that hard.
Jeez, my old PS Audio PWD had 6.
Actually, one area I agree with the otherwise stuck record of Disbeliever's monologue is that I am not a great fan of lots of different filters on playback units (nor on comfort suspension settings in cars).
Interesting. While such is unnecessary with any hi-rez format, one must necessarily choose a tradeoff with Redbook playback: extended response with ringing or rolled off response sans ringing. While I don't have the choice with my DAC, it makes sense to me.
As for cars, I also like having multiple drives modes using the PDK dual clutch tranny in wifey's Boxster. It's nice to run Sport Plus on occasion with the engine always spooled up, but most of the time Normal works fine with it lumbering along in 7th. :)
why even comment at all? You'd think he was short D&M (if they were public).
Its a good idea not to sell your SA7-S1 as a CD7 is being offered on Hi Fi Shark for a shade under Euro 10k.
Unlike Luciano 'though there was no doubts whatsoever in my mind after the first spin that this is a rather special player. What is astonishing is how good it sounds 'out-of-the-box' and the very short warm up period needed per session of about 30 mins until it is sounding its best.
It is impossible to assess hi fi components from a quick demo in a dealer showroom. Home demo in your own system or forget it! I bought mine as an act of trust in the Marantz design and build teams based on previous experience with a string of their high end players. They have not let me down.
Marantz are playing hardball with the SA10-S1 which means either they are convinced of its superiority over other SACD players or it is a loss leader and they don't want to make too many.
If you need a glimpse of heaven, listen to the new Johannes Moser version of the Roccoco Variations on Pentatone on your SA10-S1 but it does carry a health warning for your heart strings!
Thanks very much to Hiredfox for the musical reference. I didn't know about Pentatone; it looks like a good resource. I will look more closely at it. Do you recommend the DSD files as well as the SACD's?
I'm still interested in more analysis of the SA10 on CD's. You mentioned some sounds you didn't recognize. Do you think now they are artifacts created by the player or rather revealed by it?
Have you tried various filters? (To my surprise, my wife and I preferred the filter 2 setting of the SA14).
HIREDFOX . At long last you have admitted that I was right about the unsatisfactory SQ of the obese SA7-S1 and that a very expensive dCs Clock is required for a satisfactory performance. Herewith are the comments by Mark Lawton from the first review from Positive Feedback Online, the glowing one by Dr Sarconicus is total nonsense.
I am not afraid to ask for a little "more" zest & spice from the SA7-S1 and that's why I am sending it off to the Mod Man to be upgraded. This is what I asked him to address in order of importance
1. Improve dynamics, heft, slam, power,punch, oomph etc.
2. Increase transparency,palpability and address blackness of background. It has a very low-level amount of "fog" between you and the performers, images are a tad"soft" around the edges could use some firming up.
3.Tone is a hair on the warm side of neutral, a small correction wouldn't hurt. Tone is also a tad on the dry side, and if that's fixable, that would be great.
Well that's why I sold my SA7-S1 after a 700 hour burn in. and of course the poor bass.
This is an old battleground now used mainly for tourism!
Having spent £5k on the SA7-S1, it is surprising that you gave up so easily and didn't follow the rest of the audio community in linking it to a Word Clock, as that was a very well reported improvement almost from the off. It had a Word Clock input which to any research minded audiophile was an open invitation to play around with it.
The other question is why didn't you do your research beforehand as the SA7-S1 was freely available for home demo?
As I got the Marantz SA7-S1 at Trade price, there was no need to do any research ,knowing it would be easy to dispose of if I did not like it. Quite frankly I should not of bought it because the SACD is Stereo only. I also owned at that time my very extensively modded CD94 , I had compared it to the CD7 which I did not buy as the two players were virtually indistinguishable for SQ, this near 30 year old CD94 is still being enjoyed by the guy I sold it to.
One Ferrari is problematic enough
Loved reading your post.
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