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Marantz SA10

I don't really post in forums d/t lack of time (though I do read them) but I'm making this exception due to also being very interested in the Marantz SA-10 and reading avidly everything posted about it.

Peeps do seem to be critical of it perhaps because, maybe, it's too daring of Marantz to charge such a hefty price or because it isn't multichannel or, perhaps, some feel that disc spinners are obsolete but I wanna recap a few things that some people seem to forget which, taken in their entirety, do make this $7k piece a sort of a bargain.

1) No DAC chip. This is big. Done by EMM Labs DA2, Bricasti M12, Lampizator and PS Audio, DSD is converted directly to analog via filtering in the analog domain. Supposed to be the purest way of handling DSD.
Every time I upsample to DSD256 in JRiver and decode via Sabre chip in my Simaudio Moon Neo DAC music sounds clearly better to my ears, even if I start with an MP3 file. My new preamp, with its newly added level of see through, transparency and "meat on bones" makes such a comparison easy.
And this Marantz is said to do the up sampling in hardware to DSD256 and then decode to analog without a chip, in the purest way.I think (and I might be wrong) that Bricasti and Lampi force you to upsample in software while the EMM and PS audio do the upsampling in hardware.
When peeps talk about "house sound" and how this Marantz compares to other Marantz players I don't think they realize that all the older Marantz players use DAC chips and this one doesn't, though the discrete class A analog out might be the same.

2) It's a USB DAC primarily before anything else. Best USB DACs do tend to be expensive
3) You can burn data DVD discs with .dsf files and play them back on the SA10
4) You can plug a USB memory stick in the back and play the files on it, this was made popular by the Resonessence Labs Invicta via their SD card slot

Being a stereo only player is a plus in my book.
Taking everything mentioned above into account shows that the SA10 is really the cheapest solution for what it is and what it does.
SA 10 in my opinion belongs in a more elevated company than its price would suggest and comparing it with SACD players from Sony, Oppo and Marantz itself would not put the SA10 in any difficult position.
Now I just need someone to compare the SA10 with the Bricasti M12, EMM Labs DA2, Lampizator Atlantis, PS Audio DS DAC and DS Memory Player combo and see where it stands. And with some of the better chip DACs out there, case in point being Ayre Q5. That would be interesting.


an audiophile and music lover, not necessarily in that order

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