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RE: marantz SA-10

Apologies to all, this is not one of my most visited sites so not always up to speed with this sort of thread. Normally you can find me on HRAudio.net where music buffs can waffle aimlessly over the merits or otherwise of new SACD releases. Of course the hardware helps.

I've had my SA10-S1 up and running for almost two months now. I cannot commit to writing a review of the machine because of the time involved, in any case there are far more qualified scribes than me to do that sort of thing.

What I will say unequivocally is that this is the best SACD player that Marantz has ever produced and not by a small margin. In fact this is the best SACD player I have ever used or heard anywhere since the format began FULL STOP.

This machine is more transparent, more neutral, more detailed, more dynamic and more capable of reproducing recorded music than anything that has gone before and far better than vinyl for taking you into live performance. The soundstage is simply indescribable, the whole playback system becomes not only invisible but irrelevant as the back wall of your room lights up in the mantle of the orchestra stage. Every note, every phrase, every nuance of the music is revealed, every instrument is in place and rock solid, nothing is missed you can hear it all and you can follow two, three, four tunes at once from the various sections. The bass is deep, solid and in scale and the noise floor is so low that you can hear so Loooww down! The dynamic range can deafen you on some uncompressed recordings.

This machine gives you goose bumps, neck hair erections and a shed load of tears as the sweetness and accuracy of instrument timbres turns your emotions to jelly. Yep it is that good.

Is there a downside? There is never gain without pain. It is so revealing that it challenges the recording engineers art. Poor balance, spotlighting, compression, the use of reverb and so on can grate and native DSD recordings sound so much better and more realistic than PCM recordings, which you might have anticipated as this machine operates in the DSD mode throughout.

A few of my SACD are already on Amazon & e Bay because they cannot cut the mustard.

I just wish that the industry had found out how to close these particular stable doors a few years earlier.

I don't know Frank (the reviewer) but if he hears things differently to me it would be surprising.


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