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RE: marantz SA-10

I have no idea how this thread works it all looks highly higgly-piggly to me and it is impossible to tell where comments are likely to appear but here goes in response to those asking about CD playback.

It is impossible for any sort of processing of 44/16 RBCD data to transform the sound miraculously into SACD quality. The SA10-S1 processes RBCD in a different way to all previous SACD spinners but it cannot and does not work miracles.

Compared with the SACD sound, there is very little depth to the soundstage, the soundstage is reduced in dimensions, there is a noticeable lack of precision in instrument placement, some of the harshness of upper strings and female voice are unbearably screechy and there are even some sounds I cannot recognise! There is definitely a sense of smoothing of detail but the sound is not warm. I find it aurally quite unattractive.

My Marantz CD7 and indeed the SA7-S1 do better jobs at RBCD playback. If you accept that the CD7 set the benchmark for RBCD playback and has never been bettered this new machine falls some way short of the SQ of the CD7. I doubt you will want to buy this machine for CD playback as its main duty.

Buy the SA10-S1 only if you want state of the art cutting edge audio sound quality from the very best SACD recording available today. Pentatone, Mariinsky & Challenge Classics discs sound best of all, all recorded in DSD. Reference Recordings discs also show up well. DSD retreads are exposed by the limitations of the original analogue recordings.

Those that bemoan the SA10-S1's lack of multi-channel capability will be surprised by what this truly high-end stereo reproduction can achieve especially in small rooms. It is also patently daft to compare the SA10-S1 sound to that of a sub $1k DVD player used for SACD mch playback.


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