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Marantz SA-10 Review (SACD Player & DAC)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 70 23.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 139 46.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 78 25.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 14 4.7%

  • Total voters
    301

DWI

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The last CD player I owned had a TASCAM unit with a $40 TEAC transport. TASCAM is a sister company of Esoteric that make the $3,000 VDRS transport. I emailed Pioneer Europe NV (this was 2016) and asked the difference between their two products. I still have their email response and quote verbatim below.

Hello Mr Smith, difference will be the durability of the mechanism and a
reduction of jitter, which in turn helps your DAC achieve a greater audio
conversion accuracy. To a certain level jitter is not an issue when
extracting data (computer files and the like), but when a real time DA
conversion is done to the data stream, jitter becomes very important and
can create minute timing issues in the DA conversion. Whether it would be
actually audible is another thing altogether. Audio is a very subjective.

So there you have it!
 

TBone

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My old CD players use NE-5532s with a 100R source impedance and I've never wished for anything more with my various flat impedance AKGs. Sure, I can swing more from a standalone preamplifier H/P jack, but going deaf has never been high on my bucket list...

my pro sony dac/adc inc.5532's everywhere, lots of high quality caps etc, headphone performance is fine, except for the uncleanable scratchy volume pot tucked behind/under another board, requiring major surgery just to get at ...
 

DrIacozKnows

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Thanks Amirm. BTW, I think MARANTZ, DENON and other brands were bought by a medical company. Very strange I think!
 

pma

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This is the limit that one can get from the properly dithered 44.1kHz/16 bit 1kHz 0dBFS signal. Mathematically generated signal, not a real thing. Seems that S/N numbers published by the manufacturers of CD players are measured without any signal, without any disc. Signal to Noise of the TPD dithered 44.1/16 is limited to 93.4dB flat 22kHz BW. Some tricks may be done by A-weighting.

1KHz_sig_TPD_dithered.png
 

Herbert

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I don't think anyone is making a linear motor laser sled, BSL spindle motor drive mech anymore. Those days are gone.
Correct. Around 2014 I tried to develop a CD-Player. There is one company, Streamunlimited in Austria. They offered an OEM
solution for the control and mechanics. Back then, one could only choose from a Sanyo SF-HD850 and Sony KHM-313.
You could find those transports in 200$ units as well as in 10.000$ units.
No Philips or NEC any more. Talking with Streamunlited personally on a trade show, they did complain that they had a high
failure rate but no influence on quality control.
 

PeteL

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Correct. It's primary reason for existence is to play CDs and SACDs.

Unfortunately, its CD published specifications are most disappointing for 2022.

View attachment 192375
One of my favourite Sony players, which, when tested was considerably better than spec. In 1989, 33 years ago...

View attachment 192380
May we ask what was this favourite Sony your’s, the model.
 

SimpleTheater

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So once again a 2018 $500 OPPO UDP-203 is the better unit AND can play DVD/Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray UHD movies to boot.
 

pma

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So once again a 2018 $500 OPPO UDP-203 is the better unit AND can play DVD/Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray UHD movies to boot.

How did you know? Have you seen any measurement comparison between the two, properly measured? @amirm has not published a proper set of measurements here. It is a disc player, so the CD mode must be tested with the test CD disc and the SACD mode must be tested with the SACD test disc. We only know how it behaves from the USB input, but the USB is rather a secondary, complementary option in this unit.
 
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SimpleTheater

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How did you know? Have you seen any measurement comparison between the two, properly measured? @amirm has not published a proper set of measurements here. It is a disc player, so the CD mode must be tested with the test CD disc and the SACD mode must be tested with the SACD test disc. We only know how it behaves from the USB input, but the USB is rather a secondary, complementary option in this unit.
Audioholics measured the OPPO's years ago, unless you're referring to a lack of testing for the Marantz.
 

xaviescacs

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Audioholics measured the OPPO's years ago, unless you're referring to a lack of testing for the Marantz.
Have they used a CD or SACD as @pma suggests? It seems they have used the HDMI input:
Using a 192kHz / 24 bit 6CH Dolby True HD signal
 
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voodooless

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This is the limit that one can get from the properly dithered 44.1kHz/16 bit 1kHz 0dBFS signal. Mathematically generated signal, not a real thing. Seems that S/N numbers published by the manufacturers of CD players are measured without any signal, without any disc. Signal to Noise of the TPD dithered 44.1/16 is limited to 93.4dB flat 22kHz BW. Some tricks may be done by A-weighting.

View attachment 192419
I'd be more worried about the reconstruction filter (or the lack of a proper one):
index.php

The filter that offers some level of attenuation is so bad that it will only make it up to a SINAD of roughly 68 :facepalm:. Mind you this is with 24-bit data.

Basically, this DAC is useless unless you feed it 192 (or better) kHz upsampled data (with filter 1).
 

SimpleTheater

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xaviescacs

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If measuring specifically from a CD/SACD is so important to you and @pma
I just happen to agree with him that this is the main use of the device, so without this test we don't have a complete picture. I guess amir thinks the DAC performance isn't going to improve by using a CD, but we'll never know...
 

DWI

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It's well known that some audio companies used the Oppo transport as the best OEM available, including PS Audio (everyone's favourite brand). Now the M3 transport first used in the Marantz SA-10 is the go-to SACD transport, due to lack of choice.

There is still a huge number of people out there with large collections of CDs and SACDs and they need machines to play them. Suggesting buying a 15-year old Oppo product, a company that pulled out of making SACD transports 3 or 4 years ago, doesn't help.

Why people ever bought into a DRM format I'll never know, but they did and good on Marantz supporting them.
 

SimpleTheater

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It's well known that some audio companies used the Oppo transport as the best OEM available, including PS Audio (everyone's favourite brand). Now the M3 transport first used in the Marantz SA-10 is the go-to SACD transport, due to lack of choice.

There is still a huge number of people out there with large collections of CDs and SACDs and they need machines to play them. Suggesting buying a 15-year old Oppo product, a company that pulled out of making SACD transports 3 or 4 years ago, doesn't help.

Why people ever bought into a DRM format I'll never know, but they did and good on Marantz supporting them.
Personally, in my 2 channel system, I use the Yamaha CD-S2100.

Sold my OPPO UDP-203 for almost 3x what I paid for it, and use a Sony UBP-X800M2 for movies, pocketed the $1,000 (after eBay fees) and basically got 55 months of Netflix for free.

At my age, I guarantee I can not hear the difference between any of these 3 units, but the Yamaha looks beautiful, so I show it off. My home theater equipment is 100% out of view, so looks mean nothing.
 
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MaxBuck

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Not irrelevant to me, and I'm clearly not alone because there are labels releasing music I want to buy but who don't make that music available via streaming services or digital download. The main one for me is Dutton Vocalion who issue a lot of extremely good recordings including lots of modern British/Anglosphere classical music. They issue hybrid SACDs, typically with 5.1 and stereo DSD and a stereo Red Book layer. They have a market with demand and they sell discs, not downloads or subscriptions. If you want what they have and don't want to wait several years until they allow it onto streaming/download/subscription then you have to buy the disc. And if you want the 5.1, not just the stereo then again - buy the SACD.

I'm 55 and so far have heard that CDs are extinct, vinyl is extinct, DVD is extinct, Blu-ray is extinct, SACD is extinct, wired headphones are extinct, paper books are extinct, newspapers are extinct etc. etc. They were right about audio cassettes and 8-track cartridges, vellum parchment, and MiniDisc, but some formats survive because they serve a purpose and a meet a demand, even if it's not mainstream.
Good points that I hadn't considered. You've made me aware that my musical interests and collections are more "mainstream" than I'd thought.

If one needed a CD/SACD player, the Arcam CDS50 appears to have better specs than the Marantz, though its appearance is not as "premium." It costs about $1,300 in the USA and £700 in the UK. It would be interesting to see measurements.
 
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pma

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Audioholics measured the OPPO's years ago, unless you're referring to a lack of testing for the Marantz.

I am talking about apples to apples comparison, not about apples to oranges comparison. This review is about CD/SACD player so that is what you need to test. Nobody would buy this as a solely USB DAC player.
 

Herbert

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Personally, in my 2 channel system, I use the Yamaha CD-S2100.

Sold my OPPO UDP-203 for almost 3x what I paid for it, and use a Sony UBP-X800M2 for movies, pocketed the $1,000 (after eBay fees) and basically got 55 months of Netflix for free.

At my age, I guarantee I can not hear the difference between any of these 3 units, but the Yamaha looks beautiful, so I show it off. My home theater equipment is 100% out of view, so looks mean nothing.
Looks like the Yamaha and Marantz share the same traverse mechanism... The service manual of the CD-S2100 is downloadeable at elektrotanya.com. The drawing of the traverse mech (which has no designation) looks very much like the SA-10 mechanism...
 

aj625

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I am talking about apples to apples comparison, not about apples to oranges comparison. This review is about CD/SACD player so that is what you need to test. Nobody would buy this as a solely USB DAC player.
Cd and sacd ultimately are bits just like FLAC/wav and dsf files. There is no difference at all. Only issue is of sacds which can't easily be ripped. Otherwise if at all one need to play cds then an ultra cheap dvd drive connected to laptop playing through memory in foobar with asio out to a dac like topping D90s or chord tt2 can beat any dedicated cd player. It's about clean dac output. Looks, heavy chassis and brand value has nothing to do with sq.
 
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