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Marantz SACD 30n Measurements (SACD Player, DAC & Streamer)

TheBatsEar

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The device is only 18 months old. A company as big as this one is able to provide support for longer than that.
And i'm sure they do.
But i doubt they implement new features after one and a half years. :oops:

As said, I had the Denon & Marantz European Trainer on the phone, prior to post this review, that confirmed me that Roon Ready update is still planned (as is Qobuz Connect, for that matter). Hope they will release it for real...
If it wasn't for unobtainium, hopium would be the rarest of all materials in the copium family.;) You seem to have lots of it.

LOL, great review, thanks. I have to ask though, were these pictures taken at a christmas-themed discotheque?
The style is unique, it's an early period Flanker no doubt.
 
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srkbear

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And i'm sure they do.
But i doubt they implement new features after one and a half years. :oops:


If it wasn't for unobtainium, hopium would be the rarest of all materials in the copium family.;) You seem to have lots of it.


The style is unique, it's a early period Flanker no doubt.
After 18 months I think his hopes for Marantz to follow through on the Roon Ready certification may be dashed. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea for them to make such promises (especially when asking $3,000 for a fancy SACD player).

IFi made similar promises at launch of the Zen Stream and fortunately they came through—and at $399 they made a pretty much perfect streaming solution for Roon (it lacks the snazzy hardware GUI the Marantz offers but if you’re using Roon who needs it?).

So to review the math—

$399 for a Roon Ready Streamer (or even an RPI)
$749 for a Gustard x18 with superior SINAD
$300-400 max for an SACD player*

VS

$3,000 for an all-in-one that arguably falls short

So not sure what benefits we’re paying for here?

*Marantz downsamples the digital SACD stream when passed to an external DAC per Sony’s DRM licensing restrictions.
 

TheBatsEar

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So not sure what benefits we’re paying for here?
Looks and feel. I prefer the nicer things as well and i'm ok with paying some dough for it:
PXL_20220414_102459214.jpg
 

TheBatsEar

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Well that’s definitely a sharp setup!
Cheers.
And i guess a stack of Marantz gear would look nifty as well. Also, i don't think we can say it is broken in any way, no reason not to buy it for it's massively nice looks.

But if all you are after is highest performance vs price, your option might be the better one.
I see the value in value gear.

Edit: saw your silver stack for a second, cool.:cool:
 
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Nicolaas

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For some reason, SACD/DSD still fascinate me. Has anyone come across a deep dive techincial review of the format and whether or not it has any real benefit (or fault) over PCM?
I also had a fascination for SACD. So around 2001 I bought a Sony SACD player and started collecting SACDs for ca EUR 30 per SACD.
And I found every new purchase to be a bit of a disappointment to me. I expected a huge improvement in sound quality. However I could not really tell the difference compared to CD. I even thought some of those Sony SACDs to be so over produced that they sounded a bit "dead" to me.
Ten years later my Sony SACD was defective and it was without any regret that I said goodbye to this player. In ca 2010 I purchased my fist USB DAC and since that time I'm only playing 16b-44.1k and higher PCM FLAC files (currently via my Topping D90 DAC). And there's nothing more I could wish for. Especially new recordings of folk, jazz, some country and world music (with real instruments) do sound amazingly gorgeous!
@VintageFlanker thanks for the great review.
Marantz is not very popular here but I must say my PM8006 amp (€ 800) does sound great to me and looks fantastic in that champagne color!
 

TheBatsEar

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Marantz is not very popular here but I must say my PM8006 amp (€ 800) does sound great to me and looks fantastic in that champagne color!
Nice price.
I have a Marantz NR1609 in champagner in that typical Marantz design. Not sure if the new design is better, seems just different.
 

Tokyo_John

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It's a very nice review, and I'm surprised that it measures this well. This is good news for Marantz loyalists who are revising/updating their systems, and those who have an investment in SACDs (too bad this market never took off).

Speaking of which, the target demographic of Marantz seems to be upper middle class, middle aged to older men, who are mostly concerned with brand loyalty, country of manufacture, and style (with a taste for vintage-ish)...so long as it sounds good enough (and it will), they will be happy. These are people who have a lot of biases about Chinese gear inherited from when they were younger, or for reasons of national pride. I encounter a lot of them here in Japan.
 

Sal1950

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And I found every new purchase to be a bit of a disappointment to me. I expected a huge improvement in sound quality. However I could not really tell the difference compared to CD. I even thought some of those Sony SACDs to be so over produced that they sounded a bit "dead" to me.
The superiority of DSD sound quality was simply a bit of snake-oil BS marketing by Sony and others.
Then picked up up by the audiophool believer crowd and repeated to this day on certain websites.
Properly done SACD along with PCM Redbook masters will sound exactly the same, just like the mike feed.
So don't give up on the discs you already own.
Only real advantage of SACD is the ability of some discs to store more data and multich files.
Marantz is not very popular here but I must say my PM8006 amp (€ 800) does sound great to me and looks fantastic in that champagne color!
There's no bias against Marantz or any other manufacturer here.
Products are simply measured and the results fall where they may.

@TheBatsEar
If this is a serious posting in your sig,
"Turn on a dehumidifier at least an hour before listening, for best fidelity. (^; "
Why ?
 

TheBatsEar

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@TheBatsEar
If this is a serious posting in your sig,
"Turn on a dehumidifier at least an hour before listening, for best fidelity. (^; "
Why ?
Nope, not serious at all.
Thinking about it made me realize that water vapor loaded air might be a better medium for sound.
Fixed it.:)
 
OP
VintageFlanker

VintageFlanker

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$399 for a Roon Ready Streamer (or even an RPI)
$749 for a Gustard x18 with superior SINAD
$300-400 max for an SACD player*

VS

$3,000 for an all-in-one that arguably falls short
Apples and oranges, really.

Sure, you get basically the same features (and sound, "superior SINAD" is pointless, BTW) at the end, with 3 separates products from 3 brands instead of an all-in-one, which is much more user-friendly. The latter being made in Japan, from a 70 years old manufacturer, and with 5 years warranty. Marketing obviously adds to the final MSRP, but that's an invalid comparison IMHO. My guess is that the vast majority of customers will choose one product over three separates, anyway. And in that case, the first better has to perform good, which it does. Not everybody are like us, ASR Folks, chasing the best absolute performance (BTW inaudible at some point) for the price.
 

srkbear

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Apples and oranges, really.

Sure, you get basically the same features (and sound, "superior SINAD" is pointless, BTW) at the end, with 3 separates products from 3 brands instead of an all-in-one, which is much more user-friendly. The latter being made in Japan, from a 70 years old manufacturer, and with 5 years warranty. Marketing obviously adds to the final MSRP, but that's an invalid comparison IMHO. My guess is that the vast majority of customers will choose one product over three separates, anyway. And in that case, the first better has to perform good, which it does. Not everybody are like us, ASR Folks, chasing the best absolute performance (BTW inaudible at some point) for the price.
Thanks, I’m aware that SINAD at these levels is indiscriminate. And I get the convenience factor. I just think it’s overpriced—perhaps I should have just said that. I disagree about the popularity of separate components though—plenty of folks use discrete DAC/amp solutions and need a separate physical media transport if they want to play their CDs/SACDs.

I’ve been seeking an SACD transport that allegedly performs above the quality of my current solution, which is to use an HDMI-to-coax de-embedder to achieve a PCM 176.4 stream through my Topping, but I don’t think such a component exists.

Marantz downsamples their digital output to 48/16 for external DACs, per Sony’s DRM licensing requirements. The only true DSD transport I’ve found that circumvents this is PS Audio’s PerfectWave, as the company somehow got around the DRM (probably through a proprietary deal I’m guessing) and it allows the unadulterated SACD digital stream to pass to a DAC via IIS—achieving true DSD 64 streaming. But they’re charging $6900–and besides despising the company, I think that price is obscene and I doubt I’d hear the difference anyway.

Of course there are folks who are not “ASR minded” who will find this solution convenient and satisfying—but I’m posting my view on ASR! ☺️ My point was simply to illustrate that one can obtain separate components that all measure and perform exceptionally well for less money than this all-in-one solution—take that as you wish.
 
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voodooless

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Marantz downsamples their digital output to 48/16 for external DACs, per Sony’s DRM licensing requirements.
Funny thing: Sony's PS3 gives you up to 176.4 kHz SPDIF for stereo SACD and can even do DTS for multichannel.
 

confucius_zero

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Doesn’t it seem like a hefty amount to ask given the limitations?
Interior Design Lifestyle integration + the "namesake" premiums that warrants ultra low depreciation and high resale value :) reminds me of my dad's huge silver and gold Pioneer Elite CD Audio player.
 

srkbear

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Funny thing: Sony's PS3 gives you up to 176.4 kHz SPDIF for stereo SACD and can even do DTS for multichannel.
I know, getting decent SACD players at reasonable prices these days, despite the relative lack of demand, isn’t that hard! Sony makes several, which makes sense given that it’s their format.

The interesting thing is that with my HDMI de-embedder connected to my (now discontinued) Sony UBP-x1000ES Blu ray player, I get 44.1/88.2 via Coax to my Topping natively. But if I engage their “DSEE Extreme” upsampling engine, I get 88.2 for Red Book CDs and 174.6 for SACDs—whether the differences are audible I can’t say without measurements.

I tried modding my Oppo UDP-203 with an IIS card that is supposed to bypass the player’s internal DAC, but I couldn’t get either DSD or DSD over PCM to work with the Topping—I got the same 174.6 I get through the HDMI extractor and 44.1 for CDs. Haven’t a clue what’s going on under the hood for any of these iterations.
 
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srkbear

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Interior Design Lifestyle integration + the "namesake" premiums that warrants ultra low depreciation and high resale value :) reminds me of my dad's huge silver and gold Pioneer Elite CD Audio player.
I must be your dad’s age (I’m 52) because I used to have one of those. How utterly depressing…
 

TheBatsEar

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