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

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VintageFlanker

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And then the resulting measurement
Thanks for your time, @Rja4000! :)

I tried to replicate your exact settings (same for tone generator but 2V, 2.5Vrms peak):
Marantz RCA 2V.png


Honestly, I still have no clue what's the deal with the rise post-3Khz. So I tested my Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 (measured by Amir here), with its fixed balanced output (4.1Vrms):
Matrix XLR 4V.png


Got weird numbers and the same rise. I'm not convinced either by the overall shape of the harmonic signature.

I also replicated your parameters with ARTA (for the Matrix, The Marantz is going back):
Capture d’écran (18).png


Back to RMAA, I re-measured the Matrix with both RMAA and Cosmos in mono-mode, with THD+N test set to 0dBFS (not my usual testing, the latter running in Stereo mode, and THD set to stock -3dB):
thd.png
Right​
THD, %
0.00014​
THD + Noise, %
0.00029​
THD + Noise (A-weighted), %
0.00030​

Oddly, the result seems much closer to what Amir get:
Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Measurements USB DAC.png


Bottom line is that the Marantz SACD seems to have a similar (but slight) "Hump" between -40dB and -25dB to what we've seen with ESS or other home-made DAC.
More investigation on this may be usefull, in my opinion...
ADI-2 Pro FS into Cosmos ADC seems to produce this hump for me, as well:
Here is the Matrix :
ff978bb0-15fe-4213-a7c0-b3cd8ce2aea1.png


(Cosmos in Stereo Mode) Same hump issue, as you said, so probably on the Cosmos. Besides, Amir measured this:

index.php
 
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Rja4000

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Honestly, I still have no clue what's the deal with the rise post-3Khz. So I tested my Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 (measured by Amir here), with its fixed balanced output (4.1Vrms):
Matrix XLR 4V.png


Got weird numbers and the same rise. I'm not convinced either by the overall shape of the harmonic signature.
The noise is for sure not where it should be.
You're 85dB below signal.
You should be around -110dB.
Are you in 24 bits ?
Something is definitely wrong here.

Why is your ADC set to 384/32 ?
Try and set it to 44.1/24.
 
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Rja4000

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Back to RMAA, I re-measured the Matrix with both RMAA and Cosmos in mono-mode, with THD+N test set to 0dBFS (not my usual testing, the latter running in Stereo mode, and THD set to stock -3dB):
thd.png

THD + Noise, %
0.00029​
THD + Noise (A-weighted), %
0.00030​

Oddly, the result seems much closer to what Amir get

Indeed, those figures are much more in line with what we should expect.
Noise is 25dB lower than in your measurements with REW (or with Arta).

I don't know what's wrong with your REW settings.

Maybe you should uncheck this AES17-2015 standard notch filter (I don't have that setting on my version) ?

Are you using ASIO4ALL ?
 
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Maybe you should uncheck this AES17-2015 standard notch filter (I don't have that setting on my version) ?
As for raw numbers, it performs on par with or without (However, it gets rid of sidebands for the Marantz). Which version do you use? Mine is 5.20.17.
Something is definitely wrong here.
On that we agree! :p
Why is your ADC set to 384/32 ?
It's not. This the way Windows sees the device: "E1DA Cosmos ADC PCM 32/384". It is indeed set to 24b/44.1Khz (Both Cosmos and DUT).;)
Are you using ASIO4ALL?
I think that where the issue is coming from. The results I posted earlier where running on Java. I also tried FlexASIO (1.8) and I finally managed to get rid of the HF rise. Yet, results are several dB better, but still capped at 95dB THD+N or so, Noise being, again, the bottleneck. Trying ASIO4ALL (2.15) made REW very unstable and at the end, crashing. Could buffer size be the issue? Needless to say, I can't use the standard DAC ASIO driver, since REW sees it for outputs only... Will have to spend more time to investigate on these...

Very frustrating. I'm getting mad.o_O
 
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Reboot is often the solution :)
As usual with computer topics, once you'll figure out, it should work and remain stable.
Finally, I figured it out!o_O It was a conflict in REW between FlexASIO, ASIO4ALL and drivers from manufacturers. I uninstalled all and tried one after the other.

At last, I got a proper FFT for my Matrix (Distortion profile is a waaay closer match to both AP and RMAA):
REW Matrix Asio Working.png


Sadly, the SACD 30n has been sent back already. As requested tho, I will include REW THD+N graphs in my next reviews, but will also keep the usual RMAA bunch of tests.
 

Sal1950

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The SACD 30n measures well, with no flaws from a technical standpoint. Furthermore, when knowing that it is a complete in-house design for its D/A conversion, then I almost call it excellence.
Thanks so much for such an excellent review. Personally I'm pleased to see Marantz doing a very competent design for this CD player. D/M needs to hold up the reputation of this famed ole company. I'm hoping to see some real improvements in their AVR-AVP products which have failed badly in the past here.
Nice, just please make photos with normal lighting. These red blue colors are distracting.
Yes please, IMHO a review should represent a product as it actually appears. I do not find these photos flattering at all.

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done. ;)
 

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I'm pleased to see Marantz doing a very competent design for this CD player. D/M needs to hold up the reputation of this famed ole company. I'm hoping to see some real improvements in their AVR-AVP products which have failed badly in the past here.
I wish Marantz would stop reminiscing with their old circular gear display and get rid of that little circular display they use now.
 
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Thanks, @Sal1950 !
Yes please, IMHO a review should represent a product as it actually appears.
Not in my book. ;)
Anyone may find how the product really looks on the net. This is a measurements-based analysis, with very personal aesthetic codes of my own (different colors for each review). This is not about to change anytime soon, regret.
I do not find these photos flattering at all.
It's alright. Many does (By the way, Sound United did).;)

I'm hoping to see some real improvements in their AVR-AVP products which have failed badly in the past here.
Regarding what they already released (Model 30, SA-12, PM-10), I would say there are a few chances that next higher-end AVR would move to Ncores.
 

Trell

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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?
The benefit of SACD is the multi channel layer and most of my SACD has that layer.

For stereo, not any advantage, but it can be easier to find well recorded/mixed/mastered than CDs.

I use my old Oppo BDP93 universal player as a transport only for playing SACD.
 
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Sal1950

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Not in my book. ;)
Anyone may find how the product really looks on the net. This is a measurements-based analysis, with very personal aesthetic codes of my own (different colors for each review). This is not about to change anytime soon, regret.
Your review, your choice. JMHO. ;)

Regarding what they already released (Model 30, SA-12, PM-10), I would say there are a few chances that next higher-end AVR would move to Ncores.
Their biggest failing was in the DAC and the choice of filters, a fairly easy fix I would imagine. Possibly even made switchable so Marantz could claim the slow filter as their "Smooth" setting and the other a "Accurate" setting?
Since Denon doesn't offer any Pre/Pro's and the Marantz 770x and 880x units supposedly representing the D/M flagship AV offerings, they need to do much better.
I hope D/M is listening. ;)

I wish Marantz would stop reminiscing with their old circular gear display and get rid of that little circular display they use now.
Nothing wrong with a little nostalgia, specially from a highly respected ole name like Marantz
Takes me back to the days of my youts, when my dreams were full with the fantasy of owning Marantz Model 9s. :p
I admit to being a bit of a fan boy, my first real Hi Fi after I got out of the Army was a new Marantz 2270 receiver.
In any case I don't really give a rodents behind how they style it, just make it perform correctly and I'd be thrilled.
Can you hear me D/M ?
IMG_0796_800x.jpg
 

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I read many reviews on this forum about different amps and the many arguments placed to convince me that I would be thrilled with an amp that measures very well. So I bought the Benchmark AHB2 which is apparently one of the best if not maybe the best measured amp in terms of distortion and noise.

How am I disappointed after a week of listening. It is going back to the store if they will take it back and I am going back to buying an amp from Marantz. Even though my humble Marantz SR8300 won't measure anywhere near as well as the Benchmark in terms of distortion and noise it sounds so MUCH better. The AHB2 sounds dry, lifeless, without emotion, plain, dull. I have the AHB2 on 2V gain setting. The Marantz sound is SO much more engaging and entertaining and drives my Magnepan 1.7i better that I hear a closer to live performance sound despite the higher distortion at louder listening levels. I'm now on the hunt for either a Marantz 30, PM12SE or PM10.

I should have stuck to my guns and not be influenced by this forum and instead bought based on listening tests primarily rather than buying something I hadn't listened too because it is not available in my state.

So my advice is NEVER assume that an amp or SACD/CD that measures better than another MUST sound better. Because it likely will not IMHO.

Disregard measurements for the most part as they are IMHO a complete waste of time. Measurements given on this forum do NOT measure whether an amplifier sounds good, it only measures technicalities that are for the most part not important to human emotion and experience.
 

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I read many reviews on this forum about different amps and the many arguments placed to convince me that I would be thrilled with an amp that measures very well. So I bought the Benchmark AHB2 which is apparently one of the best if not maybe the best measured amp in terms of distortion and noise.

How am I disappointed after a week of listening. It is going back to the store if they will take it back and I am going back to buying an amp from Marantz. Even though my humble Marantz SR8300 won't measure anywhere near as well as the Benchmark in terms of distortion and noise it sounds so MUCH better. The AHB2 sounds dry, lifeless, without emotion, plain, dull. I have the AHB2 on 2V gain setting. The Marantz sound is SO much more engaging and entertaining and drives my Magnepan 1.7i better that I hear a closer to live performance sound despite the higher distortion at louder listening levels. I'm now on the hunt for either a Marantz 30, PM12SE or PM10.

I should have stuck to my guns and not be influenced by this forum and instead bought based on listening tests primarily rather than buying something I hadn't listened too because it is not available in my state.

So my advice is NEVER assume that an amp or SACD/CD that measures better than another MUST sound better. Because it likely will not IMHO.

Disregard measurements for the most part as they are IMHO a complete waste of time. Measurements given on this forum do NOT measure whether an amplifier sounds good, it only measures technicalities that are for the most part not important to human emotion and experience.
Firstly did you do a blind listening test to compare the amps?
Secondly I am not a expert on your Magnepan speakers although something like that usually requires a amp with some serious current and voltage. I would not use either amp with the Magnepans. I would go with the biggest class D I could afford or a big AB amp.
 

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Disregard measurements for the most part as they are IMHO a complete waste of time. Measurements given on this forum do NOT measure whether an amplifier sounds good, it only measures technicalities that are for the most part not important to human emotion and experience.
:facepalm:

Hum. My two cents: stop using your little, most likely heavily biased, experience and observation to spread such nonsense statements... And please, stop with that "emotion" thing, that is just embarrassing.
 

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I read many reviews on this forum about different amps and the many arguments placed to convince me that I would be thrilled with an amp that measures very well. So I bought the Benchmark AHB2 which is apparently one of the best if not maybe the best measured amp in terms of distortion and noise.

How am I disappointed after a week of listening. It is going back to the store if they will take it back and I am going back to buying an amp from Marantz. Even though my humble Marantz SR8300 won't measure anywhere near as well as the Benchmark in terms of distortion and noise it sounds so MUCH better. The AHB2 sounds dry, lifeless, without emotion, plain, dull. I have the AHB2 on 2V gain setting. The Marantz sound is SO much more engaging and entertaining and drives my Magnepan 1.7i better that I hear a closer to live performance sound despite the higher distortion at louder listening levels. I'm now on the hunt for either a Marantz 30, PM12SE or PM10.

I should have stuck to my guns and not be influenced by this forum and instead bought based on listening tests primarily rather than buying something I hadn't listened too because it is not available in my state.

So my advice is NEVER assume that an amp or SACD/CD that measures better than another MUST sound better. Because it likely will not IMHO.

Disregard measurements for the most part as they are IMHO a complete waste of time. Measurements given on this forum do NOT measure whether an amplifier sounds good, it only measures technicalities that are for the most part not important to human emotion and experience.
I must say as I consistently repeat myself on this forum, read below. I am a firm believer in measurements, I feel synergy plays a huge role, and also that your source is by far the most crucial piece of equipment. This is strictly my personal opinion and experience, the source change in my system made the greatest leap in audible performance and it definitely was not blind tested. This is a source, so you cant really consider a good measuring source as a bad thing.

But to get to the point, I heard the benchmark at AXPONA and honestly I was not impressed at all by it, and I can see where you are coming from with all the issues you explained. Not here to debate on this, and ironically it was running in a bridged mono config which may actually increase some noise and distortion. Cant recall what speakers they were using, but they were expensive for certain.

I feel bad that you had a negative experience, however you cant let a one time thing change your entire mind on measurements.

I will say though as this is my most repetitive comment on here, that even extremely poorly measuring amps do not sound bad and even to the point that the unit itself bottlenecks your entire system drastically. I stumbled upon this by mistake when trying to experience new and different things in stereo listening. I purchased an amp for 20 dollars, it's sinad is less than -40 db and was measured here on ASR. I never checked to see if this amp was any good because one the price was nothing and two I simply wanted to see what the amp sounded like as I was experimenting. The oddest thing I have found is that prior to even checking the measurements which was months after using this amp and still to this day I very much do enjoy using this amp. Not saying that it is the best or even does anything extremely well, however I do not hate listening to it and you would assume right off the bat something designed so poorly and measuring so bad would be total trash.

The moment I found out how bad it was made me really think how bad is bad. Second to this, I have equipment which is extremely well measuring to compare against. My extremely well measuring system does sound better without a doubt, however even so I do not have any urge or reason to not use this component because I personally like it and it's use is for a second system I have in my home.

But in absolutely no way do I feel like my main listening system, which is in the five figures was a waste of money, nor that I could replace that amp with this 20 dollar amp.

I feel that it would honestly only be fair for someone to truly understand what these measurements mean by having listened to the worst and the best as well. It further helps me isolate two other factors, how so many of these companies have gotten away with selling mid grade measuring products with high price tags and also how subjective reviewers praise something that ends up measuring like kaka.

Even with this knowledge, I still do not tell anyone on here to forget the measurements but to please just understand this and that most things, 90%, wont sound bad and the measurements themselves will put you in a bias from possibly building a dream system which truly does sound good. I am in addition a firm believer that you should not spend 1000's on a product that performs equally to a far cheaper product. This is only my second year in audio, and honestly my main sound system literally sounds better than numerous 6 figure systems I have heard at audio shows.

I also have to thank Amir as two of the components he tested and I incorporated into my system is what made magic to my ears, and also another one measured by someone else not on this site I believe. So there's absolutely no chance I can tell anyone not to check these reviews out or support this websites mission.
 

Sal1950

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Just a reminder for a few "Golden Ears" here.

Amplifiers have been quite excellent for more than a few decades, offering few opportunities for engineering breakthroughs. There are significant differences in topology, measured specifications, physical design, and cosmetics, not to mention price, but the sound of all properly designed units is basically the same. The biggest diversity is in power supplies, ranging from barely adequate to ridiculously overdesigned. That may or may not affect the sound quality, depending on the impedance characteristics and efficiency of the loudspeaker. The point is that, unless the amplifier has serious design errors or is totally mismatched to a particular speaker, the sound you will hear is the sound of the speaker, not the amplifier. As for the future, I think it belongs to highly refined class D amplifiers, such as Bang & Olufsen’s ICEpower modules and Bruno Putzeys’s modular Hypex designs, compact and efficient enough to be incorporated in powered loudspeakers. The free-standing power amplifier will slowly become history, except perhaps as an audiophile affectation. What about vacuum-tube designs? If you like second-harmonic distortion, output transformers, and low damping factors, be my guest. (Can you imagine a four-way powered loudspeaker driven by vacuum-tube modules?)
"Peter Aczel" RIP
 
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