marantz 11s2 sacd player modifications

has anyone had a marantz 11s2, 7s1 or other older marantz reference sacd player modified ? if so, how did the sound change ?

i will be getting a marantz 11s2 soon and am thinking about having a tube buffer stage installed, to "warm up" the sound. i am not aware of anyone who does this.

does anyone know of any modifiers who have done this in the past ?

Kyle at Reference Audio Mods has worked extensively on the SA11 & substitutes a buffered output stage based on silver coupling transformers. No tubes, but very smooth & resolving.
So you're looking to have the SA-11S2 modified to "warm it up" before you've even allowed it to break in and heard it perform in your system ? That's like automatically adding salt to your food without first tasting it to see if it already has enough. If you must mod, ModWright mods are available through dealer Underwood Hi-Fi (
No modifiers offer mods to provide you with the rolled-off, caramel colored sound you want, but you knew that already.

Use an equalizer.
hi tvad:

a modifier who wants to make money will do anything. the question is who will do it.

dan wright and the apl company have added tube buffer stages to cd players.

what is your reason for stating that modifiers would not want to "darken" the sound of a cd player, to suit the taste of a customer ?

as to the marantz 11s2, it is not warm player. most players are not warm without some modification.
I have a Marantz SA-11S1 with a tube buffer stage. Call Chris Johnson at The Parts Connexion (pcX). This mod was called his Ultimate tube mod, and cost around $3200 as I recall.

I bought mine already modded, so I can't really give you a before/after experience. However, I can say that I like the way this unit sounds, and it has beaten many more expensive units, IMHO.

"a modifier who wants to make money will do anything"

Scary thought MRT. . . I would not send my beloved components to such quack surgeon for fashionable "body modifications!"
Why not apply harmless external prosthetics in the form of an external tube buffer to the Marantz, instead of inflicting to it irreversible and possibly damaging surgery?
The SA11-S2 is really, really good as is. The rest of my system is tubes and I'm sure that helps produce the excellent tonality of the SA11-S2. I would highly recommend that you try your S2 as is for a few hundred hours before doing anything. You may be suprised at how good it is. Save you some coin.
since the marantz is not a warm sounding player , i will probably want to change its frequency response, reducing treble energy and shfting the presence in the upper base. i spoke to one modifier who suggests replacing many of the capacitors, wiring and the iec, to "darken" the presentation.

by the way, i appreciate the food analogy. however, you don't have to taste food to determine that its preparation is not to your taste. all you need is the ingredients.
for example, if you prefer a salty flavor, and the preparation is salt free, one may add some salt, before tasting the food. with the marantz, if i want a "warm" sound, i will need to change its "voice", as the player is not warm in stock mode.
Good plan working on the "base" Mrt.

Nobody cares.
I would have to disagree with you here MrT. I've heard the Marantz SA-7S1, and it is on the warm side of neutral, especially when you put it up against the competition, like Esoteric, EMM Labs, Cary, etc.

Yes, you may find a sweeter presentaion with Audio Aero products, or you may even want to try Kevins new DAC.

However, as far as one box players go, the Marantz is definitely not on the lean side of neutral....even in stock form. If you think it is, you really need to listen to more CDP's.

As for me, vinyl is my format of choice, and my modified Marantz SA-11S1 is a CDP that I can listen to and enjoy, which does not cause my ears to bleed. I've heard the stock SA-7S1, and it is a great CDP, I prefer my player, but neither unit would I call harsh or aggresive as many higher priced CDP's that I've heard.

The Marantz SA11S2 is a fantastic player. Why make modifications on it? If you want it better buy the SA7S1.
the changes i want will not be achieved by owning a 7s1. i am interested in achieving a tube like presentation, by softening the sound and shifting the spectral balance.

the 7s1 is more resolving than the 11s2. i am not interested in resolution.
Mr Tennis, your search for the player that is "just right" is well documented and always interesting. I cannot resist asking you since "the marantz is not a warm sounding player," and if you want a warm sounding player, then why did you purchase the Marantz? Why not purchase a Lector CDP 7T, which is a wonderful sounding player with very natural bass and treble, and the full, warm midrange you are looking for? I know you have tried the CDP6 but that is not the same as trying Lector's best player. If this warm, rich sounding player is still not warm enough for you, you could always adjust the sound further by your choice of NOS tubes.
Mitch2 has a good point. I have a SA-7s1 it slightly errs on the warm side of neutral. My friend has the Lector CDP 7T player and it is much warmer and the highs are a little rolled off. I think that would be more to your liking.
Try to get an older model,they are much warmer then the updated ones. You can even roll tubes of your liking.
The CDP 7TL MkI and MkII used the BB PCM-63 DAC chip, which is now obsolete and which also doesn't support the higher upsampling rates. Lector went to the BB PCM-1704 chipset in the MkIII when they couldn't get the 63's, and the upgrade resulted in better resolution with only a minor loss of richness and warmth, a good trade IMO, but those preferring the ultimate in a liquid, warm, rich sound (like Tennis) may want to go for one of the older models. I belive the MkII addressed several upgrades over the MkI including upgrades to the transport mechanism so the MkII would be the sweet spot, if that is what you are looking for. Brian Ackerman with AAudio Imports, the importer at the time of the model change from MkII to MkIII, told me only about 10 or so MkII's were sold in the USA before the change. I owned a MkII and was able to compare the MkII to the MkIII when I had both in the house. IMO the MkIII is the better player because of the improved resolution and bass definition, but both sound very nice.
My Marantz SA-11S2 has the Underwood Level 2 Mod.

I have what I "Dreamed" of, a SACD player that
sounds like a "Master Tape Player" , except it's a Disc.

Every positive attribute, can be heard after the Mod.

Better resolution,tighter, quicker response,
Better imaging,focus, etc..

IMHO, this player will hold it's own with the Best.

We ALL hear differently, but my ears have never been
more happy.

I am so very thankful!

Love Your Music!

I sure am!
As a SA11-S2 owner, I can add that you will be very disappointed when expecting a tube sound from the SA11-S2. For a tube sound you test the Raysonic of MF's.
Welbourne Labs sells hybrid modules for players. They come with an outboard power supply, which is a very good idea. This way you can use a power cord optimized for the analog stage, and another for the digital. Same for PLCs.
The modules have a tube input, and mosfet output, no coupling capacitors, so they should give a nice full, somewhat more 3D sound.
Marantz is warm to begin with
being a SACD player which processes more digital signal than a CDP, it's important to lower it's jitter error.

I too, had the Underwood Upgrade. Very nice,but even more of an upgrade was the RAM upgrade I got on the same Marantz some years later. Do the Clocking upgrade(the top of the line) and see if you agree. The only thing about the RAM people is they are slow, way slower than they say they'll be. And hard to reach.
So a couple years ago RAM was slow getting a piece back to you? I,ve recently had my deck modded also. great sound, great work,in and out.Kyle is very easy to work with. He can answer all your questions. Good Luck
the marantz is definitely on the warm side
Just out of curiosity, How much better is the Marantz S2 than the S1?
Much better as it is and if you. Get the level 2 from Underwood. You will be amazed.
high mitch2:

reading your post again indicates the solution to my problem.

i sold the 11s2 over a year ago and am currently using a ps audio pwt with a minimax dac with a nos 5814. the sound is to my taste.

solid stae and tube products do not sound the same. i doubt that i would be happy with any solid state cd player.
Tennis,I hear you about the tube thing. Based on your posts, you have been looking for awhile now and I am glad you have found a set-up that you like.
I am happy for you too!
You can have the best of both worlds Mr.T. I also am a tube fan over SS. I run tube pre and amp, though I do use a SS phono stage. I find my Marantz SA-11S1 with the Ultimate Tube mod by Chris Johnson from pcX was the best digital one box solution I've heard in my 35 years in the hobby.

Yes, I've heard better digital, for a LOT more $$$. I decided long ago to spend most of my expendable income on analog though, not digital. I did find that Chris' mod on the Marantz allowed me to listen to digital without grinding my teeth. So when I'm in a lazy mood, I can just pop in a cd and listen to music now. FWIW, I've sold many more expensive CDP's and seperates for my current CDP.

The Marantz SA units are excellent and are a downright bargain. Maybe system matching has something to do with it, but I love mine right out of the box although I am sure modding does take them to another level