Marantz SA-1 holding up well agains next gen.?

How do people feel the Marantz SA-1 is holding up against some of the newer SACD and redbook players? I am particularly interested in comparison with the SA-11s1. Thanks.

Some people claim it is still a benchmark.
Others say not so.
I would do some searches here and at Audio Asylum Hi Rez and see what you come up with.

Not sure if you thought my post was useless :) but there are people who come on here who claim the SA 1 is better than anything-even a TRL modded SA14 (which you are familiar with).
Others think it was overpriced and over engineered for the end sound you get.
I have no idea.
Ask Paul at TRL-he may have had one come through the shop.
I see you are onto something else. Let us know how it works out.
Recently upgraded to a SA11s1 from a Sony DVP-S9000ES (DVD SACD) + Ultralink 2 combo... Redbook is terrific and SACD is first rate as well. especially fed by a PS Audio P500 regenerator.
I have only tried mine with RCA's. A number of SA-1 owners tell me that I need to try mine with the XLR connections because they are far superior. I will try this over the weekend. Bob
The Marantz SA-1 sets the standard in both Redbook CDs & SACDs. I've owned dozens of different digital setups over the years with dedicated transports & DACS. You name I've probably owned. Living with the Marantz Reference SA-1 player the past few years has been a breath of fresh air.

There was a reason why the tag was $7500. Internally the best of the best is used. It looks like a complicated Patek watch the layout internally. No SA-11, SA-14 etc.. could even care. I say time will tell, and if you have an SA-1 hold on to it. If not try to find one.

No doubt the Marantz SA-1 is very cable dependent to reach it's potential. Definitley go with Balanced and an upgraded power cable.

Another great CD player to look for regular CD playback (non-SACD), is the Denon DCD-3520 CD player. This is an amazing CD player even though 15 years old. And definitely go balanced with the DCD-3520. This Denon player is very sought after in Asian market. Know this because I often travel there on business.

I am done with this topic. *Please don't e-mail with questions on this topic because I am very busy. Just wanted to chime in a bit and contribute.
MrChips -

We are so honored you took time from your busy schedule to enlighten us.
Lkdog, "Sarcasm gets you no where".

By the looks of your system you have a very , very long way before you are in the Big Leagues. Maybe you should put more energy into your system then trying to start trouble.
Funny statement from a man with SA-1'a and SA-2's with a stock SA-1 Marantz.

I've auditioned the SA-1, owned the modified 14, and heard the SA-11 in a syatem identical to mine. Of the three, I'd take the modified 14 any day over the other two.

Then again, I would take the DVP-NS900V modified over all three ... :)

Ironically, the SA1 player you worship at the altar of Audio Dogmatism has been directly compared by several people (including some in this very thread) to the actual digital front end in my system.
Many people prefer the modded TRL SA14 over the stock SA 1 that have heard both or who have had both. At a minimum, there are things they like about each and it is a difficult call.
You should have a more open mind.
Technology marches on and modded players by and large usually eclipse anything any large manufacturers are able to engineer and develop.

Enjoy your SA1.
Lkdog, Jack, If the TRL is so great, how come they are resold very often, and at no more than stock units, in most situations. Boy oh boy, even Bariyani is having to discount his SA14. Why is this....then you have the balls to knock other forum members? I have not been posting primarily due to your attacks against me. Now I see you guys attacking others. It serves no ones best interests. I happen to like the Marantz units, yes, stock and all. I believe they are very good. The SA-1 is ROCK solid, well made. I dunno about the comparison with a Patek(which I collect)as they are hand made by world class experts. But this is one hellofaunit, and IMHO blows away the TRL SA14.


Thanks for your typical insightful input Steve. :)
As for how much modded units sell for- no one ever gets what they invest into a modded unit. That is a fact of audiophile buying and selling. It does seem better to lose a few hundred than a few thousand like you will with other modders.
As for why people sell TRL units-they have done over 600 digital mods in the past year alone. Of course units will get resold on the AG market. It just creates great deals for someone else. People like to try different things in this hobby - you know that better than anyone.

Have a Merry Christmas and try and be more positive next year. :)

Lkdog, your a funny guy, My insight is that the SA-1 is an excellent machine. This was a thread regarding the Marantz. You and Jes45 brought the TRL stuff. I never had mentioned ANYTHING about MY preference in machines. I happen to own Modwright too. I tried to saty on topic, and have been keeping to myself, my feelings. My Knowledge comes from REAL experience in Buying, Trying, Comparing, and reselling over 40 sources in the past 2 years. On top of what I have had in my own system, I have also compared to at least 20 others. I dare say, it's a bit more intensive research than you, and Jes45. As far as retained values, I guess it really does not seem important to you guys, well, I am different, retained value is EXtremely important to me.

A fellow a'gonner ran into some $$$ issues, and unfortuneately, had to sell his APL 3910. He was offered over 1000 more than what he paid. Now thats REAL $$$$ VALUE, not perceived.

I hear ya about TRL doing over 600 mods in the past year, and my thought is this. If they can do so many mods, what the heck are they doing. Alex cannot, cause each machine take Alex personnaly over 25 hours to do. He works 18 plus hour days, and is totally passionate to get it done RIGHT. He also upgrades often, as he makes these better.
His policy is if ya are not happy return it, he could never have a policy like TRL which as YOU STATE, if your not happy, he gives your money back....I take it, you still keep the machine, with the mods? Well, it just makes me wonder how LITTLE these mods really cost.

I dunno, and BTW, I am VERY happy person, my nickname is SMILIN MILIN, and yes, I am SMILIN right now, knowing I Invested in the RIGHT sources.

Happy Holidays

Howdy Steve!

I've been looking for those $400 to $500 NEW Sony DVP-NS900V's all over eBay and haven't found a single one.

Seems that everyone is doing well locating them right here, at Audiogon, in the Wanted ad section. :)

As for the number of TRL mods being sold, they have done many, many more mods than most of their "competition". This is probably due to the fact that they charge so little for their mod :) that guys can actually afford them.

Thankfully, they are being sold right here, at Audiogon, the World's high end market place.

As always, Steve, thanks for your input. :)

Season's Greetings!

Yes, the thread is about Marantz units. I have one. MrChips has several apparently. Baranyi has a couple. Jes45 has one. You have none to my knowledge and have never owned a TRL modded one either. I never claimed the TRL modded unit was better-just that some people thought it compared favorably or even surpassed the SA1 in part or full in their opinion. Just opinions-that is what makes this hobby fun.

And who mentioned Alex and APL? Not sure why you brought him up but since you did.....

Just for the record:
Here is a guy apparently taking a $2800 hit on an APL unit:

Here is a guy taking a $2100 loss on an APL unit:

Here is a guy taking a $2000 bath on another APL unit:

Like I said, the initial investor in a modded unit usually will not recoup that back fully. It doesn't matter who the modder is and really reflects little on the modder. I am sure all of the above units are quite excellent.

There is an odd thing about audiophiles and modded units. If they bought the initial modded unit it was worth every penny. If they go to buy a used modded unit-they will not pay nearly the same price-no matter how good. It is almost like the price drop on new gear. You open the box and it is now worth 30% less. Crazy hobby.

Digital sources especially are the worst investment in Audio. My advice- Buy used and buy modded units used if possible.

As for Alex's workload-sounds like he needs to hire some help. He is working too hard.

And also for the record- no one has taken up TRL on their Money Back offer yet to my knowledge.

I am also glad you have found happiness after trying out 40 digital units in two years. I am never sure as to what to make of it when you make that claim other than you are quite
passionate in your search.

Finally, yes I am a very funny guy.

Have a nice holiday Steve. just did a review on the Marantz SA11 Sacd/cd player. Check out the review. Lew compares it with some other first rate players. Enjoy !!! Brian
711smilin (Steve Milin):

There is a long list of APL units for sale here on Audiogon, the World's High End Audio Marketplace.

There is a list of TRL units for sale here, too. Folks move on, they change gear ... it is common in this hobby. I've moved on from the TRL SA-14. Anyone interested should e-mail me, directly.

I did notice that from the list of APL units that I see for sale, most have prices which represent around a $2K loss. That's appropriate, given that the mod costs so much more.

You see, Steve, you rarely get the money back out of anything, once it is modified. You can put dubs on an Escalade and lose all of the money you spent on tires and wheels, selling the vehicle a month later. (That's just a fact of life and is not bound by our hobby alone).

I'm happy that you have found a digital front end that integrates so well with your system and to your ears. :)

Certainly, that is all any of us can wish for. FYI, I am very pleased with the choices I've made and my system has never sounded so beautifully, so natural.

Best wishes to you and yours, Steve.

Happy holidays,

Hi Smilin
Would you mind giving us differences between APL 3910 and ModWright 3910 please ? MW preamp and Examplar ?
Steve, I get a toothache just thinking about having 40 digital sources over the course of 2 years. How can one get a grip on anything when changing that often? Most people who want the best feel it's better to start with something that's killer and be done with it, instead of going through endless updates and flavor of the week. But hey, maybe that's just me. All I'm doing is enjoying the music, grinning ear to ear :-)

Happy Hanukkah, Steve.

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Thank you Tvad! The McIntosh is a current player, but it was one of those "please mod it so it sounds better than my Samsung HD841 $299 player" local SF Bay Area jobs. Although it turned out quite nice sounding, I have not done any more of these, nor will I in the future. It has NO tube stage in it. The DV-50 job was a little more extended than the one stated at $1500 on my site because I have implemented 4 AKM DACs per channel on it. There is NO tube stage in it as well. Both of these are ALL Solid State with MOSFET Class A output.

The point is that, out of close to 100 Denon 3910 APL re-designs sold, there are none for sale anywhere at any price. To be fair, I have to say that there was one guy who sold his APL 3910 because it was not good enough to "calm down" the rest of his audio system. This one was sold 2 hours after it was posted for sale. You can read the Audiogon review the new owner posted for it here:

Audiogon IS the World's best Audio Market Place, but there are NONE flagship APL products listed for sale on it. Sorry to say, this is rather very strange.

Jack, LuckyDog, et all, I have found the World's best "Epoxy for beginners" book. Please do not hesitate to email me with a request for it. I will be MOST happy to forward a copy to you at my cost.

Happy Holidays!

Alex Peychev

Not trying to distort facts to make a case and I apologize if it appeared that way. I just did a quick search.

The basic point is that the original buyer for new digital units, and modded digital units takes a hit when selling.
This is not really a reflection on the quality of the actual unit-it is just what happens.
We all know that APL does excellent work as does TRL.

I recently saw an incredible deal for a pair of Parasound JC-1's modded by Steve Nugent that a person was selling.
Probably hard to find a better amp period at any price but even those were discounted substantially by the original buyer.

This is a crazy hobby.
Brian, I hear ya buddy, but hey, I am workin it, how bout you? Riemyo your flavor of the month now? Ya got your system working properly yet? I remember when I got to your placde exactly at 1 pm, the time you requested, there was a note saying you were running late, so, I went to pick up a couple bottles of BV Tapestry, 1997, 100 a bottle. When I went to find them in you kitchen, I could not. You put them in the FREEZER........whoa nelly....I look at fine audio, like fine wine...I gotta take care of it properly. I remember this cause, WOW, was I looking forward to hearing your AMAZING system. I also remember your teling me excuses why your system sounded so off that day.

Talk about disappointment. Then you continually snub your nose at MY SYSTEM, well I tell you, it is not only MY opinion, but that of a few others who heard yours that same day. These people felt my IYO, inferior system sounded as good or better than your 100K plus system.

Remember when we were playing Chuck Mangione, Children of sanchez, and when the Bass drums came on, your speakers almost collapsed? You RAN to the Blowtorch to turn it down. I dunno, but I was not impressed, especially with your condensending attitude towards my system, which is a work in progress. Yeah, buddy, keep up the great work. I will invite ya over in a couple more months, when I am done. Than you can really tell me whatcha think.

Remember Brian, Big dollar systems do not mean they are supperior, they just mean they cost more. I have not said anything about that day, but, buddy, keep your house cleaner, man, when I was looking for the wine, I opened your frig, and WHOA, mold, gross mold. All I can advise is to get yoru house in order, and your priorities sorted out. Thats my New Years resolution. I would be more than happy to come by again, but, only after the cleaning crews been inn. I was itching for a week buddy, oh, I almost forgot....what was the deal with the accusations of someone stealing the Nils Lofgren cd?, YOU left it in my player........anyway, thanks for all the knowledge you imparted.

Meery Christmas, and Happy New Year

I want to thank a couple of SA-1 owners who advised me to use XLR's on this player. The SA-1 is much more transparent using the XLR connections. In this configuration the SA-1 is far better than I previously thought. My unit is very cable sensitive as well. The differences in power cords can be easily heard. I have not heard all the other high dollar CD players out there but this is definitely musical player in this configuration.

As audiophiles we have our disagreements as is evidenced by this thread. But really, isn't this a great hobby or what!
With all the suffering in the world,aren't we blessed to be able to argue which of our machines make music more authentically. I wish the rest of the world had our issues!! Happy holidays to all!! Bob
Steve (711smilin), spare me and everyone else the insults. I can explain and refute much of what you said but not here.
Alex: Thank you for your most generous offer for the book, but no thanks, I have no personal interest in becoming a digital player modifier. And, I'm happy with the service and house sound that TRL offers me.

If you want to send me a large print of the Saint James Bible, I'd appreciate that. (Some days it is hard to read the smaller print later at night).

I sincerely wish you, TVAD, and Steve Milin the best this coming year.

Happy Holidays,

Jack, I was not talking about digital modifications or TRL in particular, was I?

Anyway, I can also offer "Pros and Cons about EMI and RFI shielding of Digital Electronics" book. May be you will like this one better.


How do you find the time to stop in here during those long 18 hour days?
Maybe you could drop this guy an email since you are cruising the internet forums these days?

By the way, he is on your forum on your website.

Best wishes and have a great New Year.
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That is a little dramatic, but very funny!

Actually, would really prefer all the bantering to cease and let's talk audio in a respectful manner.
I know you feel the same as a pretty rational and fair guy.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and happy holiday. I do mean that. :)

What a vindictive post, Lkdog. I'm speechless. I truly hope the holiday lifts your spirits, if I may say so.

Am doing wonderfully this Holiday by the way, but thanks for your concern.
I will keep your viewpoint in mind.
Not sure how my comments are vindictive. Folks claim Alex works 18 hour days. I am glad business is good for him.
Not sure why or how he has time for all of this nonsense here.
Maybe you should chat with your colleague 711smilin.
I think he escalated this round of banter.
Alex: Thank you for your offers ... it almost makes me feel as I do when I deal with your competitor. Included with their mod, they sent me free SACD's (their own recordings, on Paul's own label) and free SACD/DVD/CD cleaner, Shine Ola, which they also make, (Brian has made Record Research Lab cleaning fluids since the early 90's).

There must be something about the generous nature of the modern day digital modifer ...

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season!

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Lkdog, your post that prompted my commentary did not reflect this sentiment.

Well, it was certainly not intended to offend you.
You are typically very fair and objective and well respected in these forums.
Some are not as ethical, unfortunately, and it goes well beyond the silliness in these forums. I don't like getting badgered directly offline.

I will try and refrain from getting involved in such threads in the future. The Hatfield and McCoys stance between folks
who are enthusiasts of APL and TRL unfortunately diverts attention from the advances being made by these and other excellent modders.

It is all good for the end user and we should just enjoy and respectfuly accept differences and the fact that everyone has their own unique preferences.

Lkdog: Well said.

Considering we are in a "dying breed" type of hobby, "Can't we all just get along?".

Wiser words were never spoken from a man on Angel Dust.

Season's Greetings to all!


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I understand your concern about being badgered offline. I was amazed recently that on the same day I posted a review of a product that I just had modified by a reputable mod shop (over 600 modified units in the last year), I received an email from a person affiliated with another mod vendor (who will remain nameless, but he knows who he is - *wink* *wink*) that disparaged the work of the mod shop I chose.

Considering I was sharing with others my thoughts on a product which I have spoken highly of in stock form, let alone the modded version, I found this behavior to be a bit reprehensible and an invasion of my privacy.

I think shops like APL, Modwright, Empirical, TRL and others offer us options which we would never get from the OEM vendor. It's all good in my opinion and allows us to have a product that is suited to our sound preferences. There seems to be a mutual respect among these shops as well, which further confuses me as to why one particular person affiliated with a mod shop would find it necessary to disparage the work of others.
Clio09: You wrote ...

"I received an email from a person affiliated with another mod vendor (who will remain nameless, but he knows who he is - *wink* *wink*) that disparaged the work of the mod shop I chose."

Same here. I have recieved an e-mail like yours in my past from a mod vendor. I was shocked to have anyone e-mail me direct with negative comments about my choice ... (then again, my choice happened to be his competitor).

Regardless, this is strange behavior to say the least. I am willing to put the bad experience behind me.

"Can't we all just get along?" Rodney King.

Season's Greetings to all!

Merry Xmas to all.

Just got some nice new SACD's from Santa Claus:

Cannonball/Bill Evans- Know what I Mean
Art Pepper + Eleven Modern Jazz Classics
Cal Tjader/Stan Getz Sextet

Hi Rez lives.
Whew! I'm glad that we have that all behind us.

And don't worry guys, my wonderful Wife gave me a large print St. James Bible for Christmas. :)

So, besides doing a little reading, I've been enjoying my music, hearing things I haven't heard before.

Wishing all of you a prosperous New Year,

Jack Seaton
You got me thinkin'. Do you think that Dave Koz is perhaps the large print version of Charlie Parker? :-)

I always thought that Koz was a smooth jazz guy, so I haven't paid much attention to him.

This old be-bop jazz lover hasn't made the crossover to modern smooth styles yet!


Any new insights of the Marantz SA-1 compared to new CD/SACD players?
Any comparisons with Audionet, Wadia or even with modern multi-players like Oppo 105, Denon DVD-A1UD, etc.
I too am curious how the SA-1 is holding up, with the likes of say the current SA-11S3