I got a demo of the SA1 yesterday and was very disapointed with its CD performance. However, the SACD was pretty good. The demo system consisted of N801, Krell FPB200 amp and KCT preamp. The CD sound was just way too warm and it lacked detail and air. Until there is alot more SACD software, I will put off buying a SACD player. I guess I will be keeping my cd players a little longer.
I have no doubt that the Marantz is good, perhaps it is better than the Sony. Why don't you simply look at the numbers and take a deep breath.........Sony $1075.00..............Marantz with huge discount.......$4750.00. The Marantz had better be several models ahead of the competition, or you are setting yourself up for a fairly sizable loss when new models come out. SACD is still in it's infancy. You should ask yourself, do you really have enough of a software library to justify the difference between the two (assuming the Marantz IS any better performance). I hope I do not sound harsh, I just had to make this decision myself. I bought the Sony 9000, shamelessly, due to it's low selling price and great DVD image quality.
I have the Sony SACD-1, I'd go with the advice of Albert and check out the 9000. I love my unit, but given the fantastic reviews of the 9000 here on Audiogon, I think it would be silly to spend more! J.D.
Thank you for the good sense feedback. I have yet heard anyone tell me the the Marantz SA-1 is worth spending $4750 even with the huge discount. You know how it is, sometimes you read in to it too much. And must have the latest and greatest toy. Stereophile tries to suck you in with there now A+ rating. I will look into the Sony 9000 or the 333. I thought the 9000 though, was a dvd player too?
Just another thought--the second generation SACD units are coming out. If Accuphase and dCS have out or are demoing transport units with proprietary feeds to their own DAC's, how far behind can one box units be from Krell, Theta, etc.? How much more than the Marantz are they liable to be?
One other practical detail in favor of a Sony model - if you have one of the Sony credit cards, you can buy the Sony SSACD player of your choice for 12 months interest free - makes it kind of painless! ;>}
I think if Krell, Theta and the like bring their first generation SACD players to market they are more likely to be priced much closer to the Accuphase than anything else. It may be quite a while before we have real selection among "affordable" SACD players.
I was chatting with the folks at Resolution Audio regarding mods for my Quantum and asked where they were at with SACD. I was told they "just want to bring a product to market" but don't feel this is around the corner due to the format war. Nor can they afford to play at this point. This must be a frustrating time for other companies with similar niches in the audio world. My guess is that Krell, Theta, etc. will be there first, and soon, but with very expensive players. If nothing else but to begin positioning themselves for marketing purposes. Will we then see the same development of more affordable players, coming close to the big boys at various fractions of their price, as was the case with the CD format? If so, when? Will improvements come fast and furiously once everyone jumps into the water, eclipsing the performance of the super expensive first generation players? My opinion is that due to their performance and price points, the Sony products are the sensible choice in the iterim. Even so, I'm still waiting. Just not enough out there to get me excited enough to take the plunge.
i've owned the marantz sa-1 since last june and i've loved it. it takes a long time to break in, about 400 hours, and i think you also learn to listen in a different way. i use a linn cd-12 for my 16/44 so cd performance is not important to me but it's pretty good. the sa-1 is in league with my vinyl set-up for performance although with 45 rpm vinyl my aesthitix io betters sacd slightly. i've not compared the sa-1 side by side with the sony but those that have seem to prefer the marantz. i agree with other posters that the sony is a better buy; but the best is never cheap.
i would add that a brief demo of this unit would probably be a waste of your time. i generally don't judge any equipment thru brief demos but need to have quality time in my own system for meaningful judgments. this goes doubly with this unit.
is it the best? i don't know. all i know is i am very happy with it.
hope this helps
Just recently read a review between the 2 mentioned and both persons agreed there was know difference except of coarse the cost.
I heard the Marantz under the most desirable circumstances possible, and was not any more impressed by it than the 9000ES, in fact I was dissapointed. I expected more for such a huge price difference. Of course an A-B test might prove otherwise, but that is difficult to do. Either way, the difference will not be that dramatic. Albert is on the money!
Read the review of this unit in the latest issue of Ultimate Audio which pulls no punches.
Hi Lwin. In a nutshell what did ultimate audio say about the Marantz sa-1 sacd player? Thanks so much.
Wait till you see the outcome reverend Joe. Remember all the folks who bought a Sony Betamax because it was superior to VHS? That is what I suspect will happen. This is a software driven race. Notice Sony has a few new classical releases in CD, but not SACD? What the heck are those guys doing? I don't think they know.
Nordostman, the difference here ( if you get the Sony 9000 or somehting like it ) is that if SACD fails you still have a great DVD player and pretty good CD playback. At this price you aren't really loosing anything.
No Money, that is a great idea, i didn't think of it. I am in the market for a DVD myself and will check out the sony. I think in the end however I will go with something like the Cal Audio CL-2500. Fantastic CD player and a good DVD to boot. It's more than the Sony but should cure my upgraditis for awhile. I think I am going to pass on the DVD-A and the SACD. I really don't want to start replacing all my CD's with the new format. Beside's I will be suprised if the music I listen to ever gets released in the new format.
Reverend Joe in a nutshell they said it was on better than the top the line Sony which is now steeply discounted. This was the opinion of two very experienced reviewers who spent time comparing it on two different systems.
I have the Purcell and the Delius so I am biased, but with that many CDs I would seriously consider buying a used Delius/Purcell combo. dCS's service after the sale is outstanding. Later when dCS releases the new SACD Transport you will have both upsampling for all your CDs and I am sure a wonderful sounding SACD transport. This is the path I am taking. If you have an analog preamp the Delius can do pass through as well. The dCS gear is truely wonderful stuff, but again I am biased. Cheers - Dan
One more thing ... Just talked to Audiophile Systems and they said dCS is planning on using the IEEE 1394 (aka Firewire) Interface between the SACD transport and the Delius/Elgar DAC. So dCS has chosen a standard interface, but now it remains to be seen what the other companies will do with their SACD Transports. - Dan
Wait 2 years and that same 5 grand will buy you 10x the player of the SCD-1. I know you can't wait forever but there will be many changes and new players (if the format is a hit)to choose from.
Remember that the SCD-1 can be bought under $3,000.
Sony has announced a $1,700 list multichannel player in April. Only time will tell how it compares with the SCD-1. I would assume it will be better than the $1500 S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD player.
Nordostman, my sentiments exactly. There is no reason why the development and declining costs (relative to quality) of SACD will not parrallel that of CD -- *if and when* the format takes off. There are just not enough titles out there today to get me so excited that I have to have it right now.
For there here and now -- and the foreseeable future -- some of the things that are happening with 24/96 and upsampling are much more exciting and relevant to all of the CD's I currently listen to.