Marantz SA-11 S1 vs Sony XA-5400es

Any users of both in a position to comment on a comparison?
I can get either for a similar price and wondered which would be a better buy for both redbook and SACD?
My experience with the SA-11 is limited to a few listens, and I haven't heard the XA5400ES, but the player I own is a Sony XA9000ES which is the predecessor of the XA5400ES.
To my ears, the Marantz came across as a very warm, relaxed sound with the hard edges smoothed over. The XA9000ES comes across much cooler, slightly more clinical as well as detailed.
Some may prefer the Marantz sound and I can totally understand that preference. I, however, was a little worried that its sound might be too mellow if I listened to it all the time.
Having said that, the XA5400ES (which I have not heard), is described (see Kalman Rubinson's review in Stereophile) as being not so clinical-sounding as the XA9000ES. This should be a plus, and I'm hopeful (for I'm considering buying one) that its sound is somewhere between the XA9000ES and the SA-11.
Best of luck.

teamed with the right pre/power amp. the Marantz is miles and miles and miles ahead of the Sony. The Marantz is a warmer player so I would not team it with any tubes. : )
i owned the marantz 11s2. this is the current model. forgive the diversion. i found the marantz ruthlessly revealing of source material, using a tube amp.

i have not heard the sony player.
Thank you, all. I bought the Marantz.
I have the Marantz SA-11S2 with the Level 2 Underwood Modifications.

Never have I enjoyed music at this level, of total


It sounds like a "Master Tape Player" with the dynamics

of Digital.

Simply must be heard to be enjoyed!

My Sony XA-7ES with the Benchmark Dac-1 was real good,

but the Marantz goes to another league!

The newer Sony models never really made "Music".

Food for thought re: the Marantz:
In his Stereophile review M Fremer refers to it as
"reasonably detailed ".
Mr Tennis describes it as "ruthlessly revealing"
Sounds like you need to hear it in your own system...
Mr Pennis thinks a dirty 8-track played through a speaker with no tweeters, only woofer and covered by a burlap bag is ruthlessly revealing. Come on.
2Japan camps, although the Sony 5400ES was made in Taiwan,
unlike the earlier Statement players, which ALL came from
the land of the shining sun, Japan.

Ken Ishiwata has a Passion for music, that is obvious, in the
build quality, and the final sound.

Copper chassis, every detail is taken in to consideration.

Marantz, like it or not, is a force to be reckoned with,

in the Audio world.

The Marantz Sa-11S1 I am not familiar with, but if it is

anything close to the S2, it is something very special.

A player that makes you actually "forget" about ALL the

electronics, just focus on the incredible sound.

Again, mine is modified, so it is not the same as the stock

version, which is already a True Reference player.

Walter says the modifications take it beyond the Marantz Sa-7S2
Says "The Marantz SA11S2 is a wonderful CD/SACD player 70% as good as the SA7S1. The SA7S1 is my favorite player and a super value at its $6500 retail price. With our L-1 mod to the SA11S2, we take it to the same level as a stock SA7S2 for a significant savings. The modified player at $3690 is an amazing value. It will compete with anything made under $10k.

Info on the stock player is as follows: The SA11S2 is the 2nd generation of the legendary SA11 series SACD player, updated with many of the components and features of the SA-7S1. The original SA11S1 was, and is, rated Class A in Stereophile. This new player is dramatically better."

MrTennis, seems to be getting flack for what?

Fremer will say what ever fills his pocket.


Don't take anybody's word, HEAR for Yourself.

Then you will know for a fact.

The Marantz, is Truly a piece of musical art.

Walter, and his modifications, bring every bit of
the quality out of this player.

The result is in the hearing.

Music has NEVER been more complete!

I bought the Marantz SA11S1 and it is spectacular!!! What a bargain at $1250! Musical, resolving and a beautiful liquid midrange. Makes me look askance at my over $10K other player!
I had SA-11S2 & 5400 in my system for 2 mths. 5400 clear