After looking at the internals, I don't think it would be a substantial upgrade. Take a look at Denon's DCD-SX1 for an ultimate / affordable SACD player.
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I would think that the SA-11S3 would represent a worthwhile upgrade. Marantz CDP's tend to be on the warmer, more musical side of the fence. If you are seeking more resolution, you may want to look at an Esoteric K-07X.
One other consideration is possibly upgrading the Sony. I know Dan Wright of Modwright does some great mods with Sony players, like his Ultimate Truth mod. The question is how old is the CDP, and is it worth it to sink a couple grand into a 10 year old model? Maybe not a wise decision, but something to consider if you feel it still operates flawlessly..
Thanks for the replies so far. I wish I could just be happy with the stuff I have and leave it at that. 4 amps four sets of speakers later I'm still on the quest. I love my amp and pre-amp no need to change again. The SACDs on the Sony CDP are amazing and I'd have to sell it at a huge loss but I have to think that newer DACs are even better.
Thanks for the replies so far. I wish I could just be happy with the stuff I have and leave it at that. 4 amps four sets of speakers later I'm still on the quest. I love my amp and pre-amp no need to change again. The SACDs on the Sony CDP are amazing and I'd have to sell it at a huge loss so not so sure which way to go. I have to think that the newer Burr-Brown DACs in the Marantz are even better.
FWIW, try to articulate exactly what you are trying to change or improve. It may well be your CDP, or not.
There is probably no CDP, redbook or SACD, that matches well with all systems playing all tytpes of music. I have multiple CDP's - they each excel in certain aspects of reproduction but not all. Some sound better with one amp, not so much on another amp. Synergy is a big issue (for me anyway).
For example, I have the Marantz you asked about. I find it has an excellent mid-range and highs, but I find compared to my other units it's upper bass is a bit full. On rich orchestral music it is a bit too much. With that music my Wadia excels. I also find that in my system the sound stage is a bit closed down on orchestral music, but for small groups (classical or jazz) and solo instruments it is excellent. My system is voiced on the warm side of neutral and I'm sure that it is more the system than the Marantz that limits the system performance., but it certainly contributes.
Based on that experience with the Marantz in my present system I would not get another, but if I were running a solid state system instead of tubes I expect it would be excellent as most solid state stuff doesn't have upper bass emphasis (nor do your speakers I think). The Marantz is built like a tank and has operated perfectly for over two years now.
Be nice if you could audition one.....
Hello jafant, your question is the million dollar question I first asked about. Other than the USB DAC option on the SA-11S3 I will have to wait and see sound wise. The Sony is outstanding with SACDs and SHM-CDs. I can't imagine the Marantz being that much if at all better, I just wanted to try something new since the turntable and cartridge set-up I want is out of reach at this time. I just love music and this awesome hobby of ours.
Sorry jafant it took a while to break this in, I do love the Marantz but I also miss the Sony. The Marantz after break in is sounding really beautiful. The Sony and the Marantz aren't that much different when playing well recorded SACD and SHM-Cds. The Marantz does present a wider soundstage in my room that I'm very happy about. They are both very warm sounding. The Sony for its age in design isn't very far behind and quite impressive considering. The Marantz does easily out perform the Sony when playing regular cds. I would say that and the wider sound stage are the biggest differences.