I need to qualify this post buy stating that I only heard the version 1 in a store system and the version 2 in my system using different preamp/amp and speakers. The SACD playback to my ears sounded very similiar while the cd playback was improved in the version 2. The sound seemed smoother and warmer if you will and less digital. My Audiomeca Mephisto 11.X out performs the Marantz cd playback but at 6800.00 it better,but the Marantz comes close. As a matter of fact if I didn't own the Audiomeca I could easily live with the Marantz cd playback.