Marantz SA7S1 owners - stock or modded

Looking to hear from any Marantz SA7-S1 owners with either stock or Underwood Mod's. I have a modded SA11-S1 and am wondering what I'm missing.
hi jgwilson:

i will be getting a marantz 11s2. i am looking to smooth out the treble. i would consider adding a tube analog stage or having caps replaced.

i suspect that the underwood mods render a component more transparent and "faster". i want to go in the opposite direction.
modding classic equipment is like brush painting a classic auto. you may like it, but its very weird to everyone else.
Mrtennis, if you're shooting for purity & silkiness, consider the Reference Audio Mods/Audio Consulting Silver Rock step-up transformer output stage, but installed without the optional op amp buffer section. The SS buffer section adds pace, dynamics, and bass control, but could be omitted if you're more interested in smoothness & refinement. The buffer section could be added later on (preferably with battery power)if you sense any lack of dynamics.
hi dgarretson:

i am looking to darken the sound of the marantz, by attenuating the high frequencies and defocusing the sound, creating more body and less detail, heading towards the cclassic tube sound.

i have heard reference audio mods modifications. i don't like what they do. i would never use them to modify any equipment i own.
Mrtennis, To each his own, but what you are looking for is exactly what the silver transformers sound like without the active buffer stage.
Mr T, I would suggest you try a Shunyata King Cobra V1 power cord...that should darken/sweeten the sound to your taste.

Folks, trying to help MrT is like trying to grow Kentucky bluegrass in the Sahara.

Try as hard as you like. Nothing will take root.
I own an SA-7S1 and have heard several modded versions. All I can say is, just be careful. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with modding, and I support it in many cases, but IMO the Marantz 7 and 11 are such wonderfully balanced players that the wrong mods can actually hurt rather than help. The modded players I’ve heard definitely CHANGE the sound—no doubt about it—but whether that change is a good thing or not is open only to the listener. I personally didn’t care for any of the modded units, and I’m keeping mine stock until I hear a mod that unequivocally IMPROVES the sound in ALL parameters. Just my opinion, of course. YMMV.
I own a SA-7S1 I wouldn't modify it. Why don't you try a warm sounding IC ( gold has a nice full sound) and maybe a warm PC (Lessloss maybe) and see if that helps.

If not save your money and get a non upsampling tube dac.
I own a SA-7S1 for about 1 year.

IMO modding usually brings improvement but also changes in the sonic character. The pitfalls are that modding is not cheap & it's difficult to remove it if the change is not of your taste.

To furhter improve SA-7S1 's performance, why not consider utilizing its clock input ability? I purchased an used Apogee Big Ben external clock recently & the resulting sonic improvement is well worth the money spent.
Hooper, Just curious about what modded players & modders you're talking about, and what were the internal changes made. Did you hear them in a familiar system? IME there are some mods-- particularly improvements to power supplies-- that make decisive improvements in every way. Other changes may be more subjective.
i'm surprised that no one has tried to add a tube buffer stage to the marantz.

i am breaking in the 11s2. it sounds very good with nmy fisher 400. i suspect the player needs a very euphonic preamp/amp combination to avoaid an over-focused presentation.
if you are not completely happy then sell it as I did.

The marantz is built well and looks good and sounds very relaxed and
Not digital sounding but just did not have the detail and dynamics of the playback designs or emmlabs.

Pretty great for jazz and vocals but not good for rock
i think the marantz is too focused and resolving, definitely not relaxed in its presentation. there is no absence of detail. it is ironic that two people have such diametrically opposed views of the same component.
it is ironic that two people have such diametrically opposed views of the same component.
Mrtennis (Threads | Answers)
Not so ironic, IMO, as no other Audiogon contributor shares your viewpoint on any component that has ever been discussed, as far as I can recall.

Nothing wrong with that. People just have to consider the source when making judgments about how your opinion relates to their perspectives.
I find the SA7-S1 "relaxing" and easy listening for extended periods of time. It is not overly focused, clinical, or analytical.

IMO, owners of Audio Aero, Audio Research, and Cary will find the SA7-S1 quite enjoyable.

Wadia, Krell, and EMM owners may not.

I sell none of these products.
I found marantz sa11s1 very precise, overly focused and digital sounding comparing to my audio aero capitol reference se. some days i like marantz and some days i enjoy capitol. both are totally different sounding players.if you ask me to sell one player, i will sell marantz. i have not listened to sa7s1
You hit the nail on the head...the sound may change and you may not like it...note the sound changes does not make it better IMO.

Buy a new unit if you don't like the sound of your current unit. At least you can take the unit home and listen to it before you buy.

Your room is the #1 issue that needs care that will impact the over all sound of your system, more then speaker wire or interconnects.

I am still amazed that moving two ASC panels about 4" on each side wall behind the speakers could make the whole system shut down and dead sounding.

Work on your room before you judge your system or any piece of gear. The Marantz SA-7S1 is about dead natural what of the best sounding units ever made to date.

If you can afford it, you should be very happy with it.
hi phillyb:

i own a marantz 11s2. it has about 500 hours of signal fed through it, including 3 hours of the purist audio design break-in disk.

i find the sound of the marantz very precise, focused, somewhat mechanical and definitely unnatural. perhaps, it needs a tube analog stage or a replacement of some of the caps. it deininitely has a "hard" sound to it, rather than a nautural sound. i concur with masilu, re his observations. it is currently up for sale.
Compare the yin to the yang. If the AA cd players represent the yin, then the Esoteric's represent the yang, I would agree that the AA cd players are smoother, sweeter and the Esoterics are detailed and defined. I find that even the sweet, smooth AA cd players cannot compare to analog for pure musicality. I also feel that Marantz cd players, though more articulate than the AA players, are not as sweet as the AA players.....they are closer sonically to the AA camp than the Esoteric camp though.

If you are truely looking for musicality though, you will not find it in a CDP, IMHO. Get a turntable.

hi john:

it's not the turntable, it's the cartridge. i have a cd player, the naim cdx, circa 1994, sound better than any turntable/arm/cartridge combination i have ever heard.

many cartridges are frequency unbalanced. some of the older players, e.g., cal tempest and aria, and a few others, are worthy of ownership and can provide satisfaction to anyone, including digiphobes.
Hi Jgwilson

Since you have a mod marantz sa11s1 why dont you listen to an esoteric in your system (if you have not done).

I have a marantz sa11s1 and AA Capitol Ref se.
Marantz is really good for rock music too - excellent timming.
AA dosent do rock music as good as marantz - timming not as good as marantz.
I dont listen to rock much. But this timming thing was very well evedent in metallica "nothing else matters" song.

When it comes to musicality, AA far superior marantz.
MAY BE AA is a bit slow sounding than marantz,that makes AA more musical .

I have not listen to an esoteric. May be esoteric fills the gap, with excellent timming and musicality

good luck Wilson
Marantz cd players use Electrolytic capacitors on the output. Last time I check, they also used HDAM (high-definition audio modules)as the ouput stage. The resulting sound is fast transients and a "harshness" to vocals. One experience with Marantz cd players was enough for me.
My strong suggestion would be to sell your SA7S1 to the highest bidder on A'gon and purchase a McIntosh MCD500....a better player all around and no need to mod.
I have no doubt that in your room, in your system, you are hearing something you find too bright and etched. However, since none of the many professional reviews, nor reviews from long-time owners (including myself), have expressed hearing anything similar (always quite the opposite, that the SA-7S1 is warm, smooth, and relaxed), I have to believe that it's something else in your system, or, more likely, your room (do an accurate room measurement and I bet you'll find a boost at 2K - 4K, or suckout in the 90 - 160hz range). My system: Krell KCT pre, Krell FBC 400cx amp, Aerial 10T speakers, Nordost Blue heaven interconnects and cables (so nothing here smoothing the edges!).
Anyone who hears the Marantz as bright hype detailed has something a miss in there system.Perhaps out of absolute phase, if you run XLR out remember pin 2 is reversed compared to USA balanced inputs, the phase switch should be engaged to put the signal back in proper phase.

If not depending of the disc anything from dull to flat sounding to no body and bright.

The Marantz is so close to the state of the art, that you can improve upon it, but you better have a large bank account to spend.