New Marantz SA11S2?

Can someone please describe the new Marantz SA11S2 sound for me? In general terms, is it smooth, detailed, dynamic, soft, transparent, slightly veiled, impactful bass, slightly rounded bass, great treble extension or slightly rolled? Warm robust midrange, lean mids, fairly neutral to dry?

Thank you
Strangely, but your description might be suitable for huge range of gear - in terms how reviewers usually describe their impressions...

You simply suggest WHAT DO YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM OTHERS. This is very unconfortable position to get any valid reply, I think...

BTW, I own smaller SA-15S1, and I think I would use a good deal of your vocabulary to describe its sound.
ops. my bad, maybe i was asking for too much. and yes I do want to hear from others on what's their views/comments on the new Marantz SA11S2 player.

Thank you.
the sound is amazing in redbook, even better in SACD.
I've had the SA11S2 for a few weeks. I would use these adjectives to describe this player (both CD and SACD): musical, non-fatiguing, full, rich, robust, natural, engaging, realistic. SACD playback is better than CD but CD is also excellent. I listen almost exclusivley to classical and this player does violin, cello, piano so very naturally. I believe it is suprior to my Cary 306 SACD (which costs much more). It's a keeper.
I own this player. The build quality is top rate. It is absolutely gorgeous (pictures don't do it justice). The all metal transport has to be one of the best transports made today. I have compared it, as a transport, to about 5 other units, and it was shocking to hear how much better it is.

As a total player, it is not what one well known reviewer says. It is dynamic, has excellent bass. The midrange, including vocals, is present, but not forward. The sound stage is wide with adequate depth. The treble is detailed, but not hyper-detailed, which apparently that reviewer likes. It is a good balance, because it seems to make less good recordings sound better than razor-sharp detailed players do. Yet, stellar recordings sound stellar.

I am in the process of writing a review on it, and I have compared it to the Limited Edition Pearl player. I won't go into detail here, but, again, the same reviewer would have you think there is a big difference between the players. Frankly, the difference is rather small, and not always in favor of the Pearl. Considering that the Pearl does not have the metal transport, is unbalanced only, and lacks a coaxial digital out, the SA11-S2 would be my first choice. More about these players later.
i owned the 11s2. i would say that it has no bloom, is not warm, is slightly on the thin side.

i sold it.

i am looking for an sacd player.

i also auditioned the oppo 83 se. i prefrred the oppo to the marantz. it was easier on the ear.

my friend, whom i leant the marantz also did not like it.

incidentally, i allowed it about 500 hours before serious listening.

i doubt that i would own another marantz product.
interesting, I owned BPD83 SE and SA11S2.

For the price I felt BDP could not be beat, but I sold the BDP and kept the SA11S2.
From what I can tell, this player does not have a digital input right?
right, no digital input on SA11S2 I think SA15S2 does.
nor does BDP83
Mr. Tennis, I must say your comments are far from the reality I and others hear from the SA11. The unit has bloom, has warmth, and is hardly on the thin side. For those with a listening preference to a bloated, overly warm, highly colored sound, such a view might be theirs. Perhaps your system is

Even Michael Fremer, whom I disagree with, said the SA11 had warmth, had body.

In regards to the input discussion above, why would anyone want a digital input on this player? The transport is among the best sounding made, so why would you want to use the unit without the transport?

The only thing I could see one might want are the two digital outputs (to run a DAC) that the unit already has.
Please don't listen to what Mr Tennis says about this player. His previous posts pretty much tell me his hearing is very different than most here. I think you will find this to be very true if you search. It must be alien

I do not have the S2 but have the S1 and love it. By far the best player I have owned and I am sure the S2 is better. How much I don't know but I would not hesitate to buy it.
Hey guys, don't you know Mr. Tennis is a reviewer? His hearing is much better than any one of us. We are all supposed to have flaw in our hearing. Only he has perfect hearing. The only problem is he reviews gear while playing tennis :-))))))))
Seriously, Mr. Tennis comments are so far off the reality of the sonics, there in no point in arguing with him further. There are many reasons for negative comments on pieces, and I'm not pointing a finger, because I don't know each individual's motives. But I can tell you that there is ring, body, fullness, warmth and a transport that will beat anything in this price range. It truly is one of the finest trsnsports ever made.

Marantz hit a home run with this, and it is now simply the fact that it is over a year old model, and that shows how fickle the audiophile commmunity is.

My forthcoming review will include both the Pearl SACD player and the Pearl integrated. Less than 200 of each were brought in by Marantz USA. The other 300 are international. I'll say no more than Mr. Fremer's comparison between the SA11-S@ and the Pearl player are not what I hear, and I have exhausted myself with comparisons. These players do not sound that different. There are differences, but not always in favor of the Pearl. Indeed, the SA11's transport alone would make my choice. It is actually amazing how similar the sonics are when the Pearl player is based on the SA15S2 circuit, not the more expensive balanced SA11 circuit.
hi aear:

what you can say is that my (idiosyncratic) taste is very different from many posters on this and other forums, and therefore, my opninions may or may not be useful to some , some of the time.

realize as well, that there are a lot of variables which underlie my comments, as well as definitions which imply warm and bloom are euphonic colorations.

however, your comment regarding reality and sonics is philosophically invalid.
I must say that I had my doubts about the sa11. It does take a long time to break in. A very long time. Longer than 500 hours. Although after 500 hours, it does start to sound much better. After a thousand hours, it sounds even better. It actually sounded very close to my analog front end which I was shocked to hear. it is warm sounding, but not overly so. I had a audiophile friend come over to listen the other day to the Sa11 S2. He was a Doubting Thomas. He is not anymore. He could not believe what he was hearing or should I say not hearing on his system. He was very impressed with it. It just keeps getting better with each day. It's a great player and very versatile as well. If others did not like the way it sounded, so be it, It is what it is. I too do not like eveything I hear and many pieces I do not like are very highly touted to say the least. We all have our preferences. I will say that I am sold on it but it did take a while. I did not like it at first but wow does it get better, every day.
Mrtennis, I said I wouldn't argue with you about this, but I can't let your reply go unresponded to.

My comment about sonics you say is "Philosophically invalid", which is one of the most non-sensical use of words I've heard yet. You are saying nothing.

In your first response to this post, you claim the player has no bloom or warmth and is thin, which is completely inaccurate. Now, you talk about warm and bloom as euphonic colorations, implying that is what this player sounds like. Sounds pretty contradictory, doesn't it?

I don't agree with Fremer on all his opinions by far, but even he said this player had warmth, and never described it as thin in any way, which he would have done, knowing his writings and inclinations.

If you wish to continue to despise a very good soundng player, I question your motives, or your system, or your hearing. Why don't you list what your system is? I've described mine in my past reviews, which can be looked up under my name.
hi zear:

this is the last staements on the subject, as i don't own the player , and it is an unimportant subjecy. i will also list my system.

1) i said that the player is not warm andd has no bloom. my definitions of each term imply euphonic colorations. i have noy contradicted myself because i have consistently said i find the player on the thin side., which is why i sold it. thus i have not contradicted myself. different definitions lead to different conclusions.

now as to my system:

speakers: magnepan 1.6 and quad 57
preamp:bent tvc passive:
amp:vtl deluxw 120
cables: interconnects--soundstring and cryoset copper
power cords:sound string, ear to ear and western electric copper
cables:speaker: ear to ear
other accessories: sound fusion sound busters beneath most component, furniture foam under dac and transport, chang is0 160, bob young line filter and egg crate mattresses on walls, some room tunes as well.
digital source(s):ps audio pwd and pwt, audio note cd2 and oppo 83 se.

conclusion for me is i did not contrdict myself, if you read wmy words carefully., and in absence of yje marantz in my system, there is not much more to say about the subject.

incidentally, your use of the word inaccurate as applied to the marantz is your opinion. if you don't agree with my hearing it does not suggest a defect in my hearing or system or system set up.

fortunately for both us, i assume, this discussion is not personal only the disagreements among human beings.
Mr Tennis which Western Electric powercord do you have, the single or double braid??? I had both in my system and they are very detailed and made my system sound kind of thin. For the money they are good powercords and not many out there but just weren't a good fit. Maybe you need a more robust sounding powercord????
when i owned the marantz player, i did not own the western electric power cords. i was using ear to ear and soundstring only.

my system is rarely thin. i won't tolerate it.

the western electric power cords are not contributing a peak in the treble. they have copper iec's and plugs. i am not sure as to single or double braiding. they are 14 gauge. i have a variety of western electric cords, fabricated by a friend , this one was selecetd as being warmer than the others.
I believe the Bent and VTL both roll off the high end, so you need a brighter player. I never owned Magnepans or Quads ES (electrostats). Although ES are very detailed and open, I believe their sound beams, so you need to be in a sweet spot, and also, they roll off the upper top.

Perhaps this is simply a system matching and taste issue. People often forget how important it is that components compliment the particular characteristics of the system.

You can change an interconnect and almost totally change the sound of the whole system, for example.
Are your Western Electric cords of recent build or older? The ones I had are older and either double or single braided. The single braid was for lower wattage and double higher and higher gauged. The older double braids are double wrapped or wound and much thicker than the single. There is no mistaken which is which so thats why I ask. I would not consider them as being real smooth tone wise so thats why I questioned them again in your system.
The JPS Labs digital power cord is also decent
This repartee between MrTennis and Zear really drives home the fact there is a often a large disjunct among us regarding the way we perceive sound. I do not wish to be rude to MrTennis, he has a right to his opinions, biases, and preferences. Hopefully, he'd not find it out of line if I made the observation that he does tend to initially state his opinions in a rather didactic manner that discounts subjectivity. As a SA11S1 owner, I to am at a loss to explain his perception of thinness. If anything, I'd say that some might find it the reverse of that. Perhaps his perceptions could be, in part, a system compatibility issue. The importance of compatibility was again demonstrated to me when I recently had to remove my SA11S1 for a repair and reintroduced a Cambridge 640c cd player that I thought I knew the sound of. Quite a number of system changes have taken place since the last time I listened to it; new interconnects, Boston Audio XL footers, better power cords, and different amplification. The sound of the Cambridge changed so much I couldn't reconcile it with my past memories. As a reviewer MrTennis knows the importance of system context, I'm not suggesting otherwise at all. Perhaps (likely) nothing would change his opinion. All I'm saying is that, for myself, sometimes I often think I'm sure of the sonic signature of a component and then I hear it in a new context and the limitations of my knowledge are made painfully apparent.
I suspect that the Bent TVC might not be matching in Mr. Tennis's system. But he is a reviewer and he hears perfectly than any one of us. So what you say about the Marantz is not valid :-)))
Photon46 - Well said!

I have three different SACD players - the Ayre C5xe-MP, the Mcintosh MCD500, and the Marantz SA11S2. And I have moved them back and forth amongst my three systems just to hear the differences. And the differences are not always subtle. System compatibility often if not always is a huge factor in this hobby!

I am very pleased with all three players. The Ayre is the best of the three; the Mcintosh and Marantz are very close in quality and do not lag the Ayre by all that much (to my ears and in my systems!).
I have not had the opportunity to audition the Ayre. I would agree to the statement made by 4musica regarding the McIntosh and the Marantz. Very simalar and both are very good players.
He may have had an impedance mismatch as the few Marantz players I've owned were anything but thin.
i guess i have not

hi samzsx:

tyhe western electric cords were fabricated about 6 weeks ago. i have no other information about these cords other than the iec and plug which contain copper.

here's an interesting situation:

granted the preamp and amp attenuate the treble and granted the foam and room tunes also attenuate the treble, what might explain my perception of thinness regarding the marantz player.

incidentally my friend has auditioned 2 marantz players, and his system consists of a cary tube preamp, classe ss amp and wood walls. he sold both players, one was the marantz sa11s2.

so, it would seem that one man's smoothness is another man's brighhtness.

we'll agree to disagree.

it's like zeverything else in life which is subjective.
4musica, I'm sure you enjoy the fine sound from the Ayre, but do you like having paid $6,000 for a cheap, flimsy drive that they provide? A friend has one, and I couldn't believe using a $25 transport in a $6,000 machine. Things like that I find totally unforgiveable and so typical of the greed the designers who think they are so special they can make the maximum money with cutting corners. It is to Marantz' credit that they provide a top notch transport. You should use the Marantz as a transport connected to the Ayre, and that should open your eyes.
Zear - I agree that the drive on the Ayre is relatively chip and flimsy, but I still love the sound the Ayre provides! And I got that unit at a very good discount and even was able to trade in another CD player on the deal. So $-wise I came out nicely.

You have made an interesting suggestion about using the Marantz as a transport for the Ayre. It is not a gear change that I can permanently accomodate, but I will eventually do what you have suggested. Thank you for the idea!
That is one of the big reasons I bought the Marantz was for the transport mechanism. It still sounds great without a d/a converter and you can also use an outboard clock if you so wish. It is a great player that is very versatile. Some may not like it, so be it, we each have our own likes and dislikes.
Yeah, Marantz fans, let's unite! It is hard not to fall in love with these works of arts, made in JAPAN, where the quality level of materials and finish is unmatched.

You get so much in this piece...quality, gorgeous construction, features missing from so many expensive pieces, and then the transport that should shame most other companies. No piece is completely perfect in all areas of musical reproduction, and I'm certainly not saying the Marantz is. But it is very good sounding, and just an all around great unit.
Sorry, but my reply was hasty. I had the SA11 Series 2, but then the Pearl came out, and a friend I know bought it. The black finish was very classy looking, and I got jealous. We made some comparisons between the two, and I have to admit that it made me go buy the Pearl. They both have similarities in sound, but I decided I liked the sound of the Pearl better, and the fact that it was designed like a hotrod modification can be heard. It really is a special player. It just sounds wonderful, though I could live with either player.
Saxo - Could you share with us specifically what you determined to be similar between the SA112 and the Pearl, and what you liked better about the Pearl?
4musica, the SA112 and the Pearl sound like they were made by the same designer, because they have a similar sonic characteristic. The soundstages are close enough that you do not hear a big difference in how things are spread across the stage.

The treble range in both are extended, but don't have that piercing, laser like, dry sound like the Benchmark I had a long time ago. But, the Pearl makes high piercing massed brass (like trumpets w/trombones, w/saxophones) ensembles sound more as a massed group, and easier on the ears. It's hard to explain. Since I have ribbons, I hear all these details and extra brightness that recordings have. They are more pleasant to listen to. But this probably depends on your system.

The Pearl has something in the midrange that is very intoxicating. Although voices sound good on both units, in the Pearl a voice sounds more like all of the voice is coming out in one piece (?). Again this is hard to describe.

There seemed to be a bit more bass on the SA112, but it was confusing, because at times it seemed the Pearl bass was easier to follow, at other times not.

The headphone jack is really nice to have on the Pearl, and it sounds better than other headphone jacks I have found on equipment.
Saxo, thanks for the quick reply. I agree with you that differences in systems can reveal some things more or less, and make some aspects of the recording more or less tolerable. I continue to be amazed by the quality of Marantz gear for the $ spent.
The Pearl and the SA11 S2 are very close, the Sa11 2 I think is at least as good, I could easily live with either player.
after owning a arc cd3 mkll and a meridian go8,,my vote goes to the 11s2 which i now own,,,ater break in a good 3-400 hrs the sacd is superb,cd is excellent much detail smooth sound u can listen for hours with no fatigue,,this is a keeper ,,mated with a sm11s1 amp sc11s1 preamp
I thought I would add my revised thoughts here on these pieces. In the end, I was happy to keep my SA11S2. The transport is clearly superior to the Xyron transport in the Pearl, and I like having the balanced design of the SA11. The Pearl is single-ended, does not have coaxial, only Toslink (not important to me, but nice to have for future comparisons with DACs). The Pearl does not have the bass of the SA11, nor the dynamics, though it is a matter of degree and is still quite decent.

Don't be influenced by the statements of the reviewer who says the SA11. Its high end is not rolled off. It is a beautiful high end that deftly walks the tightrope of providing definition, but at the same time not being analytical, bright and overdefined. Nor is its sound 'boring.' I would describe it as having a naturally exciting sound that doesn't go over the top. To me, that's what someone looking for a well-balanced, natural sound is seeking. Listen to one.
I liked the Sa11 better than the pearl but each to their own likes.
It was interesting to read Fremer's review of the new $6500 Cary player. I read between the lines, and since I am familiar with all his reviews on the Carys, the Marantzs, etc., and don't agree with his assessment of the SA11, it appears he is making similar criticisms of the new Cary. Just a different twist as to how he chooses his words, but the same criticisms are there, just sugar-coated and presented in a milder fashion. It makes one wonder why one company seems treated differently than another. A reader needs to keep a perspective that reviewers are not the gods they think they are, or their readers believe they are.
My impression of Fremer's review of the Cary 303T was one of great praise! In
reading between the lines, he seems to prefer the player over the more expensive Cary 306 PRO. Fremer even seems to find the 303T as a lower-priced alternative to the 15K MPS-5 Playback Designs.
08-14-10: Lula
My impression of Fremer's review of the Cary 303T was one of great praise! In reading between the lines, he seems to prefer the player over the more expensive Cary 306 PRO.

I find this the "tube" effect. "It has tubes, so it certainly is better than non-tube players. But unfortunately it does not play vinyl.". Know what I mean?
I'm thrilled with the Pearl CDP. I think it's very detailed and sounds wonderful especially with acoustic productions, almost like I'm inside Eric Clapton's guitar.

I don't need balanced outs, and I'm sure there's a reason Mr Ishiwata chose a xylon (black) transport as opposed to using metal.

In the end, either player is a bargain on the used market - you can't go wrong.
I agree with your last comment wholeheartedly Jt3 They are amazing players for the money. I just tweeked my interconnects and wow, amazing. A friend made me a pair. they are amazing and sound great through the balanced connection. The music just hangs there if you know what I mean.
I just upgraded my sa11s2with sonic frontiers or hi-fi mod level 2.
It is amazing.
did you change the fuses?
it occurred to me that it is impossible to know the sound of any component. one listens to a stereo system. while each component contributes to the sound of a stereo system, introducing a new component into your stereo system does not provide sufficient information to identify absolutely what the new component sounds like. logic and mathematics supports this assertion.
Do what???
That was to Mr. Tennis