NO Marantz SACD players factory out-of-phase

This refers to the USA models. The manual describes that Marantz shipped the SACD in 2 XLR balance configurations: USA and European. USA shipments are shipped in "European", which means XLR Pin 2 is Cold (-ve). 90% of high-end XLR wirings are wired for Pin 2 hot (+ve phase).

I must admit my tin ear must have slipped and didn't discover this after listening and complaining that the Marantz sounded not as good as my outboard DAC in redbook. BECAUSE MARANTZ COMES WITH THE PHASE REVERSED!

Putting the phase back to Pin-2 hot:

1) Hardware swap the XLR pins. Doable in SA-1, but not in SA14, as SA14 uses PCB mounted XLR.
2) Order special XLR cable that flips the polarity.
3) The lucky people that has preamp with a phase-switch.
4) Switch the speaker cable polarity.

Then, sell your external DAC and pocket the change ....

As a side line, remember one of the 'golden' (or tinned) ear reviewers saying that he heard no difference between SONY SCD-1 and Marantz SA-1. Well, the 2 players are 180-degree out-of-phase! What a review that was!

RCA users need not worry, as the RCA's are wired in-phase.
Don't feel bad about your tin ear, Extremephono. You'll have lots of company. Anyone who says he can hear and identify recorded music played back in reverse polarity, IMO, is blowing smoke. I defy anyone to hear it.

The drivers are oscillating at 1000's of times per second and someone can tell us that they are pushing when they should be pulling, or pulling when they should be pushing? Highly unlikely!

As long as the drivers from each speaker are pushing together or pulling together, that is the important thing to worry about.
Well, not really. There IS a difference in sound, but its subtle and not obvious without a/b.
I have headphones with polarity switches. I can't hear it. This is one thing that I think SHOULD be tested with A/B testing. It would be interesting to see what percentage of the audiophile population who believe in this polarity gobbledygook could identify it correctly and what percentage of the time.
Even though the recordings are probably 50% recorded in one phase or the other, keeping consistency in playback equipment will probably put the grounding topology in proper perspective, unless there're some serious grounding issue else where.

I can still hear a cleaner background, less fatigue after I keep the phase consistent.

BTW, the RCA output sounded much better than XLR even after I put the XLR in phase for comparison. Cables are identical design but in XLR and RCA respectivvely for fair comparison.