Dave’s Faves – Marantz SA-10

Marantz SA-10, SACD/CD Player, $7000

Marantz SA-10

Marantz’s SA-10 is flat out the best disc player I’ve ever heard. No equivocation is necessary. SA-10 sets new standards for what you can derive from silver discs!

While not the cheapest date in town, sometimes you have to face the music. You get what you pay for.

When I look back at the history of CD/SACD, I remember when you had to spend $9k to get a state of the art transport and DAC. It was expensive in the late 80s. But that’s the $ it took to eclipse everyone else. If you’re devoted to silver discs, as I am, please consider an SA-10.

For openers, your sound is only as good as your source. If you can up your game in the disc player, each component in the chain, including the loudspeakers, will benefit. If your negative is clear, you can blow it up into a poster and the poster will be clear too.

I need silver discs in my life for a myriad of reasons. First of all, I love music. Not all the music I want is available via MQA streaming. If it was… this issue might be moot. But it isn’t. The music label Hyperion isn’t available on Tidal or other streaming services. I cannot live without its great roster of pianists. Marc Andre Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough, Nicolai Demidenko and many others record for Hyperion. They’ve got us over a barrel. I will gladly buy their discs.

Next, meta data through streaming sites SUXXX for classical music. Often, movements don’t play in order. The performer comes up as Beethoven. The work comes up as Allegro. Really? NOT GOOD ENOUGH! I would much prefer to toss on my disc, play it through and read the notes. By the way, it’s good for you to get off your dead keister every once in a while.

If you love music, there will be many things you want, that you cannot stream. Hopefully you can find that music on SACD, CD or vinyl. This is why you want to cover all bases. Back to SA-10.

Marantz wanted to make its ultimate statement on the disc format. SA-10 is a start from a clean sheet. It doesn’t use a generic drive LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Marantz created its own! It doesn’t use any number of perfectly fine DACs. Marantz created its own MMM system to BETTER any existing array of DAC chips. In short, you are not listening through a DAC chip! You are listening to Marantz’s upsampled 11.2MHz stream/conversion system.

The benefit of all this attention is that you’ll get the best detail and transient attack you’ve ever heard. You’ll feel the space of the hall the music was recorded in. You hear depth and ambiance in spades.

In short, there is more quality on your discs than you ever knew. Marantz’s SA-10 plays CDs and SACDs to their fullest capability.

Marantz SA-10-rear