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Rega Saturn vs Meridian G08: what are the sonic differences? - Page 6

post #76 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
Rega's are a bit thin in the field over here in Japan. Regardless, reading reviews, all have stated the extreme detail this player digs out of CDs, while still - I guess it could be said - retaining it's "analogue sound". If anyone would like to speak to this point I would be appreciative (as I'm sure others would too) because this player is on a short list for me when I get back.
Did you mean thin as in sparse in Japan - not many of them?

BTW what is considered the best Japanese CDP?


'Thin' in describing the sound can mean different things.


Thin, as in neutral - lacking coloration (where such coloration yields a false tone body that lends some unnatural richness to the tone body).

Thin, as in lacking tone body information, with a lack of resolution of tone body nuances (like the SA5000 headphone or like many SS amps compared to many tube amps with the best tubes).

Thin, as in lacking fullness, where fullness means the tone expands in the soundstage but with a blurred edge to give a focused and compact 3-D image with empty air surrounding the tone body.


Two out of three of these 'thin' meanings are bad (though often interpreted as good by many).
post #77 of 95
I guess I do not see what all the hub-bub is about. If the Saturn competes well with the Meridian G-08, such that there is no clear winner, and is a mid-fi product, is that not a good thing? I consider my modded Eastsound E-5 a mid-fi product, but I preferred it , after extensive comparison in my system to my G-08, and I consider that a good thing. I consider the G-08 a budget product in a high-end line and the Saturn a flagship product in a mid-end line. That does not denigrate either product and in my mind is a good thing as disc players in general seem to be rapidly improving. <Flame Suit ON>
post #78 of 95

asdf

Sorry for the slight delay. For whatever reason this thread came up as nothing new posted until I checked it looking for something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drarthurwells View Post
Did you mean thin as in sparse in Japan - not many of them?
I meant "thin" as in sparse. I was trying to write with some flurrish. Text postings don't always communicate that. Sometimes the North American stuff makes it over, but European stuff barely ever does. B&W speakers are probably an exception and JBL has good a reputation in Japan. Since the booming 80s, when every Japanese had money, the domestic hi-fi companies have been pretty healthy and industry leading. Especially if your tastes swing to the exotic side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drarthurwells View Post
BTW what is considered the best Japanese CDP?.
While the 3-box Esotectic has to be at the very top, (transport, DAC and external clock), the whole Marantz line is very strong, especially at the prices they sell for in Japan. Their stuff even sometimes goes on sale! I have heard a complete Accuphase system too, with Arcolink ICs and custom build speakers. Very nice top-shelf stuff. It's a shame the Japanese never seem to turn up their stereos. The Accuphase DP-500 is lengendary as a stand alone CD player but may not click with everyones sonic tastes. I wouldn't even consider Onkyo and Denon, if one can get Marantz.

Back to the OP:

I had a chance to listen to the G08 years ago in Edmonton through maggies and it just sounded so musical. I remember it well; very liquid and smooth. But technology marches ever onward, making this hobby great for the everyman. I'm impressed that the Saturn is in such company. The Apollo didn't sound so impressive form the reviews but the Saturn seems like an improvement and might be up my alley for the price.

I'm hoping for my rig it will be detailed AND slightly warm, with good bass characteristics. I'll have a listen next year.
post #79 of 95
I thought it was Denon and Marantz that were owned by the same company...
post #80 of 95
You are correct tako_tsubo! Post edited! I knew it was one or the other.

I'm guessing the Denon will become closer to Marantz, or visa versa, in the future. That could be good or bad depending on a million different factors.
post #81 of 95
Actually the top Esoteric is a 4 box solution (though 1 box, the clock is optional) but it consists of Transport (P-01) and two mono-DACs(D-01s). I think the transport and the two DACs msrp for something like over 50k or more? I forget. While the P-03/D-03 which is one step down can be had for ~25k.
post #82 of 95
Hmm. The 3-box is what I must have seen. I love their high-end clock. It's only a step away from an atomic clock! hahah. That cracks me up.
post #83 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
Hmm. The 3-box is what I must have seen. I love their high-end clock. It's only a step away from an atomic clock! hahah. That cracks me up.
An atomic clock is in the regon of 1 millionth of a second accurate.
post #84 of 95
It's late in Japan so I will keep this brief. By "step away" I mean it's about as close and accurate to an atomic clock us mere mortals will ever get. It uses the element Rubidium and is refrigerated and stuff. It's just great audiophile excess! I love it!

http://www.teac.com/esoteric/G-0Rb.html
post #85 of 95
Fixed link to Esoteric master clock:
http://www.teac.com/esoteric/G-0Rb.html
post #86 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by daltonlanny View Post
bhd812,
Sure, I understand your point and what you are saying very clearly, but...on the other hand, many folks will totally disagree with you when you state that the Meridian G08 is in "a different league" than the Saturn, or that the Saturn is "mid-fi" compared to the G08.
As you have read on this thread there are several people who have stated that they actually PREFER the Saturn to the $1,600.00 [at least] more expensive G08.
Since that is true, I would have to disagree with you that the G08 is in a higher class or in "a different league" than the Saturn.
The right thing to say would have been that the Saturn and the G08 are "basically in the same class, just different".
I also personally know several people who actually prefer the Saturn to either the Ayre CX-7e, or the Esoteric DV-50, among others.
There are also several people who would disagree with you when you state that the top Arcam or Naim players are "mid-fi" as well.
I still feel that the Saturn is a so called "mid-fi" bargain, especially considering what I paid for a brand new unit, compared to all the exotic "hi-fi" players you mentioned.
Furthermore, I still think the lowly Rega Apollo is "hi-fi" compared to most all players in its price class and even above. I would not call it "mid-fi" at all.
And I feel that calling players that are ranked very highly by their reputation, owners, and reviewers for that matter, "mid-fi", is unfair and rather snobbish.
Again, as I said before, to each his own.

You know, I couldn't care less about labels, here. People will always want to label this...label that and try to catagorize stuff.

If they want to call it "mid-fi", it certainly has no bearing or influence on how much I love my Apollos and Saturn. Nor will it change what I hear. I mean, why would I give a rat's ass? I don't need a "Hi-Fi/High-End" label to boost my ego, reaffirm a superiority or elitist complex or to justify the amount of money I spent on any component or piece of gear.

When matched well with other components for some sweet synergy; these two Rega players are hard to beat......if their sound is one's preference/cup of tea.

It can be fun to sit in here.... goof around and take good-natured jabs at each other, all day long. But ultimately, we all know what we as individuals prefer in terms of sound, from our respective systems. So it hardly matters what anyone else thinks about it or what they want to label them.

Dollars and sense.

Now, who wants a Quarter Pounder with extra Cheeeeeeeese
post #87 of 95
hahahah... Forgot the "l." thx dark.
post #88 of 95
daltonlanny, you might not perceive Rega as a brand or the Saturn specifically as mid-fi, but serious audiophiles outside of Head-Fi do consider the Saturn mid-fi. I'm not sure it's appropriate to call the Rega brand mid-fi, but the Saturn does fall into that category, from the perspective of the audiophile crowd. <$1K CDPs are almost always termed "entry-level." $1K-$5K most often are mid-fi, or something along those lines. Considering CDPs can run all the way up to $20K (or more), I think it's a fair way to call things too - mid-fi has to fall somewhere and considering how expensive these machines get, that's going to have to be a somewhat decent price bracket.

I saw earlier in the thread something about Arcam/NAD/Rotel etc being mid-fi and Meridian/Esoteric/Accuphase/Ayre/Mark Levinson being in the next bracket. I'm going to have to agree with that. Arcam's highest-level CDP, the FMJ CD36, is only $2K now. NAD's highest-level is the M5, $1.8K. Music Hall's Maverick is $1.5K. Cambridge Audio's Azur 840C is $1375. And then there's the Saturn at $2.4K. These are all good CDPs of course, but their prices, finishes/chassis, target market, etc, don't make them worthy of being in the really hi-fi class, regardless of how good they actually sound.

Machines like the Accuphase DP-78, Marantz SA-7S1, Ayre C-5xe (or DX-7e), Meridian 808 (or G08 as the case might be) are all above $5K, and they look like it too, and they're all built for the truly high-end market.
post #89 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
daltonlanny, you might not perceive Rega as a brand or the Saturn specifically as mid-fi, but serious audiophiles outside of Head-Fi do consider the Saturn mid-fi. I'm not sure it's appropriate to call the Rega brand mid-fi, but the Saturn does fall into that category, from the perspective of the audiophile crowd. <$1K CDPs are almost always termed "entry-level." $1K-$5K most often are mid-fi, or something along those lines. Considering CDPs can run all the way up to $20K, I think it's a fair way to call things too - mid-fi has to fall somewhere and considering how expensive these machines get, that's going to have to be a somewhat decent price bracket.

I saw earlier in the thread something about Arcam/NAD/Rotel etc being mid-fi and Meridian/Esoteric/Accuphase/Ayre/Mark Levinson being in the next bracket. I'm going to have to agree with that. Arcam's highest-level CDP, the FMJ CD36, is only $2K now. NAD's highest-level is the M5, $1.8K. Music Hall's Maverick is $1.5K. Cambridge Audio's Azur 840C is $1375. And then there's the Saturn at $2.4K. These are all good CDPs of course, but their prices, finishes/chassis, target market, etc, don't make them worthy of being in the really hi-fi class, regardless of how good they actually sound.

Machines like the Accuphase DP-78, Marantz SA-7S1, Ayre C-5xe (or DX-7e), Meridian 808 (or G08 as the case might be) are all above $5K, and they look like it too, and they're all built for the truly high-end market.
I think we have our lexicon of audio a little mixed here. Hi-Fi or High Fidelity, which defines as the best possible sound production (or relatively best within reasonable means), is arguably different from Hi-End, which is not so easily defined, but rather suggests a certain level of monetary outlay accompanied by certain level of exclusiveness.

Ok. now we have our terms straightened out, lets apply those term to the issue at hand; and that is how do we characterize Rega Saturn as a CDP amongst all other CDP, which can range anywhere from $10 to $50k and beyond.

So we look to some reference, or reviews, to give us the objective meaning of Hi-Fi. Saturn is rated Class A in Stereophile (once again relative objectiveness here), which, at least in one published occasion, defines Saturn as a CDP that can achieve the best possible sound reproduction. Now, whether that reproduction is to the liking of one person vs another is the subjective definition of what 'Hi-Fi' is and that's hard to determine with any certainty.

So if Rega Saturn is Hi-Fi, how do we differentiate it from player that cost $10k, 20k? Well, we call those CDP 'Hi-End'. 'Hi-End' doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend $10k+. There are various levels of Hi-End. For example, amplifier that's in the $3k-5k are called entry level Hi-End amplifiers, and amp that's $25k and beyond are just that - Hi-End.

If we apply the above lexicon to our problem at hand, we can successfully define Rega Saturn as a Hi-Fi CDP, but at the same time its an entry level Hi-End CDP.
post #90 of 95
Sure there's a difference between hi-fi and high end. However, I personally believe that there is a difference in sound a 25k transport/dac combo has over something in the 2-3k range. I believe I've heard the difference. Whether or not you have or you believe me is your choice.

So if you set the bar for hi-fi sound at the Stereophile class A level aka the level a 2-3k component can reach, well then where would you classify the sound a 25k source can achieve? Still hi-fi? Seems kind of broad. Maybe to your ears they are on the same level, but my personal experience puts quite a few notches in between the two. So personally I need a different classification for the two levels of sound. So my two choices are to label the higher end set up hi-fi or produce a new nomenclature perhaps "Ultra-Fi" but that really borders on hyperbole for me... so snobbish as it is, I'll cede the "hi-fi" title to where sources are clearly a couple notches up from the Saturn's sound where the G08 is by my measure.

As I despise the G08 I'd definitely put it at the border of what I call hi-fi and mid-fi and the Saturn at the high end of mi-fi right at the same border. Shrug. That's me though. If you don't even believe that a source can make much more of a difference past a Saturn no matter how much money you throw at the problem and to some degree you have verified this with quality listening... then sure I see no problem with you labeling the Saturn as hi-fi.
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