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Marantz SA15S1 versus SA8003

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Marantz SA15S1 and SA8003 are selling in my country at similar price level. The 15S1 is supposed to be the higher model but also older design. How do the two compare ?
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, Marantz just launched the new SA15S2 in its Japanese website.....
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeni View Post
Marantz SA15S1 and SA8003 are selling in my country at similar price level. The 15S1 is supposed to be the higher model but also older design. How do the two compare ?
The SA-15S1, wins hands down. These players are not even in the same league as far as sound quality. I have the SA8001, & had the SA8003 for comparison for a few weeks. I have not done a side by side on the 8001 vs. 15S1. I have read that the 8001 & the 15S1, are similar in sound quality. The 8003 is being pushed as an improvement over the 8001. This is far from the case. I would pick up the 15S1, even if it's a few hundred $ more. It is a superior unit.
post #4 of 13

The Reviews Say...

Yes... the reviews say the SA8001 sounds similar to the SA15S - can't justify the price difference... and... that the SA8003 does not sound as good as the SA8001 (has more harsh sound than SA8001).

The bargain is the SA8001 for around $630 - do a Google Search.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response.
I have heard the 8001 and SA15S1 side by side. To my ears the 15S1 has more of everthing, resolution, transparency, etc....but the 8001 has a rounder voice which some may prefer.
I have not heard the 8003 however. If it is true that it is not even at par with 8001 then the 15S1 is the way to go.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post
Yes... the reviews say the SA8001 sounds similar to the SA15S - can't justify the price difference... and... that the SA8003 does not sound as good as the SA8001 (has more harsh sound than SA8001).

The bargain is the SA8001 for around $630 - do a Google Search.
I wonder if some of the people that listen to the 8003, have turned-off the digital-out, as the manual suggests, in order to improve the analog output?
The 8001 does not have this feature, and the manual says that it is *important* to use it with the 8003, if not actually using the digital-out.

It just doesn't seem logical (or make sense) that Marantz would do a new model that is worse in some way. It has me puzzled, and I'm not willing to buy an 8003 just to find out for myself -- not at this time, anyway.
post #7 of 13

Interesting Point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverrain View Post
I wonder if some of the people that listen to the 8003, have turned-off the digital-out, as the manual suggests, in order to improve the analog output?
The 8001 does not have this feature, and the manual says that it is *important* to use it with the 8003, if not actually using the digital-out.

It just doesn't seem logical (or make sense) that Marantz would do a new model that is worse in some way. It has me puzzled, and I'm not willing to buy an 8003 just to find out for myself -- not at this time, anyway.
That's an interesting point - I don't know - the review comments I saw didn't note that.

I think the only other significant change was the SA8003 uses a different DAC chip. Its possible it has a brighter SQ, than the one in the SA8001.

Do you notice the sound improves and becomes less bright when you turn off the digital out?

Does the SA8001 have a similar switch / setting? How do you switch it on and off in the SA8003?
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post
That's an interesting point - I don't know - the review comments I saw didn't note that.

I think the only other significant change was the SA8003 uses a different DAC chip. Its possible it has a brighter SQ, than the one in the SA8001.

Do you notice the sound improves and becomes less bright when you turn off the digital out?

Does the SA8001 have a similar switch / setting? How do you switch it on and off in the SA8003?
NOT on the 8001 at all. I had one.

On the 8003, it is a button on the remote control, that cycles the digital-out on-or-off.

I read this stuff in the owner manual on the Marantz site.

Plus, somebody posted in another thread, that they heard a *distinct* change in SQ when they switched the digital on or off.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverrain View Post
I wonder if some of the people that listen to the 8003, have turned-off the digital-out, as the manual suggests, in order to improve the analog output?
The 8001 does not have this feature, and the manual says that it is *important* to use it with the 8003, if not actually using the digital-out.

It just doesn't seem logical (or make sense) that Marantz would do a new model that is worse in some way. It has me puzzled, and I'm not willing to buy an 8003 just to find out for myself -- not at this time, anyway.
Regarding your "doesn't seem logical" statement, I thought the same thing. After all, the 8001 was an improvement over the 8260, so why shouldn't we believe that the 8003 would be better than the 8001? I read an early review of the 8003, stating that Marantz possibly needed something to set the new units apart. Why make the new models sound similar, as they had with the SA-15S1 & 8001. It's hard to sell a unit for an extra grand, if reviews say they sound similar. Also, as the dealer stated, often times layout "just works", & even if it's better on paper, it's not always as pleasing to the ear. The 8003 boasts a new DAC, & the USB for uncompressed files is cool. However, I returned the 8003 after hours of comparison with the 8001. It's unfortunate the 8001 is discontinued.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
For those who prefer 8001 over 8003, just what did you or this early review found the 8003 to be falling short ?
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8001&8003 View Post
Regarding your "doesn't seem logical" statement, I thought the same thing. After all, the 8001 was an improvement over the 8260, so why shouldn't we believe that the 8003 would be better than the 8001?
Ah I remember at one point I wanted to purchase an 8260, and then almost did; but just almost.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeni View Post
For those who prefer 8001 over 8003, just what did you or this early review found the 8003 to be falling short ?
Greeni,

I don't know another way to point you there, but here is my opinion (previously posted).

Hey all,

New user here. I signed up to give my opinion of the SA8001 vs. SA8003. I did a lot of research prior to deciding on the 8001, & upon purchasing, loved the unit. It would not play some multi layer SACD discs. Since the 8001 was discontinued, Marantz offered the 8003 as a replacement, at that time not yet released. I purchased another 8001, concerned that the 8003 may not be an improvement. I was able to do side by side comparisons for about 3 weeks using Martin Logan speakers. The 8003 sounded less refined, much more harsh to my ears. Bass seemed much more muddy, and over driven. The Zylon disc tray is fancy plastic. Compared to the almost rubber type material used in the 8001 tray, I believe Zylon to be a downgrade. When a disc is loaded, you could hear the 8003 spin up from across the room. It was as noisy as my cdrom when burning discs. You could even hear it when selecting different songs. The 8001 is barely noticeable with an ear close to the unit. I sent the 8003 back even though I received it ($100 more retail) for the same price. The 8001 is a stellar unit. There is a very noticable difference in sound between the units, not to mention build quality. I proudly own the SA8001
post #13 of 13

Its Possible...

Its possible... maybe even probable... that Marantz realized the SA8001 was "too good." That it was competing with their higher priced units (e.g. SA15S, etc.).

The solution... discontinue the SA8001, and replace it with a unit that won't cost them sales of their higher priced units.

Whatever their motivation... I'm glad I got one of the SA8001s.
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