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2 new top Marantz Dacs and other Marantz novelties.

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

For those who don't know, I'm not only a fan of TOTL closed dynamic Japanese headphones but also of B&W and Marantz gear.

 

Now Marantz has 2 exciting new DACs coming up in their Premium range this year, one in July and one in October. Their "Premium Range" is the higher priced/end range as opposed to their normal range "The Range" which contains the lower priced devices as well as thei A/V gear.

 

The first one is the SA-11S3, actually an SACD player with optical, coaxial and USB inputs so it can act as a dac. Asynchronous USB input up to 192/24 and a secont front USB input for portable players or USB sticks. XLR and RCA out as well as a claimed quality headphone out. Price is 4000€.

 

The second on is the NA-11S1, a Dac with newtork player, AirPlay and Internet Radio. Maybe FM/AM tuner as well but that isn't confirmed yet. Again, optical, coaxial and async 192/24 USB plus second front USB. XLR and RCA out and the same HP out. Price is 3000€.

 

Their statement about the HP out could be true going by my experience with the NA7004 ("The Range" version of the NA-11S1) I have and SA8400 I had.

Both devices will have fixed outputs, they are not preamps.

 

There also will be a PM-11S3 integrated amp which is an update of their current PM-11S2 and that one is already quite a beast. Price 4000€, availability July.

 

In the range there will be a UD7007, their newest universal disc player that plays evything, DVD-Audio, SACD, BluRay, .... Price 1100€, availability October.

 

Instead of pics I give you a video this time.

 

Man, this will be an expensive year for me!  ;)

 

 

 

Everything available in black as well.

 

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=8703.0;attach=7849;image

post #2 of 48
What makes these different from the SA8004? And is this the same as "Reference Line" in the US?
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yep, same as reference line.
Main differences:
The pprice wink.gif
NA11 is also a network player, has AirPlay and internet radio
SA8004 is 96/24, not async and has only one output
Two outputs might be useful for people who want two use two headphone amps (like tube ans SS) or a headphone amp + speaker amp.
Reference series have higher quality components overall than the normal range.

Go listen to a PM8004, PM KI Pearl LIte, PM15, PM KI Pearl and PM11 and you will hear the increase in SQ step by step each time. I did exactly that with various pairs of B&W speakers on different occasions. I could blindfolded tell you if it's an 8004/Pearl-Lite, 15, Pearl or 11 if it's on the same speakers and thwy are speakers I know. The difference between the 8004 and Pearl-Lite I would have trouble with though.
I have been auditioning Marantz and B&W for years since the dealer is a friend of mine, so that could have something to do with it as well.

But still, the 8004 is one hell of a player for it's price, as was the 8400 I had before, the first SACD player they made if I'm right but it was too high priced at the time.
post #4 of 48
I'm not familiar with any of those models; I've never heard of "KI Pearl" or similar - here's what I can buy/see:
http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductListing.aspx?CatId=ReferenceSeries

And I've never seen anything (from Marantz) above the SA8004 in person. Relatively obscure "high end" components IME. B&W on the other hand, there's at least four shops near me that can source their entire product ranges. Go figure. rolleyes.gif

Did a bit of looking on the Marantz UK site, and the KI Pearl looks like the SA-11S2 without balanced outputs and a black face, sort of like a cross between the SA8004 and SA-11S2.

What separates the "Lite" from the 8004? (I'm really curious now, this is like finding a "hidden level"!)
Edited by obobskivich - 5/11/12 at 7:45pm
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 

On te linked page you sent me the black 15 Limiteds are just a 15 in black with some minor upgrades but not really audible.

The Pearl has nothing to do with the 11, it's essentially a highly upgraded and tuned 15. Compared to the 15 it adds depth to the soundstage and a bit of the typical Marantz mid-warmth the 15 lacks. The 11 improves even more on the soundstage and is clearer than the Pearl. 

 

The Pearl-Lites are upgraded and tuned 8004s but the difference between them is much smaller than between a 15 and Pearl. IMO the Pearl-lite concept is a marketing move based on the success of the real Pearls.

 

I am talking about the amps here since I hardly audition CD players, I use Mac + Dac and the only drives I have are either in my computers or my BluRay player.

When I go audition amps I pick one pair of speakers and one CD player and switch between the amps.

 

That said, I can confirm that the Marantz players (SA8400, SA8004, NA7004, SA-KI Pearl) have really good headphone outputs. If one is on a budget they can skip a dedicated SS headphone amp IMO. Tube HP amps are a different matter though. So an SA8400 with a tube HP amp connected to the outputs would make for a nice headphone setup.

Keep in mind though that I use low impedance high sensitivity phones, so this might not work well with LCD's but it was still good with HD800s and 650s.

 

All my biased Marantz fanboy opinion of course, but I came across a thread here on HF while Googling where more people were rather happy with the phones out of the Marantz amps. I just seem to like their sound signature compared to the cold and harsh (to my ears) Rotels for example.

post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

That said, I can confirm that the Marantz players (SA8400, SA8004, NA7004, SA-KI Pearl) have really good headphone outputs. If one is on a budget they can skip a dedicated SS headphone amp IMO. Tube HP amps are a different matter though. So an SA8400 with a tube HP amp connected to the outputs would make for a nice headphone setup.

Keep in mind though that I use low impedance high sensitivity phones, so this might not work well with LCD's but it was still good with HD800s and 650s.

 

Agreed! The SA8004 did surprisingly well with the LCD2s. One can certainly do better, but for $1k, it's a serious one piece solution.

post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obzilla View Post

 

Agreed! The SA8004 did surprisingly well with the LCD2s. One can certainly do better, but for $1k, it's a serious one piece solution.

Ah, just like the Senns did then. They were still better with my P-1u and HA5000ANV though. But for the cans I still have left now there isn't much difference.

post #8 of 48

Do you guys know about Marantz's irritating XLR scheme though?

 

It uses the old american standard or something, with inverted positive and negative. So if you don't have a source that can compensate for that with an option to switch the polarities (majority of cases, since AFAIK Marantz is the only brand still using this old standard), you'll have to make do with the RCA because balanced will give you out of phase sound. Of course you can build your own balanced cable and invert the polarities on one end yourself, but that's too much of a hassle.

 

This is really annoying, I'm using demanding speakers - they recquire something significantly better than the PM-11S2, but for now it'll have to do - and could use the balanced connection's higher voltage.

post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Drummond View Post

Do you guys know about Marantz's irritating XLR scheme though?

 

It uses the old american standard or something, with inverted positive and negative. So if you don't have a source that can compensate for that with an option to switch the polarities (majority of cases, since AFAIK Marantz is the only brand still using this old standard), you'll have to make do with the RCA because balanced will give you out of phase sound. Of course you can build your own balanced cable and invert the polarities on one end yourself, but that's too much of a hassle.

 

This is really annoying, I'm using demanding speakers - they recquire something significantly better than the PM-11S2, but for now it'll have to do - and could use the balanced connection's higher voltage.

 

They use the US standard indeed. But some of their devices have a polarity switch, I don't know if it's the new SA/NAs or the new PM that I read that about.

My P-1u uses the US standard as well but has a polarity switch. Same for the Luxman DA-200, My TEAC dac uses the European standard but with the switch on the P-1u that was no problem.

My Balanced Zana uses the US standard as well. So it seems that the European standard is the more obsolete one to me.

Does anyone have details on the EAR HP4 balanced inputs?

post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

 

They use the US standard indeed. But some of their devices have a polarity switch, I don't know if it's the new SA/NAs or the new PM that I read that about.

My P-1u uses the US standard as well but has a polarity switch. Same for the Luxman DA-200, My TEAC dac uses the European standard but with the switch on the P-1u that was no problem.

My Balanced Zana uses the US standard as well. So it seems that the European standard is the more obsolete one to me.

Does anyone have details on the EAR HP4 balanced inputs?


That's interesting... when I asked this question in a Brazilian AV forum people told me that the american standard is obsolete and there aren't any other significant brands using it, but Luxman is quite a big name, and Craig wouldn't be using it nowadays without good reason, I suppose. Sounds like I'm ill-informed. Thanks for clarifying it, AppleheadMay. However, Luxman and Marantz's Reference products are japanese, as well as TEAC, so maybe it's a japanese thing to follow the american standard? How are other american brands like, for instance McIntosh?

 

In any case, this doesn't make the fact that there are two standards any less annoying. My DAC doesn't have a polarity switch unfortunately. However, after reading this in the afternoon I felt motivated and resoldered the pins inverting the polarity in an old XLR I had lying around, and now it's all balanced!

post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 

Teac, Classe and Macintosh are using the European standard which is pin 3 cold or "-".

Marantz and Luxman are using the American standard which is pin 3 hot or "+".

You can usually check that before you buy by downloading a manual or back panel drawing of the device you want.

 

So I really don't know what it depends on. As with many things, multiple standards are usually annoying.

post #12 of 48

Just gonna chime in and say that the SA8004 is a great all in one solution for Head-fiers. It's the component I recommend the most for building a system around. 

 

The amp section is great with the LCD 2s.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obzilla View Post

 

Agreed! The SA8004 did surprisingly well with the LCD2s. One can certainly do better, but for $1k, it's a serious one piece solution.

post #13 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Just gonna chime in and say that the SA8004 is a great all in one solution for Head-fiers. It's the component I recommend the most for building a system around. 

The amp section is great with the LCD 2s.

Agreed and really affordable for what it offers.

But for those who want to spend more and go into high-end the SA-11S3 would be the equivalent of the SA8004. Higher quality parts and Dac (hopefully the phones out as well), 192/24 async, XLR + RCA output which gives more options for adding a tube headphone amp or a tube HP amp + integrated for speakers.

Some of that can be done with the SA8004 as well of course, but not all of it.
Edited by AppleheadMay - 5/13/12 at 10:49am
post #14 of 48

I wasn't really looking for a new CD spinner anytime soon but that's an attractive package. I've always had a weakness for Marantz gear back to their 2238 days.

 

Some of my favorite vintage gear right there.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post


Agreed and really affordable for what it offers.
But for those who want to spend more and go into high-end the SA-11S3 would be the equivalent of the SA8004. Higher quality parts and Dac (hopefully the phones out as well), 192/24 async, XLR + RCA output which gives more options for adding a tube headphone amp or a tube HP amp + integrated for speakers.
Some of that can be done with the SA8004 as well of course, but not all of it.
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 

There's also the NA11, that has the same Dac, no CD but streaming and airplay as well as Internet radio and maybe aFM/AM as well.

 

If you fancy a PM-14MKII KI I know someone in NL that sells one for 1000€. He has the matching tuner as well. 230V though so convertor needed for you.

I just decided not to take it and go for 70ies vintage instead.

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