DAC or Marantz SA8001?
Nov 15, 2008 at 4:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

jclaytonsound

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Hello everyone,

I currently have a NAD C542 (and Philips DVP-642 DVD Player), running into a Rockhopper Mini3. Cans are Sennheiser HD600 (also AKG 501 and Beyer DT770 Pro). Interconnects are Blue Jeans.

I am unhappy with the NAD, and I have been looking at the Marantz SA8001 for an upgrade. Also, I have been contemplating just buying a DAC and using the Philips DVD as a transport. I have been finding myself needing a USB DAC more and more recently, so the DAC could be an all-in-one solution if it has USB inputs as well as coax / optical. The new Cambridge DACMagic springs to mind.

Opinions on this? Anyone compared a DAC with a cheap transport vs the Marantz SA8001?

Budget is preferably under $600 (could be stretched a bit for the Marantz).

Thanks in advance.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 6:28 PM Post #2 of 14

Gradofan2

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The SA8001 is very, very hard to beat for less than $1000+.

I like my Cal Audio Delta / Monarchy M24 better... but... its a lot more costly... and the SA8001 is very close in many respects.

I doubt you'll find anything for less that comes anywhere close to the SA8001.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 8:29 PM Post #3 of 14

cAsE sEnSiTiVe

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For under a grand, my choice would be a used Meridian 508.24. It takes a player like the SA8001 to town. I have owned both, and still own the Marantz. I was ultimately disappointed in it. It works well for burning in new headphones though.
tongue_smile.gif
Otherwise it would have been out on its butt by now.

The nice thing about the Meridian is you get balanced outs as well.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 12:09 PM Post #4 of 14

jclaytonsound

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Anyone happened to compare the new Cambridge Audio DACMagic to the Marantz SA8001 yet?
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 4:04 PM Post #5 of 14

Uncle Erik

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I found the SA8001 better than the DAC I had, mostly because it didn't pick up noise and gremlins from the computer. I've found the unit to be smooth and natural sounding - check the measurements in its Stereophile review - you'll see impressive numbers and a class A rating. I've only had limited listens to Meridian units, but I haven't been at all impressed by them. Probably just personal preference.

It's over your budget, but you might consider the new SA8003. It has a USB input so you can use it as both a DAC and a CD player. I haven't heard one yet, but am thinking about an upgrade. It would be nice to jack the computer into it.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 4:58 PM Post #6 of 14

smuh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...

It's over your budget, but you might consider the new SA8003. It has a USB input so you can use it as both a DAC and a CD player. I haven't heard one yet, but am thinking about an upgrade. It would be nice to jack the computer into it.



Are you sure it can be used as a DAC or that it can play MP3 and WMA files that are on a USB stick? I think that's what Marantz has implemented.

If it is indeed a USB DAC then at least I would have prefered the input to be on the back of the unit, but that would not prevent me from buying it.
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 6:40 PM Post #8 of 14

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xenithon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Unfortunately it cannot be used as a DAC, no. It can only play files on USB media.


I haven't seen a unit yet, but the Music Direct catalog that arrived yesterday says that it will work with an iPod. I would think you could connect it directly to a computer, too. And if it only reads USB devices, why not jack in a USB 500GB external hard drive with a lossless library?
 
Nov 26, 2008 at 9:11 PM Post #9 of 14

djork

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I haven't seen a unit yet, but the Music Direct catalog that arrived yesterday says that it will work with an iPod. I would think you could connect it directly to a computer, too. And if it only reads USB devices, why not jack in a USB 500GB external hard drive with a lossless library?


With no GUI, you'll be at a loss on how to navigate your 500 GB with the remote.
 
Nov 26, 2008 at 10:06 PM Post #10 of 14

shellylh

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I feel that my SA8001 is just as good as my Transport + Stello (and better on high quality SACDs). If you are going to be playing cds, then go for the SA8001 and don't mess with having a DAC and transport! I bought an SA8001 for my bedroom setup and decided to use it in my main rig because I liked it so much (I moved my Stello DA100 to my bedroom setup).

You can usually get the SA8001 used or refurbished for around $600. Actually, either of the two: Stello DA100 or SA8001 are really good and hard to beat for the price (unless you are looking for a source with balanced outputs).

Quote:

Originally Posted by jclaytonsound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hello everyone,

I currently have a NAD C542 (and Philips DVP-642 DVD Player), running into a Rockhopper Mini3. Cans are Sennheiser HD600 (also AKG 501 and Beyer DT770 Pro). Interconnects are Blue Jeans.

I am unhappy with the NAD, and I have been looking at the Marantz SA8001 for an upgrade. Also, I have been contemplating just buying a DAC and using the Philips DVD as a transport. I have been finding myself needing a USB DAC more and more recently, so the DAC could be an all-in-one solution if it has USB inputs as well as coax / optical. The new Cambridge DACMagic springs to mind.

Opinions on this? Anyone compared a DAC with a cheap transport vs the Marantz SA8001?

Budget is preferably under $600 (could be stretched a bit for the Marantz).

Thanks in advance.



 
Nov 26, 2008 at 11:23 PM Post #11 of 14

smuh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...
And if it only reads USB devices, why not jack in a USB 500GB external hard drive with a lossless library?



I tried that with another player that offered same/similar functionality and browsing through my music collection was just slllllllooooooooooooooowwwwww
wink.gif
And it seems the Marantz only takes WMA and MP3 files from USB discs... at least thats what the Marantz website is telling me.
OTOH that does not make the player sound worse playing CD's
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 3:30 AM Post #12 of 14

shellylh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smuh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I tried that with another player that offered same/similar functionality and browsing through my music collection was just slllllllooooooooooooooowwwwww
wink.gif
And it seems the Marantz only takes WMA and MP3 files from USB discs... at least thats what the Marantz website is telling me.
OTOH that does not make the player sound worse playing CD's
smily_headphones1.gif



According to the member truelies, the SA8003 can play apple lossless. This is not stated on the Marantz website. He/she did say it was very difficult to browse the music on his/her ipod.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/4845423-post11.html
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 3:41 AM Post #13 of 14

Greeni

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Dec 2, 2008 at 11:05 PM Post #14 of 14

jclaytonsound

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Thanks everyone for the advice...I decided to go with the SA8001. Bought one only two months old on Audiogon for a good deal. Can't wait for it to arrive!
 

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