SA8001 vs. DAC (usual suspects)
Nov 7, 2008 at 11:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

xenithon

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Hi all. I wanted to ask if anyone has compared the Marantz SA8001 (or SA7001 KI - European version) to the popular DACs, such as the DA100, Aqvox, DA10, DAC-1 etc. Currently at a cross-roads debating whether to go solely computer-as-source or standalone player.

I buy all my music as CD so would either be playing back via CDP, or listening to lossless files ripped with EAC feeding a DAC. There have been a number of threads summing up that a player provides the tactile interaction and engagement with the music; the computer/DAC provides the convenience. In terms of SQ however I would like to know if anyone has done a head-to-head comparison.

I suppose the heart of the question is, has anyone compared the DAC performance of the SA8001 against one of the abovementioned DACs?

Cheers,
X
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 6:55 PM Post #2 of 15

clarke68

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Jim Austin compared the SA8001 to the Benchmark in Stereophile last October:

Quote:

To my ears, the SA8001 (in "Red Book" mode) was every bit the equal of the Benchmark DAC-1 (using the SA8001 as a transport) ... In long-term listening I really had no preference; some days I preferred one of these sources, on other days another. I don't believe these differences were real.


 
Nov 7, 2008 at 7:01 PM Post #3 of 15

silverrain

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It is mighty hard to beat the SA8001.

And the new SA8003 has a newer, updated DAC in it.

I am waiting for enough people to write comments on the SA8003 performance, before possibly "jumping ship" to the 8003.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 10:23 PM Post #5 of 15

clarke68

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I can't speak for the SA8001, but I got an SA8003 in for review earlier this week. At some point I'll schlep it over to my Benchmark-owning friend's house for a comparison, assuming he'll have me.

So far the unit sounds quite nice, but any component can fool you for a week.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 2:58 AM Post #6 of 15

shellylh

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I just got an SA8001 and have been listening to it for the last few days. I would definitely say that it holds it own against the Stello DA100. Unfortunately, I haven't really ABed the two, I have been having too much fun listening to the SA8001 (and diving into SACDs for the first time).
biggrin.gif
I have not heard the other DACs. Of course, I have never really liked using a computer as source. I usually use a CD player as a transport when using the DA100.

Quote:

Originally Posted by xenithon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi all. I wanted to ask if anyone has compared the Marantz SA8001 (or SA7001 KI - European version) to the popular DACs, such as the DA100, Aqvox, DA10, DAC-1 etc. Currently at a cross-roads debating whether to go solely computer-as-source or standalone player.

I buy all my music as CD so would either be playing back via CDP, or listening to lossless files ripped with EAC feeding a DAC. There have been a number of threads summing up that a player provides the tactile interaction and engagement with the music; the computer/DAC provides the convenience. In terms of SQ however I would like to know if anyone has done a head-to-head comparison.

I suppose the heart of the question is, has anyone compared the DAC performance of the SA8001 against one of the abovementioned DACs?

Cheers,
X



 
Nov 20, 2008 at 12:52 PM Post #7 of 15

Gradofan2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xenithon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Do you guys feel that the SA8001 would equal the performance of the +/- $1k DAC's mentioned? That is, in terms of analog output (RCA out of SA8001 versus RCA out of DAC's fed by a transport or PC).


Yes... it compares very well against much higher priced (and reportedly better) DACs. As I've noted previously, it sounds very much like my Cal Audio Delta Tube DAC, and my Monarchy M24 Tube DAC, which the reviewers compared favorably against $17,000 DACs. Though... I can "tune" my tube DACs a bit by rolling the tubes.

As reported earlier... the SA8001 is simply a "huge bargain," which you can be confident sounds virtually as good as most other digital sources available.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 5:40 PM Post #9 of 15

Gradofan2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xenithon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
GF2, I really appreciate all your input, but please stop using that line
biggrin.gif



Well... I was so impressed by the reviewers' comments about the M24 - that it compares favorably with such "high priced" digital sources - that I thought everyone would want to know that the M24 sounds so great for such a small investment. And... I never know, who has seen earlier posts - though, I'm pretty sure they may not have seen the reviews I referenced.

I'm a big supporter of "audio cheapskate bargains" - because, I believe such "high priced" audio components sound no better than very average priced units... or... only nominally better, if that.

That's also why I'm so impressed with the SA8001... an even bigger bargain than the M24! I've very surprised that Marantz produced such a great CDP that competes very well with their much higher priced units - though its not as "pretty."
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 1:00 AM Post #10 of 15

Spareribs

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Someday I'd like own a Marantz CD player. It sounds like a high end product. Plus I love the idea of owning a Marantz. It sounds cool too brotha.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 1:54 AM Post #11 of 15

Uncle Erik

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For what it's worth, I preferred the SA8001 to the Presonus Central Station. To be fair, I didn't run any tests or heavy A/B, it was just casually putting on music and listening. While the Central Station is a good piece of gear, it ended up unused and I sold it. I've listened to a few CD players, even expensive ones, and don't feel like I'm missing much with the SA8001. The SA8003 is tempting, but I'll hold back a few more generations for an upgrade.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 2:26 AM Post #12 of 15

Gradofan2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Spareribs /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Someday I'd like own a Marantz CD player. It sounds like a high end product. Plus I love the idea of owning a Marantz. It sounds cool too brotha.


Hey... today... is someday.

You can usually find the SA8001 on Audiogon, or elsewhere, for around $650.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 3:11 AM Post #13 of 15

Spareribs

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gradofan2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hey... today... is someday.

You can usually find the SA8001 on Audiogon, or elsewhere, for around $650.



Awesome price! Probably the best bargain in the audio world brotha.

chewie0ol.gif
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 5:11 AM Post #15 of 15

shellylh

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Not that I am interested in getting one since I am very happy with my SA8001, but where? I have only seen a refurbished SA8001 for that price (well, I actually haven't seen any refurbished SA8003's yet).

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevinvisionm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Or you can get the refurbished Marantz 8003 for $650


 

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