Marantz SACD players

Alex P79

Active Member
Drive mechanism failed. Replaced under warranty, was away less than a week. Fantastic service from Marantz customer services via Sounds United the parent company. Been playing perfect ever since.

Bought it online from a company that went belly up and I contacted Marantz directly. The Sounds United company organised the repair drop off at my local AudioT.

Many thanks, I will see what the player gets bid up to and see whether it is worth purchasing over one 'without' issues.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
I know you said early on that you didn’t think a player that also did network playback would be a good idea in case your father accidentally hit the wrong button and got confused, but looking at the Arcam CDS50, they’re only £699 new and there is no ‘wrong button’ to hit on the fascia. If all he’s doing is inserting discs and hitting play/stop/FWD/REV, he shouldn’t be able to go wrong. Just another option.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
It went for £385 which could have been a bargain or may have owed me another £200+ once fixed. Had it been £300 or less it may have been different. Once the price gets to £600 or more then a new Denon may be the best option. I will keep an eye open.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
I know you said early on that you didn’t think a player that also did network playback would be a good idea in case your father accidentally hit the wrong button and got confused, but looking at the Arcam CDS50, they’re only £699 new and there is no ‘wrong button’ to hit on the fascia. If all he’s doing is inserting discs and hitting play/stop/FWD/REV, he shouldn’t be able to go wrong. Just another option.
Thanks. Worth considering if they are straightforward to use.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
i was looking to upgrade my CD player next and given I’ve recently invested in a new Arcam SA30 and I (maybe stupidly) like to match the brands, the CDS50 is the only current new option. The thing that is putting me off actually is the network streaming capability, which I already have in the SA30....seems daft to me that Arcam don’t have a player only option in their line up now, you’d think without chucking the kitchen sink at it for the network streaming they could come up with an even better CD/SACD for the same sort of money The denon 1600 is also on my radar, but at present I don’t own a single SACD so thinking I’d be better served by a more capable dedicated CDP and stream for the hi-res stuff

will be interested to hear what you end up doing and your opinions when you get sorted so watching the thread :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
i was looking to upgrade my CD player next and given I’ve recently invested in a new Arcam SA30 and I (maybe stupidly) like to match the brands, the CDS50 is the only current new option. The thing that is putting me off actually is the network streaming capability, which I already have in the SA30....seems daft to me that Arcam don’t have a player only option in their line up now, you’d think without chucking the kitchen sink at it for the network streaming they could come up with an even better CD/SACD for the same sort of money The denon 1600 is also on my radar, but at present I don’t own a single SACD so thinking I’d be better served by a more capable dedicated CDP and stream for the hi-res stuff

will be interested to hear what you end up doing and your opinions when you get sorted so watching the thread :)
The Denon has a very good processor and DAC onboard. The detail it can glean from a redbook is pretty good, well recorded redbooks are pumped out at almost SACD quality. If you get one you may very well be tempted to go down that slippery bankruptcy inducing cost of buying SACDs.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
OK, just an update to let you all know of my progress. After a bit of deliberation and 'consumption' of reviews etc. I decided to purchase an ex-demo Audio Analogue Crescendo by AirTech CDP in silver for circa £450. I decided that SACD might well be a bit of distraction in itself, though the red book layer of hybrid discs can be played by the Crescendo.

The reasons I went for the AA Crescendo in the end are:
1) Reviews suggest that, as with its matching amp, the player is really suited to classical music and has a clear, airy sound.
2) It is a simple machine to operate with all the main controls clearly laid out and can be used without a remote - my dad doesn't use remotes if he can help it. Also the display is lovely and clear which is important for him.
3) The look of it - as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think it is a lovely looking thing - simple yet elegant and very Italian.
4) It was actually made in Italy. Now I have no issue with Japanese hifi being made in Japan (I used to sell Japanese built cars for a living) or Chinese hifi made in China, but, for a number of reasons, I do object to 'European' products, no matter how good they are, being built in China. This is why I have regrettably moved away from Arcam to Naim and my latest speaker purchases were used Piegas - actually made in Switzerland, not China.

The CDP arrives with me tomorrow and I will have to think how to get it to my parents for install/setup, especially given the tightening in home visitation rules brought in today. Anyway, as it will be a surprise, there is no hurry on that side of things. I am pondering letting my dad have a 'spare' Arcam A18 amp to go with it as an upgrade from his Alpha 7. Alternatively, the matching Crescendo amp is very tempting!

I will let you know what I think of it once it has arrived/been setup.

Regards

Alex
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hope you enjoy it. It would be able to play the CD player of hybrid SACDs, but the cost may be prohibitive in markets other than the classical. I've never heard of the make.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
Thank you. Regarding Audio Analogue, they have been around since the mid 90s and are known for their amplifiers more than anything else. The Crescendo range, their former entry level, retailed for circa £900 each. Their current line-up seems to start at quite a bit more now. They could match well with entry level Sonus Faber speakers, such as the Chameleon or Sonetto ranges but that could be a project for another time!

This is their website.
 

Alex P79

Active Member
Hi, just to let you know how things are going with the new Audio Analogue Crescendo CDP.
It arrived a few days ago - it is a really nice object - heavy and well made, the exception being the power button which makes a 'clang' when you press it.
As a bonus, the CDP operates off Arcam system remotes - I thought I better check it all works before delivering to my father.

Now my Naim CD5SI/Arcam A28 combo is currently boxed away since my 2 year old daughter was caught several times opening the disc tray/trying to turn it on, so I first set it up with a 'spare' Arcam A18 which I thought I might give to my dad with it. The result, lovely and clear/refined but lacking bass wallop. TBF this is why I replaced the A18 with the A28 anyway - the A18 works well with small speakers but really lacks bass presence/welly with floorstanders.

So I swapped the A18 with the Alpha 7r (which is the also the type of amp my dad will be using) from the office. The result, much more presence throughout the frequency range but especially the bass. The downside was a slight loss in clarity/refinement. So I then fitted some -10db in-line attenuators to the amp end of the CDP-amp RCAs. The result, all the warmth and presence but depth and refinement returned and a much happier combo than the A18 with the same CDP! As a bonus the attenuators also allow much greater use of the volume control. If you know anything about line level output and pre-amp sensitivity you will aware that on older amps in particular the input stage can be overdriven, causing a loss in clarity/depth/refinement - attenuators make a real difference here and are worth trying before replacing equipment if your system sounds a bit harsh.

Overall I think with this CDP and the Alpha series amps there is a musical synergy that works really well and am sure my dad will be very pleased - he now has a CD front end that matches his Rega record deck. I just need to sort out setting it up with him now - not easy at the moment.

I have pondered getting him the matching Crescendo amp but not sure it is necessary.

As a side note, the A18 seems to gel better with my Alpha 5 CDP/Mission 731i combo in the office so win win!

The photo shows it in my rack with the 7r.
IMG_20200605_163608.jpg
 

gadget377

Active Member
Hi I have a Marantz SACD SA8005, Question: what sound mode, MULTI, CD or STEREO would I use to play my SACD through my Arcam AVR850, and the best way to connect it to the avr, Analogue or Coaxial and do I need to go on to the AVR forum to find out how I setup the AVR850.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hi I have a Marantz SACD SA8005, Question: what sound mode, MULTI, CD or STEREO would I use to play my SACD through my Arcam AVR850, and the best way to connect it to the avr, Analogue or Coaxial and do I need to go on to the AVR forum to find out how I setup the AVR850.
Although you have the choices on the sa8005 it is only a stereo player and if you opt for multi channel then the player will read that layer but still downmix it to stereo. You can only output a stereo signal to the Arcam connected by RCA or by digital.

For stereo playback you can choose between the Arcam DAC and the Marantz DAC as to which you prefer. The Marantz will automatically switch between SACD and CD so there is no need to change any inputs. That's only done if you wish to downmix the multi channel layer to stereo.
 

gadget377

Active Member
Thank you so much for the information, not sure why there is a choice, to select multi channel if play back is stereo no matter. What is MULTI, I assumed it was multi channel for surround sound, I had difficulty in setting up the player, analogue, no problem, digital eventually, not sure how but it played, the avr display is stereo direct, is this ok? Sorry if I come over as thick, but I am, when confronted with this type of problem.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thank you so much for the information, not sure why there is a choice, to select multi channel if play back is stereo no matter. What is MULTI, I assumed it was multi channel for surround sound, I had difficulty in setting up the player, analogue, no problem, digital eventually, not sure how but it played, the avr display is stereo direct, is this ok? Sorry if I come over as thick, but I am, when confronted with this type of problem.
On multi layered SACDs that have a 5.1 and a 2.0 layer then sometimes the 5.1 layer can be considered better and by playing that it may reproduce better than the 2.0 layer when downmixed to 2.0. I have several multi layered discs but always choose to play the 2.0 SACD layer and have never bothered downmixing the 5.1.

5.1 SACD can only be played by current SACD players that have a HDMI connection usually to an AV amp. The Oppo players, now sadly no longer made, did have 5.1 analogue out from the player. Your blu ray player may very well be able to play SACD but even they are getting thin on the ground. Panasonic do not support SACD playback. Sony and Pioneer do support it.

I have an sa8005 as well as a Denon DCD 2500 stereo SACD players, like the Marantz the Denon is capable of downmixing multi channel to stereo only.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
You can only output a stereo signal to the Arcam connected by RCA or by digital.
Whether there is any output over Coax or optical when plying an SACD varies by player I think. I know my Oppo won’t do it. If there is it will be PCM format and probably no better than CD resolution.

Best off using analogue.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Whether there is any output over Coax or optical when plying an SACD varies by player I think. I know my Oppo won’t do it. If there is it will be PCM format and probably no better than CD resolution.

Best off using analogue.
I think it's to do with copyright protection and is therefore not allowed over digital other than HDMI other than stereo DSD.
 

JohnnyNapalm

Active Member
I think it's to do with copyright protection and is therefore not allowed over digital other than HDMI other than stereo DSD.
I was looking at adding an external DAC to mine but found out that it would not work as no HD info is sent over digital. Pity really as it would save me upgrading my player. Cheers.
 

k-spin

Active Member
I think it's to do with copyright protection and is therefore not allowed over digital other than HDMI other than stereo DSD.

You won't get any hi-resolution audio from an SACD via the digital outputs of the SA8005.

SA8005 Manual said:
• Signals that can be output using digital output are digital audio signals from the CD layer of the Super Audio CD, CD, USB (front), USB-DAC, COAXIAL, and OPTICAL.
• Digital audio output is stopped during playback of the HD layer of a Super Audio CD and USB-DAC
(DSD signals and linear PCM signals that have a 32 kHz sampling frequency).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It's not a bad DAC on the sa8005, Cirrus Logic 4398, same as fitted to the cd6006. I do prefer the Burr Brown 1795 in my Denon 2500 as well as the AL32+ processor. My sa8005 is gathering dust at the moment.
 

gadget377

Active Member
Thanks to all for your collective discussions, I now understand that the output from my sa8005 is going to be subjective to the settings on the AVR and sa8005; thanks again.
So should I invest in a good blue ray player?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
So should I invest in a good blue ray player?
UD players, those that have SACD onboard, are now quite restricted in choice. I have to say that the Pioneer LX500 is a very good multi channel SACD player and it can also output in it's direct mode by stereo analogue connection. Sony, I believe also do UD players.

Cost wise the LX500 sits around the £1000 mark and you have it's bigger brother the LX800 which has been further enhanced for an outstanding audio performance. That will set you back £2200. Neither of these players are currently available until the end of September because of Covid.

I own the LX500 and so am able to compare it to the sa8005 and a Denon DCD 2500 all of which were connected by RCA to my Rega Elicit-R. The Denon player was the clear winner, much more detailed really dragged out the last ounce of information from redbooks. Great soundstage on SACD with a wonderful depth to the music.

The sa8005 and LX500 are surprisingly close in stereo SACD performance but the Marantz does edge the LX500 on redbooks. Obviously non can be compared to the multi channel performance element but I have to say it's here that the Pioneer shines and I can compare this (from memory) to a Denon DBT-3313 which is still in my possession, along with a Pioneer UDP-LX58. A much better performer than the Denon and it's older stablemate the LX58. Multi channel music is rich and very rewarding. Great timing which can also be said for blu ray audio and video concerts. Hans Zimmer Live in Prague is an absolute joy. The LX500 is certainly the best multi channel player I've owned.
 

gadget377

Active Member
Thank you for your reply, it’s certainly given me pointers on which I can now act, I would like to view the LX500. I have the Samsung 8k tv so could be the way to go.
I may have an SA8005 for sale.
Thanks
 

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