The Revolutionary New Marantz SA-10 Player - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 179 Old 02-17-2017, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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The Revolutionary New Marantz SA-10 Player

The new Marantz SA-10 is the culmination of 30 years of advances in CD/SACD playback, according the Ken Ishiwata, the renowned engineer who introduced it in Holland recently.

This player takes all CD and SACD information from discs and external sources and, regardless of frequency or oversampling, converts it directly to a DSD format with an 11 Mhz or 12 Mhz carrier frequency, which can then simply be filtered out to leave only the analog music signal.

This permits unprecedented audio quality never before achieved, according to Marantz; perhaps the ultimate step in producing accurate distortion-free CD and SACD playback.

We shall see.

I ordered mine; in a few days I will check it out.
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post #2 of 179 Old 02-20-2017, 03:28 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing your impressions.
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post #3 of 179 Old 02-20-2017, 03:46 AM
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I would, too. I have a McIntosh MCD301 player now, and while I don't have complaints about the sound, it has begun to bother me a bit that there's no dedicated remote; while most functions are available on the remote, open/close of the tray is not, the included remote is a generic one.

This would be a lot of money to spend for the stated reason ($7K MSRP), but the SA-10's new design approach may be worth a plunge if I can put a bit of funds aside and sell/trade in my Mac player. I have a DV8400 universal player which is the 301's predecessor. It served well for seven years as my primary CD player.
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post #4 of 179 Old 02-20-2017, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The new Marantz SA-10 is the culmination of 30 years of advances in CD/SACD playback, according the Ken Ishiwata, the renowned engineer who introduced it in Holland recently.

This player takes all CD and SACD information from discs and external sources and, regardless of frequency or oversampling, converts it directly to a DSD format with an 11 Mhz or 12 Mhz carrier frequency, which can then simply be filtered out to leave only the analog music signal.

This permits unprecedented audio quality never before achieved, according to Marantz; perhaps the ultimate step in producing accurate distortion-free CD and SACD playback.

We shall see.

I ordered mine; in a few days I will check it out.
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I'd be interested in hearing your impressions.
I'd be more interested in a true DBT listening comparison.
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post #5 of 179 Old 02-25-2017, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
This player takes all CD and SACD information from discs and external sources and, regardless of frequency or oversampling, converts it directly to a DSD format with an 11 Mhz or 12 Mhz carrier frequency, which can then simply be filtered out to leave only the analog music signal.

This permits unprecedented audio quality never before achieved, according to Marantz; perhaps the ultimate step in producing accurate distortion-free CD and SACD playback.
And the evidence that this is actually of audible benefit is where exactly?
It's not particularly difficult to get >130dB THD+N out of a CDP so even if they improved that number it's not going to be audible anyway.
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post #6 of 179 Old 02-26-2017, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
And the evidence that this is actually of audible benefit is where exactly?
It's not particularly difficult to get >130dB THD+N out of a CDP so even if they improved that number it's not going to be audible anyway.
Fully agree. Revolutionary? Sounds like marketing hype to me. I'm sure it is a very good player, but will it be significantly better (in blinded audio comparisons) than other top players?
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post #7 of 179 Old 02-26-2017, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I'd be interested in hearing your impressions.



My impression, after listening to all or part of a couple of dozen CDs and SACDs that I am quite familiar with, is that the SA-10 is unquestionably better-sounding than either the OPPO BDP-105, which had been my preferred player in the past, or the Marantz UD7007, which is also quite good.

Fine details in the music that are not clearly discernible with the OPPO or 7007 become very clear and fully audible with the SA-10. It takes listening pleasure to a distinctly higher level.

It is clear to me that the SA-10 has a consistently higher level of resolution than the other players, and makes the music more realistic and enjoyable to a very significant degree.

My wife made the comment that the sound of massed strings on certain classical CDs had always grated on her nerves, and that for the first time the SA-10 made them sound much more realistic and pleasant to listen to, to her. She finds that some CDs that were not entirely pleasant for her to listen to before are now much nicer-sounding.

I noticed that many classical solo piano recordings assumed a degree of clarity and the ability to hear every note perfectly that I had never heard before on any player.

One interesting comment I read on another website from an SA-10 owner was that his SA-10 was perhaps not quite as good as his REGA Isis player for CDs. That player costs $9000, however, and does not play SACDs; CD only.

I am in love with the SA-10, and so is my wife; big smiles.

The price is a bit steep, but I am glad I bought it. It is a very significant improvement to our listening pleasure.

In terms of price vs performance, however, the OPPO is still a great value at $1200 or so (I assume that the new OPPO 205 will continue to offer sound quality at least as good as the 105).

There is a big difference in sound quality once you have heard both, but I think most people will still find the OPPO quite good for its price.

Last edited by commsysman; 02-26-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
There is a big difference in sound quality once you have heard both,
The most likely reason for that is level mismatch.
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post #9 of 179 Old 02-26-2017, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
The most likely reason for that is level mismatch.


There was NO level mismatch; levels were checked and matched, as I always do when making any comparison.

Please listen to both units, and THEN you will be able to make an informed comment.

Last edited by commsysman; 02-26-2017 at 11:47 AM.
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post #10 of 179 Old 02-26-2017, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
There was NO level mismatch; levels were checked and matched, as I always do when making any comparison.
What did you check the levels with and how did you adjust it?
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post #11 of 179 Old 02-26-2017, 03:53 PM
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Of course it's more 'revealing'; he's just plonked down about $7k for one. No confirmation bias there.
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post #12 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
My impression, after listening to all or part of a couple of dozen CDs and SACDs that I am quite familiar with, is that the SA-10 is unquestionably better-sounding than either the OPPO BDP-105, which had been my preferred player in the past, or the Marantz UD7007, which is also quite good.

Fine details in the music that are not clearly discernible with the OPPO or 7007 become very clear and fully audible with the SA-10. It takes listening pleasure to a distinctly higher level.

It is clear to me that the SA-10 has a consistently higher level of resolution than the other players, and makes the music more realistic and enjoyable to a very significant degree.

My wife made the comment that the sound of massed strings on certain classical CDs had always grated on her nerves, and that for the first time the SA-10 made them sound much more realistic and pleasant to listen to, to her. She finds that some CDs that were not entirely pleasant for her to listen to before are now much nicer-sounding.

I noticed that many classical solo piano recordings assumed a degree of clarity and the ability to hear every note perfectly that I had never heard before on any player.

One interesting comment I read on another website from an SA-10 owner was that his SA-10 was perhaps not quite as good as his REGA Isis player for CDs. That player costs $9000, however, and does not play SACDs; CD only.

I am in love with the SA-10, and so is my wife; big smiles.

The price is a bit steep, but I am glad I bought it. It is a very significant improvement to our listening pleasure.

In terms of price vs performance, however, the OPPO is still a great value at $1200 or so (I assume that the new OPPO 205 will continue to offer sound quality at least as good as the 105).

There is a big difference in sound quality once you have heard both, but I think most people will still find the OPPO quite good for its price.
I'm glad you enjoy it and it sounds like an awesome player. I'd love to have one. I do have the Oppo 95, which nearing retirement will have to do me.
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post #13 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
What did you check the levels with and how did you adjust it?
I used fixed-level test tones on a test CD to set a standard preamp gain (volume) level setting for each player, using a sound level meter.

My Audio Research LS-26 preamp has 102 discrete gain levels, so it can be set quite accurately.

Last edited by commsysman; 02-27-2017 at 10:50 AM.
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post #14 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm glad you enjoy it and it sounds like an awesome player. I'd love to have one. I do have the Oppo 95, which nearing retirement will have to do me.
The audio circuits in the BDP-95 are electronically identical to the BDP-105. I got that directly from an OPPO technician who is very familiar with them.

The difference between the two players is the video features and connections, but the audio is the same.

I don't know what the 205 will have; little has been released.
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post #15 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Of course it's more 'revealing'; he's just plonked down about $7k for one. No confirmation bias there.
And if it had not been worth it, it would have been shipped right back to Aud. Advisr for a full refund (30 days refund privilege).

I was quite prepared to return it if the difference was not quite substantial and clearly obvious. I was not going to spend that kind of money for a slight difference.

I really didn't know what to expect, with a brand new product that has really not been reviewed, and was just as prepared to send it back as to keep it.

I have shipped back several units of various kinds that did not measure up to my expectations over the years.

I don't part with that kind of moola unless I am very satisfied that I got full value for it.

That price level is really pushing my upper limit, and I was sure not going to spend that kind of dough lightly.

Last edited by commsysman; 02-27-2017 at 10:52 AM.
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
I used fixed-level test tones on a test CD to set a standard preamp gain (volume) level setting for each player, using a sound level meter.

My Audio Research LS-26 preamp has 102 discrete gain levels, so it can be set quite accurately.
That's not close enough of level match. No wonder you heard the difference. Yup, it's the level difference that caused it, not some fancy craftsmanship or boutique parts in the new unit.
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post #17 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
That's not close enough of level match. No wonder you heard the difference. Yup, it's the level difference that caused it, not some fancy craftsmanship or
boutique parts in the new unit.
Not close enough?? with 102 levels available? How silly.

It allows an essentially perfect level match. No significant difference whatsoever.

As for "fancy craftsmanship or boutique parts" (non-issues), that comment makes it obvious that you have not read about the fundamental differences in the way that this player reads the disc and processes the data using high-frequency DSD conversion. Those facts, which you have failed to mention, are the significant facts if one wishes to intelligently approach the question of significant sound quality differences.

It has a fundamentally different circuit design and processing concept compared to 99% of the players being made.

If you have not read about, or do not understand that, it would explain why your comments do not even begin to address any relevant issue.
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Last edited by commsysman; 02-27-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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post #18 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
Not close enough?? with 102 levels available? How silly.

It allows an essentially perfect level match. No significant difference whatsoever.
You don't understand what the required precision of level matching in db is. With SPL meter and preamp volume control you used, it's not precise enough to give you the level match within 0.1 db. What you think as "perfect level match" was way off the precision target, thus causing the audible difference.
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it would explain why your comments do not even begin to address any relevant issue.
You missed the relevant issue. See above.
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post #19 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
You don't understand what the required precision of level matching in db is. With SPL meter and preamp volume control you used, it's not precise enough to give you the level match within 0.1 db. What you think as "perfect level match" was way off the precision target, thus causing the audible difference. You missed the relevant issue. See above.
I didn't miss anything.

I understand your position perfectly, and I consider it unscientific and just plain incorrect.

You can repeat that over and over and I still will not be persuaded that you are right, so it might be just as well for you to save your breath.

Maybe you can fool someone with that nonsense, but I spent 10 years working as an instrumentation technician, and I know better.
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post #20 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 03:34 PM
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Maybe you can fool someone with that nonsense, but I spent 10 years working as an instrumentation technician, and I know better.
Big deal. I've got 30 years as an EE doing mainly linear and instrumentation, and you're wrong. LFE is correct. Levels should have been checked at the preamp output with a DVM, not in room with an SPL meter that's (a) extremely unlikely to be that accurate, especially wideband, and (b) will show more than that as variation if you move it only slightly. An amp with 102 step is likely moving more than 0.1dB/step. Post what it is.

I'm also still looking for some proof beyond Marantz's marketing material that converting PCM to DSD makes an audible difference. And no, your anecdotes don't count.
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I didn't miss anything.

I understand your position perfectly, and I consider it unscientific and just plain incorrect.
Saying that it's incorrect is a sign that you don't understand my position despite you claim otherwise. You can listen to 1 player at different levels and you will hear difference.
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You can repeat that over and over and I still will not be persuaded that you are right, so it might be just as well for you to save your breath.

Maybe you can fool someone with that nonsense, but I spent 10 years working as an instrumentation technician, and I know better.
Something tells me that you are making up stories as you have done before. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...l#post22269931
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post #22 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Big deal. I've got 30 years as an EE doing mainly linear and instrumentation, and you're wrong. LFE is correct. Levels should have been checked at the preamp output with a DVM, not in room with an SPL meter that's (a) extremely unlikely to be that accurate, especially wideband, and (b) will show more than that as variation if you move it only slightly. An amp with 102 step is likely moving more than 0.1dB/step. Post what it is.

I'm also still looking for some proof beyond Marantz's marketing material that converting PCM to DSD makes an audible difference. And no, your anecdotes don't count.


What I HEAR counts a lot to ME in my opinion of the SA-10; 100%. If my opinion doesn't "count" to YOU, why should I care? Do I need your approval to know what I know? I think not.
I am only reporting what I have heard because some people have expressed an interest in my impressions.

If you make the mistake of thinking that I am seeking validation or approval from you or anyone else, you are in error. I just report my impressions, and if they do not satisfy you, or anyone else, I find that to be completely irrelevant. They are what they are.

Others will no doubt report their impressions, and perhaps something of a consensus will result (or not). We shall see. The purpose of a FORUM, as I see it, is to provide a place where opinions can be expressed freely, and everyone can consider them freely.

Theorizing and attempts at criticism are simply of no interest whatsoever to me. Sorry. If my opinion doesn't matter to you, there is no need for you to elaborate. It is what it is. You haven't heard the SA-10, and I have, but you somehow know that I must be wrong. An interesting position to take.

It is sort of like if I say that my car is a beautiful shade of blue and you list five different reasons why a paint made of the specific chemicals in that paint can't possibly be blue.

Sorry; it still looks blue to me; even if you are certain that you have somehow proved me wrong (without seeing it...).

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post #23 of 179 Old 02-27-2017, 07:46 PM
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The purpose of a FORUM, as I see it, is to provide a place where opinions can be expressed freely, and everyone can consider them freely.
I agree. So why are you complaining when I do just that? Hypocrisy much?
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post #24 of 179 Old 02-28-2017, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree. So why are you complaining when I do just that? Hypocrisy much?
I have no problem with you expressing YOUR OPINION.

I do have a problem when you belittle me by dismissing my opinion as a mere "anecdote" and say my opinion "doesn't count".

When you take your little hatchet to people like that to belittle them, that is going way beyond expressing your own opinion.

That is an attempt to elevate yourself and cut them down.

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post #25 of 179 Old 02-28-2017, 02:09 PM
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I have no problem with you expressing YOUR OPINION.
Thank you.

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I do have a problem when you belittle me by dismissing my opinion as a mere "anecdote" and say my opinion "doesn't count".
It is an anecdote. You then try to pass off what you say you're hearing as accurate because you did a purported DBT. It looks very poorly done and when questioned on it, you refuse to provide details. DBT testing standards are well known; some examples are Toole and Olive as well as many AES papers over the years. So, yes, a poorly done DBT, especially when someone has forked out serious coin for the unit, definitely doesn't count.

Likewise you claim that this player is 'better' because it converts PCM to DSD but give no reasons beyond your anecdotal experiments as to why. I have a pretty good understanding of both, as well as how DACs are designed and work, so please explain. I'd be glad to learn something.

So, excuse me if I don't believe a claim that I find frankly unbelievable. When a claim is made, it's imperative upon the claimant to back it up with data.

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When you take your little hatchet to people like that to belittle them, that is going way beyond expressing your own opinion.
When you post something that sounds unbelievable on a public forum, or even in public in person, expect to be questioned on it.

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That is an attempt to elevate yourself and cut them down.
This is entirely your projection. It seems your point in starting this thread was to show off your new toy (nothing wrong with that) but it seems you want us all to fall in line and coo about how awesome it is, and how awesome you are for choosing it.
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post #26 of 179 Old 02-28-2017, 02:41 PM
 
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I do have a problem when you belittle me by dismissing my opinion as a mere "anecdote" and say my opinion "doesn't count".

When you take your little hatchet to people like that to belittle them, that is going way beyond expressing your own opinion.

That is an attempt to elevate yourself and cut them down.
Please don't confuse technical advice with belittling.
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post #27 of 179 Old 02-28-2017, 04:46 PM
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Why the need to pooh-pooh commysman's report/review? I'm skeptical myself too, but let's not forget that ultimately listening to music and various equipment is a *subjective* experience, and all such equipment easily have measurable differences. We don't listen objectively or in order to establish on scientific level that component A sounds the same (or different) than component B. We listen to enjoy and subjectively evaluate the experience.
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Why the need to pooh-pooh commysman's report/review?
Please don't confuse technical critique with pooh-pooh-ing someone's report/review.
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I'm skeptical myself too, but let's not forget that ultimately listening to music and various equipment is a *subjective* experience, and all such equipment easily have measurable differences. We don't listen objectively or in order to establish on scientific level that component A sounds the same (or different) than component B. We listen to enjoy and subjectively evaluate the experience.
Do you notice the critiques posted weren't directed at OP's enjoyment at his listening room?

Subjectivity on AVS forum where S stands for science..., how well do you think that will be received?
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post #29 of 179 Old 03-01-2017, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
And if it had not been worth it, it would have been shipped right back to Aud. Advisr for a full refund (30 days refund privilege).

I was quite prepared to return it if the difference was not quite substantial and clearly obvious. I was not going to spend that kind of money for a slight difference.

I really didn't know what to expect, with a brand new product that has really not been reviewed, and was just as prepared to send it back as to keep it.

I have shipped back several units of various kinds that did not measure up to my expectations over the years.

I don't part with that kind of moola unless I am very satisfied that I got full value for it.

That price level is really pushing my upper limit, and I was sure not going to spend that kind of dough lightly.
I have the 203 for video, and reserve the 95 for audio only.
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post #30 of 179 Old 06-22-2017, 01:29 PM
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I'm curious, what kind of Amp and speakers do you have it connected to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
My impression, after listening to all or part of a couple of dozen CDs and SACDs that I am quite familiar with, is that the SA-10 is unquestionably better-sounding than either the OPPO BDP-105, which had been my preferred player in the past, or the Marantz UD7007, which is also quite good.

Fine details in the music that are not clearly discernible with the OPPO or 7007 become very clear and fully audible with the SA-10. It takes listening pleasure to a distinctly higher level.

It is clear to me that the SA-10 has a consistently higher level of resolution than the other players, and makes the music more realistic and enjoyable to a very significant degree.

My wife made the comment that the sound of massed strings on certain classical CDs had always grated on her nerves, and that for the first time the SA-10 made them sound much more realistic and pleasant to listen to, to her. She finds that some CDs that were not entirely pleasant for her to listen to before are now much nicer-sounding.

I noticed that many classical solo piano recordings assumed a degree of clarity and the ability to hear every note perfectly that I had never heard before on any player.

One interesting comment I read on another website from an SA-10 owner was that his SA-10 was perhaps not quite as good as his REGA Isis player for CDs. That player costs $9000, however, and does not play SACDs; CD only.

I am in love with the SA-10, and so is my wife; big smiles.

The price is a bit steep, but I am glad I bought it. It is a very significant improvement to our listening pleasure.

In terms of price vs performance, however, the OPPO is still a great value at $1200 or so (I assume that the new OPPO 205 will continue to offer sound quality at least as good as the 105).

There is a big difference in sound quality once you have heard both, but I think most people will still find the OPPO quite good for its price.
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