A Serious Reference: Marantz SA-10 SACD Player/DAC Features Marantz Musical Mastering, High-Res 32-Bit/384kHz and DSD11.2MHz Playback, DSD256 Upconversion, Peerless Transport
Experience the New Reference with the pioneering Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC. For those that don't believe serious advances can still be made in the CD player field, SA-10 – a peak-performance component that optimizes both discs and high-resolution digital music files up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD11.2MHz – stands as a revelatory experience teeming with breathtaking fidelity, cutting-edge innovation, and decades of audio expertise. The exciting SA-10 represents Marantz's biggest advance in audio since the advent of CD. Its strengths are many, including a completely redesigned and in-house-built transport mechanism, SACD-M3, that is exclusive to SA-10 and even plays high-res audio stored on CD and DVD-R. But SA-10's most impressive feature relates to its truly groundbreaking digital-to-analog conversion process. Instead of taking the traditional route of down-converting ultra-high-res files to accommodate the abilities of a traditional DAC, SA-10 upconverts everything to DSD256 via a new, patent-pending process called Marantz Musical Mastering. Incredibly, this development allows SA-10 to better DAC technology by operating without a DAC. That's right: With the Premium Series SA-10, the best DAC is no DAC – but Marantz Musical Mastering. Let us explain.
A custom-built, fully differential, and fully balanced solution steeped in terrifically complex engineering, Marantz Musical Mastering involves two stages: MMM-Conversion and MMM-Stream. In the former, two dedicated master clocks guarantee all digital signals get directly upsampled to DSD256 (four times the SACD standard) without any need for sample-rate conversion. Because the output from the 1-bit direct MMM-Conversion process is an extremely high-frequency stream of single pulses, it's already an analog signal that requires nothing else than a benchmark low-pass filter to offer the purest-possible analog output. Enter MMM-Stream, which completes the enviably elegant digital processing equation. The result: An emotionally captivating, sonically enthralling answer to a problem nearly 35 years in the making that fully makes the best of digital music without introducing any artifacts that require more post-conversion processing. You've never heard anything like it.
True to Marantz Reference standards, the Japan-built SA-10 comes loaded with an array of other sound-first features and components. SA-10 completely isolates the USB and digital inputs to eradicate noise from connected sources. A USB-A input for USB memory device, external hard discs, and iDevices joins the USB input that supports FLAC, DSD64 and DSD128, ALAC, and AIFF files. An audiophile-grade analog output stage with Marantz HDAM modules, massive power supply with toroidal transformer, and all-discrete headphone amplifier with gain control further ensure you and your recordings always remain in good hands. Marantz's outstanding five-year parts-and-labor warranty give you additional security.
We could go on and tell you about the copious details, dynamics, textures, tones, and previously concealed information SA-10 will reveal from your library. We could wax poetically about the staggering soundstaging, imaging, balances, and atmospherics you'll hear from CDs, SACDs, and high-resolution files that will now constantly reward your investment in high-caliber formats. Really, however, we want you to hear them for yourself – in your own room and with your own favorite records. Backed by Marantz's three-year parts-and-labor warranty (for refurbished Reference Series products) and Music Direct's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
“This all-new disc drive with its extended compatibility, plus format conversion, ensures the SA-10 is both a way to keep your disc collection while also exploring beyond regular-CD resolution. It’s a convincing bridge between the legacy silver disc and 21st century formats, the combination of solid build, advanced technology, and superb sound making it a fine candidate for ‘your last-ever CD player.’”
—Hi-Fi News, Outstanding Product review, March 2017
Uncompromising SACD-M3 Transport Lets You Create High-Res Disc Compilations
Whether playing SACD or CD, or data discs containing music, it's vital that any player retrieves the information as accurately as possible. Unlike a computer reading a disc for ripping, there's no time for repeated re-scans when playing music. Disc playing happens real time, so the disc transport needs to get things right first time. Many modern CD and SACD players use computer-style DVD or universal disc drives simply because it's increasingly difficult for manufacturers to source dedicated "music drives" purely designed for SACD/CD playback. Marantz's solution? If you can't buy it off the shelf, design it and have it made. The all-new SACD-M3 transport mechanism is engineered solely for the best possible performance when playing SACDs, CDs, and music stored on data discs. Not only does SACD-M3 promise the very best sound quality from conventional CD and SACD discs, its extended ability with the playback of music files stored on DVD-ROM discs makes it possible for users to create their own high-resolution audio compilation discs using a computer DVD burner. That means making and playing hi-res disc compilations is now just as simple as it's always been to make such discs in CD quality.
Simply Brilliant: Marantz Musical Mastering Process Is Better Than a Conventional DAC
Rather than down-convert ultra-high-resolution files to suit a conventional digital to analog converter, as happens in most designs, SA-10 upconverts everything to DSD256 via Marantz Musical Mastering – Conversion. Two dedicated master clocks ensure all digital signals are upsampled directly to DSD 256 – four times the SACD standard – without any need for sample-rate conversion. Two filter settings allow the listener to shape the sound. The other half of Marantz Musical Mastering – MMM-Stream – prepares the DSD256 signal for analog output to an amplifier. Based on technology going back to the early days of Bitstream conversion, it enables an ultra-simple conversion process. The output from the MMM-Conversion process is, in effect, already an analog signal – or, a very high-frequency stream of single pulses. With all the hard digital work done, this stream needs nothing more than a very high-quality low-pass filter to deliver the purest-possible analog audio output. For all its apparent complexity, it is a very elegant solution to digital processing – and unique to SA-10.
24-Bit/192kHz Through Conventional Inputs, High-Res 32-Bit/384kHz and DSD256 Via USB Input
SA-10 doubles as a fully functional digital-to-analog converter for music stored on a home computer and boasts conventional digital inputs for existing source components. Those conventional inputs – optical and coaxial – can handle 24-bit/192kHz files. In addition, the player's digital input section includes a USB-B asynchronous input for the direct connection of a computer. It's compatible with PCM and DXD music files at up to 32-bit/384kHz as well as DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256 plus ALAC (Apple Lossless), AIFF, and MP3 files. What's more, SA-10's digital input section is completely isolated to avoid any electrical noise from connected components – a particular problem when computers are used as a source – from finding its way into the signal path.
Huge Power Supply, Custom-Made Block Capacitors, and Nickel-Plated Copper Output Terminals
SA-10's analog circuit is fed by an oversized power supply with customized block capacitors with 4.700μF each. This guarantees no detail gets lost or diminished. In addition, the capacitor holders – usually comprised of brass – are made out of copper. These improvements, a result of countless hours of testing and listening, deliver a unique performance under all musical conditions. In addition, the analog RCA output terminals are handmade from a solid pure copper core and plated with a nickel substrate. The composition brings out the full beauty, stability, and power from all recordings.
Fully Discrete Headphone Amplifier with HDAM-SA2 Modules and Gain Control
For the ultimate flexibility, SA-10 features a high-quality headphone stage with Marantz's dedicated HDAM-SA2 amplifier modules. This unique circuit ensures a high signal-to-noise ratio, minimum interferences, and rich bandwidth. To work with a wide variety of headphones, the gain factor can be changed from low to mid to high. It effortlessly drives low- to high-impedance headphones for unforgettable listening experiences.