SACD Players

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

Introduction

Marantz can be thought of in two ways: the company owned by D&M Holdings with a huge market to satisfy, developing highly competitive consumer level products such as receivers and DVD players. Secondly, Marantz is an audio-first legacy from Saul Marantz, that produced vacuum tube gear in the 1950's, and led the way to solid state in the 1960's. Here, we take a look at their SA-15S2 SACD player.

Last year, I reviewed their modestly priced turntable the TT-15S1 and it became my reference for vinyl. This time around the SA-15S2 SACD player came my way. Sweet!

SACD

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

SACD is still the best disc format (DVD-A not withstanding) out there. Despite all but abandoned by most record labels save the few renegades, SACD still delivers the best resolution in both stereo and surround mode. And until high resolution downloads become the norm and until we start hearing the potential of Blu-ray and 24/196 (which has its own survival to deal with), SACD lives on, healthily I might add. For those who believe this statement Marantz and a number of other companies serving the audiophile community continue to produce top-notch SACD players.

Besides SACD, how many of us still have huge collections of Redbook CD's, even if we're prone these days to burn digitally copies to our computer based servers? Likewise, how many of us download tracks or full albums only to burn them to disc format and still play them in our favorite listening chair? We need these players!

Reference Series

I like what Marantz has been doing with their Reference Series – truly moderately priced mid to high end amplifiers, pre-amps, and SACD players. In this case the third SACD player released benefiting from trickle down R and D. The new Marantz SA-15S2 Super Audio CD player is the "low end" of the Reference line behind the highly regarded flagship SA-7S1 and the SA-11S2 SACD.

The Reference line is elegantly styled – in the case of the 15S2 a sculpted champagne curved façade faceplate that glows blue from hidden LCD lighting giving the illusion that the main display "floats" off the body. Marantz assures us the LCD adds no radiation. The entire Reference series might perhaps be too pretty for the staunch audiophile looking for a brutal design appearance but not me, this stuff is beautiful!

Specifications

  • Codecs: SACD, CD, CD-R/RW(MP3/WMA/CD-DA)
  • DAC: Cirrus Logic CS4398
  • Analog Outputs: Left and Right RCA
  • Digital Input: Toslink Optical
  • Digital Outputs: Optical, Coaxial
  • SACD Format: 1-Bit DSD
  • Sampling Frequency: 2.8224 MHz
  • Dynamic Range: 112dB
  • MFR: 2 Hz - 100 kHz
  • THD: 0.0010%
  • CD Audio Format: 16-Bit Linear PCM
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
  • Dynamic Range: 100 dB
  • MFR: 2 Hz - 20 kHz
  • THD: 0.0015%
  • Dimensions: 4.9" H x 17.3" W x 16.5" D
  • Weight: 29.8 Pounds
  • MSRP: $2,199.99 USA