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Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD Player Review Print E-mail
Friday, 20 April 2012
Article Index
Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD Player Review
SACD Listening
CD and DAC Listening


The Marantz SA-15S2B is one of the most impressive digital source components I have reviewed in my system. First, its sound quality is beyond reproach. I simply could not hear any weaknesses in its presentation, no areas in its sonic performance that called attention to itself. Secondly, it plays both SACD -- a terrific, sadly overlooked format -- and Redbook CDs flawlessly. Third, it can act as a digital hub with its optical digital input. Lastly, it looks terrific, and is built to standard that is second to none at its price point and well beyond. It ridiculously easy to use, and comes with a five year warranty.

With the move towards server based digital front ends, one might wonder why Marantz and others are still producing SACD players. The answer is quite simple. There is a huge catalog of SACD discs available, and it may be the best sounding digital format around. SACDs cannot be ripped to a computer without specific hardware and software, and even if this was easily available, the files sizes would be enormous, and you can count on one hand the number DAC units on the market that can decode DSD files.  No, your best bet is a good old optical disc for SACD, whose demise has been greatly exaggerated, in my opinion.

To sum it all up, I highly recommend the $2000 Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD player for those seeking a ruggedly built fantastic sounding player that can play both DSD and Redbook discs. It also offers up superb performance via its optical digital input, which handles up to 96 Khz, 24 bit PCM data. One warning...if you purchase an SA-15S2B you will find yourself buying stacks of SACDs, to enjoy what I think is the highest resolution digital format available. Marantz has hit it out of the park with what is sure to be a contender for product of the year.


Marantz SA-15S2B Limited Edition SACD Player: $2000

SA-15S2 Limited Features:
●    Marantz custom SACDM-10 disc mechanism
●    Reads SA-CD, CD, CD-R/RW
●    Selectable digital filter
●    Cirrus Logic D/A – CS4398
●    Marantz HDAM-SA2 circuits
●    Large double shielded torroidal transformer
●    Optical/Coaxial digital outputs
●    Optical digital input for DAC mode (up to 96kHz)
●    Zero impedance copper ground plate
●    Discrete high current headphone amp
●    Machined brass analog output jacks
●    Digital Out is defeatable for low noise
●    LCD display
●    Detachable power cable

Review System 1

CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
CD Player: Unison Research Unico CDPrimo
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids, Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2

CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600
Amplifier: Revox A722
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, Transmission Audio M1
Cables: Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Gensis Silver Spiral (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Pangea Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink
Accesories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold AC Strip

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