Marantz SA11-S1 CD/SACD Player
- High performance, superior sound reproduction, suitable for all kinds of music
- No multi-channel support
The Marantz SA11-S1 really is the complete package: stunning sound quality, gorgeous looks and dreadnought build quality
Price$ 4,290.00 (AUD)
Forget all the review speak, subjective ratings and technical mumbo-jumbo. The simple fact is that all the hi-fi components I've ever reviewed fall into three broad categories.
There are those that perform so poorly I can't wait to send them back to the manufacturer/distributor. Nowadays products in this category are very much in the minority.
Then there's the middle ground of solidly performing, well-engineered products that would not leave me feeling short-changed if I had to live with them permanently.
Finally, there are the select few components that I've fallen head-over-heels in lust with, that have shocked me with their powers of musical communication and insight. This is the equipment that still draws a wistful sigh when I close my eyes and recall the way it brought music to life in my living room. Only a handful of components have reached that exalted state. The Marantz SA11-S1 is one of them.
To my eyes, it is the best-looking player Marantz has ever produced. With its solid metal fascia, copper-plated chassis and heavy-duty super ring transformer, the 14kg SA11-S1 is built less like a brick outhouse than the finest bathroom in a Sultan's palace. Sitting three-a-side, the six basic playback controls flank a slightly raised central panel that houses the disk drawer, a large LCD and a power on/off button. On power up, the playback controls are bathed in a soft blue ambient light, which you can dim via the handsome RC-11SAS1 remote control.
Like its earlier stablemate, the SA-14 ver.2, the SA11-S1 offers only stereo and not multi-channel SACD playback. This is a player aimed squarely at hi-fi traditionalists who couldn't give a tinker's about hearing their music in surround-sound but who want the best possible stereo replay.
The SA11-S1 offers a choice of three user-selectable filters, while a noise shaper function improves linearity at low playback levels. I experimented with all three filters, and ended up settling on filter one. But really, with the SA11 in your system, all you'll want to do is spend your time listening to music, not fussing over filter settings.
So how does the SA11-S1 sound? In a word, captivating. Actually, let's try a few other words as well: musical, accurate, focused, dynamic, natural. Able to deliver subtlety and refinement when required, yet equally at home with pounding rock and thundering orchestral crescendos, the SA11-S1 is hard to fault, so convincingly does it serve the music.
A brilliant CD player then, yet scarily, the SA11-S1 manages to raise the bar even higher on SACD playback. The delicacy and drama of Ravel was highlighted as never before, while on Raise Your Spirit Higher, the massed vocals of Ladysmith Black Mambazo enjoyed new levels of realism and harmonic complexity. And 'Let's Get It On', Marvin Gaye's ode to carnal pleasure, had the hormones fair dripping off the Marantz's gleaming silver fascia.
The Marantz SA11-S1 really is the complete package: stunning sound quality, gorgeous looks and dreadnought build quality. It surely sets new standards for all-round excellence in the sub-$10K CD player market.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Meet Beats Pill+, the first Beats speaker made under Apple
- Amazon won’t sell Apple TV and Chromecast hardware, bans marketplace partners from selling them, too
- Chromecast duo extends Google's reach further into the living room
- What's inside the new Apple TV? iFixit tears one apart to find out
- Yamaha unveils MusicCast, a high-fidelity multi-room audio system that will have 20-plus components by year's end
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTField EngineerNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW