Marantz SA-14S1 CD-player

The legendary Ken Ishiwata, the official Ambassador of the brand Marantz in all countries of the world, thinks that music is the highest and the noblest art. Music really appeals to the feelings; to my mind, it is the only art of abstract arts, which has the right to exist. You just need to bring it to the heart of listener without losing the slightest nuance. This is the philosophy of Marantz, represented to full measure in the devices of the aristocratic family - Premium. Our tested subject refers to it.

Extremely good design of the facade, once founded by the company's designers, is partly modified: highlighted in blue hollows between round side walls and central area are expanded in order to house buttons of play modes. Such solution is optimal from the point of ergonomics (press Eject instead of Play is almost impossible) and design - the central part turned out to be visually balanced. This is very important, because here are the area of an additional control, indications an commutations: fluorescent display, being made as a single unit with loading tray of CD-transport, USB port, compatible with a flash card, HDD storages (power bus gives the current of 1A) or i-devices, and also the "phone" output with separate volume control, large On/Off button and unexpected for CD-players but necessary for the specific device input switch. As you've already guessed - this model is able to play role of high qualitative DAC. And the matter is not only in the presence of front USB terminal - in addition to outputs (irregular linear one and coaxial with optical) there are inputs of digital signal (optical, coax and also USB) on the back panel. Also we will mention two mini-jacks for the external IR-sensor, which allow you to place the layer in the enclosed stand.

With the removed top cover SA-14S1 looks not like CD player: a powerful toroidal transformer, a rectifier on fast-acting barrier Schottky diodes and a large storage capacitor (4700 UF) are mounted on the power supply; the amplifier path is based on a hybrid combination of the branded, combining a wide range of operating frequencies with high speedwork HDAM SA2 and HDAM (have the differential input and work on the amp for headphones) modules. They are assembled from the discrete elements of audiophile quality and are able to transfer the finest nuances of SACD recordings. A new, transport mechanism with increased resistance to vibration allows reading data from optical media almost without mistakes. The tray for CD is made of plastic, being reinforced by glass fiber - Xeron. The transport is installed on the special sub-chassis and is reliably damped. For uncompromised playing of audio files, storing on the computer, the signal from USB-B input goes through a special filter, which eliminates interference and crosstalk. Clutter-free LCD matrix is used for display. Digital-to-analog converter is based on the flagship micro circuit Cirrus Logic CS4398, which is able to work with signal up to 24/192 and also to decode DSD stream of 2,8/5,6 MHz (the player reads it from both SACD and solid-state drivers - by USB interface). PCM, AAC, MP3, WMA and WAV are also supported. It is possible to read any layer from hybrid CD/SACD; multichannel SACD recordings are also played, but in a 2-channel variant. Pure Audio mode is not provided, but digital outputs and backlight can be turned off thereby reducing the risk of interference on the chains of analog signal processing. Tracks can be played in random and and pre-programmed order. To use the player as an external DAC for a computer, you have to install the branded driver on it - only in this case you can transfer files 24/192 on SA-14S1. You can change the characteristics of digital filtering: the user may choose filter, cutting pre- and post-signal interference or classic FIR-filtering, in the result of which pre- and post-signal interference obtain symmetrical, i.e. equal by amplitude. The developers recommend the first option for the listening of recordings of high resolution, the second one - for adherents of analogue sound.

The impressions from listening to this devise with the amplifier and High End acoustics are most favorable. We used SACD from the albums "Brothers in Arm" by Dire Straits, released in 5.1 version to 20th anniversary of the record, as a test optical media. We wanted to listen to downmix, received from the analog output, again and again - the tops were so transparent, bass foundation was solid and mids were so realistic. Even words of the song, where mark Knopfler didn't try to pronounce clearly, were understood better than at the listening of CD layer, the record of which seemed to be simplified and flattened. From two filters I liked the first one more (at the work with the second the tops seemed t be too bright). It was significantly noticeable at the playing of files of high resolution, the sound quality of which rose the listening on a new emotional level. Nevertheless it is sad to say goodbye to CD. There is a large temptation to reinterpret in relation to CD the famous words of Galileo: "And Yet It moves!"

Price: $2750
Marantz SA-14S1 CD-player photo