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Crutchfield

Marantz Reference SA15S2

Stereo SACD/CD player

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  • Marantz Reference SA15S2

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  • Marantz Reference SA15S2

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  • Marantz Reference SA15S2

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  • Marantz Reference SA15S2

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Item# 642SA15S2B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Marantz Reference SA15S2

by Dave Bar
Marantz

If you're passionate about music, check out the Marantz SA-15S2. Marantz designed this Super Audio CD player for uncompromising, high-fidelity music reproduction, like their other Reference Series components. It combines the latest in circuit design, carefully selected internal components, and precision craftsmanship to deliver high-quality stereo sound that's sure to please even the most discerning listener.

SA15S2_direct_front_view

Designed and built for the audio connoisseur

This player's hefty chassis and double-layered bottom plate create an incredibly stable platform for the disc tray, virtually eliminating vibrations that can interfere with the laser's tracking and ensuring reliable playback. A beefy, double-shielded toroidal power supply delivers a constant stream of clean current. The SA-15S2's low-noise LCD display emits no radiation into the audio signal path. The ear-pleasing end result is lively, true-to-life reproduction of all your favorite tunes.

A sophisticated digital-to-analog converter handles the fine detail contained on high-resolution SACDs. It can even help you rediscover some of the forgotten gems in your standard CD collection by revealing subtle nuances that you may never have noticed. The SA-15S2 can also play home-burned CDs and those loaded with MP3 and WMA files, so you'll enjoy clear, precise sound from every disc in your library.


SA15S2_back panel

Versatile connections for your hi-fi stereo system

This player's machined brass RCA stereo outputs are widely spaced so you can easily connect high-quality patch cords. You also get optical and coaxial digital outputs for CD playback. When using the analog connections, you can disable the digital outputs so there's no chance of stray emissions impacting the analog circuitry. The SA-15S2 also gives you an optical digital input, letting you take advantage of this player's high-end digital-to-analog converter with another digital source component, such as a DVD player or high-definition game console.

In addition to being a great-sounding player, the SA-15S2 looks great, too — its smooth lines and sleek black finish make it an attractive addition to just about any system.


Highlights:

  • stereo playback for SACDs, audio CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 & WMA CDs
  • Cirrus Logic multi-system (DSD/PCM) digital-to-analog converter
  • high-precision disc mechanism
  • HDAM® SA2 circuits resist noise, heat, and vibration for more dynamic audio
  • selectable digital filters for fine-tuning sound
  • digital out off mode for pure sound when using the analog outputs
  • low-noise LCD display
  • oversized toroidal power transformer with double-shielded case
  • zero-impedance copper ground plate
  • double-layered bottom plate
  • aluminum front panel
  • machined brass stereo RCA outputs
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs for CD
  • optical digital input for connecting external source components
  • discrete, high-current headphone amp/output
  • SACD specs:
    • frequency response: 2-100,000 Hz
    • signal-to-noise ratio: 110 dB
    • dynamic range: 112 dB
  • CD specs:
    • frequency response: 2-20,000 Hz
    • signal-to-noise ratio: 110 dB
    • dynamic range: 100 dB
  • remote control
  • detachable power cord
  • weight: 29.8 lbs
  • 17-5/16"W x 4-7/8"H x 18-5/16"D
  • warranty: 3 years parts and labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Disc Capacity
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1
Disc Exchange
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N/A
Track Programming
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24
Random Play
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Single Disc
Disc Naming
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No
Direct Track Access
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Yes
Direct Disc Access
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N/A
Remote
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Included
Display Color
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Blue
Multiple CD Player Control
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---
Parts Warranty
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3 Years
Labor Warranty
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3 Years
Compatibility
CD-R Playback
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Yes
CD-RW Playback
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Yes
MP3 Playback
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Yes
SACD Playback
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2-Channel
Specifications
CD Frequency Response
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2-20k Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio
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110 dB
SACD Frequency Response
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2-100k Hz
SACD Dynamic Range
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112 dB
SACD THD
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0.001 %
Outputs
Digital Optical Output
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1
Digital Coaxial Output
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1
Headphone
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Standard
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Super Audio CD player
  • Wireless remote (RC003SA)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 5' Stereo RCA patch cord
  • 35" Remote control cord (single RCA plug on each end)
  • User Guide (English/ French/ German/ Dutch/ Spanish/ Italian)
  • US warranty information
  • Canadian warranty information

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Controls
Connections
Specifications

Features

Disc Compatibility: The Marantz Reference Series SA-15S2 Super Audio CD player can play the following discs:

  • Single layer Super Audio CDs: contains a single HD (high density) layer which can contain a high quality stereo area and a high quality multi-channel area; playable only on an SA-CD compatible unit such as the SA-15S2
  • Dual layer Super Audio CDs: contains two HD layers for longer playing times; can also contain stereo and multi-channel areas; the data is recorded on one side only, so the discs do not have to be turned over; playable only on an SA-CD compatible unit
  • Hybrid Layer Disc: contains a high density SA-CD layer and a conventional CD layer, allowing them to be played either on an SA-CD compatible unit or on a regular CD player
  • Audio CD (CDDA): pre-recorded CD
  • CD-R: recordable disc containing CDDA, MP3, or WMA files
  • CD-RW: re-writable disc containing CDDA, MP3, or WMA files
  • CD-ROM: recordable disc containing CDDA, MP3, or WMA files

Note: The SA-15S2 is a stereo-only player, and cannot play the high-quality multi-channel audio areas on single layer or dual layer SA-CDs.

Compressed Audio: The SA-15S2 will play MP3 and WMA files recorded on CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-ROM discs. Recordings must conform to the ISO 9660 Level 1/Level 2 file system and extended format (Joliet/Romeo). Multi-session recording and DRM are not supported. The sampling frequency must be 44.1 kHz and the bit rate between 32 kbps and 320 kbps for MP3 and between 48 kbps and 192 kbps for WMA, variable bit rate is not supported.

Super Audio CD: The Super Audio standard is based on Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology. This direct-stream digital format comprises a 1-bit system that has a digital sampling frequency that is 64 times higher than that of a conventional audio CD (2,822,400 vs. 44,100). SA-CD produces a frequency response of over 100 kHz and a 120 dB dynamic range over the entire audible spectrum. Because of the way the inaudible frequencies mix with the audible frequencies, the sound that is heard is more natural.

Super Audio DAC: The SA-15S2 uses a high performance Cirrus Logic (CS4398) 192 kHz/24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter for DSD (SA-CD) and PCM (CD) signal processing.

DAC Mode: Using the optical digital input on the rear panel you can take advantage of the SA-15S2's DAC with a signal from another component; CD transport, MD recorder, etc. The input will accept PCM signals with sampling frequencies of 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 64 kHz, 88.2 kHz, and 96 kHz. In DAC Mode only the analog outputs are active.

HDAM (High Definition Amplifier Module): Marantz uses HDAMs instead of standard op-amps, rendering a more dynamic sound and less susceptibility to radiated noise, heat, and vibration. In addition to Marantz's proprietary HDAM-SA2 (Super Audio) signal transfer modules, audio path circuits boast custom-selected, and in some cases, custom-made internal components chosen for their combined contribution to overall signal quality.

Display: The display can be set to show current track elapsed time, current track remaining time, or the remaining time for entire disc. The display can also be turned off at the remote.

Controls

Remote Control: The supplied remote control (RC003SA) fully controls this unit, including some functions that can only be performed with the remote control. This aluminum-topped remote also has input selector, volume, and mute controls for Marantz pre-amps and integrated amplifiers.

Note: Four buttons on the remote are not functional on this unit: DC Filter, Noise Shaper, Phase Inverter, and External Clock.

Playback Options: The SA-15S2 provides the following options for disc playback:

  • Direct Search: enter the track number on the remote control to play the desired track
  • Track Skip: skip to the next or previous track or the beginning of the current track
  • Forward/Reverse Search: search for a particular part of the current track, you can search forward or backward; no sound is output during forward or reverse search
  • Repeat Play: repeat one track or the entire disc
  • Random Play: play all tracks of the disc in random order
  • Program Play: play tracks on a disc in a specific sequence; up to 24 tracks can be programmed; during programming the display shows the number of tracks in the program and the total playing time
  • AMS: Automatic Music Search plays the first 10 seconds of each track on the disc; when you find the song you want to listen to press the AMS or play buttons for normal playback

Switchable Filter: The digital filter has two settings, asymmetric slow roll-off and asymmetric sharp roll-off, allowing you to select the one best suited to your environment and source material.

Sound Mode: When you play a hybrid Super Audio disc, you can specify which layer to play, CD or SA-CD. Using the Start Sound Mode setting you can also specify which layer plays by default.

Connections

Digital Outputs: Two digital outputs, one optical (Toslink) and one coaxial (RCA), are provided for sending signal to the digital input terminals of a receiver, outboard D/A converter, or CD recorder. Digital signals are output only during playback of a CD or the CD layer of a hybrid disc. No signal is output during playback of a Super Audio CD.

Headphone Output: The unit has a discrete high current headphone amp and a front panel 1/4" jack with rotary level control.

Remote Control: Two RCA jacks (one input and one output) are provided for connecting this player and another Marantz A/V component for system remote control purposes. The accompanying switch allows you to select the remote control mode; External (controlled by another component, front panel IR receiver is disabled) or Internal (this player is used as a standalone component).

Specifications

Super Audio CD:

  • Frequency Range: 2 Hz-100 kHz (2 Hz-50 kHz -3 dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 112 dB
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 110 dB
  • THD (1 kHz): 0.0010%
  • Analog Output Level: 2.4 volts RMS

CD:

  • Frequency Range: 2 Hz-20 kHz (-0.15 dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 100 dB
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 110 dB
  • THD (1 kHz): 0.0015%
  • Analog Output Level: 2.4 volts RMS

Weight: 29.8 pounds

 
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Marantz Reference SA15S2 Reviews

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5 out of 5

MARANTZ REFERENCE SA15S2

Written By NEIL C, EAST PETERSBURG, PA. on Saturday, September 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
BUILT LIKE A TANK & VELVET SMOOTH SOUND! DEEPER BASS, LIQUIDITY SMOOTH MIDRANGE & DETAILED SMOOTH HIGHS! FOR BEST SOUND USE AN UPGRADED POWER & AUDIO CABLE SET & ALLOW TIME FOR BURN IN. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION FOR THE PLAYER & ESPECIALLY CRUTCHFIELD FOR BEST IN THE INDUSTRY SERVICE & GREAT SALES ADVISOR, ARTIE!! THANK YOU!!!
Pros:
BUILD & SOUND QUALITY!!
Cons:
NONE FOR ME!!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Marantz SA15S2

Written By John, Andalusia, AL on Saturday, November 17, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Outstanding in all respects. Even CD's made from original reel to reel recordings in the 50's and 60's sound better than before. SACD's are still the best!
2 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great CD player

Written By JerryP, Robinson, IL on Monday, October 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this player to replace my older CD only player. My secondary objective was to gain SACD playback, but my primary objective was to obtain a player that could play back the hundreds (probably thousands) of CDR and CDRW discs with LPs, tapes and compliations that I have made over the past 12 years or so. Most of these discs have paper labels on them, which renders them unplayable on slot loaded machines, and hit-or-miss on tray loaders (although they play fine on my desktop computer). The Marantz has had no problem (so far) playing any of them! That was a good start, but this SACD player also sounds significantly better than my "old" (5 year old) CD player that it replaced! It has encouraged me to pull out many-a-CD that I had not listened to in years just to hear what I've been missing. At last, a CD player that rivals my LP playback in terms of long term listening enjoyment. Something that I would have thought impossible. The clincher is the optical digital input that allows me to hook my Sonos wireless music system into the excellent internal D/A converter. This has improved the experience of listening to computer based music greatly, including streaming audio from Rhapsody and Internet radio stations! It all adds up to a great deal!
Pros:
Great sound; accepts optical digital input; Plays CDs, CDRs, CDRWs and SACDs without glitch. Looks great and appears to be built like a tank! Easy to program selections. Pleasant display that can be seen from across the room and can be turned off when not needed. Low power consumption, feel of luxury.
Cons:
Transport can be a little noisy when playing discs with paper labels, probably due to the disc being slightly out of balance. No balanced outputs, if you desire to use them. My amp doesn't have balanced inputs, so that is OK with me. I have also heard what seems to be a more solid tray drawer (e.g. Yamaha), but the Marantz is adequate and still above the average (better than the flimsy drawers on computer drives, for example).
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Superbly done

Written By Anonymous, Tennessee on Friday, May 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This sacd/cd player is an excellent value. The sound quality, build quality, and features are all first class. Not only that, this player is built to last many life times. And buying this from Crutchfield makes spending this kind of money a stress free and worry free experience. No buyer's remorse here that's for sure.
Pros:
Sound quality, build quality, features and value
Cons:
NONE !
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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