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Marantz Reference Series SA-11S2
Stereo SACD/CD player
Item # 642SA11S2 | MFR # SA11S2
This item is no longer available.
Our take on the Marantz Reference Series SA-11S2 by Crutchfield's Loren Barstow
Marantz's SA-11S1 Super Audio CD player received high praise for its excellent sound quality, sturdy construction, and sleek design. Now Marantz takes it up a notch with the SA-11S2. This SACD player follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and incorporates features and technologies found in Marantz's flagship SA-7S1 for even better sonic performance.
Solid, vibration-fighting construction
The SA-11S2's aluminum disc playback mechanism rests on its own stabilizer plate, ensuring absolute accuracy reading your discs, with virtually no vibration. A specially designed transformer inside a copper-shielded case provides ample power to the player without generating performance-robbing interference. The rugged copper-plated chassis, solid aluminum top cover, and double-layered bottom plate help ensure peak performance by combating vibration, noise, and outside interference.
High-end circuitry for no-holds-barred performance
This player's precision circuitry includes a high-end digital-to-analog converter designed to reproduce every bit of warmth and detail on your CDs and SACDs. The circuitry is laid out to minimize signal paths, which prevents sound degradation and keeps your music sounding as pure and clean as possible. A defeatable DC filter eliminates low-frequency noise, and three selectable digital filters let you tailor the sound to your liking.
The SA-11S2 easily handles the expanded audio range of SACDs, thanks to its winning combination of meticulous design, rock-solid construction, and high-quality internal components. This powerful player also does a fantastic job with your regular CD collection, delivering nuances and subtle details you may not have heard before.
- stereo playback for SACDs, audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs
- SACD Text
- NPC multi-system (DSD/PCM) digital-to-analog converter
- aluminum disc mechanism
- fully balanced audio output stage with HDAM® SA2
- selectable digital filters for fine-tuning sound
- phase delay correction circuitry
- digital phase inversion for balanced output
- high-precision quartz clock with linear voltage regulation
- oversized toroidal power transformer with copper-shielded case
- copper-plated chassis with double-layered bottom plate
- solid aluminum top cover
- stereo RCA and balanced 3-pin XLR outputs
- optical and coaxial digital outputs for CD
- external clock input
- SACD specs:
- signal-to-noise ratio: 112 dB
- dynamic range: 114 dB
- CD specs:
- signal-to-noise ratio: 115 dB
- dynamic range: 100 dB
- remote control
- detachable power cord
- weight: 36.4 lbs
- 17-9/16"W x 4-15/16"H x 17-3/4"D
- warranty: 3 years parts and labor
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Super Audio CD player
- Wireless remote (RC001SA)
- 2 "AAA" batteries
- 6' AC power cord
- 5' RCA stereo patch cord
- User Guide (English/French)
- Limited Warranty
- Marantz Canada warranty
Features and Specs
|CD Transport Only||No|
|Direct Track Access||Remote|
|Direct Disc Access||N/A|
|Multiple CD Player Control||---|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|CD Frequency Response||2-20k Hz|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||100 dB|
|SACD Frequency Response||2-50k Hz|
|SACD Dynamic Range||112 dB|
|SACD THD||0.0009 %|
|Digital Optical Output||1|
|Digital Coaxial Output||1|
Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Encoding: The Super Audio CD standard is based on Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology. The DSD format is a 1-bit system that has a digital sampling frequency 64 times that of conventional audio CD, 2,822,400 samples per second. The result is spectacular: a frequency response of over 100k Hz and a 120 dB dynamic range over the entire audible spectrum. Mixed with as many of the original frequencies as possible, the audio information audible for human ears sounds much more natural.
Disc Compatibility: The SA-11S2 Super Audio CD player can play single layer Super Audio CDs, dual layer Super Audio CDs, Hybrid-layer Super Audio CDs, conventional audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs (recorded in standard CD-DA format). Both 12cm and 8cm discs are compatible. This unit is a two channel stereo player, so it does not recognize the multi-channel areas of Super Audio discs.
Construction: The heavy copper-plated chassis features a double layered bottom and aluminum top cover to dampen unwanted mechanical resonances while it shields delicate internal circuits from destructive radio frequency and electromagnetic radiation. The resonance-free disc mechanism provides an ultra-stable platform for both disc and laser optical system.
Segmented Power Supply: The segmented power supply includes a high-capacity toroid transformer entirely shielded by an aluminum shorting ring and a copper-plated case. This keeps magnetic radiation from affecting internal circuitry.
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.
Sound Mode: When you play a hybrid Super Audio disc, you can specify the layer to play, CD or SACD. Using the Start Sound Mode setting you can also specify which layer plays by default.
Phase Switching: By digitally processing audio signals read by this unit, it is possible to perform phase inversion without changing the tone quality. Inverted signals are output from the unbalanced output connectors. Phase switching can result in better sound quality when the player is used with an amp or other device that may be setup with an incorrect phase (such as a European device). In some cases, you may get a disc that is recorded with the incorrect phase being played, and you can play it in the correct phase by pressing the "Inv. Phase" button on the front panel.
Audio Adjustments: When playing a CD or the CD layer of a Super Audio CD, there are several audio settings that you can adjust for better sound quality:
- Noise Shaper: The Noise Shaper can be turned on or off during playback. Noise shaping is a type of digital feedback used in the algorithms for oversampling. Digital feedback improves the linearity of bass sounds and the noise characteristics of the audio frequency band.
- DC Filter: The DC filter can be turned on and off during playback. The DC filter is effective when the speakers vibrate abnormally for discs with recorded audio having extremely low noise characteristics. (The cutoff frequency is set to 1.7Hz.)
- Digital Outputs Off: The digital outputs can be turned off if no digital connections are made. When the digital outputs are turned off, sound quality is improved.
- Filters: The unit's PEC 777f2 filter is developed with an improved algorithm from the digital filter for CD playback. The filter has 3 types of built-in characteristics for both Audio CDs and Super Audio CDs. You can cycle between Filter Types 1, 2, and 3:
|Filter Type||Audio CD||Super Audio CD|
|Filter 1||This filter has short pre-echo and post-echo characteristics. It carries a lot of sound information; therefore very profound sound image and a clear sound source are reproduced.||This is a direct mode that does not perform any filtering on the DSD data. The original source data is reproduced without any alteration.|
|Filter 2||This characteristic is known as asymmetrical impulse response. The post echo is slightly longer than the pre-echo. The analog characteristics are slow roll-off characteristics, with well-balanced reproduction.||This filter dampens the section of DSD data that exceeds 100 kHz. Also, operations within DAC are made asymmetrical, priority is given to DAC resolution, and the equivalent of 40 multi-levels are achieved.|
|Filter 3||Impulse response is the shortest characteristic of these filters. It provides high sound definition along with a comfortable playback balance.||This filter attenuates sections of DSD data that exceed 100 kHz. In the DAC, it provides fully symmetric operation for 23 multi-levels.|
Digital Outputs: There are both coaxial and optical digital outputs on this unit. The digital outputs are active only when playing a standard CD. Because of the quality of the DACs in this player, one might choose not to use the digital outputs; in this case they can be turned off.
External Clock: The SACD player has a rear-panel BNC input for connecting an external master clock generator. Commercially-available master clock generators can output a highly precise clock signal with very little jitter, which provides a higher-quality sound playback. The frequency of the clock signal that can be input into the unit is 44.1, 88.2, or 176.4 kHz. When an external clock is connected, the External Clock button on the front panel can be used to synchronize the clock frequencies between the units. A lock indicator lights up on the display when the settings are complete.
Super Audio CD Text: The SA-11S2 can display the album title, artist name, and current track name. Twelve characters are displayed at once, if the text information is longer the display will scroll. Most SACDs have text information but it may be limited on some discs.
Display: The display can be set to show current track elapsed time, current track remaining time, entire disc remaining time, or Text information. The display can also be turned off.
Direct Search: You can specify a specific track using the numeric keypad on the SACD player's remote control.
Program Play: Up to 30 tracks can be programmed and played in any order.
Random Play: The SA-11S2 can play the tracks on the disc in random order. A program can also be played in random order.
Repeat Play: This unit can repeat the current track, all tracks, repeat Shuffle play, and repeat Program play. The unit also features A-B repeat to repeat a certain section of a disc.
Quick Replay: The quick replay button rewinds the disc a specified amount with each push. The factory setting is 5 seconds but is adjustable from 10-60 seconds in 1 second increments.
Automatic Music Scan (AMS): This feature is convenient to search for an unknown track on a disc. During AMS, the SACD player moves to next track every 10 seconds.
Remote Control: The supplied remote control (RC-001SA) features can fully control this unit, including some functions that can only be performed with the remote control. This aluminum-topped remote also has input selector and volume controls for select Marantz amplifiers (SC-7S2, PM-11S1, PM-15S1, PM7001, and SR9600).
- Unbalanced Analog Outputs: Stereo RCA connectors
- Balanced Analog Outputs: XLR connectors, if connecting the balanced output jacks, be sure to leave the unbalanced jacks unconnected, the balanced and unbalanced connectors cannot be used at the same time
- Coaxial Digital Output (CD only): Gold-plated RCA digital output, only outputs CD or the CD layer of a Hybrid SACD disc, can be turned off if not in use
- Optical Digital Output (CD only): Toslink optical digital output with a plastic cover, only outputs CD or the CD layer of a Hybrid SACD disc, can be turned off if not in use
- Ext. Clock Input: This is a BNC input connector for the clock frequency from an external master clock generator.
Super Audio CD:
- Playing Frequency Range: 2Hz to 100kHz
- Frequency Response: 2Hz to 50kHz (-3dB)
- Dynamic Range: 114dB
- S/N Ratio: 112dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion Rate: 0.0009%
- Frequency Response: 2Hz to 20kHz
- Dynamic Range: 100dB
- S/N Ratio: 115 dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion Rate: 0.002% or less
Analog Output Voltage:
- Unbalanced: 2.5 Vrms (Super Audio CD), 2.3 Vrms (Audio CD)
- Balanced: 5 Vrms (Super Audio CD), 4.6 Vrms (Audio CD)
Weight: 36.4 pounds
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