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Marantz SA8003

Stereo SACD/CD player

Item # 642SA8003

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Our take on the Marantz SA8003

The Marantz SA8003 serves up audiophile quality performance from high-resolution Super Audio CDs. Featuring precision craftsmanship and carefully selected internal components, it delivers smooth, densely layered sound with outstanding stereo separation and spot-on imaging. This player also breathes new life into your CD collection by revealing subtle nuances that you may never have noticed.

The Marantz SA8003 serves up audiophile quality performance from high-resolution Super Audio CDs. Featuring precision craftsmanship and carefully selected internal components, it delivers smooth, densely layered sound with outstanding stereo separation and spot-on imaging. This player also breathes new life into your CD collection by revealing subtle nuances that you may never have noticed.

The SA8003's specially designed disc transport, double-layered bottom chassis, and reinforced front panel resist vibrations that can adversely affect performance. A hefty power supply delivers clean current for lively, low-noise playback. High-end digital-to-analog converters accurately reproduce audio tracks with amazing clarity and detail. The gold-plated, machined brass outputs help maintain this player's high-quality sound by ensuring the best signal transfer to your stereo system, and are widely spaced so they won't cramp the connectors on high-quality interconnects.

Marantz also outfitted the SA8003 with a USB port — a feature rarely seen on SACD/CD players. This lets you plug in an iPod® or thumb drive, and take advantage of this player's high-end digital-to-analog converters for the best possible sound from your digital music library.

Read our blog post Better home audio, Tip #13: Use high-quality source components.

Product Highlights:

  • stereo playback for SACDs, CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 & WMA CDs
  • exclusive Marantz disc mechanism
  • zero impedance copper ground plate for analog terminals
  • double-layered bottom chassis
  • double-shielded power supply with toroidal transformer
  • aluminum/reinforced resin front panel
  • remote
  • detachable power cord
  • front-panel USB port for MP3/WMA/WAV/AAC playback
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs for CD playback
  • gold-plated, machined brass stereo analog outputs
  • headphone jack with volume control
  • remote control input/output (for use with Marantz receivers and amps with a compatible remote control in/out jack)
  • SACD specs:
    • frequency response: 2Hz - 50kHz
    • dynamic range: 112 dB
  • CD specs:
    • frequency response: 2Hz - 20kHz
    • dynamic range: 100 dB
  • Cirrus Logic digital-to-analog converter
  • 17-5/16"W x 4-5/16"H x 15-1/16"D
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Super Audio CD player
  • Wireless remote (RC002SA)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 3' RCA stereo patch cord
  • 2 Coaxial digital cable (with one RCA plug on each end)
  • User Guide (English/French)
  • Limited Warranty
  • Marantz Canada warranty
  • Customer Service Phone Number note

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Disc Capacity 1
CD Transport Only No
Disc Exchange N/A
Track Programming 24
Random Play Single Disc
Disc Naming No
Direct Track Access Yes
Direct Disc Access N/A
Remote Included
Display Color Bluish white
Multiple CD Player Control ---
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years
CD-R Playback Yes
CD-RW Playback Yes
MP3 Playback Yes
SACD Playback 2-Channel
CD Frequency Response 2-20k Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio 110 dB
SACD Frequency Response 2-100k Hz
SACD Dynamic Range 112 dB
SACD THD 0.002 %
Digital Optical Output 1
Digital Coaxial Output 1
Headphone Standard

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs Notes


Chassis: The chassis of the SA8003 is copper-coated with an aluminum, reinforce resin front panel and a double layered bottom chassis to prevent any unwanted vibration that may cause sound quality distortion.

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.

Toroidal Transformer: This type of transformer produces less vibration and magnetic leakage flux. The materials and manufacturing process of the ring-shaped core are strictly controlled to reduce vibration, while the short-ring attached to the perimeter of the transformer reduces magnetic leakage flux.

Large Capacitance Block Capacitor: A large capacity 3300uF block capacitor is incorporated into the power supply circuit.

Audiophile Grade Capacitors: The SA8003 features the same audiophile-grade film capacitors and electrolytic capacitors specifically used in top-range modes.

Super Audio: 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 SA8003 uses a high performance 192 kHz/24-bit Cirrus Logic CS4398 Digital-to-Analog Converter with a digital filter for exceptional signal processing.

Disc Compatibility: The Marantz SA8003 Super Audio CD player can play the following discs:

  • Single layer Super Audio CDs: These discs contain a single HD (high density) layer, which can contain a high quality stereo area and a high quality multi-channel area. These discs are playable only on an SA-CD compatible unit such as the SA8003
  • Dual layer Super Audio CDs: These discs contain two HD layers for longer playing times which can contain stereo and multi-channel areas. The information is recorded on one side only, so the discs do not have to be turned. These discs are playable only on an SA-CD compatible unit.
  • Hybrid Layer Disc: These discs contain 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.
  • Conventional Audio CDs: Audio CDs containing music tracks only.
  • CD-R/CD-RW: This unit can play back CD-R (Recordable) and CD-RW (ReWritable) discs containing WMA and MP3 audio music files.

Note: The SA8003 is a stereo-only player, and cannot play high-quality multi-channel audio areas.

USB Port: This unit can play back MP3, WMA, WAV, and AAC files recorded in FAT16 or FAT32 by connecting an USB device or iPod to is front-panel USB port. The SA8003 can support up to 65,535 files, 700 folders, and a maximum of 8 levels. The SA8003's front-panel controls and supplied wireless remote control will operate your USB device or iPod.

Note: Your iPod's click-wheel or touch-screen will not function when connected. The iPod equalizer cannot be operated from the SA8003.

MP3/WMA/AAC Playback: The Marantz SA8003 supports playback of MP3 (32-320kbps) and WMA (48-320kbps) audio tracks recorded onto CD-R/RW discs in ISO 9660 Level1/2, Joilet or Romeo format; or stored on your USB/iPod device in FAT12 or FAT32. The SA8003 also supports AAC (8-320kbps) audio file playback from your USB device and iPod.

Text Compatible: This unit can display disc information from your SACD discs, as well as your compressed audio music information from your CD-R/RW discs or USB device/iPod.

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.

Playback Options: The SA8003 provide the following options for disc playback:

  • Direct Search: Directly 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: For searching for a particular part of the current track, you can search forward or backward. No sound is output during this search.
  • Repeat Play: You can repeat playback of one track, the entire disc, or specific portions of a track (A-B repeat).
  • Random Play: You can play all tracks of the disc in random order.
  • Program Play: You can arrange and play tracks on a disc in a specific sequence. Up to 24 tracks can be programmed. As you are selecting tracks, the display will show the number of tracks in the program, and the total playing time of the programmed tracks.  During program play, you can repeat the entire list of programmed tracks, or play them in random order.
  • AMS: The Automatic Music Search feature will play the first 10 seconds of each track on the disc. When you find the song you want to listen to, you can press the AMS or play buttons for normal playback.
  • Quick Replay: The Quick Replay feature immediately goes back a preset amount of time so you can re-listen to a missed portion of the track. The Quick Replay time can be set between 5 and 60 seconds (in intervals of 1 second).

Timer Play: This unit can perform timer play by cooperating with your audio timer. Just connect this unit's power cord to the audio timer's power socket and the timer's power cord to a AC outlet.

Remote Control: The supplied RC002SA IR wireless remote control is a full-feature remote control for the SA8003. It also has mute, volume and input controls for compatible Marantz receivers.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Audiophile Grade Terminals: The CD player uses audiophile grade selected components and terminals, plus a zero impedance copper ground plate for analog terminals which all together provide excellent signal transfer from your CD player to your amplifier.

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 standard audio CD. No signal is output during playback of a Super Audio CD.

Analog Output: The player also feature a Stereo RCA analog output connection.

Remote Control: Two RCA jacks (1 "in" and 1 "out") are provided for connecting the player and another Marantz A/V component for system remote control purposes. The accompanying switch allows you to select the remote control mode you desire: External (when the player is connected to another component's remote control jacks) or Internal (when the player is used as a standalone component).

USB Port: Front panel USB type-A port for playback of MP3, WMA, WAV, and AAC files from a connected USB device or iPod.

Headphone Output: The unit has a front panel 1/4" headphone jack with level control.

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.