Marantz SA11-S1 CD/SACD Player

Marantz SA11-S1 CD/SACD Player
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • High performance, superior sound reproduction, suitable for all kinds of music

Cons

  • No multi-channel support

Bottom Line

The Marantz SA11-S1 really is the complete package: stunning sound quality, gorgeous looks and dreadnought build quality

Would you buy this?

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?