New Marantz SA-8005 SACD player- interesting price point

nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
edited May 2014 in Going Digital
Just realized that Marantz has upgraded their SA line. The SA8004 (which I have and am quite fond of) is discontinued, and there is a new SA8005 on the market. The SA8004 was priced at $999, while the new model is priced at $1199. I'm a bit surprised to see the bump in price, to be honest. Marantz are now pricing their player right at the price point of the Oppo 105, while the functionality is nowhere near that of the Oppo. The Oppo, in addition to being a great CD/SACD player and standalone DAC, is a fine blueray/dvd video player, supports multi-channel, has balanced outputs, and streams network files. The new Marantz, while adding DSD playback over USB, is still not a network streaming player (it can only connect to a PC via USB to play hard-drive based files), is strictly a 2-channel audio device, and only has single-ended outputs.

My SA8004 is in my 2-channel system, in a music-only room, and I have a Squeezebox Touch feeding into the SA8004 DAC for network streaming. While I do have a balanced amp, my pre-amp is single-ended so I couldn't use balanced outputs without a pre-amp upgrade. So I don't feel that I'm lacking much functionality versus the Oppo.

I do want to stress that the sound quality from my 8004 is incredible. I am certainly feeling no burning desire to go and upgrade. However, if I were to upgrade, given the similar price point and the rave reviews of the Oppo, I'd be hard pressed to justify buying the new Marantz rather than the 105 unless I did a head-to-head comparison of sound quality and the Marantz beat out the Oppo.

Just wondering if any other Marantz-heads out there have any comments about the pricing of the new SA8005, particularly against the feature-packed Oppo 105?
Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
Post edited by nspindel on
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Comments

  • nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
    edited February 2014
    While I'm on the subject of my 8004, I may as well note that I only have one complaint about this unit. If I am listening to an SACD (or a cd for that matter) and I toggle to one of the other digital inputs, e.g. the coax connection from my Squeezebox, the disc stops. I would prefer that the disc would continue tracking while I am using a different input. One thing I would like to be able to do, and can't, is compare the audio of the same recording in different formats. I have three or four SACD's that I also have in 24-bit flac files. I would really like to be able to cue up the disc and the Squeezebox together, and be able to toggle inputs back and forth so I can compare the sound. I'm not able to do this because as soon as I flip to the Squeezebox the disc stops and needs to be restarted when I switch back to the disc player as my input.

    Other than that minor gripe, the Marantz SA8004 is a superb unit, and sounds fantastic. Prior to purchasing it, I owned a Wyred4Sound DAC2. I was very happy with it's sound, but wanted to branch out into SACDs. When I read the reviews of the Marantz, the feedback was basically that you are buying a great DAC at a great price, and get an SACD player for free. I purchased the 8004 from Crutchfield witha 30-day no questions asked return policy, and put the DAC head to head with the W4S. I found that at a 50% cheaper price point, I liked the sound of the 8004 as a standalone DAC just as much as the W4S, and in some cases I liked it slightly better. I was able to sell the W4S and pocket several hundred dollars difference between the resale price of the W4S vs. the price of the 8004, and get SACD playback as a bonus.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
  • Erik TracyErik Tracy Posts: 4,691
    edited February 2014
    Nice write up - thanks for sharing.

    Marantz has done a good job of getting its 'cred back.

    [Happy owner of the Marantz Pearl SACD player]

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  • j1mmyj1mmy Banned Posts: 95
    edited February 2014
    Marantz owner myself. Thanks for the write up.
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,401
    edited February 2014
    Nice write up and good food for thought. I also just took a listen to my new found 8004 and I was floored at the SQ difference from my last Denon. I also agree that the 8005 hopefully does something very well to justify the price compared to the 105, that's stiff competition if the SQ is similiar.
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 6,104
    edited February 2014
    I have an SA 8004 also and use it as my DAC as well.. Somebody said it before, that it is like buying a DAC and getting an SACD player for free.
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  • danz1906danz1906 Posts: 5,153
    edited February 2014
    I've always enjoyed the Marantz sound..............Smooth!
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  • nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
    edited February 2014
    Back to my original question, though. Anyone have any thoughts on why Marantz would price the new 8005 to be the same cost as the Oppo 105? Although, the 8004 retailed for $999, didn't the Oppo 104 cost that much as well IIRC? The 8004 and the 104 were current models at the same time, so I guess the same question would have applied there as well. All I have heard about the high end Oppo is how great it sounds. Considering how much more feature rich it is than the Marantz players, what is the draw to the Marantz over the Oppo? I suppose I should be asking myself that question since I bought one!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,989
    edited February 2014
    I can think of 2 reasons:

    First is brand loyalty. Just as with any other product that somebody likes, if they feel a replacement is due, they at least look at the same brand. If the 8004 is as good sounding as you say, and the 8005 is as good or better sounding, many people will stop their search.

    Second reason is really simple. It is really hard to find an Oppo product to demo. Many people will be intrigued by reviews, but most will actually put more value in their own ears. So if Marantz sounds really good and they can't hear the Oppo, why risk it.
  • nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
    edited February 2014
    I can buy that.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,566
    edited February 2014
    Their sources are getting rave reviews, so the bump probably has to do with supply/demand. The average consumer probably won't know the name Oppo, so putting it in the same price bracket isn't going to hurt it any. Besides, that $200 difference isn't big enough for hardcore audiophiles (the ones who usually buy the 105) to buy the Marantz simply because its $200 cheaper.
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  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,725
    edited February 2014
    I'm not sure of the 80004 can do dsd? The oppo can.
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 41,422
    edited February 2014
    I haven't heard the Oppo 105, but have heard previous models, which were also raved about by many. They must have raving about the video because it sure wasn't the sound quality. I don't know, that jack of all trades, master of none always bothers me about universal players.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,871
    edited February 2014
    Haven't heard the 103 or 105, but would imagine people like them given the reviews.

    Jack of all trades Jess ? Maybe so, but then so are receivers. Have to admit the SQ in receivers, totl anyway, has come along way. What would a good BDP, CDP/SACD player, and a good dac add up to ? A lot more than the OPPO. Even if the sq would be better using seperates , for HT purposes it probably wouldn't matter much and wouldn't give up too much spinning CD's either.

    Universal players certainly has it's place and attractions. For what OPPO offers and it's price class, almost a no brainer. Can you do better ? Of course you can, but your wallet may not like it.

    That said Jess, I have heard the OPPO 83 and 95, and my observations were the same as yours. Excellent video, but the SQ for music fell a tad short to my ears. Not that it was bad, just not what I was expecting. Having gotten my ears on the progression of dac chips, Burr Browns, Wolfsen, then Sabre, every step seems to subtract from the tonality, musicality if you will, for the sake of extra detail. That's just my ears, your MMV obviously.
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  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,241
    edited February 2014
    erniejade wrote: »
    I'm not sure of the 80004 can do dsd? The oppo can.

    The 8004 model isn't set up to handle DSD. I'm not sure why it wasn't because the 8005 is using the same DAC chipset. Actually, the only reason I can see to get an 8005 is to handle DSD download computer files. Other than that the two look identical to me, except for the price increase.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
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    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,086
    edited February 2014
    Features adds complexity to the design which increases the price point. Having built a dual mono DAC that allows access to everything the DAC offers, it added parts, cost and complexity but the output ultimately determines sound quality.

    An interesting Oppo hardware wiki that explains the design differences between their offerings.

    http://wiki.oppodigital.com/index.php?title=BDP-105_Hardware_FAQ
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  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,048
    edited February 2014
    Just bought the SA8005 SACD player

    so far I've played all my SACD's on my HT set-up with a oppo103..but wanted 1 for my 2 ch setup in pc/listening room.

    right after I ordered it I read a forum saying the windows driver was busted and talk was a month to fix...sure enough I could not get the driver to work :( as I have run and installed drivers for 2 others dac's without a problem and know how to set one up and how to easily change between them and the sound card, I know I'm not doing anything wrong and I did triple check everything and tried everything I could on my part to make it work :(

    Most people on other forum could not believe they shipped them out that way....anyways I've email support from marantz and can not call as it is the weekend I'll just have to wait to talk to Marantz about helping me out.

    Well its a good looking unit :) and so far its sounds pretty good even though I'm using brand new Kimber IC's ... guess I'll go play some sacd's and not worry to much about it.
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

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  • VCoakVCoak Posts: 200
    edited February 2014
    Thats not good to hear. I have been looking for the sa-8004 used but my eye has been on the sa-8005 too. Keep us posted on/when they fix this. THX

    mco
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  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,048
    edited February 2014
    Tried 3 different USB cables and on a win 7 64 pro PC was no good...tried win 8 laptop no go.

    tried a friends MAC since it doesn't need a driver.. It shows up & we can switch to the USB hi-speed dac but can not get any sounds from Sa8005 - it has a message scrolling on the sa8005 screen saying "Unsupported" :(

    think its going to need a major firmware upgrade to fix this when it won't even work with a mac :(
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,048
    edited February 2014
    I found someone who was able to get the dac to work with his mac computer 100% of the time. (it was not a air book) so it seems it is just a driver problem, but we could not get it to work on a air book.
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • VCoakVCoak Posts: 200
    edited February 2014
    Interesting. Hope they fix this soon. Tax returns are on there way and will be burning a hole in my pocket.
    W4S SX-1000, Adcom gfp-750, Polk 1.2tl, W4S DAC 2 DSDse, 2012 mac mini (mod), JRivers ver. 19, WD Cloud NAS 2 t.b., Monster Cable AVS-2000 signature, Doug's Alpha I/C & Doug's biwire 6' speaker cables
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,048
    edited February 2014
    After checking out several forums I found a forum where some one finally got a response from marantz saying that the driver on all the website's is wrong and he was email the driver from a UK rep and it does work. and was verified by another member he sent the driver too. the old - wrong - driver was from dec 2012.

    I talk to a USA rep and she said they know of the problem and hopefully soon the will update the driver to their websites!

    one of the members of that forum is going to email a working driver, so maybe soon I will have it working :)
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,048
    edited February 2014
    I have received the new driver via email and everything is up and working perfectly :)

    Been using JRiver Media center to play some DSD files I bought from Acoustic Sounds and everything seems to sounding great!
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,271
    edited March 2014
    I know I'm late with a comment on this, but here it goes anyway...

    Comparing Oppo with Marantz is a no brainer to me. It's Oppo all the way.

    Better built machines with Customer Service to match. I've found that Marantz players can sound pretty good, but they are buggy or flat out defective and Marantz seems like it could not care less.

    Of the three Marantz disc players I've owned, two of them had serious issues that could not be fixed or explained. One I threw away and one was returned for an Oppo. The Oppo has been nearly flawless for an entire year and sounds flat out amazing (and it was $100 less than the Marantz).

    Sorry for the rant, but after experiencing how Marantz handles faulty equipment that is sold for a premium price, I'll never look to them again.
    Living room:
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  • nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
    edited March 2014
    Wow Frank, sorry you had such bad experiences. Good to know, though. Glad mine is not a lemon!
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,271
    edited March 2014
    nspindel wrote: »
    Wow Frank, sorry you had such bad experiences. Good to know, though. Glad mine is not a lemon!

    Don't mean to be a stick in the mud.

    They just really burned me and I can't seem to look past how they treat customers.

    Almost like you're lucky they even let you buy their machines...

    It's a damn shame because the stuff does sound good! I LOVED my old CD5004, the only player that never gave me any issue from them.

    I feel like they are the Saab (RIP) of the Audio world. Despite the fact that my old 9-3 Vector was a total PIA and was always in the shop, I traded it in with a tear in my eye...
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Parasound HCA 1500A : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Sony XBR 55X810C Monitor :
  • spottyspotty Posts: 5
    edited March 2014
    I've never owned a 24 bit 192kHz capable DAC before, and now I know what I've been missing - HD audio files on my laptop transmitted via USB to the Marantz SA-8005 player sounds superb, way better than CD's and up to the quality of SACD's. Build quality pretty impressive too .
  • nspindelnspindel Posts: 5,343
    edited March 2014
    Glad you're happy with it! I would enjoy a head to head between the Oppo and Marantz if I ever have the opportunity.
    Good music, a good source, and good power can make SDA's sing. Tubes make them dance.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,869
    edited March 2014
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    I've found that Marantz players can sound pretty good, but they are buggy or flat out defective and Marantz seems like it could not care less.

    Of the three Marantz disc players I've owned, two of them had serious issues that could not be fixed or explained. One I threw away and one was returned for an Oppo. The Oppo has been nearly flawless for an entire year and sounds flat out amazing (and it was $100 less than the Marantz).

    Sorry for the rant, but after experiencing how Marantz handles faulty equipment that is sold for a premium price, I'll never look to them again.

    You can also add Denon to that also...Just absolutely horrible customer service and THEY DON'T CARE one iota. I have had stuff returned to me from Denon that was in worse shape than before I sent it in because they sent it back in a box with not one piece of foam or any sort of packing material...Just to let you know I sent it in double boxed double pink Styrofoam all around
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    edited March 2014
    I bet my old marantz 8004 would smash any stock oppo bdp.
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,271
    edited March 2014
    I bet my old marantz 8004 would smash any stock oppo bdp.

    I bet you smashed your old 8004 just plugging it in...

    I have no doubt the 8004 sounds great, but I place a very high value on how a company handles customer service opportunities.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Parasound HCA 1500A : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Sony XBR 55X810C Monitor :
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