2016 was a big year for Marantz, with the company unveiling several impressive new products. It looks like the firm wants to follow up with an even bigger 2017, as this week it unveiled a new high-end audio player and amplifier that Marantz is so proud of, it simply refers to the pair as The New Reference.
The SA-10 is a CD / SACD player that replaces the previous Marantz Reference disc player, the SA-7. While that model only played discs, the SA-10 takes things a step further by doubling as a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). A USB input allows the listener to plug in a computer and play back high-resolution audio files, eliminating the need for a separate standalone DAC for their stereo.
Marantz claims the SA-10 is the first CD player/DAC without a DAC, which is rather confusing, but the company says this because it uses a different approach. The company says this approach, called Marantz Musical Mastering, makes the most out of digital music “without introducing artifacts requiring extra processing after conversion.”
The other half of this new pair is the PM-10 integrated amplifier, which the company describes as “the best integrated amplifier Marantz has ever produced.” The amplifier uses an all-analog design that Marantz claims can push out 400 watts per channel at 4 ohms or 200 watts per channel at 8 ohms using a dual-mono amplification process.
Paying attention to the resurgence in popularity of vinyl, Marantz equipped the PM-10 with a discrete phono stage, meant for use with both moving coil and moving magnet cartridges. The preamp section uses Marantz Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules, which employ discrete components instead of “chip-amps,” making for improved sound quality. The PM-10 even has the option of working in “Purest Mode,” which disables all optional circuits, providing the cleanest signal possible.
The SA-10 audio player is priced at $7,000, while the PM-10 amplifier will retail for $8,000. Both models are expected to begin shipping in January 2017. For more information, see the Marantz website.