Launched on December 1st, 2016, the new Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 amplifier are technologically the boldest products the Eindhoven-based company has done in many years. The silver disc spinner replaces the SA-7, and sports a bespoke, newly designed optical disc mechanism that can also read DVD-ROM discs with FLAC, DSD, ALAC or MP3 files stored as data – in addition to its standard CD and SACD functionality. It sports a very powerful digital signal processing suite called Marantz Musical Mastering, which involves custom hardware and software to carry out oversampling, filtering and conversion. The SA-10 also functions as a DAC and has extensive galvanic isolation, optimised for USB playback.
The PM-10 integrated amplifier is no less of an eye-opener, and sees Marantz for the first time using an analogue high-speed Pulse Width Modulation switching power amplifier section working in Class D. The company points out that it’s not ‘digital’ and nor does it have a DAC! It does however have twin switch mode power supplies, to complement the one large toroidal, and runs fully balanced and in dual mono configuration. Marantz says this particular design was chosen to give a high power output (2x 200W RMS into 8 ohms, twice that into 4) in a comparatively compact package; the PM-10 is still a large product but smaller than the monoblocks it supersedes. Both products have obviously been built with meticulous attention to detail and with little concern for cost; UK prices haven’t been announced so far but expect both pieces to cost between £5,000 and £7,000.
A brief audition of both together in Marantz’s excellent listening room at its Eindhoven HQ confirms that the SA-10 and PM-10 sound superb, with a beautifully clean and delicate nature that imposes little character on the music. They’re also superbly dimensional too, with a wide and expansive soundstage that drops back – and pushes forward – a long way. The SA-10 is obviously a superlative disc spinner and DAC, and the PM-10 shows none of the obvious characteristics of switching amplifiers; it doesn’t broadcast its circuit topology at you. Instead, it presents as a rich, detailed and open performer with vast reserves of power. Further listening to follow!