SACD Players

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The SA-15S2 stands tall at almost 5 inches and hefty at 30 pounds. As I mentioned, cosmetically the 15S2 is right in line with the entire Reference series. The front panel display is attractive and functional. The OSD indicates the media type SACD, CD or WMA/MP3 file while also indicating the usual disk information including whether the digital output has been turned off.

On either side of the screen are illuminated play functions – functional and intuitively arranged I do however find them a bit small and unless you mount the SA-15S2 higher on your rack, I'd recommend using the remote for anything other than turning it on and off which can only be done manually.

Marantz employs a different mechanism and tray in the 15S2 than the other units, specifically a high tensile strength Xyron composite said to minimize micro-vibrations. The transport is also a Marantz in the SACDM-10; the other SACD players have the aluminum SACD-1.

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

The back and therefore connections include; stereo RCA analog outputs, digital outputs in both optical and coaxial, and also a digital optical input. In either situation the 15S2 allows other digital PCM only sources to us the internal DAC (which is referred to as "DAC mode"), and if you'd prefer to use an outboard processor or CD recorder using the digital output.

The SA-15S2 handles not only 2-channel SACD including Hybrid and Redbook CD's, but also CD-R/RW encoded with MP3 and WMA files up to 24-bit/192 kHz using Cirrus Logic digital processors and supports both PCM (CD) and DSD (SACD) data streams.

Lastly, besides a detachable power cord, on the rear is a connection for remote controlling with external Marantz components.

Marantz SA-15S2 Reference Series SACD Player

On the inside Marantz's proprietary HDAM-SA2 circuitry or Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module which insures a short signal path and "discrete circuit elements". A double shielded Toroidal transformer insures stray magnetic leakage and vibration. The power block capacitor is the same used in the SA-7S1.

Output can be analog or if you'd prefer your own outboard processor digital with either coaxial or optical connections. The digital outputs can be turned off if you choose analog to preserve the signal from "stray emissions".

The SACD Cirrus Logic audio DAC CS4398 is used for it's capability to handle 24 bit conversion and 192 kHz sampling rate as well as high dynamic range up to 120 dB.

Although the chassis isn't copper coated as in the SA-7S1 flagship, it's still nonetheless double layered and very much like the other siblings Marantz engineers use solid copper extensively in the 15S2 – discrete components, in ground plates, and machined brass output terminals.

Leave your amp off if you use the nicely added discrete headphone amp and output ¼" jack which includes its own volume control.