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barbican33's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 5 2007 - 12:15pm
Add DAC, Marantz SA15S1, or McIntosh MCD201?

I am new to the forum. I have a question, but first let me say that what is impressive about the contributors here is the same thing that impresses me about Stereophile -- intelligence, technical knowledge, and articulateness. It is really enjoyable reading the posts here.

I have a decent 5.1 home theater system and want to add a dedicated stereo CD player. Here is my current equipment:

Marantz SR8500 receiver
Marantz DV6600 universal player (DVD, CD, SACD)
PSB VS 400 left-right tower speakers plus center channel and 2 CW 180R ceiling surrounds --- (The VS 400 is a low profile speaker designed to complement on-wall HD displays.)

PSB 6i subwoofer
NEC 50XR5 50" plasma
Tributarie interconnects
And -- forgive me for this low-fi item -- an Audiotechnica AT-PL120 turntable

(I am using the turntable mainly to digitize some of my LPs. I play the LPs infrequently, so I could not justify the cost of a high-end turntable.)

This equipment is in a family room that was built specifically to accommodate a home theater system. The PSB VS 400s are there because of my wife's desire to have speakers that would not visually overwhelm the room. This room must double as a stereo listening room.

Here are the stereo CD players I am considering:

Marantz SA8001 ($1000)
Marantz SA15S1 ($2000)
McIntosh MCD201 ($3300)

I have two questions:

1. What are your opinions on buying one of these players and using the DAC in that versus adding a Benchmark or other DAC to the DV6600 universal player that I now have?

2. Would my PSB speakers do justice to these three units, or does it only make sense to upgrade the CD player if I buy fuller range left and right speakers? Because of WAF, that would be a challenging project.

Thanks very much for your advice.

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 9 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: Add DAC, Marantz SA15S1, or McIntosh MCD201?

I would also look at the Creek Classic CD Player for $1500.

1. A high quality transport with a high quality DAC will usually sound better than a good quality transport with a high quality DAC. That said the DAC in the Creek CD player is pretty good, but you could add a better DAC in the future.

2. You can use your subwoofer with your PSB VisionSound 400s for a full range two-channel system.

ohfourohnine's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: Add DAC, Marantz SA15S1, or McIntosh MCD201?

I auditioned the Creek Classic before buying the Marantz SA11S1 and found the Creek a bit anemic by comparison. Given the purchase I made, you can guess what I'd recommend, Spencer, but your ears are the ones to make your decision.

CECE's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Add DAC, Marantz SA15S1, or McIntosh MCD201?

That Creek page says it has 117dB dynamic range!! How can that be out of a CD SACD is barely above that.

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