Many music lovers will have a hard time figuring out just what the SA8004 is. Is it a CD player? An SACD player? A device that makes my portable music player and computer sound better? In a word, yes.
Unlike many disc players that only allow you to enjoy their digital to analog converters (otherwise known as DACs) with music on discs, the Marantz SA8004 does something revolutionary…it allows you to use its DACs on ANY stereo digital audio source.
The front panel USB "A" input is the perfect place to plug in your portable music player and access your music in the digital domain. Now the Apple Lossless files stored on your iPod can be played back in all their sonic glory through the Marantz's excellent circuitry. The SA8004 actually bypasses the iPod/iPad/iPhone's internal DAC's and extract the pure digital signal to be processed by the SA8004's built-in Cirrus CS4398 DAC!
The same thing goes for the rear panel USB "B" connection. Simply plug your SA8004 into your computer (both Macs and PCs are supported) and select it as the default audio output device. Now you can bypass the questionable audio decoding and analog outputs from your computer and listen to all your digital music up to 24/96kHz resolution through a real audiophile component. Keep in mind that this input can handle everything your computer dishes out…even Internet Radio, and your personal Spotify playlists. Pretty sweet.
Conventional TOSlink and Coaxial digital inputs are also provided, so you can easily connect your old CD changer, Satellite Radio tuner, or any device with a stereo digital audio output to the SA8004 digital inout that can accept a 24/192 digital signal and enjoy really superior sonics.
Did we mention it plays discs too?
In addition to your collection of CDs, the SA8004 can play back burned CD-Rs or CD-RWs containing MP3 or WMA files. For the audiophiles, the SA8004 is also a killer two-channel Super Audio CD (SACD) player.
The SA8004 features the same audiophile refinements that you'll find in their much more expensive Reference Series components, including a discrete HDAM2 audio stage, audio grade Elna capacitors, a huge oversized toroidal power transformer, and a vibration killing multi-layer chassis. There's even a high performance headphone amplifier with its own volume control.
Looking for a 21st century music player to handle your entire music collection? Whether you get your tunes from spinning discs, portable music players, or from a computer's hard disc look no further than the excellent Marantz SA8004.