Marantz SA-12SE/PM-12SE SACD Player/Amplifier Lab Report

Lab Report

Employing the same Ncore NC500 Class D amp module as the PM-KI Ruby [HFN Jan '19], the PM-12SE shares a very similar but marginally superior performance, offering slightly higher power, lower distortion (0.0008% vs. 0.0015% re. 1kHz/10W) and an improved A-wtd S/N ratio (80.7dB vs. 79.6dB re. 0dBW). Once again, the modest 100/200W 8/4ohm rating is exceeded to the tune of 190W/310W, with 228W, 433W, 645W and 355W achieved under dynamic conditions into 8, 4, 2 and 1ohm loads [see Graph 1, below]. As we've seen before, the Class D module's reactive filter network still causes both an increase in output impedance and distortion at very high frequencies (to 0.035%/20kHz/10W) but the response remains unaffected by loading and is almost identical to that of the PM-KI Ruby, reaching out to –0.65dB/20kHz and –7.1dB/100kHz.

Marantz's partnering SA-12SE player offers a 2.0V analogue output (2.5V with SACD) coupled with a healthy 107dB A-wtd S/N ratio and distortion that's just 0.0002-0.0003% (20Hz-20kHz) with Filter 1 [see Graph 2] and fractionally higher at 0.0005% with Filter 2, a corrected-phase 'fast' type. The response (and stopband rejection) depends on your choice of digital filter: 'Filter 1' is a linear phase, slow roll-off type that trades minimal pre/post ringing against a mere 4.1dB image rejection and a roll-off of –4.9dB/20kHz (CD), –7.3dB/45kHz (96kHz files) and –14dB/90kHz (192kHz files). 'Filter 2' has a flatter response trend reaching out to –1.45dB/20kHz, –4.9dB/45kHz and –20dB/90kHz. SACD/DSD64 media stretch out to –0.7dB/20kHz, –3.0dB/50kHz and –13dB/100kHz. Jitter is low with 24-bit LPCM inputs at 55psec, and just 35psec with SACD/DSD64. PM


Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 18.8A


Distortion versus digital signal level at 1kHz (S/PDIF & USB, red; CD, black) and 20kHz (CD, blue)

Continuous power (<1% THD, 8/4ohm) 190W / 310W
Dynamic power (<1% THD, 8/4/2/1ohm) 228W / 433W / 645W / 355W
Amp freq. resp. (20Hz-20kHz/100kHz) +0.0 to –0.65dB/–7.1dB
CD freq. resp. (20Hz-20kHz, Filter 1/2) +0.0 to –4.85dB/–1.45dB
Digital jitter (CD / USB / SACD) 126psec / 55psec / 39psec
A-wtd S/N ratio (Player/Amp) 107.0dB (0dBFs) / 80.7dB (0dBW)
Distortion (20Hz-20kHz; Player/Amp) 0.0002-0.0003%/0.0009–0.035%
Power consumption (Player/Amp) 28W / 256W (38W idle)
Dimensions (WHD, Player/Amp) 440x123x419/453mm
Price £2999 (each)

Sound United/D&M Holdings
Kanagawa, Japan
Supplied by: D&M Audiovisual Ltd, UK
02890 279830