Any Plans For A Steller SACD Transport?

The issue is that Marantz have mostly made products that are attractive equally as a CD player, SACD player or standalone DAC, so such a product is attractive to a wide range of potential customers, especially given in Japan CD retains 30% of physical sales. They to mid (30n) and high-end (SA12) units. They use extensive galvanic isolation, attractive to people using as a DAC only known the drive unit is isolated, and in the more expensive models a lot of copper shielding.

So I think the issue is that Marantz must have a massively larger market than PS Audio as their products do a lot more and their local market is still heavily into spinning discs, unlike the USA.

Here is the best match for Stellar Gain Cell DAC. It plays SACD and DSD from files, has balanced XLR Output and costs in Europe a couple of hundred EURO less than the Stellar Gain Cell DAC.

And what’s more, 4k BluRay, native, HD formats etc. etc.

It is the new and very attractive Oppo replacement.


Discs are not dead. In fact the market is screaming for disc spinners.

It’s most likely built in China, but REAVON is a new French start up, not Japanese and they see a market for it too.

A PS Audio Steller transport which would connect via I2s to the Gain Cell DAC would be a neat product.


Agree, although an item which I don’t think we will ever see.

I am not sure I understand the Marantz N30 comparison at $3K USD. It does not have I2S or even XLR. For a transport to be in the Stellar price range it is going to need to be in the $1500-$2000 USD range. I would assume that would be a problem for PS Audio to provide a lot of great features and be profitable at that price and justify the higher cost of the PST.

That’s why I mentioned the Arcam. Honestly, I don’t think PS Audio can build something that offers the features in the Arcam, add I2S DSD output, and do it at 50% higher cost (net after trade-in) than the Arcam. I don’t think it’s in their business model or pricing structure. For me: Sony mech, fine. No galvanic isolation, fine. And if they did, it would certainly pull sales away from the PerfectWave SACD Transport.

Would agree Arcam can build an SACD/CD player in China cheaper than PS Audio could build an SACD/CD transport in the US.

I miss the ‘old independent’ Arcam who use to build innovative and cutting edge products in the UK similar to what PS Audio does here in the US!

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They are compared because PS Audio utilizes the exact same Marantz drive in their Perfect Wave SACD Transport. Yet the Marantz with all its features costs EUR 3200 compared to EUR 7500 for the PS Audio.

Just to be clear PS Audio just purchased the drive from Marantz, not the entire n30 apparatus.

One would think that PS Audio could match that price EUR 3200 by replacing the streamer, large display and DAC by a Toslink, SPDIF and I2S logic board since they have that technology on the shelf since they developed the Direct Stream Transport. Than put that package into the Stellar M1200 enclosure with a simple display and a couple of buttons like the Perfect Wave has.

I bet PS Audio would sell a lot of that together with Octave SACD’s in natively recorded DSD format by the Master Guss Skinnas himself.

EUR 7500 is just out of reach for too many people to try and make DSD more popular.

But the above mentioned Marantz and certainly that REAVON UBR-200 that is sold for EUR 1600 are way more affordable units. Their Audio Quality is good enough for Stellar level considering that the only SACD I2S transport on the market costs more than 4 x the REAVON.

Has PS Audio ever specified which Marantz transport they use in their PST ($6500USD)?

The Maramtz SACD 30N ($2999 USD) uses the SACD-M3L transport. The Marantz SA-10 ($7499USD) uses the SACD-M3 transporrt. Maratz makes more than one model reference transport.

The whole cost of the transport analogy seems unusefull though. There is a lot more technology in a player and/or standalone transport the just the transport drive unit. It would be like saying a $10,000 tower speaker is over priced because it uses the same tweeter, and in most cases mid-range driver, as a $2000 bookshelf speaker in the same series of speakers made by the same speaker manufacturer. Speaker companies regularly do this!

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The PST employs the SACD-M3 transport mechanism, the same as in the Marantz SA-10 ($7499USD).

@Rudolf_Appel you have beat this dead horse for well over a year now in multiple threads. Enough already. We all know you are disappointed PS Audio has not offered a Steller transport. We get it. We also know you returned your Stellar Gain Cell DAC; you keep telling us.

As you keep pointing out, there are affordable options readily available to you. Buy one of these, listen to music, be happy.


To be fair to @Rudolf_Appel that’s the first I’ve read him saying those things, but I don’t have history here. To me, it’s not material what mech is used in higher priced products. I also acknowledge that it’s unlikely that a Steller SACD transport is something they will offer, if for no other reason than, I doubt they can provide a product that would be competitive in the marketplace at a marketplace price point. Lastly, I see no problem beating the dead horse, or beating a drum (to keep this musical) for a Steller transport. Keep reminding them what you want. This forum is a valuable source of information for PS Audio, a group of enthusiasts who express their consumer desires. Maybe it’s falling on deaf ears, but that was 100% of the intent of my post, beating the drum of change.

We hope you continue to hang out so that you, too, have a long history here!

If you are interested, the forum has a search function which should locate the past discussions for you.

Your thread raising this issue is absolutely appropriate, and you raised the issue in a positive, constructive way. :+1:

The Roon forums call this “axe grinding” and will delete posts, and possible suspend posters over it, without warning. I like your way better.


The worst of the forums that center around a specific manufacturer’s products are those that only allow “fan boi” praise. Only make comments the mothership would approve of. That doesn’t help anyone. I’d rather be around a group of people with very sharp axes, than a collective of Stepford wives.

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Thoughtful, constructive criticism is welcome.

Unrelenting, repetitive, agenda driven negativity is not; it sucks the air out of the room and serves no useful purpose.


Yep, a certain formerly British company’s forum comes to mind immediately . . . it is a sad echo chamber where some alternative products aren’t even allowed to be mentioned.

I also agree with @Elk above.

The SACD-M3 can be found in the PST (£6,500), Marantz SA10 (£6,000) and the Marantz SA12se (£3,000).

The Marantz 30n uses a modified version called M3L as the original M3 was just too large for the 30 series case.

All this demand for a Stellar SACD player, Marantz did this with the SA12, halving the cost. They removed all the copper electrical insulation that was a feature of the SA10 and the balanced circuits.

I think th SA12 was limited to Japan and Europe.

Not surprising in the least. My post was merely answering which drive is in the PST (the Marantz SACD-M3).

The point being is there is a budget unit with the M3 transport and the M3L was not primarily a budget issue, the 30 series was a focused on a retro design and the M3 didn’t fit, so they had to cut down the height of the chassis.

I’ve not seen or heard it, but the Series 30 combo seems popular just won the 2021-22 EISA system award.

Yes, and it is in a well-reviewed higher end unit, the Marantz SA-10 ($7499USD) as you recognized.

There are many options when one is looking for a nice player.