Marantz announces 12 Series Special Edition amplifier and SACD player

Marantz announces 12 Series Special Edition amplifier and SACD player
(Image credit: Marantz)

Marantz’s PM-12 stereo amplifier and SA-12 SACD player have been given the special edition treatment.

The new PM-12 Special Edition integrated amplifier and SA-12 Special Edition SACD player are honed, more widely accessible versions of the originals that were solely created for the Japanese market.

The two 12 Series Special Edition models are, Marantz says, the result of its engineers (or 'Sound Masters') having identified the originals as products with "higher potential than expected".

Benefitting from more considered component selection and tuning by the brand’s Japanese and European engineers, and drawing upon their achievements made while developing the KI Ruby series, the new PM-12 and SA-12 Special Editions aim to be the perfect high-end pairing and will soon be available in Europe.

(Image credit: Marantz)

With the aim of squeezing the audio performance from the PM-12, the special edition version also uses a fully discrete two-stage design with separate power supplies for the pre-amplifier and 100-watt-per-channel power amp sections.  It borrows the switching power amplifier design derived from flagship PM-10 and PM-KI Ruby, too.

Marantz has chosen to keep the PM-12 Special Edition analogue-only – it simply has line-level and moving coil/moving magnet phono inputs, the latter driven by a new discrete Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit – to prevent the innate noise the implantation of digital circuitry brings. Instead, digital connectivity is offered in the partnering SA-12 Special Edition.

(Image credit: Marantz)

The new SACD player complements its in-house-designed SACD/CD disc drive with an asynchronous USB input, which is able to handle formats all the way up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD11.2MHz, as well as optical and coaxial inputs. There's also a SA dedicated headphone amplifier, too.

To maintain the music signal best as possible, the SA-12 Special Edition's Marantz Musical Mastering Stream converts all PCM files to the DSD format using processing and filtering, before the 1-bit data stream is directly converted into an analogue signal without having to use the conventional digital-to-analogue conversion method.

The Marantz PM-12 Special Edition and SA-12 Special Edition will land in September, each priced at £2999 (€3000).


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.

  • Marantz's cheapest SACD player is now a whopping £3K o_O
  • nicoladinisio
    The SA-12, as well as the SA-KI Ruby, or SA-10 for that matter. are not just SACD players, they are state of the art DACs with integrated CD transport.
    This is an important detail for SACD owners, as SACDs are encrypted and the clear DSD stream cannot be exported outside the cabinet of a transport to a DAC for legal reasons.
    For this reason Marantz is making you the courtesy of integrating a very good CD/SACD transport in this very fine DAC, so you get to feed it also with SACDs.
    I have the SA-KI Ruby and I can report that it is able to play everything you throw at it, including DSD 64/128 files bought from on-line stores and burnt onto blank DVDs. Of course you can feed it also via Roon, Volumio, or other digital players via its async USB-B input (the DAC relies on its internal clocks). It is a spectacular machine.
    From what I can see the SA-12 is just like the SA-KI Ruby minus the Ken Ischiwata signature and the limited production numbers. The 3K price tag is well justified.