Both models are set apart by a laser-etched facsimile of Ishiwata’s signature and a ‘Ruby’ motif atop their front-plates, the new components are designed and tuned by a team led by Ishiwata to deliver truly outstanding sound – as well as being destined to become instant collectors’ items.
Since joining the company in 1978, Ken Ishiwata has been at the heart of the development of the Marantz sound, and has led the team responsible through some of our most celebrated products. He introduced the idea of ‘Special Edition’ tuning, taking an established product and applying even higher quality components to further enhance performance, and of course developed the ‘KI-Signature’ range of CD players and amplifiers, which has delighted thousands of enthusiasts over many years.
Ken has also travelled the world promoting the Marantz brand in many countries, and is one of the best-know figures in the world of high-end hi-fi, both for his love of music and his remarkable demonstrations of Marantz products to visitors at international audio events. Most recently he has been at the heart of the team working on the flagship SA-10 SACD/CD player and PM-10 amplifier, designed by Marantz as its ‘New Reference’ system.
Now comes the KI-Ruby series, and both models are ‘ground up’ designs, drawing not only on decades of Marantz experience in disc players, DAC and amplification, but also the development work for the SA-10 and PM-10. As well as playing both SACDs and CDs to an exceptionally high standard, the SA-KI Ruby also has multiple digital inputs, including USB for connection to a computer, and processes digital audio using our single-bit Marantz Musical Mastering MMM-Stream upconversion and MMM-Conversion to produce an analogue output.
The PM-KI Ruby amplifier is an all-analogue design, with a high-resolution preamplifier stage using proprietary HDAM technology, and a switching power amplifier design delivering 100W per channel, derived from the flagship PM-10 amplifier. In addition to line inputs, it employs the newly-developed low-noise Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit, with both moving coil and moving magnet capability for today’s turntables.
SA-KI Ruby: Super Audio CD player with Marantz Musical Mastering USB DAC and digital inputs
Built around an in-house-developed SACDM-3 disc transport designed purely for audio, the SA-KI Ruby brings together more than 35 years of Marantz expertise and innovation in digital audio. The new mechanism can play SACDs, CDs, and compilations on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, and the SA-KI Ruby also has an asynchronous USB input, able to handle formats all the way up to PCM / DXD 384kHz/32bit and DSD11.2MHz. Marantz Musical Mastering converts all incoming digital audio data to a single-bit datastream for accuracy and purity, allowing the analogue output to be served by a simple low-pass filter stage.
All the digital inputs are isolated to block noise from connected sources, and the player features a new analogue output stage with Marantz HDAM-SA2 technology and low impedance output. The result is a sound with vivid detail, effortless dynamics and remarkable presence – central to Marantz CD players over many generations.
PM-KI Ruby: pure analogue amplifier with Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ
We have been building amplifiers for almost seven decades, and all that knowledge is seen in the new PM-KI Ruby. Like the SA-KI Ruby it has been engineered from scratch and tuned by a team lead by Ken Ishiwata. It features a fully-discrete two stage design combining a high-resolution preamp stage using Marantz HDAM technology and comes equipped with its own dedicated toroidal transformer, and a switching power amplifier section able to deliver 100W per channel into 8ohm, or 200Wpc into 4 ohm.
As well as line inputs, the amplifier features the innovative Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit derived from the flagship PM-10 for vinyl playback, designed to make the most of modern moving coil and moving magnet cartridges, while the combination of its current feedback design with newly-developed wide-range circuitry, the use of HDAM-SA3 circuitry and a new linear volume control and electric volume system ensure power, clarity and optimal dynamics.