- Written by Robert Kozel
- Published on 28 June 2010
The Marantz tradition has always been about enjoying music. The Marantz SA-KI Pearl is a limited-edition SACD player from the Marantz Reference Series product line. The "KI" in the product name refers to Ken Ishiwata, who is the actual designer of the SA-KI Pearl. Ken Ishiwata has an impressive biography. He fell in love with music as a young man. He pursued a career in fashion photography following in the footsteps of his father. In the late 1970's, Mr. Ishiwata started his career with Marantz. Today, he is an accomplished violinist, audio engineer, electronics engineer, and brand ambassador for Marantz in Europe.
- Design: SACD/CD Player
- Codecs: SACD, Redbook CD (16/44.1), MP3, WMA
- DAC: Cirrus Logic CS4398
- MFR: CD: 2 Hz – 20 kHz, -0.15 dB; SACD: 2 Hz – 50 kHz, -3 dB
- THD+N: CD: 0.0015%; SACD: 0.0010%
- Outputs: RCA Analog, Headphone, Coax, Toslink Optical Digital
- Inputs: Toslink Optical Digital
- Dimensions: 5" H x 17.4" W x 16.5" D
- Weight: 32 Pounds
- MSRP: $2,999.99 USA
- Marantz America
To celebrate his 30th Anniversary with Marantz, Mr. Ishiwata has created two Pearl products. In case you are wondering about the name, a pearl is the traditional gift for a 30th anniversary. The first product is the PM-KI Pearl, which is an integrated amplifier. The second Pearl product is the SA-KI Pearl SACD player which we will discuss in this review. You can actually see and hear Mr. Ishiwata talk about the KI Pearls himself at a dedicated website for the Marantz KI Pearl products. In listening to Mr. Ishiwata, it becomes very clear that he is passionate about music, and for him, the KI Pearl products are an expression of that passion. While the products make use of the latest technology and engineering available, Mr. Ishiwata's goal is for the listener to truly have an emotional response while listening to music. Let's take a closer look at how Ken Ishiwata's vision has translated into the SA-KI Pearl SACD player.