Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD player

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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.

December CD Reviews for the Audiophile – Holiday Recordings to Savor – Part I

Esperanza, founded by the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia in 1987, works to “bring a sustained response of hope to the barrio.” To raise funds for their work, they've put together this Christmas compilation with performances by Marcos Witt, Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Angel Guerra, Jose Carreras, Santana, and others. Michelle Bonilla sings quite the “O Holy Night.” The sound quality of the transfers leaves something to be desired, but the joy this will bring to its target audience is great.

Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray Player – Benchmark

It has been some time since Yamaha manufactured a hi-def disc player, either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.  Instead Yamaha has been offering upscaling DVD players such as the S1700 and the S2700.  Now that the format war is over and Blu-ray is the declared winner, this is no longer true.  Yamaha has created the BD-S2900, their first Blu-ray player.

Rocky Mountain Audio Festival Show Report

This year was the first time at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival for secrets writers Chris Groppi and Rick Schmidt. Unlike many of the other trade focused shows, the RMAF is open to the public. Both manufacturers and retailers show products here, and displays are focused on listening demonstrations. This year, there were more than 160 display rooms each usually showing equipment from several manufacturers. Rooms were from both retailers as well as manufacturers and distributors, with a wide range of equipment from around the world. All the big hitters were here, plus many companies we had never heard of.

In addtion to the rooms, seminars on topics ranging from turntable setup to digital recording technologies are offered. This is an intimate show, focused on 2 channel audio, and everyone has a chance to see every room. The show was great fun for both of us!

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Meridian is taking an increasingly active role in courting the design-savvy, upscale consumer

Meridian Audio Ltd., the British company whose uniquely stylish, technologically sophisticated audio and video designs are legendary among knowledgeable AV fans and system-designers, is taking an increasingly active role in courting the design-savvy, upscale consumer.  For one example, Meridian will participate in the upcoming Digital Downtown show in New York City, an exclusive free event open to the public from June 12-14 at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. At Digital Downtown (Booth #166), Meridian will highlight the stunning new F80 all-in-one entertainment system engineered in cooperation with legendary automaker Ferrari. Meridian will also be informing show visitors about its more “traditional” music and audio-video system solutions.