Luxman D-03x or Marantz KI Ruby


Looking to replace my older wounded Esoteric cd player with something new(er). I've read quite a bit on both the Luxman D-03x and the Marantz KI Ruby. I live in a small town hundreds of miles from any substantial dealer of either product and was curious whether others have had a chance to compare these two in person and why they chose one over the other. Or, if they were able to audition these two but ultimately chose another player instead of either of these 
ucmgr
I have not heard either of these players but auditioned the SA-10 and D05u together, and owned the SA-10 and D08u.  Since you said you have been reading up on them, you are probably aware of all of their features but I'll mention a few that would be important to me:1) Marantz plays SACD and not MQA; Luxman plays MQA and not SACD.  I own a lot of SACDs so the Luxman would be out for me.  If you have Tidal, the Luxman will probably be a winner - I used to use a Lumin to stream MQA and thought MQA was really nice.2) Luxman has XLR out and Marantz only single ended.3) Marantz upsamples everything to DSD.  This is something that you don't see mentioned a lot. 

I think the ruby is a heck of a deal money-wise; it seems to be basically a SA-10 without being balanced.  Sound-wise, I ultimately chose Luxman over Marantz because I did not like that Marantz upsampled everything.  I found on some CDs the Marantz seemed to cut off some high frequency info (in fact, you'll see info here from other users like Elizabeth on the SA-10 thread that talks about picking the SA-10 specifically because it is 'not hard' in the treble - may be a good thing for some depending on the overall system.  It definitely is very smooth).  I have had other digital solutions that when upsampling to DSD it did the same thing.  I like the flexibility to play everything in its native format.  If you are using a streamer or software that upsamples you can send it to the DAC/CD player in the format you want anyway.  So the marantz takes that option away.  Both are excellent, but overall I also preferred the Luxman house sound, which seems to be slightly more detailed than the Marantz; a little more sparkle on top perhaps, very transparent but still a bit warm. I want to hear the flaws in CDs if they are there. Since I have not heard the D03 I can't say exactly what it sounds like but I would be surprised if it did not retain the Luxman 'house sound.'  If you can get a Marantz at $3k and don't care about MQA or balanced outputs, I think that would be a great CD player and deal if paying retail for the Luxman.  When I auditioned the two other units together as previous mentioned, I used SACDs only and we flipped back and forth between the two simultaneously on a preamp using two identical SACDs.  I honestly could not hear a difference between them.  That is why I initially purchased the Marantz because the dealer gave me a good deal on it as compared to the Luxman.  It was only after I got it home I noticed I did not like its top end lack of detail with CDs/redbook.  On SACD it is really good...again, probably because it is a DSD machine (literally and figuratively!).  The Marantz is a very musical player.  Overall, you probably can't go wrong with either.  If it was just about sound, if I had a somewhat dark system I would probably choose the Luxman; if the system was a little bright the Marantz might be the best choice.  At $3k Marantz and Denon also just came out with an anniversary model that might be worth checking out.   



The system I'm currently using is a Boulder 1060 amp being fed by an Aesthetix Janus. I had a Wadia 861(GNSC Statement) that I loved but ultimately had a transport failure and I wasn't able to find someone to repair it. I moved on to and Esoteric UX-03SE but it too developed a transport problem. Tough getting these units repaired. I ran all my players through balanced cables and my amp and preamp are connected with balanced cables. The Marantz unit only offers single ended inputs while the Luxman offers both. I don't have any SACD's but might consider buying a few but I have a ton of cd's. I don't presently do anything other than play vinyl and cd's at this point but I think down the road I may look into hi-rez streaming through a server but it's not an immediate concern. Thanks for your input and you brought up a number of good points. It's probably a toss up at their relative pricepoints. I believe I'd have to spend significantly more(which I really don't want to do) to get everything in a one-box player. I do like balanced connections and it would be easier because my balanced cables are of higher quality than my single-ended ones. I'm looking for well built, good sounding player that I can get repaired if or when it has a problem. Both have good manufacturer's warranties but Marantz's is five years vs Luxman's three years. 
It’s a step lower than the Ruby but Marantz just introduced the SACD 30n that uses same MMM dac scheme that Ruby does and also has a streamer built in. 

I think the transport is a bit lower quality and the chassis isn’t copper coated like Ruby is. But maybe a less expensive option that gets you both sacd and streaming
I've not had the chance to hear the Luxman, but I'm a dealer for Marantz.  The RUBY really is a nice sounding player, and well built.  And as mentioned above by KREN, the new Marantz SACD30n could be a option for you that would wrap cd/sacd playback along with a streamer in one box.  I've been impressed with the SACD30 so far.
Thank you all. I took a leap of faith and just bit the bullet and purchased a Marantz SA-10. I believe a got a good deal on it so that it didn't end up being a whole lot more than what I could have bought a KI Ruby for. I really wanted balanced outputs because that's what I had used  previously and I wasn't looking forward to buying new unbalanced cables in addition to a new player had I chosen the Ruby.  
Great choice!  It's a really nice player.  Let us know what you think of it compared to your Esoteric.
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Anyone compared  Luxman D-03x and the Marantz SACD 30n? 
ucmgr
how is the SA10 settling into your room/system?
Happy Listening!