Marantz SA-10 vs SA-KI Ruby


Hi all,

wondering if anyone one can explain what makes the difference in these 2 players? (Other than balanced outputs on the SA-10). 

MSRP difference is $2k...

Do people think they should sound the same?

thanks!
leemaze
SA-10 spec sheet

SA-KI Ruby spec sheet

Curious - what do you think? Electrical engineers, how do the insides compare?

How do the claimed specs compare?

I do believe the KI "pearl" is a special LIMITED EDITION. They only made like 500 of them and sold only in EU. And they were sold as a set only.Go head and FIND ONE for sale from any dealer in the USA. I guarantee you cannot.  
Those are the only things that matter.
@elizabeth ??? Only things that matter ???
Post removed 
I tried buying the SA-KI Ruby for my second system (single-ended) but in my country they are only sold as pair with PM-KI Ruby.  My regular hi-fi shop suggested I should get another SA-10 since the actual retail price is a lot lower than the list price.  The Ruby being limited edition, need to pay at list price or even higher.
@elizabeth @anwar ICIC

The SA-KI ruby is now available for purchase as an individual component. 

Could you tell me, what is the retail price of the SA-10?

And back to my original question, they seem to have the same transport and same DAC and same filtering tech - are they the same player?
My bad. Yes the Ruby SA-KI is available. It is most likely the same item as the limited edition Pearl was in the UK.What is the difference? $3999 to $6,999? $3,000. Easy.   
The Sa-10 has some better part from looking at Googled images of the innards. The back is the same with the KI only lacking the balanced outputs. Inside the 10 hs shielding the KI lacks. Plus the main board on the right is very different. The 10 has big heatsinks in the middle, lacking on the KI.
(the Sony SCD1 vs the SCD777 when introduced was sort of the same. they really were very similar, the price. $5K vs $3,5K, then $2.5K for the 777 as they sold off the remainders.
But does it use the same processor (DAC)?
twoleftears sez: " But does it use the same processor (DAC)? "Ahhh the million dollar question!            
Need some reviewer who has both, or Marantz advert to answer.Advertisements say the KI uses the MMM  decoding. Which is the same sort as in the SA-10. Whether it is IDENTICAL???  
The remote sure looks the same. The case is nearly identical. Only the lack of balanced out on the KI Ruby.
I spoke to my local Marantz Dealer, he has the Marantz SA-KI Ruby on display.   
The shipping wt. of the SA-KI Ruby is 37.7 lb The SA-10 is 40.57 lbSO you are paying $1000 a pound for whatever extra is inside the SA-10
Lol @elizabeth I saw that as well. Did he say anything about the sound?
No . I asked him if he had one. That is about it. Actually I called him about a Bryston BP1.5 Phono box I am getting repaired. The Marantz was a side question. I suppose I could ask him to loan it to me. But since I have no plans on buying one, even as a spare hah hah,, I would feel not right just to ask so I can blog about the sound.I get too much pressure from a few folks that 'I do not do enough' to do a review of the SA-10. I am NOT a reviewer. And I would absolutely feel the need to compare to other equal devices. Something I cannot do. So no way can I say this is better....Plus when I say yeah my $40 five disc changers (I now have collected 7 working, and a few spares) via the Marantz sounds blah blah.. Who's gonna believe me anyway. LOL
The Ruby versions probably have some better parts and implementation than the standard versions, much like my Marantz PM-15S2b has over the PM-15S2 or S1. In my case, Ken Ishiwata took some of what he did with the Pearl series (also limited to 500 units each) and applied them to the PM-15S2b.

Whether it sounds better, I can't say, but they are in demand.

All the best,
Nonoise
Welp, I did it. I bought one last night. Should come next week I think. 

(Ayayaya i can’t believe i just purchased something so expensive, smh lol)
Tell us what you think after giving it some time

leemaze
Looking forward in reading your report on this spinner.  Happy Listening!
elizabeth 

You are tops in my book. Looking forward in reading more about your SA-10.   Happy Listening!
@leemaze Which one did you buy?  The '10 or the 'K1?
 @twoleftears Bought the KI. So far sounds lovely. Will compare it to my Resolution Audio in a couple weeks. 

Off the bat though, running an airport express to its optical input sounds fantastic. 
Thanks for that. You inspired me to run my iPhone pandora through audio engine Bluetooth to KI dac via optical. Huge improvement over rca out from audio engine to amp. 
Cheers
RW

It's been 14 days and somewhere between 100-150 hours and the SA-KI Ruby has really started singing.  It's silky smooth sounding with super detail.

I have to say my 15 year old Resolution Audio CD50 holds up really well in comparison - nearly as sweet and "analog" in the mids - just as detailed.  But the Ruby has just started presenting a lot more 3-dimensionality between the instruments and it's starting to pull ahead.  To be continued...
leemaze
Thank You for the follow up. Looking forward in reading more impressions from you.  What other gear including cabling is in your system?
Happy Listening!
elizabeth
I, too have wondered how the KI Peal would sound, compete with the SA-10 or KI Ruby? I know that the Pearl is an older design/machine.
Happy Listening!
Hi all - So I think to answer my original question, one large difference is that the sound on the Ruby is much less tweak-able.  There is only the ability to choose between 2 digital filters - you cannot adjust the dither or the noise shaping like you can on the SA-10. Not sure what those do anyway, but it seems like a large difference.  You are able to 'turn off' everything you're not using - i.e. screen, digital outs, headphones, etc.

On usability - it's mostly good, not great.  It's a little slow... to read a disc, to open the disc drive, to switch between inputs, to switch between tracks.  The track scanning (fast forward/rewind) is terrible - it's so jumpy it's almost unusable.  I guess this is due to all the processing going on?  It would be better if the sound just turned off when you want to fast forward to a certain time. If you're on another digital input and press the eject button it literally takes 10 seconds for the drive to open.  @elizabeth @jafant are these your experiences with the SA-10?

On Sound - Velvety, smooth, detailed and super 3D.  Still playing with my speakers to get the best positioning but the depth is apparent anywhere in the room.  I'm especially amazed at the up-sampling tech when paired with streaming.  Google Play, which is 256 - 320 bit rate, sounds amazing! And this is going via Airplay through an airport express and a $8 optical cable into the Ruby.  The difference is HUGE.  The low end depth and the detail in the mids is so awesome.  Compared to the ES9010K2M Sabre DAC in my Yamaha Integrated it's more liquid with more low level and low volume detail. More sustain, easier to follow individual instruments and notes. I like it a lot.  

@jafant I'm listening through a Yamaha A-S801 Integrated and Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 speakers.  Morrow Cables.
I actually never use the Marantz SA-10 internal drive to play. I use it as a DAC.  Plus I never use the 'scan' function on any player, anyway, except if a disc is skipping and I want to see if it is OK after I polish it.I agree on the switch inputs... It seems to take some time to decide, and the device must be actually putting out a digital signal, or the Marantz will ignore it.
@elizabeth do you play with the dither and noise shaping selections?  How do these effect the sound?
The dither and noise shaping are very small effects. My big complaint is the menu from remote is really confusing (to me) and I am still not sure how to easily get from one to another AND change them. seems if I change it, the only way I can KEEP it is to exit. Then go back in.My problem, not the equipment.I stayed with ’1’ dither and 4 noise shaping. but I have to say I have not played with it a lot. I changed the noise shaping ONCE. In nearly six months. (Mainly due to my inability to navigate the menu easily, and yes I could set the clock on a VCR. LOL)
The remote requires a specific set of sequence commands which I have yet to master/understand to both lock in a choice and still be able to go back to the previous screen. Since I have only played with it a few times. I may never ’get’ it. (perhaps I should READ THE MANUAL?)
Hi guy's. .I just brought a sa ruby home to demo today..I did hear the sa 10 at the same audio dealer and one of the guy's who's opinion I trust told me they both sound very close in presentation.  Sa10 is just slightly better than the ruby.I currently own a rega Saturn cd player that I really enjoy but I gotta say the ruby is a big step up from the rega in sound quality. .I also like the fact I can run my streamer into the ruby and take advantage of its dac..nice peace. 
Congrats! Let us know your thoughts!

also curious if you experience the usability things i have with my unit?
leemazeNice system! I hope to score a demo with the SA-10 sometime this year.
Happy Listening!
johnnyb43
Thanks for sharing!  Happy Listening!
I have the Ruby KI Pearl. I bought it second-hand and did not have to buy it as part of a set.

I don't know how it sounds compared to the SA-10 or the Ruby. The only things I have to compare it to are a Rega Apollo-r (which the Pearl replaced), a Marantz CD6004, and my Oppo players, which include the 105D and the 203. 

It sounds much better than any of them and better than any of my turntables.
These are state of the art transports but they still aren’t nearly as well built as they used to make them.
@d2girls please elaborate !