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Marantz KI Pearl - SA-KI and PM-KI

May 27, 2009 By HE Staff

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Marantz KI Pearl - SA-KI and PM-KI
Marantz PM-KI Pearl
Marantz SA-KI Pearl
Marantz KI Pearl - SA-KI and PM-KI
Marantz SA-KI Pearl

Limited-Edition, Ken Ishiwata Designed

To celebrate their 30th anniversary together, Marantz has released the KI Pearl series, designed by Ken Ishiwata.

Combining looks and performance, the SA-KI Pearl SACD Player and PM-KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier are limited editions designed by Ishiwata himself.

The KI Pearl units, the SA-KI Pearl SACD Player and the PM-KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier, have silk-black finishes and blue-light cosmetics.

The SA-KI Pearl has a copper-plated chassis, vibration-damped cabinet, and a toroidal power supply (similar to what you'd find in a decent receiver or amplifier).

Cirrus Logic CS4398 DACs are used in conjunction with Marantz technology to ensure, as Marantz claims, superior sonic reproduction with playback capability for SACD stereo, CD-DA, MP3, and WMA files.

Marantz SA-KI Pearl

The PM-KI Pearl also has a copper plated chassis and toroidal power supply. Marantz rates the power at 140 watts per channel into 4 ohms, and 90 into 8 ohms. They also claim a frequency response of 5 Hz to 100 kHz with THD rating of 0.05%

A limited number of the SA-KI Pearl units will be released this month to select Marantz retailers, with availability of the PM-KI Pearl scheduled for September.

Marantz PM-KI Pearl

SA-KI ($2,999)
PM-KI ($3,599)

 Marantz KI Pearl - SA-KI and PM-KI

 Marantz KI Pearl - SA-KI and PM-KI


I heard it next to an Arcam CD-36. The sound of the Marantz was more detailed, the bass more defined. The sound was also more dimensional. I own the Arcam and am replacing it with the SA-KI Pearl.

I'm not doubting that this is a good player. I did hear one, but didnt give it a long listen, but my 1st impressions was haze in the sound. Not saying this is an ipso fact of this player, but I did hear it at an audiophile salon where the set up was pretty good. First impressions stay with you, and I wasnt impressed that I was bowled over by its sound, It reminded me somewhat of the cambridge audio player, while good, has somewhat a hazed quality in the sound. Now I didnt give it a battery of CD tests either.
But my impressions are that its limited availability is due to doubts about the markets ability to handle it and the economy of the current administration. While its quailty, which I'll say was somewhat good to my ears, I was not bowled over like lets say the Rega Apollo when I heard that for the very first time. Tomorrow there will be another company with a limited quantity of manufactured players as well. I'm not sure that I need to run out yet in a panic to make this kind of a purchase which is substantial. I would have liked to see the units produced together and heard together to see if there were any synergy between the two components.

I have now listened to many cd players in the $3000-$4000 dollar range and found none that compare to the KI pearl.I cant say I was a marantz fan but on hearing this player I was left astounded.I am dumb struck by the previous review hence I had to comment I understand a German hifi review magazine has compared this player to the marantz sa 7 cd player which costs upward of $7000.I would normally never consider spending this is sort of money on a hifi component unless it really merited it.This did.

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