PWe got our first look at the new high-end hi-fi offerings from Marantz today at London's exclusive Ivy club. Built by Marantz's brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata to mark his 30 years with the company, the Pearl series features an SACD player, the SA-KI Pearl and integrated amplifier, the PM-KI Pearl. Both come in 'bullet-proof', vibration-damped casings with a new 'silk black' finish.
The SA-KI Pearl SACD player features an SACD-M10 drive mechanism with a Xyron loader and Cirrus Logic CS4398 digital-to-analogue converter, as well as selectable digital filtering and an optical digital input for connecting alternative sources through the DAC. It uses the latest HDAM-SA and HDAM-SA2 versions of Marantz's Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules and an encapsulated transformer, with the usual KI copper-plated casing augmented with an extra damping plate and 5mm aluminium top cover. As well as SACD and CD it will play back discs loaded with MP3 and WMA files.
The matching PM-KI Pearl amp features similar casework and offers 90 watts into eight ohms or 140 watts into four ohms. It features a fully discrete two-stage power amp, HDAM-SA3 and HDAM-SA2 modules, toroidal transformer, constant current feedback phono equaliser (MM and MC), a direct input buffer circuit for CD and a power amp input.
Ken Ishiwata's long-running signature series of products has won plaudits aplenty and he reckons this pair are his best yet. Each will be available in a limited edition of 500 models only. You'll need to get in quick if they take your fancy, but they'll set you back £2,500 each.