AudioAficionado.org  

Go Back   AudioAficionado.org > Manufacturers Forums > Marantz

Marantz Life Amplified

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-01-2020, 03:32 AM
Washline's Avatar
Washline Washline is offline
Land of the Morning Calm
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 200
Default Marantz SA-KI Ruby vs. SA-10 Using RCA

Hi Folks,

I'm interested in getting one of either of these two disc spinners, and I'm looking for feedback from anyone who may have compared them using the single ended outputs on both rather than simply the single ended Ruby vs. the balanced SA-10. The amp I'd be using them with is RCA only, so the extra features of the SA-10's balanced circuitry would be unnecessary. I've been offered a 1200 buck trade-in on an old Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 3D, which was a Stereophile product of the year award winner in 2001. That trade-in brings the total cost of the SA-10 (new) to within 1100 of the KI-Ruby used. If the difference is not significant between the two pieces in single ended, I'd opt for the Ruby and keep both machines for the time being. If the difference is more significant, then obviously I should opt for the SA-10.

I hope I'm being clear today and thanks in advance for your suggestions as always.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-01-2020, 09:57 AM
rnrmf1971 rnrmf1971 is offline
Senior Member


 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: orlando
Posts: 1,109
Default

I haven't compared but with the price difference between the two as large as it is, I have to think there's some difference.

Looking at the inside of the units suggests the KI-Ruby doesn't omit very much, in terms of components, though.

Unless you might need the balanced outputs in the future, I'm not sure it makes sense to debate the merits.

If you want the best sound they make, don't need the Musical Fidelity, and have a good trade-in price, go for the SA-10.

A bigger question in Korea might be deciding if the newest SA-12SE is an option along with the KI-Ruby if you're staying single ended.
__________________
Christian

south: Mark Levinson No. 52 pre, Bricasti M28 amps, Lumin A1, Oppo BDP-205, Pioneer CT-43, Sony SS-AR1 Speakers, Audioquest Dragon PCs, Audioquest speaker cables, Iconoclast OCC interconnects, HB Power Design Powerslave Star Galaxy power distributor

north: Marantz PM-10, Marantz SA-10, Lumin X1, Sony TC-KA3ES, Harbeth 40.2, Iconoclast OCC interconnects, Audioquest speaker cables, Furutech Nanoflux NCF power cables
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-01-2020, 06:59 PM
Washline's Avatar
Washline Washline is offline
Land of the Morning Calm
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 200
Default

Thanks for the response, Christian. The SA-12 is available here as well for a decent price, but I think I'd prefer to go with the slightly older Ruby because of the copper chassis. It's also cheaper used.

I've read on some forums that the differences between the Ruby and the SA-10 are not so dramatic. I've also read that they are. I haven't, however, read about any direct comparisons. Some have speculated that the real advantage of the SA-10 is the balanced circuitry and that's where the extra three pounds of mass comes from as well as the copper covered power supply. My suspicion is that in single ended, they might be quite close, but I wanted to check here first to see if anyone had any direct experience.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-01-2020, 10:36 PM
Crumhorn's Avatar
Crumhorn Crumhorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 120
Default

When my Esoteric X-05 SACD self-destructed this summer, I, too, looked into the Ruby vs the SA-10 (among others.) All my ICs are currently single-ended, as I like the ability to switch to my Hovland preamp sometimes, and it has no balanced connections. There seemed to be near-universal agreement that the SA-10 was better, but by how much varied person (& system) to person. I also asked Marantz America what the differences were. They said that in addition to the balanced circuitry & shielded transformer, select components in the signal path (caps, resistors, etc.) of the SA-10 were of a higher quality.

Here is the opinion someone voiced in response to this question on a different forum: "The SA-10 has the same sonic character as the Ruby. The SA-10 just offers a bit more of everything. Piano has more weight, soundstage is wider and deeper, everything is just a bit more real. I think the SA-10 is a really special piece and the Ruby isn’t far behind at significantly lower cost. It is a real value for how great it sounds. I use my SA-10 as a DAC through its digital inputs most of the time, but it really sounds best spinning discs. You can’t go wrong with either option."

I ended up ordering the SA-10 (at the end of July.) I was informed a few days ago that it had finally shipped from Japan. I can't wait. If a comparably-priced Luxman had been available, I would have considered that as well.

SOTA Cosmos TT (vacuum, Electronic Flywheel), SME V, Koetsu Rosewood Signature
Marantz SA-10 SACD player, Alesis ML-9600 mastering CD burner, Nakamichi 700 ZXE Cassette Deck
Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage
Pass Labs XP-30 (SS) & Hovland HP-100 (tube) preamps
Edge G8+ laser-biased monoblocks & Classé M-700 monoblocks
Rockport Atria & Infinity IRS Beta Speakers
Audience AU24 SX Phono cable, MIT Shotgun ICs, Shunyata Alpha SCs
Revelation Audio Labs 'Passage' CryoSilver Reference DualConduit DB-25 umbilical cables for Pass XP-30
Shunyata Denali 6000T power conditioner (on BBA platform), Shunyata Alpha NR, Delta NR, & Venom HC PCs. Also PS8 & 2 Venom Defenders.
Audio Magic Ultimate SHD Bees Wax Fuse, Synergistic Research Blue & Black fuses, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses
Klaudio LP200 ultrasonic RCM

Last edited by Crumhorn; 11-03-2020 at 09:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-21-2020, 04:54 AM
andreantunes's Avatar
andreantunes andreantunes is offline
Andre Antunes
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumhorn View Post
When my Esoteric X-05 SACD self-destructed this summer, I, too, looked into the Ruby vs the SA-10 (among others.) All my ICs are currently single-ended, as I like the ability to switch to my Hovland preamp sometimes, and it has no balanced connections. There seemed to be near-universal agreement that the SA-10 was better, but by how much varied person (& system) to Person. I also asked Marantz America what the differences were. They said that in addition to the balanced circuitry & shielded transformer, select components in the signal path (caps, resistors, etc.) of the SA-10 were of a higher quality.

Here is the opinion someone voiced in response to this question on a different forum: "The SA-10 has the same sonic character as the Ruby. The SA-10 just offers a bit more of everything. Piano has more weight, soundstage is wider and deeper, everything is just a bit more real. I think the SA-10 is a really special piece and the Ruby isn’t far behind at significantly lower cost. It is a real value for how great it sounds. I use my SA-10 as a DAC through its digital inputs most of the time, but it really sounds best spinning discs. You can’t go wrong with either option."

I ended up ordering the SA-10 (at the end of July.) I was informed a few days ago that it had finally shipped from Japan. I can't wait. If a comparably-priced Luxman had been available, I would have considered that as well.

SOTA Cosmos TT (vacuum, Electronic Flywheel), SME V, Koetsu Rosewood Signature
Marantz SA-10 SACD player, Alesis ML-9600 mastering CD burner, Nakamichi 700 ZXE Cassette Deck
Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage
Pass Labs XP-30 (SS) & Hovland HP-100 (tube) preamps
Edge G8+ laser-biased monoblocks & Classé M-700 monoblocks
Rockport Atria & Infinity IRS Beta Speakers
Audience AU24 SX Phono cable, MIT Shotgun ICs, Shunyata Alpha SCs
Revelation Audio Labs 'Passage' CryoSilver Reference DualConduit DB-25 umbilical cables for Pass XP-30
Shunyata Denali 6000T power conditioner (on BBA platform), Shunyata Alpha NR, Delta NR, & Venom HC PCs. Also PS8 & 2 Venom Defenders.
Audio Magic Ultimate SHD Bees Wax Fuse, Synergistic Research Blue & Black fuses, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses
Klaudio LP200 ultrasonic RCM
Hi,
I'm considering upgrading my source in the next months/years.
I was leaning towards the Esoteric K-05Xs but have been reading a lot of great stuff about the SA-10 from Marantz. Price is not that different and both give you the ability to use as DAC which would be great for me to hook my streamer.
Just curious. Why didn't you stick to Esoteric? Do you find the SA-10 a better sounding machine?
Thank you!
Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal
__________________
Plinius Hautonga amp, Monitor Audio PL200II speakers, CA 851N streamer, Pioneer PL15

Last edited by andreantunes; 10-21-2020 at 04:56 AM. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-28-2020, 03:08 AM
Crumhorn's Avatar
Crumhorn Crumhorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreantunes View Post
Hi,
I'm considering upgrading my source in the next months/years.
I was leaning towards the Esoteric K-05Xs but have been reading a lot of great stuff about the SA-10 from Marantz. Price is not that different and both give you the ability to use as DAC which would be great for me to hook my streamer.
Just curious. Why didn't you stick to Esoteric? Do you find the SA-10 a better sounding machine?
Thank you!
Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal
Well, there are several reasons:

Firstly, contrary to the review I had read in The Absolute Sound, in my system the Esoteric X-05 never sounded as good as the reviewer said it did. (I chalk this up to differences in our systems, rooms, etc., NOT any bias or misrepresentation in the review...) It didn't have as much depth, dimensionality, naturally-rich timbre or analog-like "bloom" as I wanted. But played through the my tubed Hovland preamp for the first 7 years it was good enough. But for the last 3 years I have primarily used the Pass XP-30 preamp for practical reasons, & the X-05 sounded "thinner", far more "digital" & usually less like real music through the more-revealing Pass preamp. (Although a small number of recordings actually sounded better.) Whether that's a reflection of my system as a whole, or my musical preferences, or the Esoteric's performance, is hard to say. Perhaps a bit of all 3. So I was hoping for a more analog-sounding player this go round.

Secondly, I was not a happy camper about the much-vaunted Esoteric transport self-destructing, even though it was 10 years old. And there is only one authorized repair facility in the whole U.S., 3000 miles away from me, & if they needed a part from Japan it might take many months.

Thirdly, I did look into getting a new Esoteric, and was advised by 2 different, & trustworthy, Esoteric dealers that Esoteric had temporarily "abandoned" the U.S.: high-value orders they had already placed were unfilled, their calls to Esoteric were being ignored, & they eventually had to offer refunds (& apologies) to their customers. That was the final straw for me: I wrote off Esoteric & looked elsewhere. (Although apparently they are now back in the U.S. market, using a different distribution network.)

All that being said, I have seen some reviews, & read the Esoteric Forums of another online site, and the new Esoteric "XD" series (K-03XD & K-01XD) have gotten rave reviews & are supposed to sound far less "digital" & far more "real" than their predecessors. (Although not as analog as the Luxman D-10X.) But all those models are far more expensive than the SA-10 or the K-05Xs. I don't know if the Esoteric K-05Xs has the "older" sound or sounds more like the XD models, or if there will eventually be a K-05XD.

I would have considered a similarly-priced Luxman as well, but they discontinued all their old models, and so far have only released the D-10X, which I would love, but can't afford. There are not many choices for an SACD player between $5,000 & $12,000 in the U.S., so I went with the Marantz.

I can't comment on the sound of the SA-10 in my system, as I still haven't received it! (I ordered it in July.) Apparently Covid affected the supply chain. It is finally in transit, so I should have it soon.

If you have a chance to listen to the Esoteric in addition to the Marantz, see what you think... Good luck with your choice!


SOTA Cosmos TT (vacuum, Electronic Flywheel), SME V, Koetsu Rosewood Signature
Marantz SA-10 SACD player, Alesis ML-9600 mastering CD burner, Nakamichi 700 ZXE Cassette Deck
Pass Labs XP-15 phono stage
Pass Labs XP-30 (SS) & Hovland HP-100 (tube) preamps
Edge G8+ laser-biased monoblocks & Classé M-700 monoblocks
Rockport Atria & Infinity IRS Beta Speakers
Audience AU24 SX Phono cable, MIT Shotgun ICs, Shunyata Alpha v1 SCs
Revelation Audio Labs 'Passage' CryoSilver Reference DualConduit DB-25 umbilical cables for Pass XP-30
Shunyata Denali 6000T power conditioner (on BBA platform), Shunyata Alpha NR v1, Delta NR v1, & Venom HC PCs. Also PS8 & 2 Venom Defenders.
Audio Magic Ultimate SHD Bees Wax Fuse, Synergistic Research Blue & Black fuses, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses
Klaudio LP200 ultrasonic RCM

Last edited by Crumhorn; 09-03-2021 at 12:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-01-2020, 11:39 PM
Washline's Avatar
Washline Washline is offline
Land of the Morning Calm
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 200
Default

Thanks Crumhorn. That's very helpful. I read that same opinion in the forum and figured that was the case but I didn't know if the distinguished characteristics also involved the use of balanced connections of the SA-10. However, your remark about the different caps and resistors provides an important additional bit of information.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-01-2020, 11:42 PM
Washline's Avatar
Washline Washline is offline
Land of the Morning Calm
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 200
Default

They seem to be dumping the 10s where I live. Less than 3K US for each new at the audio vendors I frequent online.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-01-2020, 11:51 PM
Crumhorn's Avatar
Crumhorn Crumhorn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 120
Default

Wow! I paid the full $7,000 U.S. (minus Ivan's AA subscriber discount) for it in July! I did my best to find out if it was about to be replaced, but everyone thought it would have another few years at the top of the line...

Last edited by Crumhorn; 11-03-2020 at 09:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-02-2020, 02:07 AM
Washline's Avatar
Washline Washline is offline
Land of the Morning Calm
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seoul, Korea
Posts: 200
Default

There's a trade war going on now between Korea and Japan. I think that may be a big part of it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Audioaficionado.org tested by Norton Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:29 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
©Copyright 2009-2021 AudioAficionado.org.Privately owned, All Rights Reserved.
Audio Aficionado Sponsors
AudioAficionado Subscriber
AudioAficionado Subscriber
Inspire By Dennis Had
Inspire By Dennis Had
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Harmonic Resolution Systems
Wyred4Sound
Wyred4Sound
Dragonfire Acoustics
Dragonfire Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
GIK Acoustics
Esoteric
Esoteric
AC Infinity
AC Infinity
JL Audio
JL Audio
Add Powr
Add Powr
Legend Audio & Video
Legend Audio & Video
Audio by E
Audio by E
Canton
Canton
Bryston
Bryston
WireWorld Cables
WireWorld Cables
Stillpoints
Stillpoints
Bricasti Design
Bricasti Design
Furutech
Furutech
Shunyata Research
Shunyata Research
Accuphase
Accuphase