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4music 02-20-2018 12:58 PM

Marantz SA 10 vs SA11S3
I would really appreciate it if someone had a chance to compare both players head to head. What are the differences? I am especially interested into Red Book CD playback. Is the SA10 much better for CDs?

Beet Farmer 10-23-2018 07:37 AM

Now, two thirds of a year later, the player to compare with the SA-10, is the new Marantz SA-KI 'Ruby' just introduced. has the same drive as the SA-10, same chassis, slightly different internal boards.
There was a limited edition available only in EU called "Pearl" but now it has been turned into a Jr. version of the Flagship SA-10.
It also uses the same DSD 'MMM" sort of decoding. But has less 'state of the art' electronics included. Also no balanced out, only RCA outputs.
I would almost buy one as a backup...

RaceCarDriver 11-14-2018 11:28 AM

I had the PM-14S1 & PM-14S1 for some time. IMO For the price they were great pieces, performing well above the price of admission.

The $2,500 SA-14S1 "entry level" reference player was discontinued recently along with the matching PM-14S1.

The Ki-Ruby pieces are replacement/upgrades to the PM-14S1. The Ki-Ruby celebrate 40 years of Ken Ishiwata with Marantz.

The Ki-Pearl pieces are pieces from 2009. SA-Ki Pearl & PM-Ki Pearl. They are 30 year anniversary pieces from Ken Ishiwata with Marantz.

The reason for the Ruby & Pearl names is that Rubys are traditional gifts to celebrate 40 years together and Pearls are the 30 year traditional gift.There have been several other Ken Ishiwata Signature editions over the years, the Ruby just happens to be the latest. It would be cool to see a Ki-Gold here in another 10 years.

The $8,000 PM-10 & $7,000 SA-10 are still the top dog reference pieces by Marantz. The Ki-Ruby pieces are not replacements for those. I have both the PM-10 and SA-10, that SA-10 is a very special 40lb beast. I can't see myself ever getting rid of it! If you happen to get any of the Marantz gear it all of it is very special. If you end up with an SA-10 I am sure you will be very happy!

Beet Farmer 11-14-2018 11:40 AM

Just to mention the older Marantz SA-KI PEARL is a different machine than the Marantz SA-Ki RUBY!
The PEARL does not use the SA-10 spinner. Nor does it use the SA-10 decoding machine
Where the Marantz SA-KI RUBY Does use the same disc drive as the SA-10 and also the same decoding machine as the SA-10
So the RUBY is much better than the PEARL, all around.
The reason I discovered these things was a PEARL was for sale used.. So I read up on it, alas it is not the same... Though that chassis is also nearly identical in shape and size.
The chassis is identical between the SA-10 and RUBY. The difference is three pounds weight. Also the RUBY does not have balanced out, only single ended.
Interior images of a SA-10 and SA-KI RUBY do show a different design main circuit board, the RUBY does not have shielding on the transformer. The SA-10 does. Otherwise all main parts are in the same places, and look alike.
(they remind me of the Sony SCD-1 and SCD777.. Nearly identical, with the better one using better quality parts)

RaceCarDriver 11-14-2018 12:38 PM

Correct, The Pearl is from 2009. The Ruby is the current Ki line for 2019. The "10"s are still the top models from Marantz.

The SCD-1 was awesome, heavy and mine was kind of finiky, the reason I sold my set a while ago.

Beet Farmer 11-14-2018 01:49 PM


Originally Posted by RaceCarDriver (Post 940406)
The SCD-1 was awesome, heavy and mine was kind of finiky, the reason I sold my set a while ago.

I still own my SCD777ES. But it is relegated to the bottom shelf. And sits unused. Mine became finicky too. Not reading the SACD layer of dual discs. And was so slow to load! I say I can take a nap between hitting close/play and the start of the music. I loved it when it was new.
I never even tried to compare the sound of the SCD777ES to the SA-10.

Formerly YB-2 11-14-2018 06:57 PM

So sad that Sony stopped making the optical blocks for their 777ES series. The rest of the system is good for 20yr, or more.

doggiehowser 11-14-2018 08:48 PM

I know someone who compared the SA-10 to the SA-14 and came away preferring the SA-14.

The SA-10 is IMHO a revolutionary engine - it uses an FPGA DSD decoding engine (not unlike Playback Designs/EMM Labs and PS Audio) so it is a different sound to traditional Burr Brown DACs used in the SA-14.

You may or may not like the sound - so best to listen first.

The SA-Ruby is the 40th Anniversary unit in limited numbers. In this instance, it is the SA-10 minus balanced output (pretty much).

The SA-Pearl was the 30th Anniversary model that was based off the original SA-14 (also single ended only). There was also an SA-Pearl Lite (based on the SA8005 - non Reference model).

AFAIK the SA-14 hasn't been discontinued - the SA-10 replaced the SA-11 but I imagine the SA-Ruby will not be a regular production model after this.

RaceCarDriver 11-15-2018 03:33 AM

The 14s were removed from Marantz’ website not too long ago and is no longer available at places such as Crutchfield. Prior to the SA-14S1 I had the 13S2 combo. I still prefer the SA-10 to them all.

GeAllan70 11-15-2018 09:47 AM


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