New Marantz SA-KI Ruby SACD/CD player

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by bruce2, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    No. 3 is an interesting observation. One would hope the sacd layer was a different master to the cd master and they shouldn’t sound the same, level adjusted or not!
     
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  2. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maptown
    @Bill Mac I don’t know why you are using the OPPO 203 to stream your 5tb of files to your SAKI Ruby.
    Maybe your are still using the OPPO 203 for video services?
    But, I think you may be served better by a small streaming device/music server which would play your 5tb disk directly to your SAKI Ruby?
    Everyone does thing different here. Just a thought.
     
  3. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The Oppo 203 is still in my main system for multi-channel music, movies, Roku (connected to the HDMI input) and the WD 5tb hard drive. The system is used for both stereo and multi-channel music. My equipment profile shows the gear used and everything works quite well together and suits my needs.

    I bought a Bluesound Node back in January and found it did not suit my needs. Below is a link to a Bluesound Node thread and in posts #144 and #147 are my comments about the issues I had with it.

    Just ordered a Bluesound NODE...what to look out for

    I eventually returned it and was going to get the iFi Zen Stream. But after reading about the Zen Stream in a thread here it appears there are unresolved issues with it.

    The iFi Zen Stream Thread

    So for now using the 203 to play the files from the hard drive is the easiest and most cost effective option. Most of the files on the hard drive are DSF files of ripped SACDs. Due to using the optical output of the 203 to the SA-KI Ruby optical input I needed to set the SACD Output setting of the 203 to PCM. When set to DSD the DSF files would not play. I'd prefer the DSD setting so there would not be a DSD to PCM conversion. But in all honesty doubt I could tell the difference in a A-B comparison.

    I have an activity programmed into my Harmony 688 remote that powers up all the needed components and sets everything to the correct inputs. Couldn't be any easier :).
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2022
  4. Cherrycherry

    Cherrycherry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maptown
    Works how you like it, is always important.
    Easy is a valuable quality.
     
    Bill Mac likes this.
  5. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    If you stick to Tidal or Roon, the ZenStream is stable and trouble free.
     
  6. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    Ken Ishiwata has explained his preference for single ended. He says that speakers are not a balanced design. In order to hear music through speakers, a balanced signal must be converted to single ended. He feels it’s best to eliminate the need to convert and instead remain single ended the whole way.
     
  7. Audiofan1

    Audiofan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    States
    Wow! I'm a huge supporter of going xlr first and almost didn't go with the 30n due to it's lack. That's the first explanation that makes good sense! I must admit to wanting to kick myself for almost passing on on the 30n for my lack of understanding on this but happy at the same time as I did buy it and on my list of All time good buys.
     
    DancingSea likes this.
  8. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    My understanding is that he was happy with balanced only when done properly - throughout the entire chain.

    This he did with his last Reference pieces (including volume controls in the PM-10 preamp and bridged outputs in the power section) all to accommodate the advantages of the balanced output of the SA-10. Otherwise, it made sense to maximise single-ended workflows.
     
  9. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do you have a link to a direct quote when Ken Ishiwata made that statement? It seems odd because why would any audio component have balanced outputs if the above is true.
     
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  10. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Seattle area
    Balanced outputs were designed for their inherent noise immunity. For this reason, balanced lines are almost always used in professional settings. This is because when you need to have long cable runs, and hum pick-up becomes a very serious problem. But in most home stereos, very long cable runs are rarely needed, and so balanced lines are theoretically not very beneficial.
     
  11. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    It's true, since air is single-ended. You can only have varying amounts of positive pressure, no negative pressures allowed. However, that does not imply the implication that it is worth making things single-ended right away. My DAC has two DAC chips per channel, four in total. One chip drives left-side positive, another left-side negative, another right-side positive, another right-side negative. Then I take that to a transformer volume control, then to my amp. If I had a push-pull amp the topology could take things balanced right to the output stage, but my single-ended amp converts the balanced signal to single-ended right away. In theory, this negates any common-mode noise or distortion that each DAC chip creates, and also keeps away any common-mode EMI/RFI along the way, as @TarnishedEars mentioned
     
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  12. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    It’s towards the middle (I think?) of this short video of Ken introducing the Ruby. He spends perhaps 30 seconds on the topic, it is not an engineering treatise. But to my interpretation at least, his point was clear. I assume he was addressing criticism of the Ruby lacking xlr.

    I own and love the 30n. But am trying to convince a buddy to buy the Ruby before they’re gone. $3000 is such a great price for a cd playing giant. I sent him this video as a means of persuasion as my friend is a xlr devotee.

     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  13. jmadad

    jmadad Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    thanks for the video. Comments are at 5:40

    In my 4th decade of CD player ownership - nothing close to the Ruby!
     
  14. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    If nothing else, it’s a nice bit of kryptonite to have in the back pocket for rca vs xlr debates. Sort of like, “well, you do know that those One Steps come from DSD…”

    :pineapple:
     
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  15. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    Here, Ken talks about how they 'solved' the problem of running fully balanced until the speaker - and what they designed to meet that hurdle (from 9'16"):

     
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  16. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    And here, Ken talks again about his and Marantz's thoughts on running balanced from their Reference SC-7 preamp (now in the PM-10) right through to the speakers (from 1'40"):

     
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  17. Linger63

    Linger63 Forum Resident

    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    Find it a bit weird that the SA-KI Ruby offers a USB-A port but then no way to visually navigate the contents of the stick/drive you connect.
    I assume that's why you have your Oppo connected......(Don't know anything about Roku)

    Also worth noting that you may as well feed any of your Rubys' digital inputs unconverted PCM where possible as..........

    "All digital inputs up sample and convert to DSD 256 regardless of format of origin before final conversion to analog"
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2022
    Cherrycherry and Bill Mac like this.
  18. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    You can use the SA-KI Ruby's display to see what is playing on a connected hard drive. But that is pretty much useless and slow as far as navigating files on the hard drive. I'm assuming it's difficult process but have never connected a hard drive directly to the SA-KI Ruby.

    The Oppo 203 is in my system for movies, Roku (streaming Netflix, Prime, Spectrum cable etc.), multi-channel music and playing music from the attached WD 5tb hard drive. I'm using a Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE (w/ HT Bypass) for stereo and an Emotiva XMC-1 for multi-channel music.

    Good point about keeping everything unconverted PCM. The DSF files have to be converted from DSD to PCM in the 203 so they will play when using optical. That's fine as everything sounds fine to these ears :).
     
    Linger63 likes this.
  19. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Location:
    Auckland, NZ.
    Well, it's a matter of what the ear hears. From the air's perspective or an absolute point of view, there's no negative pressure, as such. From from the point of view of wave theory and the structure of the ear drum, there has to be movement both ways from stasis - or you wouldn't hear anything.

    Speakers are single-ended transducers that we design so they can be controlled, with a focus on transcribing a sound wave of some kind. Permanent magnets have a passive return to ground. Field-coil drivers (usually considered a whole class better than permanent ones), an active one, which responds very to balanced or bridged systems.

    Moreover, balanced audio designs will tend to have lower noise floors,. inherently. If this can be maintained throughout the system in components and between them), music benefits, despite some of the physical advantages of balanced cabling (long distances with low loss and good noise rejection outside of the components themselves). But they're certainly not imperative.
     
  20. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I also checked Auto Standby tonight and the sound is definitely better with it off. Better clarity and focus.
     
    NorthNY Mark and jusbe like this.
  21. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Let's see I've had the Ruby now close to 6+ months and got a new pair of speakers in June as well which have also been eye openers.... This player just continues to surprise how good it is!! Just breathes new life into even the crappiest compressed CDs...Its something
     
  22. bug2362

    bug2362 Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Seattle, WA
    I know, I like mine the longer I have it. Switching between filter 1 and 2 is new to me and enjoyable. Are people buying back- up units or drives just in case?
     
    azideam likes this.
  23. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I think I've just been on filter 1 which is what it was on out of the box... Maybe I'll switch if I'm feeling like it, as is its mighty fine! I don't know about buying spare units but for me I'm not worried about it, I switch back and forth from vinyl so its not my sole method... If it did go and couldn't be fixed it would suck, but I'm not married to it I'd move to something else... Before I had the Ruby I was messing around with the DAC route so its something I would consider, but who knows! I'm just enjoying it!
     
  24. bug2362

    bug2362 Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Seattle, WA
    I find filter 2 adds some punch to rock, reggae etc. and adds to the fullness of the sound.
     
  25. jmadad

    jmadad Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I was all about filter 2 for a few months, but have come fully back to filter 1.

    I did buy a back-up drive a year ago. Hope to not need it, but I'm all digital, so it gets a lot of use.
     
    azideam, Audiofan1, Bill Mac and 2 others like this.

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