Marantz SA-KI Pearl CD/SACD Player and PM-KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier
All prices in euros (€) unless otherwise noted.
At time of report, 1 € is approximately 1.37 US dollars.

Ken Ishiwata is a well-known and highly respected person in high-end audio. He has been behind the development of numerous products. Now, with the latest Pearl products from Marantz, he quite literally has his name attached.

Marantz showed two new Ishiwata-approved audio components designed to commemorate Ken's 30 years with the company. Each component has his initials on the faceplate.

There are two Pearl products. One is the SA-KI Pearl CD/SACD player (2800 €), which features an aluminum transport mechanism and extensive copper shielding in the chassis. Ishiwata has been a strong proponent of SACD since its inception, so it's not surprising to see support for it included in this player.

The other product is the PM-KI Pearl integrated amplifier (2800 €). The PM-KI is said to produce 90Wpc into 8 ohms and 140Wpc into 4 ohms. It comes standard with an MM/MC phono stage and a CD Direct input.

What struck us about the Pearl products is not just that they have Ken Ishiwata's name attached, but that they appear to be high-quality, well-executed designs offered for at reasonable prices -- a good thing in these economic times. While it's not so important for consumers in Europe, KI told us that these new Pearl products will be readily available in North America soon, which hasn't always been the case with past Marantz products.