Coming soon to a system near me... Rubies

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D

Deleted member 108165

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Got 'em! :)

I don't really do reviews as I'm not good at putting things into words or technical terms, plus it's early days yet, but initial impressions... impressed... very impressed. Build quality, immense, cannot be faulted.

They don't boogie quite as well as the outgoing Pearl Lites - not as musical, and not as forgiving on poor recordings, (early ABBA as an example), tried some SACDs and that is where the action is. Never thought that my little PMC's would ever be the weakest link in the chain, but I have no intention of changing them... at the moment.

Not sure if the jump between the PM/SA14S1SE to the Ruby's would be as noticeable, (I have never heard this combo so can't know for sure). I think because I've basically jumped 2 levels upwards the difference is significant to my ears.

Need to re-think where I'm going to put the Ruby's as there is no way I want them as dust magnets on an open shelf rack... I'll see what Ikea has to offer.

I'll try to cobble something together over the coming weeks as currently I'm in critical listening mode for the duration of this weekend... and having fun.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Got 'em! :)

I don't really do reviews as I'm not good at putting things into words or technical terms, plus it's early days yet, but initial impressions... impressed... very impressed. Build quality, immense, cannot be faulted.

They don't boogie quite as well as the outgoing Pearl Lites - not as musical, and not as forgiving on poor recordings, (early ABBA as an example), tried some SACDs and that is where the action is. Never thought that my little PMC's would ever be the weakest link in the chain, but I have no intention of changing them... at the moment.

Not sure if the jump between the PM/SA14S1SE to the Ruby's would be as noticeable, (I have never heard this combo so can't know for sure). I think because I've basically jumped 2 levels upwards the difference is significant to my ears.

Need to re-think where I'm going to put the Ruby's as there is no way I want them as dust magnets on an open shelf rack... I'll see what Ikea has to offer.

I'll try to cobble something together over the coming weeks as currently I'm in critical listening mode for the duration of this weekend... and having fun.
Detailed review can wait till you've had a real good listen.
Glad you're already so impressed.
 
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bigfish786

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Jan 29, 2013
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From my own experience, these will get better over the coming days.
Thanks to you I found myself trying to justify spending another £4600 on Marantz gear to the wife the other day, as I genuinely am very envious of your arrivals 🤣🤣
 

Gray

Well-known member
From my own experience, these will get better over the coming days.
Thanks to you I found myself trying to justify spending another £4600 on Marantz gear to the wife the other day, as I genuinely am very envious of your arrivals 🤣🤣
My genuine sympathy goes to you and the many others like you.
So often, on different forums, I read that 'the wife wouldn't be happy with so and so' or 'I've had to tell H.W.M.B.O. I spent the money on something else'...etc. etc.
I can only imagine how terrible it must be to have to justify a purchase to another person.
(It's bad enough trying to justify it to myself).
Happy to say that Doug seems to have found justification already. Good luck to him (y)
 
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D

Deleted member 108165

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From my own experience, these will get better over the coming days.
Thanks to you I found myself trying to justify spending another £4600 on Marantz gear to the wife the other day, as I genuinely am very envious of your arrivals 🤣🤣
Frankly they sounded damned good straight out of the box but thanks for the tip (y)

Nine hours on the clock today and they still aren't disappointing, except on poor recordings, on good recordings they are stellar, especially SACD. The Pearl Lite had SACD capability but the Ruby is in a different league altogether. Been through my small classical collection today and I might be purchasing some more classical discs; only slightly held back by the PMC's as I feel classical needs a full range floorstander to truly shine, and some very understanding neighbours :)

As I have previously said this is a big step-up for me based solely on RRP, going from an item cost of £1K per box to an item cost of £3.9K per box... Does it sound 4x better? No. Is it a significant upgrade over the Pearl Lites? Yes.

I've never heard your PM/SA14's combo so I really can't comment as to what difference you would hear, it could be subtle, it could be significant. With the current social distancing advice you would be buying totally blind/deaf... which is what I did but I'd never recommend this approach to anyone, I mark myself lucky as my gamble has paid off.

I'm making critical notes as I'm listening so I'll try to cobble something together over the weekend and post my thoughts as soon as possible.
 
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bigfish786

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Thanks for the reply, in all honesty I have a very understanding partner, she’s never complained about my hifi, or where we have it. She knows it brings me a lot of joy.
I love my 14’s, and have no reason at all to upgrade. To me they are fabulous. It was just a bit of envy on my behalf.
I bought these blind too, with absolutely no regrets. Same as the speakers. 👍👍
I look forward to reading your progress with them. You’ll probably find yourself smiling more and more as the hours go by. I certainly did. 🤣
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Thanks to you I found myself trying to justify spending another £4600 on Marantz gear to the wife the other day, as I genuinely am very envious of your arrivals 🤣🤣
Try justifying £200 a month om credit. It doesn't sound so painful to the Leader Of The Opposition when put like that.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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Right... a small review, I'm not technical or articulate so don't expect too much:

At no time had I ever considered the Pearl Lites were slouches, to my ears they just never sounded like a significant upgrade from the entry level Marantz I started with 8 years ago. All comparisons here are Marantz Ruby versus Marantz Pearl Lite (PL) and has been complied over two days. Comments range from initial thoughts to realisation that I have purchased something rather special here and is probably my end-game regarding electronics.

Bloody heavy beasts, more beautiful in the flesh than any images online. Thought the PL’s were well built but these are in a completely different league. They ooze quality from the packaging to every component part, but then again they should. These Ruby’s work brilliantly together, I can’t think of any reason why anyone would split this pairing, except, of course, the cost of purchasing both in one hit.

Identical remote control with each box works all functions for both Amp and CDP, (so I have an unused spare at my disposal). CDP totally silent when in operation, tray glides effortlessly and silently. Ruby Amp and CDP run slightly warmer than their PL counterparts. Not as musical as the PL’s, (don’t get your feet tapping), but its early days yet and every session has been critical listening and comparison with no time to boogie. But with each session I’m noticing more and more of the strengths. Excellent with CD playback and especially so with SACD.

Initially maybe not a WOW moment with regard to auditory significance, more of a wow that’s different/interesting. On first listen I thought they were less warm and leaner in presentation but now believe that it is the speed, accuracy and detail which gives this impression. These produce more clarity and delicacy than I have ever heard before in any of my systems, the detail they extract from any format is outstanding. Thought they were a little bass shy but have deduced that this is probably down to better control of the speakers. Soundstage is very impressive indeed and the clarity is both intoxicating and addictive.

Total inky black silent background in between tracks or quiet passages, the sound is beautifully layered on this dark background. Amp sounds louder than the volume setting suggests, (checked with SPL meter). DB1’s have always been good at low volumes with general listening at 65dB, but don’t really start to sing until about 75dB, now listening at 65dB and everything that was there at 75dB is now there at 10dB lower but moreso. Not as forgiving as PL’s on poor recordings, two switchable filters available on CDP offer a solution for this so they at least sound acceptable, but not on par with good recordings. No need for attenuators as the volume pot seems to be linear in nice 0.5dB steps.

Headphone socket on the amp has a faint background hum, CDP socket is the winner with no hum and better performance to my ears. Not tried the phono-stage yet, MM+MC, but I’m sure it will demonstrate the same excellent abilities.

These Ruby’s pose many questions to my outgoing amp and CDP. They have also filled a void I never even knew existed. Unfortunately they are also pushing at the limits of my mainstream music collection and identifying weaknesses.

Worth it? At the price I paid I would say undoubtedly yes, at the original RRP I wouldn’t have looked at them as they were out of my reach.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Not a bad effort from someone who doesn't do reviews.
The improvements described are very much what I would have expected.
Interesting point about the bass and lean first impression. That may be a combination of your attention being drawn to the increased detail - and the PMC transmission line effect - which is great for quality but, possibly could do with a bit more 'warmth' at times?
Also the SPL comment. The fact that the SQ shines at lesser dBs, that's a nice bonus.
(Bodes well for the higher dB times if the neighbours ever go on holiday again!).
Glad you got them for the Easter holiday and that you're as pleased as you'd hoped to be.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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Cheers Gray. I still remember your Cyrus based system and that was amazing. You're top of the list to hear them once the lock-down is over mate. Currently they are sitting on the boxes they came in in front of the unit that will undoubtedly snap if I try to locate them on the shelf currently occupied by the PL's :) God knows what these are going to sound like when pushed?

I must state that I do not consider the DB1's to be the weak link, it is the ageing PC I am using as my music server for Foobar... could me more expense on the way.

There is no way I could have afforded these without being interest free over 24 months, and the reduction in price from original RRP.

Hoping that the faint hum from the headphone socket on the amp is nothing to worry about. I'm beginning to think that the star of this show is actually the CD player.
 
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insider9

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Nice write up Doug. It sounds quality when you get the nuance at low level listening. I'm guessing when turning the knob the feeling is of getting more not just of sound getting louder. Sounds like it is the case and thats a great sign.

In regards to your comments about PC and Foobar. How do you connect your PC to Hifi? Are you using ASIO? Have you ever tried Fidelizer?
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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Haven't had the chance to really turn it up but as you say it seems more when turning the knob, sure there's an increase in volume but it's the feeling of senses being bombarded/assaulted. It certainly raises a smile.

Not IT savvy Insider but think I'm using WASAPI, connection from PC to hi-fi is via coax and USB, coax supplying the media and USB to allow the Marantz to show up as external connected hardware. PC is running Vista so well past it's sell-by date, really need W10 as the CDP comes with an operating disc for use with PC audio. Very content with Foobar but will look into Fidelizer, does it offer sound benefits?
 
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D

Deleted member 188516

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may i (dare i !) ask what interconnect / speaker cables you use with this system and have you got the units plugged direct to wall sockets or into an extension block ?
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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Of course. I think the interconnects are Atlas Element Integra, speaker cables Van Damme Blue 2.5mm. The units are plugged into a standard, (Tesco grade), extension cable.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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I would reserve judgement until you've had a good week or so.
I think you were correct Insider.

The Ruby's might be an upgrade too far for my music collection, all my early Motown definitely sounds rank. Whilst I adore the clarity, detail and delicacy of the Ruby's I do not adore the thinness and brightness. I am finding it fatiguing to listen to with accuracy replacing musicality, this current set-up definitely doesn't boogie.

Not sure if a change of speaker would cure this but am open to suggestions, guess I'm looking for something with a little warmth to it. Standmount preferable as I can't accommodate floorstanders without a total rethink of my layout.
 
D

Deleted member 188516

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I think you were correct Insider.

The Ruby's might be an upgrade too far for my music collection, all my early Motown definitely sounds rank. Whilst I adore the clarity, detail and delicacy of the Ruby's I do not adore the thinness and brightness. I am finding it fatiguing to listen to with accuracy replacing musicality, this current set-up definitely doesn't boogie.

Not sure if a change of speaker would cure this but am open to suggestions, guess I'm looking for something with a little warmth to it. Standmount preferable as I can't accommodate floorstanders without a total rethink of my layout.

hi dougk

sorry to hear this as you waited long enough to receive the units.

would a change of cables, maybe to thicker speaker cable, help tune the sound ?

it would be easier than swapping the speakers i'm guessing.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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hi dougk

sorry to hear this as you waited long enough to receive the units.

would a change of cables, maybe to thicker speaker cable, help tune the sound ?

it would be easier than swapping the speakers i'm guessing.
No regrets Plus, I'm not prepared to part the Ruby's as they are stellar, just need some fine-tuning.

Not a big believer in cable theory but it is definitely worth a punt... it's cheaper than new speakers :)

I've next week off work so might try with adjusting speaker toe-in too.
 

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