Marantz Pearl KI limited edition

Entrigo

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Anyone here who has tried a Marantz Pearl KI limited edition? I have seen one on sale for around £1100 and quite tempted - though I am fairly happy with my recently acquired 7200, I suspect the Pearl will be in a different category.

Anyone especially who has listened to both the Pearl KI and the 7200 and can comment on similarities and differences? I really quite like the warm sound of the 7200 and would be interested to know whether the Pearl is “more of the same” - as in a better amp but with a similar sound signature, or how it would compare. Especially as someone on another thread mentioned the reference Marantz being more neutral and analytical.

Asked the seller for a demo but not quite managed to agree a time - as it’s an hour and a half and, if it is indeed analytical/neutral, I might save myself the hassle.
 

DougK1

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I've owned the Pearl Lites but not the Pearls. The Pearls are a fine example and will probably sound similar to PM7200, but far better detail and accuracy. You will pay a premium price for them as they were an Anniversary edition, another model to consider would be the PM14s1SE.

You really need to audition yourself as one mans detail/accuracy could be another mans analytical/neutral.
 

Entrigo

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I've owned the Pearl Lites but not the Pearls. The Pearls are a fine example and will probably sound similar to PM7200, but far better detail and accuracy. You will pay a premium price for them as they were an Anniversary edition, another model to consider would be the PM14s1SE.

You really need to audition yourself as one mans detail/accuracy could be another mans analytical/neutral.
Yes, watching both the Pearl KI and two PM14S1SE - all around the same price. Considering all these new were over £3k sounds too good to miss.
 
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DougK1

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Personally, I would purchase either of them as they are a veritable bargain now. I think the PM14 was the 'successor' of the Pearl in much the same way as the PM12 is the 'successor' of the Ruby, (which I own), so the PM14 is the newer amp.
I'm uncertain as to how different either would be compared to your current PM7200 but they will undoubtedly sound different. Don't write them off immediately as it took me a few weeks to acclimatise to the Ruby until I got my head around what I was hearing. I couldn't go back now :)
 
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Rodolfo

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With copper enhancements in the Limited Edition like Sony did with some of their also-limited ES issues decades ago. Pretty, although I'm still fully satisfied with the warmth, detail, and accuracy of the nice aluminum and steel units I've enjoyed for decades. ;)
 
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Gray

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With copper enhancements in the Limited Edition like Sony did with some of their also-limited ES issues decades ago. Pretty, although I'm still fully satisfied with the warmth, detail, and accuracy of the nice aluminum and steel units I've enjoyed for decades. ;)
I love the copperness of my old PM-66KI amp and my current CD6000KI CDP.....even if you don't see it from the front 🙂
 
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Rodolfo

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Indeed, I never cease to be amazed at how often 'neutral' is described as a negative trait.
Detailed, accurate and neutral - true to the original - it's what high fidelity is.
I've generally read and thought (only) of accuracy and neutrality as synonymous or even redundant. Can one have/hear one without the other?
 
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Entrigo

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Personally, I would purchase either of them as they are a veritable bargain now. I think the PM14 was the 'successor' of the Pearl in much the same way as the PM12 is the 'successor' of the Ruby, (which I own), so the PM14 is the newer amp.
I'm uncertain as to how different either would be compared to your current PM7200 but they will undoubtedly sound different. Don't write them off immediately as it took me a few weeks to acclimatise to the Ruby until I got my head around what I was hearing. I couldn't go back now :)
Yes, can imagine. Thing is, my previous amp was a Denon PMA-800NA. Wasn’t too keen at first but got used to it. On switching to the 7200 (which is anyway better in pretty much anything) I remember how much I prefer some warmth to my music. It just makes me feel it more. But then, maybe it’s not the warmth as much as the fact the 7200 is more dynamic and detailed, with a better soundstage.
 

Entrigo

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Indeed, I never cease to be amazed at how often 'neutral' is described as a negative trait.
Detailed, accurate and neutral - true to the original - it's what high fidelity is.
Absolutely no hint of judgement in the way I have used neutral. Simply not my favourite sound signature. Just like some people like their food spicy, some like it plain (again, not a judgement - fact).
 

Entrigo

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I certainly can't.
Aiming for a 'warm' (or even bright) reproduction would be like preferring to permanently view the world through tinted spectacles.

I've generally read and thought (only) of accuracy and neutrality as synonymous or even redundant. Can one have/hear one without the other?
Well maybe you forget that before the coming of modern electronics, music reproduction and indeed amplification was through valves, which have a natural warmth.

And rather than talking about coloured lenses, I would say looking at the world with the sun shining 😎
 

Gray

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Well maybe you forget that before the coming of modern electronics, music reproduction and indeed amplification was through valves, which have a natural warmth.
Yes, we've had discussions about warmth versus neutrality on the forum.
Someone pointed out the fact that the natural warmth of valves is due to distortion.

The dictionary defines distortion as:
'a change in the intended or true meaning of something'
That 'something' is the music - and personally I don't want my music changed any more than necessary (it's changed enough from live sound as it is 😕).

Taste is personal - it can't be wrong.
And theres no doubt that some poorly recorded music benefits from the tinting of sunglasses, but tinting, necessarily compromises the well recorded stuff - so no permanent 'warmth' for me.
I'd rather hear music as it was recorded.

Each to their own, as they say 👍
 

Entrigo

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OK fair enough, keen to put this to bed now. Thanks all for the lecture “neutral=good, warm=bad, your taste is wrong” 🙄🤣

Still keen to hear from people who actually know the amps mentioned.
 

Deliriumbassist

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I've owned the Pearl Lites but not the Pearls. The Pearls are a fine example and will probably sound similar to PM7200, but far better detail and accuracy. You will pay a premium price for them as they were an Anniversary edition, another model to consider would be the PM14s1SE.

You really need to audition yourself as one mans detail/accuracy could be another mans analytical/neutral.
Those Pearl Lites were excellent - had them in store when I was at Superfi many moons ago. I did listen to the full fat Pearls on a speaker model that we also carried, but alas not in the same room and not back to back. But the Lites were an absolute steal at the price.
 
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Entrigo

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I think member "bigfish" has owned the PM14 but not aware of anyone on here owning a Pearl. There was a guy on the WigWam forum who owned a Pearl.
Thanks. Managed to find a couple of people elsewhere, and in the meantime chased up the seller about arranging a demo, as he never got back to me.
 

Entrigo

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Yeah, I did have the PM/SA 14 se pair. Lovely sounding kit, made my focal speakers do great things.
I’d have no problem at all going back to that setup. 👍
Ha brilliant. Great to hear. Also asked for a demo of the PM14 (it’s at the same price as the Pearl - which instinctively I am a touch more attracted to). How did you find the sound signature? Without getting bogged down in the diatribe about neutral vs warm sounding amps, I really do quite like my 7200, which is reputed as on the warm side of neutral.
 
Ha brilliant. Great to hear. Also asked for a demo of the PM14 (it’s at the same price as the Pearl - which instinctively I am a touch more attracted to). How did you find the sound signature? Without getting bogged down in the diatribe about neutral vs warm sounding amps, I really do quite like my 7200, which is reputed as on the warm side of neutral.
You should be able to google the reviews on both, done by Andrew Everard for Hifi News magazine. They are very detailed, and measurements too.
 
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DougK1

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Personally, I would purchase either of them as they are a veritable bargain now. I think the PM14 was the 'successor' of the Pearl in much the same way as the PM12 is the 'successor' of the Ruby, (which I own), so the PM14 is the newer amp.
I'm uncertain as to how different either would be compared to your current PM7200 but they will undoubtedly sound different. Don't write them off immediately as it took me a few weeks to acclimatise to the Ruby until I got my head around what I was hearing. I couldn't go back now :)
Correction, the PM15S2 was the successor to the Pearl. Both the Pearl and Ruby anniversary limited run models cost substantially more than their successors.
 
I don't give much credence to whether an amp is neutral, smooth or warm. It's how it fits into the rest of your system and room acoustics.

My Leema, if you read the reviews, is a neutral amp, yet to me it sounds cozy, but does have punch in the LFs rather than deepest bass. This is why we all say a demo is a must.
Agreed. One mans neutral may be another mans warm but it all depends on what speakers your amplifier is paired with.
 

Entrigo

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You should be able to google the reviews on both, done by Andrew Everard for Hifi News magazine. They are very detailed, and measurements too.
Brilliant. Will look them up. I only found one review for the Pearl on Stereophile. Afraid the measurements would not mean much to me but will ask for my sound engineer brother’s help in deciphering them haha. Thanks!
 

Entrigo

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Thanks all for your input. Despite a preference for the Pearl, pulled the trigger on the PM14S1SE (as £200 cheaper and seller is local, not a 3 hours round trip).

Seller has offered 3 day demo and money back if not happy.

Will report back.
 
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