I also played a few CDs, which if nothing else led to the discovery of just how slick a drawer mechanism this machine has (it’s up there with the smoothest in the business). I couldn’t see the eject icon in low light, but once found it’s not forgotten. The music of Anouar Brahem [Barzakh, ECM] reproduced by this source was sublime: Dave Holland’s bass was deep, sonorous yet agile, while the lead oud told its story. Frank Zappa’s Thing-Fish[Zappa Records] is a bit less charming but gripping nonetheless, and the SA-KI Ruby’s rendition of ‘Mammy Nuns’ was rather less ‘digital’ than it can sound on many players. Switching back to the server for the same track does bring with it certain rewards, notably in dynamics, detail resolution, and timing. The DAC reveals that while CD replay is very good, it’s not in the same league as the streamed alternative.
I doubt you can buy a better built and finished player for the money than the SA-KI Ruby. Maybe that’s why it’s limited to 999 units in gold and the same quantity in black. The fact that it provides such a stonking DAC on top of a highly finessed CD player makes it the perfect transition product for those making the leap to streaming. From a value for money perspective I’d say that the Ruby is the jewel in Ken Ishiwata’s crown!
Type: SACD/CD disc player and DAC
Disc Types: CD-ROM/DVD-ROM SACD, CD, CD-R/RW, WMA, MP3, AAC
Digital Inputs: Two S/PDIF (one coaxial, one optical), one asynchronous USB-B, one USB for iPhone/iPod, USB-A for memory device
Analogue Outputs: One 2-channel analogue audio output (via RCA jacks), one headphone output (via 6.35mm headphone jack)
Headphone Amplifier Output: Not specified
Digital Outputs: Two digital audio outputs (one coaxial, one optical)
DAC Resolution: (USB Audio) PCM/DXD 384kHz/32bit, DSD11.2MHz
Frequency response: 2 Hz–50 kHz
Distortion: THD 0.0008%
Signal to Noise Ratio: 104dB
Dimensions (H×W×D): 127 ×440 ×419mm
Distributor: D&M Audiovisual Ltd
Tel: +44 2890279830