MARANTZ KI Pearl Lite – Inspired By Desire released 2010 by STS Digital. These were collections of nicely recorded jazz tracks, mainly, choosen by Ken Ishiwata himself. Both discs derived from the original 24/88.2kHz PCM master, processed through MW Coding Process (by STS Digital).

Ken Ishiwata was born in Japan in 1947, and joined Marantz in 1978 when he was just 31. Marantz, at that time, was one of the “big” names in HiFi and Ken Ishiwata had been able to work at the heart of the development of the Marantz sound over a continuous period of forty years. He made the classical audiophile tweaking habit a rule for his Special Edition versions of Marantz components. These were standard, well established products to which he applied higher quality components to enhance performance and sound quality. He also designed a whole range of CD players and amplifiers, under the name “KI-Signature” or KIS, for short, where KI stands for Ken Ishiwata, of course.

After 30 years at Marantz, a commemorative series of components was released, namely the Pearl and Pearl Lite series. Ten years later, in 2018, to celebrate Mr. Ishiwata’s role in the history of the brand, two new components had been released, namely the PM-KI Ruby amplifier and SA-KI Ruby SACD player, which feature pinnacle performance that’s synonymous with Marantz excellence. According to Mr. Ishiwata, these were the best components released under his “signature”. These were/are individually numbered and made as a limited edition of just 1000 units. For sure they will become collectibles as they are the last components made during Mr. Ishiwata’s lifetime.

Ken Ishiwata was not only a team leader and designer, he also was Marantz’ brand ambassador worldwide. Indeed he travelled all around the world to promote the Marantz brand

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