Marantz looks to the past for future audio gear design
After three years in development, Marantz has dipped into its history for inspiration for a new line of high-end audio gear that starts with an integrated amplifier and a network audio streamer/SA-CD player.
The Model 30 Integrated amp and SACD 30n network streamer and SA-CD player are reported to have been inspired by flagship Marantz gear of old – like the Audio Consolette, the original Model 30, the Model 2250 and the Model 9 – and share a design language that heralds "the first look at the future for Marantz."
"Our main goal in updating Marantz was to effectively capture the timelessness, musicality and passion the brand has brought to the world for nearly 70 years," said the company's Joel Sietsema. "This is why we dove into the brand’s history first to design Model 30 and SACD 30n.
"We knew these new products and their successors had to continue refining that classic Marantz sound, but also deliver fresh new aesthetics and build quality contemporary enthusiasts could love. The result is a familiar, yet entirely new Marantz ID and an exciting listening experience that delivers on the Marantz promise of the most musical sound."
The 443 x 130 x 432-mm (17.4 x 5.1 x 17-in), 14.8-kg (32.6-lb) all-analog Model 30 amplifier comes in black or silver. It outputs 100 W + 100 W into 8-ohms or 200 W + 200 W into 4 ohms, and boasts a wide frequency response of 5 Hz to 50 kHz and a total harmonic distortion of 0.005 percent.
Inside, there are independent power supplies for the pre-amp and the power amp, with an oversized toroidal transformer isolated in a double-shielded steel case for the former and guaranteed instant high current delivery for the latter. And Marantz says that its use of proprietary circuit boards with surface-mounted components in place of chip-based designs results in "exceptional sound quality and performance."
Vinyl lovers needn't concern themselves with having to buy an external pre-amp, as the Model 30 includes a phono pre-amp stage that's designed for low distortion and signal purity. This supports moving coil and moving magnet cartridges, and thanks to an integrated moving-coil head amplifier, the new EQ circuit can be used with moving magnet and low-output moving coil phono cartridges – with a built-in selector for low, mid and high impedance moving coil cartridges.
Elsewhere, there are six input terminals, including machined brass connections for CD and Phono, proprietary copper speaker terminals, linear volume control and EQ and balance controls.
This integrated amp comes a US$2,500 price tag and is available from this month.
The SACD 30n is for your digital music consumption needs. It features a Marantz SACDM-3L transport for playing SA-CDs and CDs, while the HEOS Built-in platform allows for streaming from major providers, including Amazon Music HD and Tidal.
There is of course 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cooked in, together with USB inputs, coax and optical digital ins and outs, gold-plated RCA terminals, and an Ethernet port. There's no built-in tuner though, but listeners can access internet radio.
The system supports the streaming of FLAC files at up to 24-bit/192-kHz resolution, as well as DSD 2.8 and 5.6 MHz, Apple Lossless, AIFF and MP3 formats. And digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri can be employed to line up music, skip tracks and so on.
The MMM-Stream converter can upscale 44.1-kHz to 384kHz PCM inputs to DSD 11.2 MHz, which is then processed to generate analog output "for optimal digital conversion." And there's a dedicated headphone amp with three adjustable presets for driving a variety of ear candy.
This network streamer and disc player is available in black and silver/gold for $2,500.
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Best thing about Marantz tuners was the huge, heavy-inertia tuning knob - felt so great!