Marantz has announced two products that the company says signifies a new era for the brand: the MODEL 30 integrated amplifier and SACD 30n network audio streamer and SACD player. Manufactured in Shirakawa, Japan, they are the first Marantz products to launch with the brand’s new industrial design language, celebrating and modernizing signature design elements from legendary Marantz products of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.
In 2017, Marantz set out on a mission to reposition its future in the world of high-end audio. By looking to its storied history, the team modernized all aspects of the brand. Taking inspiration from legendary Marantz products like the original Audio Consolette, Model 30, Model 2250, and Model 9 amplifier, the new MODEL 30 and SACD 30n embrace elements of classic Marantz design and marry them with a thoroughly modern approach to construction and materials.
“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,” says Joel Sietsema, president Classé and Marantz. “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 MODEL 30 Integrated Amplifier
The all-analog design features a fully discrete two-stage build, with independent power supplies for the pre-amplifier and power amplifier. The power supply circuit, designed exclusively for the preamplifier, enables a stable power supply unaffected by fluctuations from power demanded by the power amplifier stage. An oversized toroidal transformer is dedicated exclusively for the preamp to ensure high purity, while a double-shield steel case is mounted around the transformer to suppress the leakage flux that could generate noise in peripheral circuits. The power supply for the power amplifier stage delivers high current instantaneously to the switching mode amplifier.
The amplifier also features a moving coil and moving magnet phono stage — complete with Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit and Marantz HDAM technology — for top-of-the-line performance. The Phono EQ stage in the MODEL 30 amplifier can be used with both moving magnet and low-output moving coil cartridges, thanks to a built-in MC head amplifier. Distortion is reduced using two-stage amplification in the phono stage, and Marantz HDAMs are combined with JFETs (junction gate field effect transistors) in the input stage, giving high input impedance. The exclusion of coupling capacitors further simplifies the design, reducing signal distortion and enhancing signal purity. Further, MODEL 30 is equipped with an input impedance selector, which can be adjusted to three different settings “MC Low (33 Ohm), MC MID (100 ohm), and MC HIGH (390 ohm),” which further optimizes sound performance when using a moving coil or magnetic moving cartridge.
MODEL 30 continues Marantz’s tradition of using its proprietary discrete circuit design boards — Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAMs) — to replace chip-based amps. Leveraging curated discrete surface mount components with short mirror-image left and right signal paths, the HDAMs dramatically outperform regular integrated op-amps to achieve exceptional sound quality and performance, according to the company.
The SACD 30n Network Audio Streamer and SACD Player
The new SACD 30n draws on the Marantz proprietary SACDM-3L transport mechanism, engineered solely for the best possible performance when playing SA-CDs, CDs and music stored on data discs. It is also built to meet the requirements of the modern music enthusiast who wants access to existing file collections or to the leading streaming services. Leveraging the HEOS Built-in platform, SACD 30n combines a premium CD/SACD player with a modern digital source’s hub, a USB-DAC and a built-in preamplifier.
With HEOS Built-in, SACD 30n can stream FLAC files from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz at up to 24-bit resolution, DSD 2.8 MHz and DSD 5.6 MHz, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AIFF, and MP3 files from major streaming providers, including Amazon Music HD, Tidal and others. HEOS Built-in also allows for greater listening flexibility and access, including a variety of voice-enabled technologies, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Josh.ai.
SACD 30n relies on Marantz’s proprietary Marantz Musical Mastering (MMM-Stream converter and MMM-Conversion stage) for optimal digital audio conversion. PCM inputs are up-converted to DSD at 11.2 MHz using the MMM-Stream converter within the player. The high-frequency signal produced is processed by the MMM-Conversion stage (used in place of a conventional DAC) to produce the analog output. Two system clocks ensure the most accurate up-conversion of the incoming signal, whether it’s from the disc or digital inputs, ranging from 44.1 kHz to 384 kHz.The design of the DSD-to-analog converter feeds into the familiar Marantz HDAM in the output stage for optimal sound quality.
In addition, the headphone amplifier used in the SACD 30n features a dedicated amplifier module using Marantz HDAM-SA2 circuitry. To work with a wider variety of headphones, the gain factor can be adjusted to three established presets — low, mid, and high — making it possible to drive high impedance headphones.
The Marantz MODEL 30 Integrated Amplifier ($2500) and SACD 30n Network Audio Streamer & SACD Player ($2500) will be available at authorized Marantz retailers and online at us.marantz.com in September 2020.