Published 2020-09-01 - 8:04 pm
I do not remember when it was, maybe in the mid 80’s. Marantz had just launched a new series of amplifiers, which looked like a copy of the amplifiers in the 60’s. With four large potmeters on each side of vertical sliding potmeters for tone control. Heritage I mean remember I heard them say, and it was a spinoff of the Marantz Model 30 and other amps from a bygone era.
This time, they have not succumbed to the temptation and created a new product in retro design, but the new 30 series draws much of its inspiration from the Model 30, and Marantz has simply called the new integrated amplifier, the Model 30.
Not very original, but in their defense it should be said that both the exterior and the interior, are very modern and it is really just the name left from the 60’s here. And the ambitions.
For Marantz says that the goal has been to recreate a timeless, musical and passionate expression, where both the exterior and the interior are in focus.
The first two products in the 30 series have been under development since 2017, and are manufactured in Shirakawa in Japan, but have been developed in Europe.
The integrated Model 30 is built around as a discrete analog two-channel integrated amplifier, with independent power supplies for the preamplifier part, and the output stage. The preamplifier has its own ring core transformer which is double shielded so that it will not affect surrounding circuits.
A lightning fast switch mode power supply supplies the output stage of 2 x 100 w power with power (2 x 200 w in 4 ohms), and the amplifier has brand new custom-built discrete HDAM amplifier modules, and preamplifier, phono stage and output stages are separated on separate circuit boards.
The amplifier also has inputs for turntable, either with MC or MM pickup, and Marantz says that they have put themselves in the harness to make a phono module that will not be left behind for the line inputs. On the front, you can select the load impedance on Moving Coil pickups in three steps, MC Low which is 33 ohms, MC Mid which is 100 ohms and MC High which gives 390 ohms.
It also has a headphone output with an HDAM amplifier module at the back.
The CD player at the top, shown here in black, is also a network player. It plays CDs and SACDs, but also has a built-in USB-DAC, and the Heos streaming platform used by Denon and Marantz.
The CD player has three digital inputs in addition to USB, and an ethernet input for streaming music over wi-fi at home. The player’s unique digital converter (DAC) handles most signals and music formats, and supports high definition audio, 24-bit FLAC from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz, DSD, Apple Lossless and MP3 of course, and it has something Marantz calls Marantz Musical Mastering ( MMM) instead of a conventional DAC.
The MMM circuit converts PCM (CD 44.1 kHz) to DSD 11.2 MHz and uses two system clocks to provide the most accurate sampling possible, up to 384 kHz.
The conversion of the digital DSD signal to analog takes place with HDAM modules on the outputs of the player. Which also has a built-in, self-developed headphone output with a separate HDAM SA2 amplifier module.
Marantz Model 30 and SACD 30n are both available during September, the prices are about 3000 Euro for each of them. Thus, Marantz places itself in the middle of the field with competing products from Hegel, NAD, Naim and Technics.