IF you thought that SACD was the past… well, think again, because Marantz never gave up on the medium. Now, to reaffirm its support for it, Marantz has introduced the SACD 30n network audio streamer/SACD player, alongside its companion MODEL 30 integrated amp.
“The MODEL 30 and SACD 30n were expertly designed and precisely tuned over the last three years. Meticulously manufactured in Shirakawa, Japan, they are also the first Marantz products to launch with the brand’s new industrial design language, celebrating and modernising signature design elements from legendary Marantz products of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s,” Marantz tells us.
“In 2017, Marantz looked back on its history and updated all aspects of the brand. Inspired by 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, SVP of Brand at Sound United, parent company to Marantz.
“This is why we dove into the brand’s history first to design the 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 that 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 is an all-analogue design featuring a fully discrete two-stage build, with independent power supplies for the pre-amplifier and power amplifier.
According to the Marantz literature, “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. This ensures maximum control over any connected speakers to follow even the hardest bass attacks and provides clean power for the reproduction of the finest details. The result is absolute signal purity and exceptional audio quality.”
The amplifier also features a phono stage (MM/MC) 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. It 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).”
Meanwhile, the SACD 30n “draws on the Marantz proprietary SACDM-3L transport mechanism, engineered solely for the best possible performance when playing SACDs, 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, the SACD 30n can stream FLAC files from 44.1kHz to 192kHz at up to 24-bit resolution, DSD 2.8MHz and DSD 5.6MHz, ALAC (Apple Lossless) 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 and Apple Siri to easily play music, skip tracks and more.”
The SACD 30n relies on uses the proprietary Marantz Musical Mastering (MMM-Stream converter and MMM-Conversion stage) for optimal digital audio conversion. PCM inputs are up-converted to DSD at 11.2MHz 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 analogue output.
Two system clocks ensure the most accurate up-conversion of the incoming signal, whether from the disc or digital inputs, ranging from 44.1kHz to 384kHz. The design of the DSD-to-analogue converter feeds into the familiar Marantz HDAM in the output stage for optimal sound quality.
The headphone amplifier used in the SACD 30n features a dedicated amplifier module using exclusive Marantz HDAM-SA2. 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 MODEL 30 (€3,000/£2,700) and SACD 30n (€3,000/£2,700) are available this month.