Sound United announced Tuesday the beginning of a new era for its high-performance Marantz brand by introducing a newly designed 2-channel integrated amp and matching high-performance SACD disc/integrated network media player, each designed to offer next-level performance in a package that evokes the legacy of founder Saul Marantz.

The Marantz Model 30 Integrated Amplifier ($2,500 suggested retail) and Model 30N SACD Player & Integrated Network Streamer ($2,500 suggested retail) will be available through authorized Marantz retailers in September. Both are designed to present as closely as possible the sound of the original musical recording, and will be available in a choice of silver or black.

The company said the components are the result of three-years of meticulous work in Shirakawa, Japan, and are the first fruits of the company’s new “industrial design language, celebrating and modernizing signature elements of legendary Marantz products of the 1950s, `60s and ‘70s.”

Sound United started a mission in 2017 to reposition the Marantz brand in the high-end audio market by modernizing “all aspects of the brand,” while preserving many of its familiar design and performance hallmarks.

The introduction of the Model 30 and 30N is the first step in a forthcoming brand shift that will further separate Marantz products from its Denon sister brand under the Sound United flag.

The new Model 30 integrated amp borrows design elements from memorable Marantz components of the past like “the original audio consolette model 30, model 2250 and model 9 amplifier. While bringing elegant new design styling that retains the familiar Marantz porthole (updated from an analog to digital meter to reflect changes of the times) the new Model 30 and SACD 30N deliver 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,” stated Joel Sietsema, Classé and Marantz president. “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 features an all-analog design with a fully discrete two-stage build, including independent power supplies for the preamplifier and power amplifier sections.

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The preamp power supply circuit produces stable power unaffected by fluctuations caused by demands of the amplifier stage. It also includes an oversized torodial transformer dedicated to the preamp signal purity. The transformer is housed in a double shielded steel case to suppress the leakage flux that can generate noise in peripheral circuits.

The amplifier also features a moving coil and moving magnet phono stage including a Marantz Musical Premium Phono EQ circuit and Marantz Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) technology for high-end performance from vinyl records. The Phono EQ stage amplifier can be used with both moving magnet and low-output moving coil cartridges through the use of a moving coil head amplifier.

Distortion is reduced using two-stage amplification in the phono stage. Marantz HDAMs are combined with junction gate field effect transistors (JFETs) in the input stage, giving high input impedance.

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.

The Marantz Model 30N 2-ch. SACD/Integrated Network media streamer with built-in HEOS streaming.

The Marantz 30N SACD/network media player uses a Marantz proprietary SACD 3L Transport Mechanism, USB-DAC, built-in wireless HEOS multi-room audio platform for music streaming, and a premium preamplifier.

The Marantz SACD 30N Network Audio Streamer & SACD player uses a 3L transport mechanism engineered for top performance playing SACDs, CDs and music stored on data discs, the company said. It provides access to the leading streaming services through Sound United’s HEOS wireless streaming music platform.

It also provides a digital source hub, a USB-DAC and built-in preamp. The built-in HEOS system allows streaming Hi-Rez Audio file formats including FLAC files from 44.1kHz to 192kHz at up to 24-bit resolution, DSD2.8MHz and DSD 5.6MHz, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AIFF, and MP3 files from major streaming providers, including Amazon Music HD, Tidal and others.

The unit also supports a variety of AI voice-control systems including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri and to easily play music, skip tracks and other tasks via spoken commands.

The SACD 30N also includes the 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 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 44.1kHz to 384kHz.

The DSD-to-analog converter feeds into the 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 exclusive Marantz HDAM-SA2 circuitry offering a high-level signal-to-noise ratio designed to work with a wider variety of headphones, the gain factor can be adjusted to three established presets — low, mid and high — to drive high impedance headphones.

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By Greg Tarr

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