Legacy… 50 years Model 30. Marantz celebrates it his way: with a new Model 30, complemented by the SACD 30N: a multifunctional player. Streaming and optical media in one nice box. Very convenient. We’re going to open our ears to see if this system can make a little music.
The ‘old’ blokes in the industry probably know the original Model 30 from the ’70s. An integrated amplifier. The new one is also an integrated amp and has taken certain design elements from the original. Think of the round hole in the center, the symmetry and the fact that it is a purely integrated model. That’s something of Marantz anyway: the higher series have no digital components in the analogue products. A choice from a purist point of view.
Because of the design choices, the cabinets have become totally different than we are used to from the PM line. Just like the SACD 30N, the Model 30 has a symmetrical design with a kind of reworked front on both sides: they added some sort of structure to it. On those worked pieces shines the well known led strip. White this time. It looks cool. However, there is a bit of an odd design-choice: these ‘façades’ look like metal, but unfortunately it is not. It is plastic. We would have liked to see it differently with products in the 3000 euro range. Now it looks good, so it’s not disturbing to the eye.
Anno 2020, of course, as a brand you can’t stay behind in terms of digital sources. So as a serious partner for the Model 30 there is a SACD 30N. A player based on the well-known D&M / Sound United drive that plays almost everything. In addition to the optical media, a Heos streamer has been added. A streamer that also plays everything and supports the necessary services. Think Tidal, Deezer, Spotify, et cetera.
Model 30 setup
The Marantz Model 30 is built around two nCore modules. These are powered by an smps: switch mode power supply. The pre-amp is powered by a well shielded toroidal transformer. The nCores deliver 100 watts in 8 Ohm and 200 watts in 4 Ohm. Enough to drive a serious speaker. Our Focals play fine in any case (you can hear that in the sample video). The 805 D3 and DALI Rubicon 6 are no problem either. Nice work.
This amplifier setup is similar to the PM12 and KI Ruby. You can easily see that on pictures. Also the power levels are the same: 100 watts in 8 Ohms. Our conclusion: the power-amps are the same for these three models. We do see differences in the input-stage. That part is not entirely the same. The KI Ruby and PM12(se) have a lot of similarities, but the Model 30 is different. And since an input stage has quite an influence on sound, there will certainly be some differences in presentation. More about that later.
Then let’s go to the SACD 30N. As said, this is a very versatile device. It is a player for optical media, a streamer and a dac. In short: it is an ‘I-do-it-all’-device. Very convenient, because you can actually connect anything to the SACD 30N. From a TV to USB sticks, bluetooth (smartphones, tablets, etc) and gaming consoles. And all those devices can then use the MMM-dac technology. Marantz Musical Mastering. A beautiful converter technology that – simply explained – converts everything to DSD before it goes to analog.