Your editor still regrets – if we stay within the hi-fi hobby for a moment – one thing: the sale of a Marantz receiver. A quadrophonic monster. We’re guessing it was a 4415. What a wonderful receiver that was. but hey… those were the early days…. Back to present day; the time for Marantz to bring back some vintage features in a modern jacket. We take the Marantz Model 40n under the microscope. An all-rounder with hdmi e-arc!
Everything used to be better… right? Well: no. Of course it wasn’t. It is in the nature of the beast to long for the old days. Fact is: in many cases a vintage device is outperformed by a modern device in its class. Nevertheless, second-hand is sometimes very interesting. Sometimes there’s just something great for sale for a sharp price. Still, vintage is hot and vinyl is in demand. The latter can sound very good, as we recently demonstrated in the livestream.
Marantz also sees that vintage is in demand and launched the Model 30 series last year. And yes: that looked good (your editor thinks the design is cool) and it certainly sounds good. For many people, however, two boxes of about 3000 euros are somewhat too much of a good thing and a serious investment. After all, they also need cables … In short: the average consumer would rather see a one-box solution in that price range: it saves cables and an investment that for the majority of the population equals a vacation.
Marnantz Model 40n
And so the Marantz Model 40n was born: an all-in-one solution. A just add speakers product. Literally. Because the Marantz Model 40n is an integrated amplifier, dac, HEOS streamer and features hdmi e-arc. Super. The amplifier section is – unlike the Model 30 – a traditional class A / B power amp. This is to reduce some costs compared to the Model 30. We don’t mind; the amplifier is fine, as will be seen later.
The amplifier delivers 70 watts into 8 OHm and 100 watts into 4 Ohm (and it does). A big difference with the series below it is that Marantz has doubled the number of transistors. This is a huge improvement in stability – and power delivery. Also, the pre-amp is addressed; the gain is much lower (maximum +6dB standard with an increase to maximum +12 dB if really necessary (very weak input). In principle, the pre-amp does not gain what improves the signal-to-noise ratio (gain also pulls up the noise floor). This is really visible in the measurements as you can see later.
The converter part is controlled by an ESS 9016k2m dac. The dac – and streamer – are in a separate, shielded housing. In order to keep interference to a minimum. Also, the power lines are kept separate to keep everything as clean as possible. Quite a job in such a compact housing! Marantz has loaded its own filters; they do not use the standard filters from ESS. So don’t expect excessive freshness or sharpness with this dac.
In- and outputs
On the back we find a whole range of connection options: three times a line input, a phono input (MM) and of course digital inputs: coaxial, optical, Ethernet (HEOS), WiFi (HEOS) and Bluetooth. There is also a subwoofer output, record-out and a power-amp input. USB is also an option if you want to use a usb stick with music. Finally we see a HDMI e-arc link. We see that far too little on serious hi-fi devices. In short: plus points!
Construction and design
Of course we cannot just forget about the appearance. Now design is always a matter of taste, but we understand this design. It looks chic not corny but with a good nod to the past. The finish is good for a product in this class: everything is solid, although we find it a bit unfortunate that plastic is used on the front. The same goes for the Model 30. You can’t see it immediately, but you can feel it.