Marantz has been busy the past few years with new models aimed at capitalizing on the cachet it’s vintage preamplifier and amplifier designs from the ‘60s and ‘70s still enjoy.
New Marantz buyers won’t be getting the point-to-point wiring, Orange Drops capacitors, tubed-circuit designs, or wood-veneer chassis housing of a vintage Model 7 preamplifier, but they will be getting future-foward products that leave no path to music listening in either the digital or analog realms unavailable.
The Model 30 integrated amp, and CD30 CD/Streamer/DAC worked together seamlessly to bring a TIDAL version of “La Femme d’Argent” off Moon Safari by French uber-pop group Air to textured, breathy life, albeit with an emphasis on a sound stage more wide than deep for this particular digital rendering.
While I wouldn’t describe this as a bass-heavy system to rock out with, I would suggest its abilities at unravelling complex musical passages with refinement, balanced timbral shadings and presenting albums without any lower-mid goosing (which is a favourite trick of some standmount loudspeaker designs) as noteworthy.
Switching to vinyl brought little change to the tonal balance, with the TT-15S1 turntable and Clearaudio Virtuoso moving-magnet cartridge following a similar circuit path, albeit one where there was bigger body to instrument presentation on the stage. Purple Rain is one of my favourite LPs and through the Model 30 there was a sense of timing uptick, and "Let's Go Crazy" had the expected jump factor. Overall, the voicing of this curation was more of linearity and neutrality than boogie or big splashes of colour: think cohesive, measured. Listening with a tilt towards calculated refinement of the overall sound of the system and an emphasis on getting the midrange right. Who can argue with that?
Read the next Virtual Audio Festival post covering Naim, Focal and Ansuz HERE.
More information on these products HERE.