I Like Surprises
The surprise here is not that companies like Marantz (or Def Tech) that I
used to adore, still make great sounding gear that today feels more affordable than ever, it’s that despite my growth into the more bespoke and more high-end gear — the offerings from Marantz and Def Tech still move me emotionally and sound great to my ear. They’re also quite sexier in person. Like myself.
Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook
I’ve not gotten too big for my own britches just yet. Nor have companies like Marantz and Def Tech. Both continue to innovate and move the needle forward. Though, in this exhibit we did listen to the most recently retired physical format quite a lot. Wait… CD is the next big thing right? Ooof!
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These Flagship Def Techs
Firstly, let’s talk about these flagship Def Tech D17s from the Demand Series. This is a flagship loudspeaker in every way conceivable, and the pair carry a street price of just $3,498 USD. WTF?
True three-way design, or is it really four-way? The D17 tower speakers feature a laterally offset 1” annealed aluminum dome tweeter, a 6.5” BDSS™ midrange woofer, and dual 6.5” carbon fiber bass woofers complemented by dual 10” side-firing passive radiators.
Passive radiators are one of my favourite ways to get more-full-range performance without taxing the amplifiers with big woofer feedback.
The New-New Marantz
Both of these components are signals of a new chapter for Marantz. One that has proven itself from the outset with products like the Marantz MODEL 30 and SACD 30n which debuted just a few years back. Now it’s the new Marantz MODEL 40n and CD 60 which take different approaches under the same design styling of the aforementioned models.
The Marantz MODEL 40n comes in at $500 less than the MODEL 30, and opts for proven HDAM topology with 70 wpc (8 ohm) class-A/B power to pair with built-in HEOS Streaming, Phono, HDMI ARC, and a mix of digital and line level inputs. Retail is set at $2,499 USD.
The Marantz CD 60 is not the complete digital source that the networking, SACD slinging, SACD 30n is — it’s just a CD player, with headphone amp and USB storage playback capability. It’s also just one third of the price of the SACD 30n at just $999 USD.
It should be no surprise that…
I found the Marantz/Def Tech pairing to just kick a lot of ass. The two side-firing passive radiators per stereo channel did well to expand the audible boundaries of this little hotel room, and try to convince me that what we had was more than just 70 wpc.
The mid-bass, midrange and upper frequencies, where my most critical biases live, were quite impressed with the system as a whole. Not just for the money, but in how they articulated and played the room. Overall this system is well under $10K and you could have easily told me the speakers alone were $10K, and I would have just gone along with it.
Sound United for the win!