If you read an audiophile magazine you might be forgiven for thinking the act of listening to a recording is incredibly complicated, requiring specialized gear, navigating a forest of formats while pretending you know the nuances of how different DACs supposedly sound from each other. But that mindset is for the hobbyist, a music lover is all about enjoying the tunes, not fretting over the gear. And it is with an eye toward this sort of audiophile lifestyle, where the performance is ample, the specs exceed what's needed for the task, so the real concerns are ones of look, feel and ease of use. This is the perspective from which the Marantz Model 40n Integrated Amp is born.
“I strongly believe you don’t have to be an audiophile to enjoy rich, warm sound. With our MODEL 40n we’ve further perfected the balance between what we’re known for – our sound – with added simplicity, gorgeous design, modern upgrades, and power. This product is truly ideal for those who require excellent performance yet find elegance in simplicity and ease of use.”Joel Sietsema, Marantz president
Last week I took a trip to New York—where Marantz was founded—to see and hear the 40n in person. The suite, located in the Equinox Hudson Yards hotel, had a luxury condo living room layout that put the system—consisting of the Marantz Model 40e, a Marantz TT-15S1 turntable, and a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 702 S2 Signature speakers—in a proper residential context and allowed for critical listening.
The clear message of the demo is that this gear is finely tuned to perform as it should if you just set it up. I asked about room correction, and what you get with this Marantz is a pair of classic tone controls. No deep dive into menus, no complex configuration before you get to enjoy your tunes.
I wanted to capture the gist of the demo on video because words only go so far. Of course, you won't hear what I heard in person, but the recording was made with an AT8022 microphone that does an outstanding job of giving you an idea of what it was like:
Diana Krall sings No Moon At All in this demo of the Marantz Model 40n
The audio demo was impressive, a reminder that a good 2-channel system is not something you need to overthink. Indeed, the design goal for a system like this should be simplicity, which is key to keeping the focus on the lifestyle part of the equation. It was also a reminder that a good recording is all it takes to make a system sing, whether the source is a vinyl record or a lossless stream.
What sets the Model 40n apart from your typical 2-channel integrated is the inclusion of HDMI. It's equipped with ARC so you can plug it into a TV and use it in lieu of built-in speakers. While a 2-channel system may sound limiting, I assure you it is not. That's because when the system is of this fidelity—able to create enveloping sound fields with precise imaging as you'd expect from a proper stereo—it is also able to do amazing things with TV, video game, and movie sound. For example, great imaging translates into a phantom center.
Plus, thanks to the fidelity of premium standalone speakers (like the B&W towers used in the demo) the overall quality of the sound is superior in various ways to what you get out of any soundbar. And arguably the aesthetics of a premium, luxury lifestyle system such as this is complementary to living room decor in a way that a soundbar could never achieve.
The in-person demo included a clip from one of the Jurassic Park movies, and what was obvious is the combination of delicacy and authority conjured by this simple system. You don't have to turn this system to hear everything, even in a complex audio mix, and that's thanks to the clarity it achieves.
• Use with Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, AirPlay, Bluetooth (powered by HEOS®)
• Sound Master Tuned
• 70 watts per channel
• Frequency response - 5Hz to 50 kHz
• Signal to Noise Ratio - PHONO (MM): 87dB CD: 106dB
• Subwoofer output with an adjustable low-pass filter
• Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri
• Luxurious Industrial Design
• HDAM Circuit - Unique technology preserves every detail
• Marantz Musical Phono EQ -Built-in MM phono stage
• Whole-Home Hi-Fi - Connect with HEOS Built-in speakers for a whole-home system