Marantz was founded in 1953 by its namesake, Saul Marantz. Among active American audio companies, only Klipsch and McIntosh have been around longer. For all three, their survival and dominance in an ever-tougher world of commerce are due to a combination of sound quality, a sound reputation, the cachet of a trusted name, and looks that are simultaneously familiar and instantly recognizable as part of their brand identity. (Jensen Loudspeakers dates back to the 1920s and Acoustic Research was founded in 1952—but neither is recognizable as the same type of company they once were.)
Marantz in particular has an enviable reputation for building elegant, reliable products that have terrific sound—at every price point, not just their most expensive models. In keeping with that, the Model 40n is a moderately-priced amplifier and all-in-one system hub whose “porthole” styling brings to mind the legendary Marantz Model 9 amplifier. That lower-case logo is unchanged from commercial artist Saul Marantz’s first product, a preamp called the Audio Consolette.
Aside from providing connectivity with every source conceivable and those likely to appear in the future, the 40 sounds terrific. Details? Well:
The amplifier is a classic analog design with a massive toroidal power transformer, delivering 70 watts/ channel into 8 ohm loads, and 100 watts/channel into 4 ohms. There are 3 analog inputs plus a phono input for moving magnet cartridges, and a full range of digital inputs including HDMI. The 40n is an up-to-date network player compatible with popular streaming music services, Apple AirPlay 2, and internet radio, Digital signals are processed by an onboard ESS DAC, up to 24 bit/196 kHz.Multi-room wireless capabilities are provided via HEOS, usable with
HEOS wireless speakers and components. A remote control is included, and the 40n is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices, allowing voice control.
In essence, the 40n is a complete music system, needing only speakers. If even more versatility is desired, just add a turntable or CD player.
Did we say, “CD player”? Coincidentally, Marantz has just introduced the CD 60, whose form factor and styling make it a perfect mate to the 40n. Like vinyl records, CDs have staged a comeback in recent years, and many music lovers have sizable CD collections, or just prefer the physical media experience to that provided by streaming.
The CD 60 provides superior sound quality and its built-in DAC allows it to be connected directly to one of the 40n’s analog inputs. The CD 60 can be controlled by the 40n’s remote control, and the two units can be powered on and off together, via a remote power-on link.
Together, the 40n and CD 60 form an incredibly versatile, compact high-quality audio system. The pairing can utilize every source there is, other than vinyl LPs. And for that—just add a turntable and use the 40n’s excellent phono preamp!