Marantz Model 40n Streaming Amplifier Page 2

It's very much a performance as a whole that the Model 40n serves up, making the recently released Bach: Brandenburg Concertos by Akamus [Harmonia Mundi B0991J76PS; 192kHz/24-bit] a captivating listen. This is a particularly fine example of traditionalist playing, possibly surpassing the lauded recording of the Bach concertos made by the same German chamber orchestra a quarter of a century ago. Literally from the first note it engulfed me in rich, overwhelming brass tones, the Model 40n then taking me on a fast-paced tour of these classics.

In practice, while the amplifier doesn't quite present the concertos in the truly enveloping way that Marantz's Model 30 managed during some A/B comparisons, there's still sufficient power and speed here to keep the pacing and dynamics of the music intact. I particularly admired, in 'No.2 in F major, BWV 1047', how the familiar horn melody was lifted above the exuberant orchestra.

A very different kind of musical archaeology is performed across Beethoven Transformed Volume 1 [Resonus Classics RES10249] and ...Volume 2 [RES10270], two CDs from British ensemble Boxwood & Brass. This group of six period wind players lets you experience Beethoven as it might have been heard in early 19th century Vienna, both in arrangements by the master himself and compatriots. Spinning these discs via a Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 T transport [HFN Sep '19], I was able to appreciate the intricacy of the pieces courtesy of the Model 40n's DAC.


Dual BT/Wi-Fi antenna, USB-A (charging), Ethernet, HDMI (ARC) and legacy coax/optical digital inputs are offered alongside MM phono, two line ins, a tape loop/line out, sub out/power amp in and 4mm speaker binding posts

Smooth Treble
In my experience, Marantz has always seemed more about the totality of the musical presentation, not detail per sé, which suits these engrossing recordings perfectly. A subjectively tempered treble makes the clarinets on 'Alla Marcia' less piercing, while retaining the sense of climax they're meant to evoke. This – let's call it 'friendly' – way of presenting music is far from analytical, but the performance never feels incomplete.


The brand 'colour' that Marantz designers typically introduce, for the greater part by utilising the company's bespoke HDAM modules, worked well when I initially hooked up the Model 40n to my somewhat bright Focal Sopra N°2 floorstanders [HFN Sep '15] and auditioned ...Volume 2 of Boxwood & Brass. The lively edginess of the Sopra No2s might be blunted a tick, making for a more mellow listening session, but the wind instruments retained their natural character.

LPs And Apple
The end result was rather better than I anticipated from this disparately priced combination while, matching the '40n with some more affordable DALI Rubicon 2 standmounts, the same passages might have lost some definition but they held onto their enveloping character and broad soundstage.

A headline feature on the Model 40n is, of course, its MM phono input, something now increasingly common on integrated amps since the vinyl revival. Playing from a Pro-Ject X1 turntable [HFN Aug '19], and spinning the limited edition Explorations In Sound [Marantz/Vinyl Me], the fulsome midband and fluid presentation suits tracks like John Carpenter's 'Night', or the very laidback 'Nightrider' from Misch, Dayes and Gibbs, down to the ground. Listening to folk singer Aldous Harding's 'The Barrel', meanwhile, finds her vocals floating atop sparse but succinct instrumentation laid out across a large soundstage.


System remote governs all Model 40 products. Here it controls input select, volume, mute and menu access for network setup, digital filters, digital lock, etc

The Marantz '40n/DALI set-up turned out to be an able pairing for – don't shoot me – TV viewing, especially content featuring a lot of music. Case in point: 'Letter To You' on Apple TV+, a poignant 'making of' documentary featuring the latest album from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

It's not the portentous tone of the narrator or the black-and-white photography that makes this documentary worth watching, but the excellent fidelity of the songs, and it's certainly a step up to hear them played through the refined Model 40n. The Boss's vocal reminiscences are suitably gritty, and when the band breaks into its first tune the amp handles the sudden jump in dynamics without hesitation. There's something here for everyone.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
Marantz has managed to offer the convenience of a network connection without letting go of the traditional values that are at the core of the brand's identity – and popularity. So the smart Model 40n integrated does it all, catering for both streamers and vinyl fans alike with a stylish premium package, while offering an engaging musical presentation and sufficient power to master any likely partnering speakers.

Sound United/D&M Holdings
Kanagawa, Japan
Supplied by: D&M Audiovisual Ltd, UK
02890 279830