Just for context, I re-booted my Hifi hobby a little over 2 years ago, following 20+ years in the wilderness. I started in my early 20s, in the early/mid 90s, with a full Naim Olive set up. (Sold it all - long story)
Fast forward to 2021, I started my Hifi life again from scratch. Ended up with what I knew previously; Naim - the Nait 5Si, and then the XS2
Obviously I've changed in the intervening years, as have my music sensibilities, and my preferred sound signature when it comes to music reproduction, and to keep it short, the Naim just, well, irritated me. Not knocking Naim at all, it's just not for me anymore.
I eventually opted for the Atoll IN200 Signature, which seemed good bang for buck, which it was but, as with Naim, it began to irritate. For me personally, some of the qualities that irked me about Naim, were/are present in the Atoll; like Naim, it's presentation is one of contrasts.
Both amps tend to reproduce music as a combination of contrasts rather than presenting the music as a cohesive whole. (Just to caveat, I'm not criticizing either of these 2 Brands; they both provide a presentation that is sought after by many, and that many thoroughly enjoy, it's just that for me personally, now in my mid 50s, it just doesn't do it for me anymore, where it once did/would have. I wanted something mellower in its presentation)
So, unable to store-audition (another longish story), I ordered the Marantz Model 30 (30 day returns policy) after reading/watching reviews all over the place, as it seemed like a good fit for me personally.
Just to preface, I have no bias when it comes to Class D one way or the other; I don't think I've ever heard Class D amps previously, so I went for the Model 30 based purely on what I have read.
With no experience of Class D, or Marantz for that matter, I have gone out on a limb with this purchase. I don't really know if Class D has a burn/break in period, but after 24 hrs out of the box, some qualities are immediately apparent with the Marantz:
Music seems to project from a much blacker background than with my previous amps
Detail is there, all I could wish for, but no one facet us pushed out at me in an attempt to grab my attention
Even at low to moderate volumes (I don't crank it up to 11 these days at all 🥴), the detail is still maintained
Within the above observation, individual tracks maintain cohesiveness despite the volume applied (not sure if this is a Class D trait, but I like it).
I like what the Marantz does with bass. Again, this is maintained at lower volumes and very pleasing to me. I'm not very accomplished in describing these matters, but the Marantz seems to play the bass note and it doesn't lose coherency at lower volumes. (I've haven't connected my REL back in to system yet as I wanted to find out what the Model 30 was capable of on its own).
Although highly detailed, I don't find the presentation at all fatiguing/tiring/irritating; it is quite engaging without being demanding of me, leaving me to just enjoy the music, and not be distracted by aspects of the presentation the aforementioned amps seemed determined to do 🙂
These are very early impressions/observations, but I must say, the early signs are promising.
My profile isn't up to date, so here is the rest of my system
Innuos Zen Mini mkiii w/Innuos LPSU
Network Audio Eon streaming system
Cen Grand DSDAC 1.0 (Standard model
Triangle Comete 40th Anniversary edition with matching stands and Gaia II's
Puritan Audio Labs PSM156
PCs are from NRG Custom Cables (Canada) and MRCU (UK)
Speaker cables again NRG Custom Cables
Interconnects/USB - Inakustic/DH Labs
Rack - Atacama Evoque with "Dark Star" decoupling footers
Thanks guys, I hope this helps anyone pondering the Model 30 👍