State of the System – Marantz Cinema 30 surprises

It’s been a hot minute hasn’t it. Truth be told, I have been fairly busy with real life things and with other hobbies. It isn’t that the music ever stopped, only the time wasn’t available to write about it. So, what has the last few months been like?

First, I’m preparing to exhibit at the Lone Star Audio Fest. And I’ll be bringing two systems along. I even picked up a new set of speakers to pair with a brand new pair of 2a3 monoblocks from Frank at Triode Lab. Just as you might expect, they sound really quite nice. Took a hundred hours or so for the tubes to burn in, but that’s pretty par for the course. I’ll be sure to talk about the speakers soon. I have been pleasantly surprised by… how coherent they sound.

On to the main attraction.

I never thought I’d be talking about Video equipment, but here I am. I’ll be honest that for my living room, my dream has been to have a single integrated component that does it all. As blasphemous as it may sound, I was personally willing to give up some sound for quality of life improvements. Not just for myself… but mostly the family. I have spent a lot of time in the last year looking at various combinations of integrated + receiver (or processor). I’ve even had some in on loan from either brick ‘n mortar stores or directly from the manufacturer.

And that brings us to today

The Marantz Cinema 30 currently graces my living room, driving Q Acoustic 3050’s (which I hope to replace soon with their 5050’s). Yes, yes, it’s clearly an AV product and not suited for the audiophile market. I thought the same too. But I’m here to tell you that I’m very genuinely surprised. Without any room correction or its “pure direct” mode turned on, I am quite happy with what I hear so far. I hope to have a review out soon.

Does it compare to my reference Osiris? No.

Does it compare to my reference EL84 monoblocks? Hell no.

Is it close enough for me to be happy in my living room? Yes, and it does video and multi-room to boot.

I’m hoping for the review to include my opinion of dirac for room correction (if that doesn’t take too much time) and to talk about integrating the multi-room audio aspect with Roon!

Anyways, cheers!

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