Marantz fans now have a more affordable way to blend their love of CD audio with the versatility of network playback and HDMI connectivity with the newly announced Marantz CD 50n and its matching stereo amplifier, the Marantz Model 50. The units come in your choice of black or silver/gold and are priced at $1,800 each. They’re available from Marantz.com and select retailers starting October 24.
Until now, if you wanted a Marantz component that combined disc-based playback with networked streaming, you had to spring for the pricey $2,999 Marantz SACD 30n. That player is compatible with both CDs and SACDs, which might be overkill for folks who have never expanded their collection of discs to include the hi-res audio SACD format.
Other than the absence of SACD playback, the CD 50n shares a ton of the SACD 30n’s capabilities and it uses the same design language that Marantz has been using on all of its recent products.
In addition to CD playback, the CD 50n can be used with AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming from Apple devices and can be accessed directly from Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer apps. With Denon’s HEOS streaming software, you can also access Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Soundcloud. The only notable absence is Apple Music.
Despite its lack of SACD support, you can still use the CD 50n to play hi-res audio. It’s compatible with both FLAC (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and DSD audio 2.8, 5.6, and 11.2 MHz formats, which can be played from a USB storage device or networked music libraries. In fact, the CD 50n can be used as the central control for all of your digital audio thanks to its optical and coaxial digital inputs and its HDMI-ARC port.
These digital signals are run through the component’s 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC — with optional Marantz musical digital filters — and then output via either fixed or variable analog outputs.
At that point, you can connect the CD 50n to a set of powered speakers or your own amp, but naturally, Marantz recommends that you pair the CD 50n with its Model 50 integrated stereo amplifier. Visually, they’re a perfect match. The Model 50 has six analog inputs (including a moving-magnet phono stage) which it can distribute to either four speakers at 8 ohms/70 watts, or two speakers at 4 ohms/100 watts.