Image: Hugh Threlfall
September 19 2009
Marantz, with its glitzy, metallic, old-school American looks, is one of the most respected names in high-end audio systems for buyers who are audiophiles yet still one or two crucial steps short of being certifiably bonkers. Marantz is also a rather hairy-chested brand, though. I imagine a good proportion of Marantz fans being Marlboro-smoking, Jeep-driving, Bob Seger-listening men’s men located in Montana.
A big country welcome, then, to this, the first girl-friendly (by which I mean daintier, though it is far from male-unfriendly) Marantz system. That it happens to represent astonishingly good value as well as making a terrific and well-bred noise for its diminutive (280mm x 111mm x 302mm) size is really by the by. The Marantz M-CR502 packs 100 watts of power and does everything from playing CDs to amplifying an MP3 player to being a DAB, FM and AM radio. With a pair of big, beefy speakers, which the M-CR502 is well up to driving, this is great for a big room. But with Marantz’s own LS502 speakers, which some retailers are bundling with the M-CR502 for almost no cost, you have a perfect hi-fi for a kitchen or bedroom.