Thursday, April 12, 2012

Marantz 2130

Good sound, good looks, nice control set, scope.  What more do you need?

The 2130 combines the virtues of a capacitor tuned input, like most so-called analog tuners, and a low noise pilot cancelling MPX, like most digital tuners.  This is also part of the formula that makes my ultimate tuner, the Pioneer F-26.

Just in a few minutes testing, I can only say performance is ballpark with the F-26.  Probably not quite as good, but I haven't tested side by side on the same antenna, and that would be required.

Sound musicality is good, I can't say how close it is to F-26.  But still, it's a better sound than most varactor tuners, I can tell that right off.

This is an accurate sounding tuner.   (Make sure deemphasis switch is out, and it confused me for 30 minutes because with front volume turned all the way down, switching deemphasis out made the sound go away because the level control only applies to the normal deemphasis.  I played with the volume control, but only with deemphasis pushed in.  So I figured both the volume control and the deemphasis switch were broken.  I figured for all that time I would need to return this tuner, maybe for full refund.  Or fix it myself, but then I took the time to read the user's manual I found online, and understood why these things were working as they were.  So I have no good reason yet to return this tuner.  If you have pushed in the deemphasis switch, you will get very bright grainy sound.)

So it is not at all like the 20B, which I consider more of a musical instrument, accurate only in an outsized way.  But like the 20B, the 2130 has soul, warmth, as good tuners do, just not quite as much as the 20B.  At the margins, the 2130 has more 20B'ish character than the F-26.  The F-26 achieves its musicality with a neutral (relatively soft compared with Kenwood) softness.  There is more unique character in the 2130 than neutral softness.

If I didn't have F-26, I could make this my main rig.  So it's perfect for my intended application in Kitchen or Bedroom.

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