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SECTIONS / REAL SOUND

Hi-Fi Sound From One Classy Marantz Wireless System

By Tony Ibrahim | Monday | 06/05/2013

Marantz is celebrating a successful 60 years with the release of a connected Wireless Music System fluent in high fidelity audio.

The company is so pleased with their efforts that they've named it after the very first product designed by Saul Marantz himself in 1953, named the Consolette. 

Click to enlarge
Given the new 2013 Consolette is an ode to Marantz's illustrious career, it incorporates design cues evocative of the company's history. It sits on three sturdy feet, a subtle nod to the company's TT-15S1 Premium turntable. The Gyro Touch Wheel found alongside the bright OLED display originates from Marantz products sold in the 1970s. 

It continues Marantz's tradition of combining premium materials with a timeless minimalist design. Take the fascia for instance: the single piece of anodized aluminium not only looks great, but its unibody build ensures the Consolette's sound isn't tainted by vibrations. 

As attractive as the Consolette is face-on, it's the back that'll draw most people's intrigue. Whereas the backs of rival docks tend to look neglected, the Consolette's is made from rich solid walnut that oozes elegance and proves highly functional. 
One of the reasons why most compact speaker systems fail to deliver high fidelity sound is because the speakers are positioned too close to one another, ultimately resulting in a narrow stereo image. For a more immersive experience, Marantz has crafted the walnut rear so that it hosts two-and not one-dedicated enclosures. In doing so, it can deliver a wide 180 degree stereo image. 

Click to enlarge
With the layout in place, the Consolette puts to work stereo drivers backed by twin 11cm woofers. For transparent sound, the company turned to lauded audio guru Ken Ishiwata, who has managed to integrate a total of six amplifiers into the Consolette's unique design. The resulting sound is exceptional across the frequency range, even more so impressive when you recognise the Consolette delivers this stereo-grade performance from a single chassis body. 

Further separating the Consolette from its high-fidelity rivals is its ease of use. It can be controlled by a dedicated Android or iOS app, but those yet to join the smartphone revolt will feel right at home with its bespoke remote. Consolette features a variety of wireless standards and is compatible with smartphones and tablets, and computers can stream music wirelessly through Apple's AirPlay or the open DLNA standard. The built-in dock enables docking for iPhones or iPads with an adapter supplied for those with Apple's new lightning-type connection. USB media can also be played via a port on the rear panel. 

Those who do own a smartphone can access thousands of internet radio stations. Their favourite six can be stored to the Consolette's memory for playback even when the smartphone isn't around. The Consolette is available from Hi Fi retailers for a RRP of $1650.

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