Yamaha A S2200 vs Marantz Model 30 which is a better choice?

I am pretty pumped to put this Yamaha A S2200 and Marantz Model 30 comparison together. I am pretty familiar with one of them as I have looked at the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL a few times and played around with it quite a bit. The Marantz Model 30 I have to be honest and say is something I am not all that familiar with, but I did think I would take a closer look at it and see how it stands up against what Yamaha is offering. These are two popular amplifiers that are sure to take your music listening to a whole new level.

The Price

One of the biggest differences between these two is the price. That is why looking at the price is the best place to start this contest off. These are both expensive amps, but one is considerably more expensive than the other so that is something you are going to have to factor in.

Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL:

I have yet to look at a Yamaha product that has not gone above and beyond when it comes to quality and the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL is no different. However, this does come in at around the $4,500 price range so it is something that is certainly not for everyone. However, even with this massive price tag, I do have to say that I do not think this is overpriced at all if I am being honest. I did look around and I found you can actually shave around a grand of the asking price if you are willing to do some legwork. On eBay for example, you can find this quite regularly in the $3,500 to the $4,500 range.

Marantz Model 30: 

You are looking at about two and a half grand for the Marantz Model 30. Even if you find a deal somewhere for the Yamaha Audio A—S2200SL, you are looking at a saving of at least $1,000 bucks here. Just think what else you could do with that money!!! I think the RRP for this is not bad at all and quite reasonable when you consider the other similar amps that are on the market with a much higher price tag. I had a look on eBay and there are some great deals to be found on there. I did find a few sellers offering it for close to its RRP such as this one here for $2,450 which is brand new. In typical eBay fashion though there are some on there for way more than the RRP. Who actually buys stuff like this on eBay for such a high price?

The Verdict: 

While I do not think that the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL is overpriced, I do have to also say I am not sure I see that it is well over a grand better than what the Marantz Model 30 is offering. For me personally, I am not too familiar (apart from this one) with what Marantz offers so I cannot say for sure what the overall quality of their products are like. Hmm, this is a tough one to call, but the price difference is so large, I do think it is hard to just blindly say Yamaha wins this one.

The Design

Next round in our contest we are having a look at the design of these amps. When you are spending this kind of money, you want something that looks cool and classy. These have quite different designs so I think this is going to come down to a personal preference type thing in regards to which one you like the best.

Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL: 

Before I share my own opinions about this I suggest you look at this Review! The Yamaha A-S2200 Integrated Amplifier! which gives you a more up close and personal look at this bad boy. I think that this has a pretty cool design and it is available in both silver and black., but it is the silver version I have managed to get my grubby little hands on. The Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL is a pretty old school looking kind of amplifier and that is something I think is awesome. This is a nice size as the dimensions are, 24” x 23.5” x 11. You want an amplifier to look great on display and I think this one certainly does, especially if you want something with a bit of an old school charm to it. While the majority of it is silver, the sides are black which is a very nice touch.

The front of the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL is pretty busy and that is something I think you will either like or think that it is a tad too much. You have that nice retro display on the front which is cool. You have a nice and large volume dial on the right side of the amp. The other controls for the unit are on the bottom. Here you have different dials and switches that give you all the control over things like bass and treble that you could possibly want.  I get that it looks a bit “busy” however, I think when done right this kind of thing looks good and this is certainly done right!

Of course, on the back of the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL, we have our various hookup options going on. Yamaha has you very well covered when it comes to connectivity options with lots of ports on the back to handle whatever it is you have in your entertainment center. I know most people will use this for a turntable, but it is great to have all these options. One thing I will say is that this does not have any digital ports on the back, it is all analog.

Marantz Model 30: 

As soon as I saw the Marantz Model 30 I knew that this was a device that had a style that would click with me once I had it in hand. It is available in black and silver, but it is the black version I have seen with my own eyes. I have to say had the silver one been sent to me; I am not sure I would have been quite so high on it. Anyway, this is a very sleek looking unit check out this short Unboxing Marantz Model 30 Integrated Amplifier video and you can get a good look at what this has to offer. It is a decent size as it comes in at 17.4” x 16.9” x 5.11” and it has a fair bit of weight to it as well. There is no denying that you are holding a serious piece of kit when you first take this out of the box.

It is the front of the Marantz Model 30 that really made me say wow and think that this would be an amplifier that I would be more than cool with having out on display in my own home. The very front of the amp has a very sleek and stylish looking LCD. Actually, this panel where the LCD and the various dials for controlling volume, source, and sound are located is done in a much darker black than the rest of the front and it sticks out a tad. It is hard to explain into words, but it is a very cool effect. The rest of the front has a kind of different black effect to it which I just love, it really does give the front of the amp a ton of personality and make it look very cool. The silver one is done in the same style, but as I always prefer black when it comes to my audio equipment so it doesn’t quite capture me the same way this black version does.

We have to look on the back of the Marantz Model 30 to see what it has to offer in terms of its connectivity options and it is pretty damn stacked. There are numerous ports on the back of here so anything you want to connect is going to be easily connectible, you have dedicated ports for stuff like your turntable, cd player, and whatever and this is something I always like to see as it makes it much easier for people to get setup. There are no digital ports on the back of here, but to be honest with you I knew that going in so I am not going to harp on about that too much.

The Verdict:

I like the design of both of these amplifiers. I like how the Yamaha A-S2200SL has that kind of retro design. I get a real kick out of it as it reminds me of something that would have been around in the late 70s and early 80s. However, for me personally, I have to say that the Marantz Model 30 has a design that just appeals to me more, especially the black one. I just think it has a cool and stylish design that I know for sure I would be more than happy to have out on display in my home.

The Sound

We come to the main event of our battle and that is looking at the sound capabilities of these amps! For this matchup, I decided to go into our backroom which is our game room, and use my Crosley C200A-BK that I have had in there for a while to see how these match up against each other.

Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL: 

I was very impressed with the sound capabilities of the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL. Actually, most of the reviews for this online such as this Yamaha A-S1200 Amplifier Review tend to be very high on it. The room where I have the turntable that I hooked up to this I had a few rap albums in there so the first album I checked out with this was Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J. I actually have an original copy of this from the 80s that is scratched to hell and hardly plays, but I will never part with it! Anyway, this certainly is nice and loud and I was impressed at the clarity as well. Of course, I did tinker around with those dials (and the remote) to play with the sound a bit and I managed to get this just the way I like it very quickly.

I am certainly the kind of person that likes to listen to their music nice and loud, but the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL does have a near perfect mid range that is just awesome. A great example of this is the phenomenal Forrest Gump Soundtrack which is one of the greatest movie soundtrack albums of all time. It is very varied and it perfectly captures the spirit of the movie. However, when pumped through this amp, it truly did spring to life. Each song felt real, raw, and just the way it was intended to be heard. Even more laid back stuff has a very authentic kind of sound thanks to this.

Marantz Model 30:

As I am not super familiar with Marantz, I went into this Marantz Model 30 review with a very open and curious mind in regards to what kind of sound I was going to be experiencing. If you look on their website, they say all the right things in regards to the tech behind this amp. Check out this Marantz 30 Series Review | MODEL 30 Integrated Amp & SACD 30n Network Player video which also shows you it working with the epic Marantz SACD30NBLK CD Player with Integrated with HEOS Built in. I did not have that pleasure, I just tested this with my turntable and the first album that got the honors here was AC/DC Fly on the Wall which is one of my favorite AC/DC albums. I had the VHS of this when I was a teenager and I watched it so much the tape gave out on me. Because of this VHS tape, my dream is to be in a bar and have AC/DC playing there live… which will never happen, but that is why it is a dream. Anyway, the way this sounded with the Marantz Model 30 really was fantastic. The music was loud and rocking, but the vocals did not suffer and were nice and clear. I found for rock and heavy metal; this thing really was quite amazing.

It is not just loud and awesome rock and metal that make the Marantz Model 30 worth considering. It plays well across all ranges and anything that is sort of mid range and not too loud or too quiet truly does spring to life with this. A great example of this is Fleetwood Mac, the wife and I were listening to the Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits album with the help of this, and we were both very impressed with how good it sounded. I really do not think there is anything you could throw this things way and not have a great time listening to it.

The Verdict: 

Both of these are fantastic amplifiers. I think that you could make an argument for either one of these, to be honest with you. I would also wager that most people would not be able to tell a real difference between what the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL and the Marantz Model 30 are offering. That to me is the problem here, does what Yamaha are offering in the sound department make it worth all that extra money? I have to say, I think this is way too close to say that it does. I think considering the massive price difference I do have to give this one to Marantz.

The Remote Control

The category that is bringing this battle of the amps to a close is the remote control. If you have read anything that I have done here on the site, you know that I am someone that loves a good remote control. Both of these give you a lot of control on the actual amp, but who wants to have to get up off their butt to play around with the sound or even change the volume?

Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL: 

I have always appreciated what Yamaha has done with their remote controls and that does not change with the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL. I think that Yamaha has crafted a tremendous remote control here that is a nice size and it has a very solid quality about it. The best thing that I think this remote has going for it is how it is all laid out. Yamaha has made sure that it is very easy to know what each button on the remote does and you have full control over the amplifier from the comfort of your sofa and at the end of the day that is all you can ask for.

Marantz Model 30: 

The Marantz Model 30 comes with a really cool remote control. It is nice and long and I liked the way it was packaged in the box like it was something really special. It is packed with buttons too. I know that some people may see all these buttons as unnecessary, but I love it! It gives you complete control over the amp and makes it so easy to quickly change sources or play around with the sound to get it just the way that is right for you. I think they truly did an awesome job with this remote and it is the kind of remote I wish more companies would try and copy from as these days too many people think we need a small remote!

The Verdict: 

I have to say that this is probably the closes round in this contest today! I love both of these remote controls. I think that the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL has a bit more of a “simplicity” about it which I am sure most people will prefer. However, for me, I prefer the stacked remote that comes with the Marantz Model 30, I know you will probably not even use half the buttons, but the more buttons the better if you ask me!  

What Is The Best?

This has been a very close contest and I have really enjoyed writing this comparison article. Each time that I have played around with the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL, I have been impressed by what I have heard. It also looks cool too which is important. The thing is, it is way more expensive than the Marantz Model 30. Even if you shop around at best, you are spending more than 500 bucks! I just do not see it being 500 bucks better than the Marantz. That is why I am giving this epic battle to the Marantz Model 30. There is nothing wrong with the Yamaha Audio A-S2200SL at all, but I do prefer the design of the Marantz and I think the sound is every bit as good too.

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