| The stereo hobby is, in all honesty, the worst hobby one can have. To quote Pringles, "once you pop, the fun won't stop". Your setup can never be perfect, there are always things that can be done to it. Whether it be adding accessories like equalizers, line conditioners, or trying to collect a certain era or brand of equipment, the bug grows on you. Yes, indeed, I have contracted the stereophile's disease. Although almost a year and a half ago, I couldn't have cared less...|
It all started mainly when I bought Pink Floyd's *The Wall* on LP. I didn't have a turntable, so I was forced to transfer it to tape using my dad's nice but cheapo Pioneer one-piece receiver/tape deck setup. My Sony deck (TC-WR590) had nice Dolby Noise Reduction features so I got the idea to get a turntable, albeit I could never find one locally for sale. It's amazing how many of those old Zenith all-in-one units are for sale... I guess no one wants the poor things.
Almost by chance, I got one and for free at that. I mentioned my quest for a unit to my friend's mom, and she offered me her old turntable along with any LP's I wanted for free. To my mom's dismay, I accepted, and took possession of a Marantz 6110 Semi-Auto Turntable. I was excited to blast *The Wall* on LP when I got home!
Unfortunately, it didn't all work that way. My Sony STR-GX40 ES soon displayed a severe pre-amp problem, especially in the phono stage. I began researching the Marantz brand which I had never heard of previously. Through Ben Blish's amazing webpage, I learned the joys and glory of vintage Marantz units, which my turntable was.
This was reinforced while digging LP's out of a friend's attic. I discovered a gold mine... a 2250B receiver, with original box and packaging! His dad also had a later model Marantz EQ and tape deck with similar boxes and manuals. Hooking that baby up and hearing the beauty of the Marantz sound hooked me. After hooking my 6110 up to the 2250B to affirm the turntable was OK, I knew I had to have a vintage Marantz unit.
No, I didn't get his 2250B. I was dumb, but I did get to go hear her every once and a while, even help keep her in good shape. I started my search for an integrated amp, and looked mainly at the more affordable ones, basically, the 1030, 1040, and 1060. I liked the flexibility of the pre-amp in the 1040, but liked the microphone inputs on the 1030 and 1060. Then, I found the perfect unit: the 1070, a 1040 with more power, and a microphone input!
I bid on a couple of auctions on eBay, with no success. Then, I found a nice unit (not the greatest) that was perfect for what I wanted. What helped was that there was another 1070 on Ebay (with a wood case and a bit cleaner), thus drawing bids away from the one I wanted. Bingo! I won, and after a week and about $110 (w/shipping) later, I was the owner of the 1070. The other 1070 went over what I paid, and that was BEFORE shipping.
This wasn't happy ever after. Well, the unit was great, good shape, fairly clean and performed well. But, she smelled like a bowling alley!!! She reeked of cigarette smoke, and I wanted that scent GONE. I tried dusting her, cleaning her cover, dusting her innards, but nothing worked!
Finally, over time and many cans of Renuzit, the smell disappeared, and I could fully appreciate the 1070. The sound is incredible, at least. The bass is amazing. Coming from a 35 WPC unit, treble is nice and crisp. I had it hooked to two 100 watt speakers, and I almost blew those out! With only 35 WPC!!!! I was literally shaking the house better than I did with my previous, higher-rated receiver!! HAHAHA!
Well, my system is nowhere near complete. I dream of having all my components being Marantz, vintage Marantz if I can help it. I currently use a JVC tuner (T-V5), and would like to replace that with a matching Marantz unit (104, 105, 110, 112). My CD deck is a Sony CDP-23 and I would like to replace it with a modern Marantz deck with either multi-disc capability or pitch-control. My cassette deck is also a Sony. I would like to keep that, but add a vintage Marantz deck, like a 5420 to be exact. I have a pair of later Marantz 4-way speakers that I purchased at the Salvation Army and I rather like them.
I may have one hell of a system, but by no means is my journey complete.....
Give a man a song, and he will be happy for a minute.
Give a man a recording of a song, and he will be happy for a while.
Give a man a vintage Marantz 1070 console amplifier, and he will be eternally satisfied...
- Ancient Audiophile Proverb