Online Oasis for Marantz Classic Audio Fans

Musician, martial artist, and electronics whiz Ben Blish has loved audio since he was a little kid staring into the glowing tubes of his father's Scott hi-fi equipment. Thirty-four years after catching the bug, he still nurtures it daily.

Blish is one of many audionuts who are keen on classic Marantz equipment. Most such hobbyists are content to collect a few rare pieces, or assemble a mint-condition "classic system." Blish has done that, but he's also gone a huge step further: he's built an online temple to Marantz gear of the 1960s and '70s. His Marantz pages---part of an extensive personal website that encompasses everything from antique personal computers to his taste in art---feature pictures, specifications, and prices of almost every product Marantz made before 1980.

Included in Blish's database is everything you could want to know about the 22 different tuners, 13 preamps, 22 power amplifiers, 25 integrated amplifiers, 58 receivers, and assorted other products the legendary Marantz company built before selling out to erstwhile Sony distributor Superscope in 1980. No "SR" or "PM" junk allowed, thank you very much. Blish doesn’t consider anything after that period worthy of inclusion, despite the fact that recent Marantz products, such as their CD players, have come a long way toward redeeming the venerable name. (The brand is now owned by Philips of Holland and manufactured in Japan.)

75% of Marantz products from the classic era have pictures to accompany the facts, and Blish is actively looking for more. Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated, he says. His site has links to sources for service manuals and replacement parts, and cautionary advice for those attempting to repair or restore any piece of old Marantz gear.

Blish's advice about the care and treatment of Marantz tuners is especially useful. The company's tuners, like those made by McIntosh, have a well-deserved reputation for great performance and excellent sound.

Visitors should take the time to browse Blish's site. It's ambitious, entertaining, and as big as Montana---where, appropriately enough, its creator lives.

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