Stumbled upon some vintage gear, now I've got a problem.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett_H, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    All,
    I've got a bit of a "problem", and I'm looking for some opinions here as to what to do. I've wanted to move into the world of DD/DTS for quite some time now, and I may have inadvertently found a way to do just that.
    Over Thanksgiving, I went to my parent's house in WV and to kill some time we all went to an auction. Amidst a bunch of junk, I spotted an old Marantz preamp and amp combo in really nice shape. To make a longer story short, I ended up getting them for a reasonable price, with the intention of using them as the heart of a 2-channel system when I eventually buy a house.
    The amp weighed a ton, and the preamp was no slouch. I got them back to my parent's house and plugged them in: whaddaya know, they lit up. (a really neat blue, by the way). They didn't have any spare speakers or source equipment, so I couldn't test them, but I did manage to check ebay to see if anyone had sold them recently.... I got quite the shock: the preamp had
    gone for $170-ish, and the amp had been going for $250-300!!! And those didn't even have the optional wood cases like mine do. I found more info on them here, if you want to see what they look like:
    Marantz Model 3200 Preamp
    Marantz Model 140 power amp
    So I hooked them up when I got home, and they worked perfectly. There was a bit of static to be heard when switching between sources on the preamp (probably could be fixed with some contact cleaner), but other than that they were completely silent when they should be, and sounded very nice when they were playing. (better than my Yamaha receiver at two-channel material, I'd say)
    Here's my problem: I'm currently using an older Yamaha RXV-870 receiver for my HT. It's only got DPL, so I can't take advantage of any of the newer formats that are out there. It sounds good, but I know that I'm missing a lot by not having DD/DTS decoding. I'm contemplating selling the Marantz gear an taking the money from the sale of those to buy a new receiver. I'd then be able to use the Yammie in a 2nd system when the time comes, and I guess that would be the smarter use of my money. But the Marantz gear looks so sweet, and the sound was really good. I don't have any vinyl in my collection, and I doubt I'd take the time & money to invest in getting started down that road, so even if I used the Marantz gear in my house someday, it'd be hooked up to a low dollar CD player, probably negating any sound improvements over the Yamaha. OK, I'll end the rambling and get to the point!
    What would you do in my situation?
    - Sell the Marantz gear and pick up a newer receiver (the H/K 320 looks really appealing to me)
    - Keep the Marantz gear until I move since I'd be able to get more receiver for my money then as prices will keep coming down on newer receivers.
    - Keep the Marantz gear and use it. This would probably prevent me from getting a new receiver as money's gonna be tight after buying a house. (it'll all be going to home improvement after that, I'm sure) This option means I'd have to live with just Pro-Logic for the foreseeable future.
    Thoughts? Anyone got an H/K 320 that they'd want to trade for some vintage gear?
    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     
  2. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Brett,

    You seem to be up against it timing and money-wise. I would have suggested keeping the Marantz gear for a separate 2 channel system but I can see that would not be practical. With only Pro-Logic now available to you, there are more pressing needs.

    You really should move into DD and DTS. Sound-wise that is the greatest area you are shortchanging yourself. I would clean up the Marantz gear and E-Bay or private sale it as you have suggested. Then you would have the funds needed to purchase a new receiver. As a Harman addict myself I agree with you that the H/K 320 is a great choice...Excellent for Music and HT.

    (I have a pristine 310 available but after waiting all this time to upgrade from Pro-Logic, I seriously doubt you would want it as it's strictly 5.1 DD, DTS.)

    Good Luck.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'd be sorely pressed to keep them, especially if they're in working condition, just due their age and antique value. What did you get them both for (PM is fine)?
     
  4. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    The exact same Marantz amp you have, I have, the switch went bad so I left it on for 9 years 24/7 since I upgraded the switch, the amp is fine, has never been touched for anything else, also I had the same Pre-Amp, started getting scratchy when one day while listening at a low volume level to some music while driving a Adcom GF-A 1 200x2 and a pair of JBL-L112s it decided to short out putting all the Adcoms power into the right speaker. I thought a jet plane crashed into the house, I remember looking up to watch the roof come off, two friends were sitting in front of the affected speaker and they jumped up and ran out of the house thinking the world was comming to an endMy wife being of sound mind realized what was happening after a few horrible moments and reached over and pushed the power button. It fried all the drivers in the JBL-L112 which is no small feat.
    Please dont tell me you are going to get rid of those Marantz pieces. I would like to have them, I can trade you a DD 5.1 Marantz Tuner/Pre/Processor with a new RC2000mk2 remote that would get you started in 5.1, no DTS but still a fine piece. Send a PM or an email to me.
    I have to say ebay is not a good guide to go by on old Marantz stuff, if you are patient the right buyer could come along and pay you many times what you listed as their value.That particular Marantz Pre-Amp is not worth a lot but the Amp will always be good, they dont make them like that anymore. Send me a message there are other things we can do if necessary._______________guy
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I think you'd need to set a pretty high threshold on ebay. Audiogon or possibly Usenet might provide a decent return. If you're not going to keep them and are looking at using the cash for something else, I'd consider carefully studying the prices these are going for and their condition and consider pricing accordingly. Seems you ought to be able to sell the amp for instance in the upper 300's and 'possibly' a tad more.
     
  6. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Chu,
    Thanks for reminding me about usenet, I've been checking the google archives of rec.audio.marketplace and I'm getting a better idea of what these might be worth. I found a few listing of people selling the wooden cabinets separately, and that looks to be the way to go to maximize the sale.
    Guy,
    I'm leaning very heavily towards cleaning them up and selling them at this point. I realize that they'd be a great item to hang on to, but at this point it seems to be a better use of my funds to improve my HT.
    Paul,
    You're right, I think would be interested in something with PLII when I eventually get a new receiver, but I did some reading and it looks like the 310 has Logic 7 which a lot of people prefer to PLII. Unfortunately, I have never had a chance to A/B the two. Aside from the lack of PLII, is the difference between the 320 and the 310 just a matter of the 320 being 7.1 ready?

    All,

    If anyone has more advice for places to sell this vintage gear, please let me know. I'll most likely be cleaning it all up this weekend, then it's time to find someone with a digi-cam and shoot some pics....

    Thanks!
    -Brett.
     
  7. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hello Brett,

    Yes the 320 additions are 7.1 ready with DD, DTS-ES Discrete and Matrix, DTS Neo:6, DPL2, 7 channel Stereo and 5 more watts in Stereo or Surround. The list is not insignificant by any means.

    Personally I do prefer Logic-7 to DPL2. But you should hear these things for yourself.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    makes ya wanna go back and see what else is available?
     
  9. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Chu,
    I've been there twice, and this was the only thing I saw worthwhile. If it didn't mean driving to WV and staying with my parents, I'd be there every weekend... but that's a different story!

    Paul,
    Thanks for the details.

    I'm currently in negotiations with my wife to see if we can't just buy the AVR520 that's on closeout at a few places right now for ~$500 and use the proceeds of the sale of these to pay it off. Hopefully they don't sell out before I can move on it...

    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     
  10. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    If you can hang on to the amp you wont be sorry, you always need amps especially of this caliber. I have pushed JBL L-100s with this guy not my favorite choice for this speaker but the 140 has a lot of balls considering its rating. About the only thing that gives up on these is the power switch and the contactor (you know the thing that clicks a few seconds after you power on)
     

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