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Thread: Are the Marantz 8B & 7C Amplifiers really that good?

  1. #1
    RIP 2011 neanderthal's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Are the Marantz 8B & 7C Amplifiers really that good?

  2. #2
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Northern California
    They're good, but between here and $7600 there are many options. I've never heard the 8B, but I owned the 7C for a while. At the time ('70's) the consensus on it was that with a power supply upgrade it came up to the Audio Research SP3A-1. You can buy that premap now for $800-1500. And now the question is can you beat the 8B for $5000. Probably much less.

    So the real question is, where will the collector value go? No one knows, but I believe at the price being asked here the seller is claiming a very excessive share of future gains.

    I've been noticing this in the past year or so, that collectible pieces have been coming out of the closets and often the sellers are revealing their self-induced fantasies about the appreciation they have been dreaming about. That they do not believe those prices are realistic now is demonstrated by their mistrust of the auction process. In other words, they'd like to sell, but they are not willing to relinquish their fantasies, and are looking for a buyer who will meet them somewhere near outer space.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Audiobeer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    St. Peters, Mo just west of St. Louis.
    Well put SpeakerDave. What this pieces sounded like back in the day, and what they sound like now are going to be vastly different. You'd have to update and change out so many Caps & resistors just to use everyday. The sonic characteristics would change! Look at the transistor version of the 7 (7T) preamp! You could buy these all day long for $100 - $150 10 years ago. Now they are wanting $600. It would be so easy to buy a $600 preamp that could slam dunk that tired piece of history. 40 years ago fols were saying the The 7C with its tubes wasn't shit and the new kid on the block the 7T was "The Preamp". Was the ability of the human Ear different back then? I just think it's worth whatever you are willing to pay for after beating someone else out that is chasing the same dream. When I fall in love with a piece that's collectible, spend the money restore it or bring it up to specs, then spend time listening to it....? 99 times out of 100 I end up flipping it to recover some of my expense to move on to another search for "The Setup".

    It would be interesting to see a bunch of us blind folded and compare a modern day integrated tube amp from Jolida (For $600 on Audiogon)compared to this setup.
    Then you have what I believe your's all about the collectability (Spell check please).

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    The 8B is just a wonderfully built and wonderful sounding amplifier, full stop. One I worked on (just a simple, and low-end rehabilitation for its owner) was absolutely the best sounding amplifier I ever heard on my 1974-vintage Cornwalls. If you've ever heard Cornies, or any of the Klipsch "Heritage" speakers, you know that they have certain... eccentricities. They sounded stunning on the 8B. For the record, I am generally not a big fan of EL34 amps as a species.

    Just look at the guts of an 8B -- note the little trim circuits on the OPTs. They weren't kidding around when they designed and built them.

    I have no opinion on the 7C (save to say that they're beautiful)... no ears-on experience.

    The price on that CL seems steep a priori, but I dunno.

    An 8B is on my life list (although, truth to tell, I'd probably be happier in the long run with a pair of Quad IIs).

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