Published In The Great North Arrow, February 2020: My Marantz & Me

- jim Young

“Marantz. We sound better.” - 1970s Marantz ad.

In all good conscience I cannot categorically deny that I would not have, at least dated, and possibly married, my wife for any other reason than that she possessed a Marantz amp.

“Why?” you might ask. Well because, as I think I mentioned, it was a Marantz amp.

If that requires any further clarification then perhaps this is not a story that you will comprehend.

Fortunately, as I was not aware that My Shirley owned a Marantz amp at the time, and that she has so many other more obvious and fine qualities that stand on their own, this has never become a source of contention in our relationship.

I should point out that this is not just any Marantz amp. It’s a Marantz amp from the 70s.

And it’s not just a Model 2250 - it’s a Model 2250B.

Perhaps that might clarify things a little for those of you that are still a little cloudy about my obsession.

Owning a “new” Marantz amp is kind of like bragging that you own a Mustang only to sheepishly look down at the ground and kick the gravel when you have to admit it’s a 2016 model.

Beyond the 1960s, does it really even qualify as a Mustang anymore?

It’s the same thing with a Marantz amp. 

Of course you’ll be polite to the owners of a newer model Mustang or Marantz just as you might tell your dinner host that her cabbage rolls are really very good even though you’re thinking to yourself, “but not as good as my wife’s.”

Just like a real Mustang however, sometimes even a real Marantz amp will quit working. As the years pass, the parts become more difficult to find.

However, unlike the automobile industry, in our disposable world it has become much more difficult to find someone who will even repair any old stereo, much less a Marantz.

So when our Marantz amp finally quit working several years ago… Yes - in 1990 when we were married it became communal property, giving me legal and rightful claim to half-ownership of it.

So when our Maratz amp finally quit working several years ago, it went into storage and remained silent for an extended period of time with the dreams that one day we might be able to restore it to its original grandeur.

There came a time however when we had to make a decision to down-size and the decision was made to finally part with my Marantz amp that was no longer pulling its weight - all 35 pounds of it.

You might have noticed that I am now referring to it as MY Marantz amp. There is an unspoken agreement in our relationship that only items that are perceived to be of little to no value will be considered MY share of our communal property. I’m not sure when that rule came into play, but I have happily accepted this rule since it does include the Marantz amp.

Instead of disposing of my Marantz, however, I chose to research it online first. I was inspired by one Marantz fan whose only advice was, “You should never throw out a Marantz amp because there would be 1 less Marantz amp in the world.”

HE seemed to understand.

I quickly learned there were a lot of Marantz fans just like myself and I was inspired to take it to one of the few repair shops left in Barrie to bring it back to life.

After diligently fighting with it for well over a year, however, I was advised that the required parts were no longer available. Still, unable to part with it, my Marantz amp went back into storage and followed us to our new home in Loring.

Last May, I took it to one of the last repair shops in North Bay who, after another 6 months of futile attempts, came to the same conclusion as did the Barrie repair shop.

Common sense tells me that I should quit throwing good money after bad but as Voltaire once observed, “Common sense is not so common.”

Sadly, just like my Marantz amp, my hearing has been deteriorating over the years too. Perhaps I should just cut the cover off my Marantz amp and glue it onto our Rotel amp. With my likewise deteriorating memory I might one day be fooled into thinking I actually own a working Marantz amp.

I wonder if there may be a similar opportunity to make my Ford Escape look like a 1960s Mustang?

In the meantime, the love affair with my Marantz amp survives, at least for now, as I am currently in contact with Randy, a Marantz enthusiast in California who is giving me some new hope.

I hope it never comes down to “It’s Me or the Marantz” in our relationship as I have really grown very fond of having My Shirley in my life and I would hate to learn just what other items have become my share of our communal property.

So we’ll have one more kick at the can, so to speak. Wish us luck.

- 30 -

Marantz - We Sound Better

Below are a couple of my favourite Marantz ads from the 70s. They were often full page ads placed on prime pages such as the back cover in magazines like Playboy.

The fire started on
the first floor...

At 60 MPH, they threw my
Marantz out the car window...

Checking Out My Marantz

The Front End - Looks Good!

The Back End - Looks Good!

A Look Under The Hood
There seems to be no noise coming from the right side!


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