Marantz model 2216
I've talked about this unit before and my fascination with it. Well, I ended up letting Paul borrow it to see how he liked it with the 703's. Well, he never got to hear it. After attempting to get it to work to no avail, he took it to a local repair guy and had him fix it. I'm not sure what happened to it as it worked last time it was used, but that was neither here nor there for Paul. I got it back today and its in better shape than when I handed it off. It looks like a full refresh was done on it. Two things immediately noticeable is a big dent in the top being repaired and having all lights when none worked when I got it. I want to publicly thank Paul for this; I repeatedly asked him not to do this and told him it was no big deal, but he wouldn't have it. This is just another example of the excellence in character that can be found on this forum.
Anyways, the unit is now pushing the Maggie's and sounds excellent doing it. It has already seen time on my ushers, the first time it completely blew me away. It's got as much control over the Maggie's as the carver Tfm-55 has. I'm not saying its as strong as the carver, but saying that, in this instance, the differences are not readily apparent. It has such a natural sound, very analog/tube sounding, and doesn't seem to run out of power no matter how hard I push it. I reach the physical limits of the speaker well before that of the marantz. In fact it does a better job with them than the monoblocks and at a minimum is on par with the jolida 302. It doesn't seem to struggle with 4 ohm speakers like some amps can.
This unit has also seen time in Halen's rig, where it blew his b&k amp completely out of the water. In his words, the speakers just came alive. I feel it is worth noting he runs usher cp-777, a VERY high end, high dollar speaker in their international lineup. In some countries, they can reach into the 5 figures. I'm not qualifying it as a recommendation for speakers of this caliber, but simply stating that it can produce positive results even on modern high end speakers.
Now, I've never heard any other marantz from that era, but have read many reviews comparing them. What seems to be the common perception is that the 2215/2216, also known as the "baby" marantzes, are widely accepted as great little units. Often times, you see people preferring the babies over the bigger, higher power brethren. The common opinion there is that, as the power goes up, the warmth begins to taper off. I don't know the truth to these, but I don't doubt it given my experience with many vintage pieces.
The 2216 can commonly be had in the $100-200 in varying conditions. This thing performs well above that price point. I'm recommending to anyone on a budget or looking for a backup amp to put this high on their list. Tonight was quite the experience and coerced me into a formal write-up of the unit. This many different systems can't be a fluke. This is now my absolute recommendation for a budget amp. I've had my ears on a plethora of gear now and I haven't been this impressed with a product since, well, never really.
Very sweet. She's a beaut. I have been eyeing a 2325 for 35 years now.. I will get one someday
Marantz makes some fine recievers & amps. They are worth the $$$ Enjoy
I second your respect for the marantz, had the true pleasure of a 2265B a few months ago and it drove my rta12c's to distraction. They had been used to around 400 w of parasound high currant but didnt miss a lick with the marantz! Sol built some fine amps in the day and they are still being rediscovered today by anyone that comes across one. My advise is if you find one BUY it, service it, enjoy it and if you can(lol) pass it on to a friend so he can enjoy it as well! Keep them playing for another 40+ years!!!!!!
Nice review. I need to check one of these out.
The only problem with the bigger guys, sound quality aside since I don't know how they sound, is that they command so much more money than these baby marantzes do. I've seen many 2265 or above starting at $500. For me, that's a hell of a lot harder to swallow than the paltry $200 top end you see these things go for. That is why this particular unit is my go-to recommendation. I would like to get my ear on a 2215 to see how it compares, as well as a 2225 or something along those lines. The 2325 is very beastly, both in power and in price, so I don't know if I could recommend those in their price bracket. Obviously if you can find any Marantz for cheap, its worth investigating further, but even at market price, these babies are a steal of a deal for price/performance.
Originally Posted by soundfreak1
I agree, the higher power models do command more than I am willing to put out. Fortunately I got my 2265 at a reasonable price from an audiophile about an hour or so away. Nice guy, an engineer whose interest has turned to refurbishing classic speakers in his spare time.
Honestly, I haven't heard the lower power Marantz. But I can say that my HK 430 which is a mere 25 watts x 2 is one of the warmest, smoothest vintage receivers I have ever heard! And the 2245, 2265 sound very similar to me, not to the HK, necessarily, but to each other. I know there is a lot of buzz on how the 2215 and the 2230 are supposed to sound different from the beefier models, but I find that hard to believe. The few Marantz I've heard have a somewhat similar "house" sound.
The one thing that I have discovered is that these old Marantz pieces have a wondrous synergy with vintage Polk Monitors--pretty surprising, in fact! A set of Monitor 10As on a 2265 is something to behold, it can drive you out of the room--with good, punchy, solid bass!
Nice review. I'm going to keep my eyes open for the lower powered models, if for no other reason than to confirm or overturn my opinion considering Marantz receivers in general.
I am a little surprised to hear that they work well with new speakers as well. Because I've never gone that route. Since I own a Jolida integrated, perhaps a comparison might be in order?
The first time they were paired with my Usher's was for ****s and giggles. By that point, I had tried a handful of receivers that had made their way in and out of the house with them and nothing ever sounded great. From the first note, I was completely and utterly dumbfounded. My theory about this is based off general speaker history. It hasn't been until recently that speakers and sources were able to greatly reproduce the higher ranges like we can now, and I suspect that many of the amps of that era were voiced to pair well with speakers of their era. The result is a bunch of oldies that sound brittle and just have an overpowering top end on modern speakers. For some reason, the Marantz doesn't suffer this same fate. Their sound is the closest I've found to tubes in the receiver world.
Originally Posted by cnh
On the Usher's, I'm not sure if I prefer the Jolida or the Marantz. The Jolida had a more detailed presentation, but the Marantz sounded spot on with the Jolida tonally and also added a lot of texture to the music, especially with the bass/midbass. Someone unfamiliar with my system might not even realize I switched between the two if they left the room for a few minutes.
The "little" Marantz units are very nice. The most popular Marantz of that era was the 2230. The must have sold a zillion of those. I bought my first one in 1973. I was still in college and it was the best piece that I had heard at that time. Here is a picture of it, it still sounds great!!
Now since then I have accumlated a number of vintage Marantz pieces. As most of the long time members here know. I am not shy about showing my Marantz rack:
Here is the model 6300 turntable:
Nice equipment...reminds me of my first receiver, wasn't anything special, just a Kenwood KR-2300, wasn't a powerhouse by any stretch, but the green glow from the analogue dial and the olden 14 wpc made even crap speakers sound kinda nice.
Attachment 89617I always love seeing your pics Carl. I can say i enjoyed the first Maranz 2230 i once owned also. I have owned alot of Marantz's & they all have been worth every penny.
Attachment 89619Nice 6300 TT this is what i use now an old 6100 Tt ( wish i could find a dust cover for it)
Dskip, you really need to make the trip over to Dallas vintage audio.
I just spend a couple hours hanging out and enjoying the gear. Everybody
that walks in the door has a story to tell. My tube gear rules, but the vintage
stuff is where all the fun is.