More than any other person, Saul Marantz defined premium home entertainment. Driven by his passion for music and his accomplishments as a classical guitarist – accomplishments that led to a close friendship with Andres Segovia – he was never satisfied with the “hi fi” equipment of his day. So he built better; first in his basement, later in a factory. His talent for industrial design and his ability to infuse talented engineers like Sidney Smith and others with his vision resulted in legendary products, and insured that his company would remain a premiere name in the industry he helped establish.
And today, even in the midst of burgeoning and often confusing technology, these components still emulate the vision that originally drove Saul Marantz to expand the sensory horizons of even the most demanding aficionados.
The Model 9 “monoblock” power amplifier found a home in many audiophile systems. And NASA decided that a modified version called the 9120 was stable enough to merit use in tracking stations around the world as part of the Apollo space program. The Model 10B FM tuner, cited by many as the most accurate and best sounding tuner of all time, soon followed. The decade also saw two other significant Marantz moves; a physical one from New York to California, and an electronic one from tubes to transistors.
For almost a decade, the justifiably famous “2200” receivers introduced uncounted thousands of sound-conscious people to the vivid,enveloping, and musically accurate Marantz sound. And separate components weren’t forgotten either as Marantz, benefiting from new financial backing and new production facilities in Japan, produced a growing roster of preamplifiers, power amplifiers, integrated amps, tuners, turntables, and speakers. This was a decade of intense growth and expansion, fueled by imaginative product development and demanding quality standards.
Marantz quality goes unquestioned. In 1974, customer Francisco Espina writes Marantz detailing the survival of his Marantz 2270 during a fire in the building he lives in. Out of curiosity he plugs his now crispy 2270 in and amazingly it sounds perfect.
In 1983, consumer digital audio became a reality in North America. And Marantz’s CD-63, the first publicly announced CD player, led the way. This groundbreaking development was soon followed by the appearance of the CD-12, the world’s first two-piece CD player. Announcement of the CD-63, led the way. was there at the very beginning. Marantz also becomes involved with video for the first time with the CDV-780 Laserdisc player.
Marantz entered the ‘90s with the energy and dedication that came from restored corporate unity. We moved into audio/video with the introduction of the SM-80, our first THX-certified amplifier in 1992 and the critically-acclaimed SR96 THX-certified receiver four years later. The ‘90s also saw the VP8770, the first Marantz LCD video front projector, and the PD4280, the first of our much-praised plasma monitor series. Sadly, we – and the industry – lost Saul Marantz.
The Super Audio CD came to life as the SA-1 SA-CD player and other new Reference Series components provided a concrete example of Marantz’s continuing dedication to sonic superiority. On the A/V front, an upgraded series of finely-crafted surround sound receivers and DVD players exhibited engineering inspiration gained from decades of effort and tradition. And, thanks to determined efforts to extract the most from contemporary technologies like DLP projection and plasma monitors, Marantz’s video reputation grew almost as quickly as did its legendary audio prestige a half century earlier.
What’s next? Most certaintly the promise of quality and excellence as only Marantz can deliver.