I bought my 2500 as part of mint condtion complete used system way back in 1988 for the paltry sum of $600.
It came with a basic Marantz tape deck, a Techniques turntable and a Huge pair of 130lb per enclosure Infinity RSII loudspeakers. At the time I thought I had hit the jackpot. Not so much for the Receiver but for those Big, solid Oak, Infinities. The entire system sold new for around 5 grand which was ton of money for a stereo back then and still is today. The Infinitiy RSII turned out to be a disappointment for me since compared to my much less expensive Klipsch Forte's the RSII's sounded pretty lousy. They were all show and no go. I eventually put them up for sale and a guy from San Francisco happily bought them for $750. He though they sounded great. I didn't let him listen to my other speakers since even my small Celestions sounded better than the Infinities. Now for the real payoff. The Marantz Model 2500 was at the time the most powerful "all in one" receiver ever made and it sounded great. It had enough guts to drive my Klipsch's to subsonic levels that would literally make your guts rumble. It was warm and smooth and clean. I used it for almost 15 years until it was finally replaced by a newer and much higher end Stasis system. in 2002 I saw one go for over a grand on ebay and since at that point it had been just sitting for over a year, I put it up ebay and it went for just under $1300 bucks. Today, I wish I would have kept it. The 2500 has continued to rise in value and although it didn't have the transparency or soundstaging of my better gear, it had excellent bass, great flexibilty with the semi parametric tone controls and the tuner section in the 2500 is as good as anything I've ever had. To top it off, the build quality was second to none in it's class. It has a massive torroidal transformer thats about 8" in diameter and must weigh 50lbs by itself. It had the cool looking and actually useful Occiloscope and the with all those heavy, solid, machined aluminum knobs,buttons, and faceplate. And of course, that unmistakable blue Marantz glow. Unlike most of the monster receivers of the time, it requried very little maintenance to keep it sounding clean and quiet. At the time that I sold it, more than twenty years after it was built, I could still turn it to full volume with the player on pause and all you would hear from the speakers across the room was a very slight hiss. In actual listening use, I never turned it up passed the halfway point. Most components suffer from an crease in noise as they get older due to leaky capacitors and oxidation of control contacts but the Marantz never showed any sign of this. I imagine it still sounds good at more than Thirty years of age. This appears to be typical of the Marantz of that Era. I still own a 1980 vintage Marantz Esotec, SM-6 Class A- A/B amplifier and it too sounds just amazing. Although it only puts out 30 watts in Class A mode, at moderate volume levels, it beats my 100 watt Nakamichi Stasis amp in clarity and soundstage and actually compares very well to my 200 watt per channel Sunfire. Marantz equipment was originally designed and built in America. It would appear that when the company was bought out by the Japanese, the spirit of Saul Marantz continued on for some time. While there was a transitional period during the later 80's when the owners of Marantz were putting out some real junk, the name eventually found it's way back to the high end of audio, Today, Marantz continues to produce high end audio gear that is of reference quality and considering that my model 2500 sold new for over $1500 in 1980, a good value for the money. Just to make the point, The Absolute Sound said that the $4000 Marantz PM-11S2 integrated amplifier is one of the best of its kind in the sub $5000 price range. In todays dollars The Marantz 2500 would cost around $6000. In 1988 I did hit the jackpot. I had many years of musical enjoyment and in the end I turned a neat $1400 dollar profit. Given the improvements in materials and technology and performance, I wonder what the PM-11S2 will be worth in thirty years???
I have arrived! And for less than $300! I'm driving a pair of Klipsch KG4's (check the reviews!) and this "400lb gorilla" never has to breathe hard! Controlled, disciplined, powerful bass like nothing I've heard from a receiver before, yet still musical and warm with more than sufficient detail.
The pairup with Klipsch is nothing short of magic. I've never had it more than halfway opened up, though, don't want to set the speakers on fire! Already had a neighbour show up at the door in hysterics! Think they moved out later....
Slap on the Scorpions and listen to "Winds of Change" stand your hair on end! On the other hand spin up Brilliant Classic's Bach Cantatas played on period instruments and you'll think they're playing in your living room. The 2385 can do it all!
Okay, so you've heard other amps do it better. I'd dare say, "Not at this price!"
Strange coincidence: my gorgeous 25yo fiancee is a part-time fashion model and full-time graduate student in music. She proposed to me less than a week after hearing passages of Beethoven's 9th on my system. Maybe the cool blue backlights did it.
Did I tell you the 2385 is built like a battleship (again like the KG4s)?
You can spend a hell of a lot more cash and get a lot less music than a pre-1980 Marantz receiver paired with Klipsch speakers. This setup NEVER fails to impress visitors. $280 for the Marantz + $255 for the KG4s = $535. Best money I've spent in my 53 year life.
This receiver is insane. To begin with, it outputs 185 watts/channel, weighs between 60 and 70 pounds, and has capacitors that are the size of a 12-oz. beer can. I play it against my other equipment that may cost more now-a-days, and it beats the stuffing out of them. It's no contest. I have this receiver hooked up to some 40-year-old Acoustic Research speakers that I have had re-foamed and the crossovers rebuilt, and it sounds absolutlely sick. It can really make you forget where you are. I'm a really big fan of the Pioneer SX receiver line, as well as McIntosh's big amps, but this receiver is just crazy-good: a freak of the audio world.
The AR's really like lots of power to sound good, and this receiver is able to drive them like they were stock cars on nitro. There is a lot of dynamic quality in the music, fast punches in the gut of very big sound when the orchestra kicks up its heels, followed by sweet, delicately handled interludes. It really delivers the punch with dynamic force, clarity and control, and softer moments with delicacy, excellent tone and detail. The tonal quality is extremely nice and accurate, and sound stage is superior. The space between the instruments is definitely more defined in the music than in any one of my other amplifiers or receivers.
When you have warm sound though, you compromise a little bit of precision. But this give-and-take situation of warmth vs. detail is very well balanced in this receiver. The loss is not really noticable, but the benefit certainly is. The absolutely un-rivaled, superior quality of sound really identifies this receiver. You've got to try it. God in heaven, try it. 5 stars all the way.
This review is for the Marantz 2385 black faced reciever. Conservatively rated at 185 watts per channel. This reciever has a t.h.d. of 0.05%. It sold between 1977-1980 for $1095.00. This reciever is awesome. The tonal characteristics and sound stage capabilities are top flight. The tone is warm. The sound stage is deep and wide. This is good as it gets for solid state. I was compelled to get this after auditioning the current crop of available stereo recievers[which is a very limited selection] and home theatre. What they have out there for $750.00 or less is shocking. Incredibly poor sound for stereo. One word-raspy. I could not believe it. My assumption was that things had gotten better not worse. The reality is that the companies have put the money into the home theatre capabilities and not into the musical reproduction aspects. All of them are extremely light. The 2385 weighs close to 80 lbs. The FM tuner section is excellent. Very good capture ratio and excellent sonics. The gyro touch tuning is super smooth and in my opinion superior to any digital set-up. In closing they don't make them like they used to. If you are in the market for music and don't give a damn about home theatre like I do. I would highly recommend one of these.
I have a room 25 long and 20 wide. Here is what I put together in the last week of research. Please give me your input good or bad. I only have room for bookshelfs and about a $2500 budget which Iam over by a bit now
Klipsch SW-112 Subwoofer
Definitive Technology Myth ... Read More »
I recently posted a question for a friend. Thanx to all that responded.
Since I now have more information, I’m revising the question to include and to simplify and hopefully get the information my friend needs. Ok first of all, my friend is completely blind; so obviously sound quality is very ... Read More »
I purchased these speakers in 1970 and still use them today. Although they sound pretty good, would they sound even better with current, state of the art drivers? People I have spoken with say as long as they work, don't mess with them. However, they must be 30 year old paper cones, how good can the ... Read More »
So I've been all over the place, and gotten lots of advice on this and other boards. and here is where I am leaning right now:
(1) Audio Note AZ - 2 speaker -- $1,100
(2) Jolida JD 102B - $550 regular or $750 for the factory upgrade
(3) Music Hall 25.2 cd player -- $550.
I want something p ... Read More »
whats up guys i picked a Mcintosh MC2500 amp out of the TRASH last week
Any info you guys have on this unit I will so be gratefull
I knew of the Mcintosh Brand but when i tried to pick up the amp i need help from the guy riding with me i could only guess what else was in the trash the tras ... Read More »