Model One Prototype
Here are four images of the prototype Model 1 Consollette built by Saul B. Marantz ca. 1953. At that time, Marantz was working as a commercial artist and tinkering with hi-fi. He could not find anything that sounded good in those days and decided he would have to build his own equipment. With an eighth grade education and a brief military electronics course during WW II under his belt, he built what you see in the attached photos. Jean D. Marantz, his wife and a graduate of Vassar, assisted by performing the necessary mathematical calculations for him.
He demonstrated this prototype for his friend, Mike Plum, a salesman for Harvey Radio in Manhattan. Plum invited him to demonstrate the unit for the "gang" at Harvey. Following the demonstration, the gang at Harvey told him that if he could build 100 of them, Harvey could sell them. Starting in his Kew Gardens, Queens, basement, he began production to meet the order. The 100 were sold out before production was completed and the rest is history.
The unit is a little worse for wear, having been relegated to garages, attics, and basements all these years. The 12AU7 vacuum tube is missing, and the two 12AX7's are most likely not original. Other parts appear to have "fallen off" over the years, and what you see is all that remains.
Contributed by Mark D. Chamberlain
On May 23rd, 2003