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Marantz Model 7700 Tape Deck

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2nd Week of October 1978, Japan Audio Fair Product Preview
Image Attribution: Scan of Stereo Review by Mason Morris
Date: October 8th, 2000

Ben's 7700, Non-working condition, from its original Auction
EBay Auction #1406943224
Image Attribution: Bob Thornburg
Date: January 29th, 2001

Ben's 7700, working, all details fixed
Date: February 11th, 2001

General Commentary

Peter Mitchel in Stereo Review, April 1979

...with impressively smooth tape handling, three speeds, and a comprehensive array of controls for bias and equalization, servicing adjustments, and editing.

Ben's comments...

I own this unit, serial number 000001P. As far as I have been able to ascertain thus far, this may be the only one of its kind.

It took me about a day after I got it to get it working completely; at that point, it is functioning very well. There was a little damage to the unit; there is a fine bias adjustment with left and right concentric knobs, and the outer one was broken off. The knob, while matching the other in style, is different from any I have seen previously, so I'm not at all certain I can replace it, though I'll keep my eyes open. The power button was broken off (though functional) and a black plate that is just visible on the flipped up head-cover in the picture from the Japan Audio Fair was missing. There are a few nicks and so forth, but only one area that is really obnoxious, by the power switch. The wooden sides are quite beaten up, and I'm going to have new wood sides made to replace them.

As of the 11th of February, I've completed most of the needed work on the unit. The local glass shop provided a lucite plate which temporarily resides over the head shield. I'm looking into a titanium etched plate on which I'll have the model number and serial number inscribed; that might be fun. I had to adjust the braking on the takeup reel in fast-forward mode, and the edit/cue hardware turned out to need cleaning and re-lubrication; it wasn't lifting the tape off the heads during rewind the way it should in the non-edit setting. But all that is fixed, and the unit is about as mint as I can make it at this point. Still looking for a dual-concentric knob for the bias, but have a single one on there that looks good at this point. It's good enough to show you, and there's a picture above of it in this state. There is basically no head wear on the deck - once cleaned, they looked essentially new, so I should be able to look forward to many, many years of use.

The quality of the audio that this records and plays back is superb - breathtaking, in fact, far better than my Pioneer RT-1020L, which itself is a great sounding deck. It's very easy to run (the full logic helps) and the tape handling is simply set-and-forget. I only have older R2R tape here at this point, but I've ordered some studio-quality 1/4 inch tape, and look forward to seeing just how good this thing can do under optimum conditions.

As this unit appears to be a a one-off production, a Marantz special project, we may never know what the specifications were supposed to be. The P at the end of the serial number probably means "Prototype". If I learn of any production units (or other prototypes), I will add that information here.

All I know for sure is, it sounds great, and it mates with my other gear perfectly both sonically and visually.

The find of a lifetime!


Contributed by Ben
On February 7th, 2001


DescriptionDual-capstan transport Reel to Reel
RarityUltra-Ultra-Rare - There is only one of these - a prototype
Retail Price$2500.00 (as reported in the May 1979 Stereo Review)
Resale ValueClick here to tell me what you think!
Designed inUSA
Manufactured InJapan
First Year1978
Years Manufactured1978
Last Year1978
Quantity Manufactured1
Matching Preamplifiers3650,3250,3250b
Matching Amplifiers170dc,300dc
Matching Integrated Amplifiers1300dc and etc.
Matching Tuners2130,2120,2110,2100
Wood CaseDiscrete side panels only; top, bottom and back are metal
Silver FaceYes - non-extruded
Chassis GroundKnurled knob
AC SwitchButton
FusingAGC, rear deck
Power Source Details120 VAC

Panel Width16 3/8
Panel Height19 1/4
Width17 9/16ths
Height19 1/4
Weight61 Lbs

Tape Deck
Transport ControlsFull logic, live switching from any mode to any other mode
Transport Record ControlYes
Transport Play ControlYes
Transport Pause ControlYes
Transport Fast Forward ControlYes
Transport Rewind ControlYes
Microphone Input(s)Left, Right independent controls
Mic Attenuator0 dB, 15 dB, 30 dB (single knob handles both Mic inputs)
Tape CounterDigital green LED, time and LAP
Tape Counter ResetYes
Record ModeDual Armed/Safe switches
Record Lamp(s)Yes, one red LED, plus dual red armed warning LEDs
Pause Indicator LampYes, one yellow LED
Play Indicator LampYes, one green LED
Bias SelectionsI, II, III
Equalization SelectionsI, II, III
Auto ShutoffYes, plus autostop
Line Record LevelLeft, Right independent controls
Microphone Record LevelLeft, Right independent controls
Master Line/Mic Mix levelYes, single control
Playback LevelLeft, Right independent controls
MonitoringSync, Tape or Source, Independent Left and Right
VU MeteringDual independent Left/Right VU Peak, and Peak Hold modes
Deck OrientationVertical or horizontal, panel mounting reels
Number, type of heads6, two 4-track record, two 4-track play, two 2-track erase
Tape Speeds3 3/4, 7 1/2, and 15 ips
Reel size compensatorElectronic, 7 or 10 inch settings
Pitch ControlSync lock (red LED), normal, and adjustable
Fine Bias AdjustLeft, Right independent controls
Test Tone(s)400 Hz or 10,000 Hz
Capstan ConfigurationDual direct drive capstans and tension triggers - symmetrical mechanism
Motor ConfigurationDual direct drive reel motors
EditYes, 2-position and Off
Headphone AmpIntegral,for standard low impedance headphones
Headphone LevelYes
TimerOff, Record, Playback

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