Classifeds - FS, WTB, FT, WT Tips and Tricks for our Classic Babies Frequently Asked Questions E-Mail the WebMaster
Classic (1980 and Earlier) Marantz Gear
Check out the Sample Unit Making the images we have look better! Links for Marantz Classics Lovers Reviews of gear of interest to Marantz classics lovers

The Esotec Product Series

Click to Return to the Master Indexes


The "inheritors of the crown"

Around the time of transition to ownership by Philips of the Netherlands, Marantz produced the Esotec series.

This series was, for the most part, a cosmetic rebuild of the high-end products in the 1977 through 1980 product lines, with the notable exception of a brand new turntable design, the TT1000, and the SD7 tape deck. These units were the beginning of a very high end series - there are other Esotec units that appeared in the years immediately following the introduction of the ones I'll introduce you to on this page.

These components were very good candidates for a differentiated high-end line; they offered the highest fidelity of any set of components Marantz had ever produced, and in addition, outperformed virtually anything else on the market at that time, various audiophile myths and competitor's claims notwithstanding. "Specsmanship", the supposed art of twisting specifications around to make your product look better, was not something Marantz had to participate in; using the most conservative measurement techniques, allowing for considerable headroom, and on top of all this, specifying for the minimum performance of production-line units meant that the Esotec models (and the original models which are electronically identical as noted below) were so good that they literally had no peer as a consumer product line.

The ST8 and ST7 Tuners

The ST7/ST8 tuners primarily differ from the 2130 tuner in that they use a round oscilloscope tube and bezel, and in that there is no provision for Dolby FM, which had fallen out of favor by the time the ST8/SM8 were in limited production. The original ST7/ST8 specifications are exactly the same as the 2130 tuner. I have original Marantz specifications on both the 2130 and the ST7/ST8 and can state this with assurance. The ST7/ST8 tuners provide both fixed level and adjustable level audio outputs. The 2130 tuner provides adjustable level outputs only.

The ST8 Tuner
(See the 2130 Tuner)

The ST7 Tuner
(See the 2130 Tuner)

The ST7 Tuner... rear view
(See the 2130 Tuner)

The SC7 and SC9 Preamplifiers

The SC7/SC9 preamps are almost exactly the same as the 3650 preamplifier, except the new design no longer passes the speakers through the preamp for switching. Same specifications, same complementary class-A design, and almost exactly the same complement of controls. The balance control was moved to where the speaker selectors were, the loudness control was removed, and the auxiliary (flat amp) controls are under the cover where the balance control was located. Finally, the SC7/SC9 have actual headphone amplifiers, they don't depend on the power amplifier the way the 3650 preamp did. That's a natural consequence of no longer having the amplifier output switched through, or otherwise connected to, the preamp.

The SC9 Preamplifier
(See the 3650 Preamplifier)

The SC7 Preamplifier
(See the 3650 Preamplifier)

SC7 Preamplifier hidden control bay
(See the 3650 Preamplifier)

The PM8 Integrated Amplifier

The PM8 integrated amp is essentially the same as the 1300DC Integrated Amplifier, with controls moved around just like the SC7/SM7 reconfiguration, loudness control gone, etc. They put the speaker selectors under the auxiliary cover... not very sensible, in my opinion. They also eliminated the L.E.D. peak indicators; due to these issues, there is clearly a net loss of functionality from the 1300DC to the newer PM8 design - though I will grant you that the PM8 is very pretty! The specifications for the 1300DC and the PM8 are exactly the same.

Note that I was under the impression that the black version of the PM8 was designated the SM8; that may be incorrect, as it appears there is an ESOTEC amplifier of about 120 watts RMS/channel designated the SM8... if anyone has specifications for the SM8, and/or information on the desigation of a black PM8, please shoot me an e-mail

The PM8 Integrated Amplifier
(See the 1300DC Integrated Amplifier)

The SM7 Amplifier

The SM7 amplifier appears to be derived from the 300DC amplifier. The original specifications for the SM7 are exactly the same as the 300DC.

The SM7 Amplifier (Also available in black rack mount, still called the SM7)
(See the 300DC Amplifier)

SM7 Amplifier hidden control bay
(See the 300DC Amplifier)

SM7 Amplifier interior view (silver, non-rack version)
(See the 300DC Amplifier)

SC7/SM7 pair
(See the 3650 Preamplifier & 300DC Amplifier)

The SD7 Cassette Deck

The SD7 cassette deck is an all-new design, as far as I can tell, as is the TT1000.

The SD7 Tape Deck

The TT1000 Turntable

The TT1000 Turntable

Additional Information

Basically, the black units came with rack handles, and the gold units were intended for mounting in a cabinet or custom-mount environment.

Comprehensive Advertisement