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Classic (1980 and Earlier) Marantz Gear
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The Marantz Lookalike Fisher Tuner

In the very earliest days, prior to the Marantz model 10B tuner, prior to the model 10 tuner, Saul Marantz and crew wanted to be able to provide a matching tuner for the preamplifiers and amplifiers they had already released and were working on. In particular, this panel matches the model 7 preamp.

For a very short time, you could get faceplates for the Fisher 101-R tuner, and this was the result:

Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB
Front View
Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB

Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB
Rear View
Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB

Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB
Top View
Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB

Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB
Bottom View
Image courtesy of Frank Grosso, K2MLB

This is the precise text from the installation sheet that came with the front panel:

Mounting Instructions for the


(Matching Panel and knob kit for Fisher 101-R tuner)

  1. Slide all four knobs off their shafts.

  2. Remove two large hex-nuts from tuning controls with a 1/2" (#16) spintite wrench.

  3. Remove old panel and replace with new matching panel.

  4. Replace large hex-nuts on tuning controls with spintite wrench. Do not use pliers!

  5. Mount new large knobs on tuning controls. Tighten set-screws against flat sides of the shafts with the small Allen wrench supplied.

  6. Similarly, mount new small knobs on selector switches.

    NOTE: Knobs should be spaced a little less than 1/16" away from the panel surface. Use a thickness or two of thin cardboard as a spacing guide, placing it between each knob and the panel before tightening.

  7. If the tuner is to be mounted in a matching Marantz cabinet, remove feet from the bottom of the tuner with a screwdriver and replace with new plastic feet supplied, using the original screws. This allows the new panel to rest flush with the bottom of the cabinet.

MARANTZ COMPANY, INC. 25-14 Broadway, Lons Island City 6, New York


And finally, here is Frank's story, as told to Ben:

At an annual High Fidelity Audio Show in New York City, in the late 1950's or very early 1960's, before the introduction of the 10B tuner, Marantz had a stereo tuner playing in their demo room.

As I recall, they were playing music in stereo using WQXR AM for one channel and WQXR FM for the other, and having a pair of model 2's and a 7C, I was quite interested in the stereo tuner. It had a brass front panel matching the 7C, and although the shape, color, style of lettering and knobs were identical to the 7C, it did not have the Marantz name on the face plate.

Looking closer, I saw that the front panel was labeled "Stereo Tuner Model 101-R", and that it was not a Marantz built tuner but was a Fisher Radio Model 101-R with a Marantz matched front panel!

The Marantz sales engineer told me that they were developing a tuner which was not yet ready to be manufactured (presumably it was the model 10) and that they were using a Fisher 101-R (with a custom made matching Marantz front panel) which they felt was the next best available tuner to demo at the show.

I really wanted that tuner, and I hung around the booth for hours and pleaded with the salesman to sell it to me, so I would have a radio that matched my 7C. He said he wasn't sure if the demo was the only prototype, or if the factory had made more than one front panel, or if it might be available after the show.

Well anyway, I kept calling Marantz, and after the show they finally sold it to me. I still have the 101-R with the Marantz front panel, although I replaced it in my system with a 10B when they came out.