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Marantz's Legendary Audio Classics

This page provides you with a general method to determine the value of a Marantz Classic. This information and methodology formalizes a system I've been using for years in my collecting and selling efforts, in lieu of "seat of the pants" valuation or published figures that are not reasonable, or appropriate, in my opinion, such as those in the Orion Blue BookTM.

Most classic (pre-1981) Marantz gear actually resells for between 50% and 105% of it's original retail price, rather than any discounted price or sale price. A few items (such as the high end separate preamps, amp and tuner combos, for instance) sell for well over the original retail price due to scarcity and perceived value.

This page tells provides you with a method to use to determine what a fair resale value can be for Marantz items you have, by looking at the critical points for the unit and adjusting a known price accordingly. Once you have a final result, use it as a guide for your pricing, not the final word (though I use it that way, you are under no obligation to do so, of course!) The retail prices on the site are the higher ones; meaning that if a unit sold for $500 one year, and $550 the next, the $550 price will be in the slot, assuming we're aware of it. For the resale values, I try to get at least five of them on units of known condition so I can work them into my tables and get a reasonable average before I post them, so they're pretty reliable in general. For really rare units such as the 1300dc, you can't do that because there just aren't that many available for sale, so use your head as well as the data on the site.

In general, the way my method works is you take the original retail price for the unit, or the resale price if that is marked on the site, and apply the factors in the table below to it to determine a fair resale value for the particular unit you're considering. To apply, multiply the price by the indicated value, or adjust the value according to your best estimate of where your unit sits between the minimum and maximum points and then multiply. Then use the resulting value with the next factor.

When a factor does not apply - for instance, tuner condition does not apply to a power amplifier - simply do not apply any factor for that item. That's also true if the item is fully performing in any area that is rated 1.00, as what a factor of less than 1.00 in the valuation system does is reduces the value based on issues that will affect the buyer negatively. When something is 100% as it should be, there is no value reduction. When a factor is over 1.00, it increases the value of the unit.

Here is an example, using some factors from an imaginary situation:

Let's say we have a 170dc amplifier. The retail for this unit was $440.00. The site doesn't provide a current resale value, so you begin with the retail. If there was a current resale value, you'd use that instead, that's very important to keep in mind, especially for units that sell for unusually high dollar figures, such as the 10B tuner.

We'll say the output is just fine, full power, clean as a whistle. The factors for those are both 1.00, so in both cases...

1.00 x $440.00 = $440.00

...which shows that if something is working fine, you can ignore any 1.00 entry, as it will not affect the price.

Now, let's say that one of the meter lights is out. From the electronic table, we see that if they're all out - however many there are - you apply a factor of 0.96. But only one (which is half of them, as there are two) is out, so that factor should be only half as severe; We would use a factor of 0.98, because the old reduction from 1.00 was 0.04 and 0.98 is 0.02, or 1/2 as much. I think that's pretty clear, and you should be able to work out what to do with any item from that example. So...

0.98 x $440.00 = $431.20

Now, lets say that the gain controls are noisy also. From the table, the factor is 0.95, so...

0.95 x $431.20 = $409.64

We'll say the mechanical condition is perfect. We'll turn our attention to the cosmetics of the unit.

We'll say that the unit was used for sound reinforcement on stage, and as per usual for one of those, it's had a fair beating - the front panel is beaten up a bit, and so are the knobs and the metal case, but the meter lenses escaped any wear by pure dumb luck. There is no box, wood case or user's manual, but there is a service manual. So...

0.75 x $409.64 = $307.23 (for the front panel)

0.93 x $307.23 = $285.72 (for the case)

0.85 x $285.72 = $242.86 (for the knobs)

0.93 x $242.86 = $225.86 (for no wood case)

0.97 x $225.86 = $219.08 (for no user's manual)

1.02 x $219.08 = $223.47 (for service manual)

...and the $223.47 that we end up with is a good, fair price for the unit as described. So you could use that number as a starting point to think about what you'd want to pay, or what you'd ask for. That's all there is to it.

Of course, if you think the tables below are out of line for some issue(s), or for some specific unit(s), use your own starting price and/or factor(s) as you think most appropriate.

I'm not trying to set prices here, I'm trying to provides a means to formalize the process of setting prices, because many people have no idea how to proceed, and the "standard" references are, in my opinion, way out of line. As I mentioned before, I've been using this method with these factors and the price points on the site with considerable success for quite some time. Your milage could easily vary.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the factors here are derived both from how difficult it is to restore a particular feature to factory condition, and to a lesser degree from how expensive such restoration is, generally speaking.

Electronic Condition

Issue Min Desc. Min Factor Max Desc. Max Factor
Output Not present 0.10 Perfect 1.00
Dial illuminating lamps None Working 0.96 All Working 1.00
Meter illuminating lamps None Working 0.96 All Working 1.00
Stereo and/or Dolby indicators None Working 0.95 All working 1.00
Oscilloscope Not Working 0.60 Working Perfectly 1.00
Any mode indicators present(aux, am, FM, phono, etc.) None Working 0.95 All Working 1.00
Output Power Not rated power 0.50 Full rated power or better 1.00
knobs quiet when turned Scratchy, noisy, sticky 0.95 Smooth and Quiet 1.00
Tuner operation Loss of sensitivity, alignment off 0.60 At spec. or better 1.00
switches Noisy, unreliable 0.60 Quiet, solid, positive 1.00

Mechanical Condition

Issue Min Desc. Min Factor Max Desc. Max Factor
Jacks and Plugs Not functional or broken 0.70 Perfect Condition 1.00
Knobs, Levers and Buttons Broken off
Missing Caps or Knobs
0.80 (missing is much easier to fix than broken!)
All Present 1.00
Tuning knob action Slips, feels loose 0.95 taut, repeatable, free of slippage 1.00

Cosmetic Condition

Issue Min Desc. Min Factor Max Desc. Max Factor
Wood Case Not present 0.93 Perfect Condition 1.00
Metal Case Not present 0.93 Perfect Condition or has wood case over any damage 1.00
Front Panel Scratches, nicks, gouges 0.75 Perfect Condition 1.00
Knobs and Buttons Scratches, nicks, gouges 0.85 Perfect Condition 1.00
Dial and Meter Glass Scratches, nicks, gouges 0.75 Perfect Condition 1.00
Lettering Scratches, nicks, gouges, wear, missing 0.80 Perfect Condition 1.00

Other Issues

Issue Min Desc. Min Factor Max Desc. Max Factor
User's Manual Not present 0.97 Perfect Condition 1.00
Service Manual Not present 1.00 Perfect Condition 1.02
Sales Brochure Not present 1.00 Perfect Condition 1.01
Original Box Not present 1.00 Perfect Condition 1.01
Original Sales Receipt Not present 1.00 Perfect Condition 1.01