Boldly proclaiming the maker’s name in one of the coolest logos ever: the Marantz Model 240 stereo power amplifier. Available with in black or silver, this circa 1970s amp delivered – can you guess? – 240 watts per channel into 8 ohms. It was similar to the Model 250 without the level meters.

     

    Not exactly a glam-rocker, here’s the Model 240’s rear panel. Photo courtesy of Howard Kneller, from The Audio Classics Collection.

     

    Just the thing to carry your tubes around in: a circa-1950s or 1960s tube caddy, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Joe Haupt.

     

    Hi-fi luxury you can afford, says this 1970s Grundig ad. In quadraphonic sound, no less!

     

    It’s portable and ideal for custom installation. 1960s Roberts 990 tape recorder ad, courtesy of the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording.

     

    Howard Kneller’s audiophile adventures are documented on YouTube (The Listening Chair with Howard Kneller) and Instagram (@howardkneller). His art and photography can be found on Instagram (@howardkneller). He also posts a bit of everything on Facebook (@howardkneller).

    4 comments on “Tubes to Go”

    1. The Marantz 240 (1972-1977) was rated at 120 watts per channel. The practice of using the model number to indicate the total power of the unit was to be outlawed by the FTC within a few years. The result was having models with, say, a 400 in their designation being rated at 205 watts per channel.

    2. My father had a pair of Grundig Audiorama 7000 loudspeakers having 12 drivers each and being hanging from the ceiling – a setup dictated by WAF: the matching stands were an unacceptable obstacle for our vacuum cleaner. However the advantage of this setup: they “beamed” the sound to both the living room and the dining room hanging just in the middle of the broad opening. In the early 70th nobody was aware of getting 3D-sound from stereo. 3D-sound was the promise of quadrophony.

    3. Respectfully, 3-D Stereophonic sound was WELL underway in the 1960’s. For example the famous Fisher Space Xpander. Many of the tube pre-amps and integrated amps had Center Channel out jacks for a third rear channel for the missing L-R audio. And they worked fabulously. Then came the stereo Fisher Space Xpander twin spring reverb using the tape monitor loop. In the 1970’s Pioneer and Sansui both had models of reverberation units for reverb and expanding the L-R soundstage to make even monophonic recordings sound “bigger”. Think Phil Spector’s “Wall Of Sound”. And we were using the Sony-CBS quadrature SQ Matrix Quad FM system in 1971! (Check the rear of any 22xx series Marantz receiver-tuner of the period). Anyone who has used a Stereophonic L-R Center Channel will tell you it is quite rewarding to recover that missing audio.

    4. My father had that tube caddy. He also had a tuber tester and was very popular in the neighborhood when someone’s tube tv had an issue. If my dad didn’t have the specific tube for repair, the local hardware store carried the most common ones. He’d send me running down there to pick it up. He did all this gratis except for the cost of the tube. He enjoyed troubleshooting and repairing the sets. He was a machinist by trade, very hands-on. He had an eighth-grade education but was gifted mathematically.

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