I visited Stereo Buyers' Brooklyn, NY headquarters to get a first-hand look at some vintage audio, and there were aisles and aisles of the most rarified gear to drool over. Not only that, owner Adam Wexler had a tasty vintage system ready for my listening pleasure: There was a magnificent Marantz Model 7 stereo preamp, rarer still a pair of Marantz Model 2 mono power amps in the center rack playing JBL L300 Summit speakers. It would be an understatement to say the sound knocked me off my feet! It sounded sweet and oh-so musical. The tall Red Rose Revelation R1 tower speakers lurking behind the JBLs weren't playing, more on them later.
The Model 7 tube stereo preamp was designed and made in New York City when Dwight D. Eisenhowerwas President of the United States (1957), and today it's prized by vintage audiophiles all over the world. Great designs are timeless.
The Model 7 preamp and a pair of Marantz tube mono power amps were carefully maintained by the previous owner. Now some lucky well-heeled audiophiles will snag these Marantz components. They are the Holy Grail of 1950s American audiophile electronics for a good reason: They still sound amazing.
These Mark Levinson & Red Rose Music speakers were $45,000 when new in the early 2000s. These speakers use large ribbon tweeters and sixteen Dynaudio drivers, the towers weight 300 pounds (136 kg) each.
By the early 1970s transistor designs ruled the audio scene, but then Audio Research in Plymouth, Minnesota came along and said there was still life in those old tubes. In 2018 many audiophiles would still agree.
The Genesis VI speakers were designed by the legendary Arnie Nudell, who was trained as a nuclear physicist and a laser physicist, but found his true calling with speaker design with his two companies, Infinity and later with Genesis. These speakers date from the late 1990s.