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Thread: RCVR: Marantz 4400

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    Default RCVR: Marantz 4400

    Here she is! Considered by many, to be the nicest looking Quad receiver (or receiver period) of them all: The Marantz 4400.

    Rarity: UNCOMMON
    Average Sale Price: $700-$1400


    Despite the fact that this is not exactly a rare unit, it always sells for quite a lot, even when not properly working. These usually sell for over $1000, which makes them an interesting piece, being that so many know of it, or have heard one, or even OWN one. No matter what way you slice it, these fine pieces are famous, and you cant deny that it is one of the nicest looking receivers ever designed... especially the ones with the deep blue scope. (i have seen photos of ones with green scopes... i like green, but they actually look very dull... if it were a shiny green, i may actually prefer the green)



    Front View


    Front Left View/Scope Controls


    Front Right View


    The Scope Controls


    The Amazing Looking Blue Dial


    The Scope & Dial


    Rear Left View


    Rear Center View


    Rear Right View
    Sansui QRX-6500 Quad Receiver
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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    ahhh the fabled Marantz 4400, I still don't like the square buttons which always looks out of place, but to each their own

    I find a lot of these units pictured without their wooden case, was this wooden case optional? or did you have to remove to fix the receiver when it broke- perhaps a alot of the cases got lost

    my question is is the marantz 4400 any better then the preceding model 4300? or latter model 4430? I know the 4400's had more power, but if the decoders are all the same,then the only thing really special about the 4400 is the scope- which is cool but probably not worth the hassle

    in terms of power- I am sure most quad obsessed folks know how to get around the weaker 4430 to have a similar amplifying affect

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    formerly "quadwreck" too
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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    The wooden cases were always optional on Marantz units.

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    Senior Member Quadrockasaurus's Avatar
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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    My 4400 has a wooden case...without the inside "normal" metal case. I'm not sure if that was typical.

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    wow so the wooden case was optional, these things must have been crazy expensive back in the day

    I think the MSRP was $1250.00 originally in 1974, I guess without the wooden case or SQ Quad adapter... I assume audio stores set their own prices as well

    $1250.00 alone would scare most customers away nowadays from a receiver, anyone buy one new?

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    Quad Goddess & Moderator Quad Linda's Avatar
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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    Wired remotes were also available for Marantz, as options, of course. I recall $50 for remotes. I still have my remote.

    I bought one new on accomodation. Don't ask how much, just much less. And I sold a few, usually in systems. $1250 in 1974 $$$ would be like a $4000 surround receiver today. Even in an affluent neighborhood, 4400's didn't fly out the door. I didn't sell Denon AVR-5800's like popcorn, either.

    In the Quad days, most lines were "fair traded." That meant that an individual piece couldn't be sold at less than full retail. Mix brands within a system and all bets were off. If you gave a system discount, Marantz or Pioneer didn't know or care that the Advent speakers were discounted, or vice versa. If you got caught discounting "fair trade" items, you could lose the line. Manufacturers sent "shoppers" around to make sure you weren't violating fair trade.
    Sometime around 1975, "fair trade" practices were discontinued and deemed illegal.

    Try buying a piece of new Bose or some "esoteric" hi-fi today at less than MSRP. They'll refuse to sell it for a penny less. Some dealers get around this by giving other products on a separate "no charge" invoice.

    Linda
    Quardradial Queen

    Quote Originally Posted by 8trackman View Post
    wow so the wooden case was optional, these things must have been crazy expensive back in the day

    I think the MSRP was $1250.00 originally in 1974, I guess without the wooden case or SQ Quad adapter... I assume audio stores set their own prices as well

    $1250.00 alone would scare most customers away nowadays from a receiver, anyone buy one new?

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    They're sure pretty and I sure would like to pick one up. Probably would require an extensive restoration given their age. Is the extra power and scope of the 4400 really worth it over the 4300? It seems separate vu meters give you the story on the 4 channels.

    Happy 4th!

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    Anyone who has never used a scope for Quad and/or FM may regard it is a frivilous toy. Many audiophiles who I sold hi-fi alongside laughed. As someone who has owned two scopes and used them as demonstration tools, I can tell you they aren't. I'd agree that they are not the most essential item in any system. Would you rather own a scope, a tape deck or a Blu-Ray player? Scopes are extremely useful, if you understand how to use one to tweak your system.

    Multipath distortion on FM is a gremlin that isn't perceptible by ear at every moment. Multipath occurs when the unwanted, reflected signal is as strong, sometimes stronger than the desirable, direct signal from the transmitter. I'm not sure how I know about this, or why I care, since I NEVER listen to radio. There are 1000's of CD's & LP's in this house that take precedent over FM. LOL!! Multipath is an a huge problem in the high-rise caverns of Manahattan or Downtown Chicago. Before Marantz 4400, we had a Marantz 120 tuner w/scope in our main demo island in our store. We sold several tuners by demonstrating how multipath could be eliminated, or at least minimized, with the aid of the scope. If you listen to a lot of FM, the 4400 will sound markedly better than the 4300, because you can tune better with the scope. I have a Technics SH-3433 scope which also has a multipath mode.

    Signal strength and center of channel meters can be deceiving in trying to eliminate multipath. The highest signal strength and/or the center of the FM channel can often yield the most multipath distortion. There are multipath meters. They're uncommon and I prefer using a scope. I had a Philips tuner which had a switch to allow one of the meters to read multipath. I found the scope far easier to use.

    When we sold the Marantz 120 tuner off display, we mounted a Pioneer SD-1100 scope in it's place. The Pioneer's test tone generator proved that I really did hear the highs better than the guys did! There was a JVC 4DD-5 there, as well. Imagine demoing Quad through 4 Altec Voice-of-the-Theaters. Intergalactic Trot by Robert Mason's Stardrive in CD-4 was our preferred demo disc. "Let me take you down, 'cause I'm goin' to Strawberry Fields" on a synthesizer in Quad! The next Stardrive album was on Columbia. They didn't even bother with SQ. OK, enough nostalgia.

    After owning Marantz gear with round buttons and selling tons of them, I could never get used to those square buttons on the 4400. They look like crooked teeth, as shown in the photos. The square buttons distinguish the 4400 from the rest of the Marantz line. Still, I would love to own a 4400 again. At my advanced age, the scope might seem overly small across the room. My beautiful blue eyes don't work like they did when I was in my '20's.

    Watching an individual channel's waveform is a great light show on my SH-3433! Too bad it's not dual or quad trace!

    Balancing Quad seems easier to me with a scope than with 4 VU meters. You only need to look in one spot, not four. The scope is more reliable. Meters can be damaged by "burying" them. In that case, they may show similar levels, when, in fact, the levels are vastly different, or vice versa. Due to psychoacoustics, the ears can sometimes be deceived. Switching between channels for waveforms is a better way of comparing levels than comparing VU meters. The scope display will look far different on synthesized Quad and matrix than on discrete Quad. The blank spaces are clearly visable. Your ears can fool you, the scope display won't.

    Yes, scopes are expensive toys. Ask a service tech how invaluable a toy can be.

    Linda
    Scope Silly

    Now, back to the Cub game. Hey, anyone can have a bad century!

    Quote Originally Posted by jefe1 View Post
    They're sure pretty and I sure would like to pick one up. Probably would require an extensive restoration given their age. Is the extra power and scope of the 4400 really worth it over the 4300? It seems separate vu meters give you the story on the 4 channels.

    Happy 4th!

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    Quote Originally Posted by Quad Linda View Post

    Imagine demoing Quad through 4 Altec Voice-of-the-Theaters.
    I can barely imagine.

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    As a long time oscilloscope user, I agree that they can be much more useful than meters when it comes to comparing waveforms and audio output and, in the case of quad, seeing the total soundfield and relationship between front and back channels.

    While you can match outputs using meters, it is so much easier looking at that one display and thinking, "Yeah, I have a good balanced overall field." Equality is everything in quad.

    Doug

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    I think that the best solution is to have a oscilloscope + 4 vu meters, then you cant go wrong lol

    Linda- thanks for the description on Multi-path distortion- is this the phenomena that takes place when stations take over the signal from weaker stations?, where I live we have a particularly strong radio signal (95.9) that can be heard clearly from 101.9-102.0 , it even lights up the signal light on the older dial type radios when you go past 101.9

    this also occurs elsewhere on the radio dial near 98.0......its the only radio station that does this

    ditto on the square buttons - I also noticed something I didn't realize earlier when looking at the photos- it has a plastic cover in front of the brushed aluminum! I wish more manufacturers had something similar to protect from scratching

    did you ever get to look at the Technics SA-6700x? its a cool relatively obscure unit

    Colin

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    There will always be opinions as to which of the old quadraphonic units was "the best" or "the coolest" or whatever, but I think most will agree that the Marantz 4400 will always rank in the upper three.

    My two cents worth,

    MTGC
    Michael

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    Default Re: RCVR: Marantz 4400

    Multipath distortion is FM's equivalent of ghosting on analog TV. Remember that? The reflected signal is very strong, louses up the TV images or creates a distorted sound on FM. Different stations on the same frequency are rarely a problem with receivers with good selectivity. Usually, one station will be closer and/or have a stronger signal. Likewise, selectivity will help with adjacent channels. I rarely listened to FM, even then. I did have an antenna on a tower with a rotor and was able to aim the antenna in one direction for Chicago and another for Milwaukee. It was a kick to do DX'ing. There was one TV channel where I could receive three different stations, just by redirecting the antenna.

    I have an SH-3433 Technics scope, which I had set up with my Marantz 2440, which has 4 VU meters. Yes, Colin, I loved having both. Now, I have the scope set up with B&K 7.1 preamp and two power amps that have flat black front panels with an led and power switch and cost 60X what my 2440 cost! I don't even use the switches, instead using the preamp's 12V triggers. For all that $$$, couldn't they have done meters? But it's a lot faster, cleaner and more powerful than the 2440 or even the 4400. Race ya!

    I had fiddled with the SA-6700x back in the day. nice piece.

    Yes, all the Marantz pieces had those clear plastic covers for the escutcheon. As a dealer, it was a godsend. The front panel would be pristine after sitting on display and grubby paws handling it. Ofter a couple years of use, the plastic covers on my own units began to crack. I recall removing knobs to take the plastic off.

    Maybe I've become jaded as I've aged. The new stuff I own performs so much better than my old Quad gear. Yet, the wonder and sex appeal that the old Quad gear had can't be matched by even the most esoteric modern gear. The pretty blue digits and verbiage on my new stuff looks cool, but it isn't half as cool as the 4400's blue dial face or the 2440's 4 blue VU meters.

    Linda


    Quote Originally Posted by 8trackman View Post
    I think that the best solution is to have a oscilloscope + 4 vu meters, then you cant go wrong lol

    Linda- thanks for the description on Multi-path distortion- is this the phenomena that takes place when stations take over the signal from weaker stations?, where I live we have a particularly strong radio signal (95.9) that can be heard clearly from 101.9-102.0 , it even lights up the signal light on the older dial type radios when you go past 101.9

    this also occurs elsewhere on the radio dial near 98.0......its the only radio station that does this

    ditto on the square buttons - I also noticed something I didn't realize earlier when looking at the photos- it has a plastic cover in front of the brushed aluminum! I wish more manufacturers had something similar to protect from scratching

    did you ever get to look at the Technics SA-6700x? its a cool relatively obscure unit

    Colin
    KWAD KITTY

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