Monster Receivers

Excerpt from Vintage Stereo Collection
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Monster Receivers

I had already obtained a decent collection of these middle-of-the-line units when I stumbled upon the Monster Receiver Forum. Members of this forum are enthusiasts of the >100 watts/ channel top-of-the-line models. Affectionately called “Monsters”, these were gargantuan beasts both in size and weight. Highly collectible but with a princely price tag.

I shifted my interest to these monsters and was fortunate enough to get hold of some collectible units at fairly reasonable prices since 70’s vintage gear was still under the radar from most audio aficionados here.

Pictured below are some of the monsters.

Ok, admittedly not as great sounding as the 2325 pictured below, but the scope of the Marantz 4400 easily makes up for its shortcomings. This unit has the earlier green scope.



The Marantz Model 2325 is considered by many to be one of the best sounding Marantz receivers. It may not pack the power of the 2500 or 2600 (though it’s 125 watts surely can drive most speakers), but is regarded to be more musical than its higher powered siblings.
I was so enamoured with the 2325 that I didn’t even blink when offered a second one.
Hey, I might need to biamp in the future.  🙂

Review of the Marantz 2325
(MILF) Marantzs’ I’d Love to Fondle



he 2330b is definitely a looker. One of the best layout faceplates, in my book.

Just like the Marantz 2325, the Sansui 9090db is the rightful contender to the crown as being one of the best sounding receivers of the era.



The Sansui AU 20000 is a rare find. This brute belts out 170 watts and one of the few in the collection that is able to drive my Magnepan MG 111s.
nec copy

NEC is generally out of the audio collector’s radar. But something intrigued me with the A-10x. It’s weight. Hey, any amp that weighs close to 40 kilos and measures as deep as a Jadis pings my audio radar.
So how does it sound?
Ever heard the Cello driving the Harbeths at Golden Strings HK?  😉

The Sony V7 – simply one of the best. ‘Nuff said



rue to form, the L58a maintains that Luxman sound. Lush.
But truth to tell, I find the 45a more musical.

The Pioneer SX5580 is the European version of the SX1050. This model was released during the famous Pioneer Silver Series era which makes these black faceplate models a rare catch.



Another under-the-radar gem. An AB comparison proved that the 9400 can go head-to-head with the 9090 and 2325.

tech 800 copy

Akai copy
The Technics SA 800 and Akai 1200 are 100+ watt monsters . . . but really nothing to write home about.
The Akai 1200, for me, is aesthetically boring – bordering on cheesiness . . . notice the curved dial on the volume knob?


9800 copy

 The SA9800 was extensively used as an amp to drive speakers in an outdoor environment. This speaks tons of its power. So if you want to crank up the volume for some Led Zep albums, this is what the doctor ordered.
The power of these 100 plus watt behemoths can really grip the speakers by their cojones.
And though lacking in the nuances that their hi-end cousins can draw out, these vintage monsters can rock like no other.


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