In 1995, VAC entered into an agreement with Marantz Japan to recreate the legendary Model 7 Preamplifier, Model 8B Stereo Amplifier, and Model 9 Monoblock. These models were made variously between 1958 and 1967, and have been sought after by collectors world-wide as the finest examples of the audio engineering art of their day.
Unlike the McIntosh and other modern “reissues”, the Marantz Classics were exacting recreations of the original models. Labor intensive point-to-point wiring was retained – no printed circuit boards here. Extensive archeology by the VAC engineers uncovered original vendors and designs for virtually all key components. Except for a few changes mandated by international safety regulations, these models are as if straight from a 1960 showroom.
Given the nostalgic nature of these components, it was truly amazing to discover that they still can beat many modern audio products, as attested to in several reviews in the late 1990′s.
VAC’s Marantz Classic Model 9 was the best selling high end amplifier of any type in Japan in 1997.
All good things must come to an end, and so production of the limited edition Marantz Classics ended in 1998. They were followed by a short run of an all new VAC designed integrated amplifier called the Model 66. Also in development were the Model 77 and Model 99, thoroughly modernized versions of the Model 7 and Model 9; unfortunately, the difficulties in the Japanese economy caused a partial break up and reorganization of Marantz Japan, and these projects were lost in that confusing time.
It was a privilege to work with Marantz Japan and the many fine people there at that time, including Mr. Sato, Mr. Shimoguchi, and Mr. Sarashina.
VAC continues to supply many key components for the repair and restoration of these three classic Marantz models.
From time to time, VAC assists other manufacturers on audio projects. In one notable example, VAC resurrected the Teletronix LA-2A levelling amplifier (compressor) for Bill Putnam, Jr. at Universal Audio, and manufactured the first several hundred units for them.
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