Marantz 8 amp VS Dynaco ST 70

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by gouldglen, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. gouldglen

    gouldglen New Member

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    Hi All, I am fairly familiar with the various rebuilds of the St 70. I have owned a rebuilt original 70 with VTA driver board. I note a Marantz 8 amp for sale on Agon for around 2 grand. I am wondering if a rebuilt marantz would or would not significantly outperform a rebuilt Dyna 70? I am aware of the reputation of the Marantz but no more than that. All comments are welcome.
    Thanks,
    Glen:music:
     

     

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  2. truep

    truep Active Member

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    The marantz 8 was a 30 watt per channel, the 8B was 35 watts like the st70. I had a model 8, and loved it. I have also had modifies ST-70's and they are great too. Personally, I wouldn't spend 2 grand for the marantz.
     
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  3. sheltie dave

    sheltie dave Addicted Member

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    Glen, a properly rebuilt Marantz 8 is likely to increase in value each of the next five years, and will significantly outperform a Dynaco ST70 across the board. If you look at the quality of the parts, the iron, the design, the convenience, the ability to check and adjust bias within thirty seconds, the aesthetics, and the sound, the Marantz shines.

    Factor in the ST70 was normally built as a kit, has known problems with the 7199s, and often has lurking performance issues, and it is pretty easy to figure out why the average price for the two warhorses are $2500 for one and maybe $500 for the second.

    You can but a ST70 almost every week, but a Marantz that is properly restored and in good cosmetic condition is more and more rare all the time. One will be a good workhorse in your stable, the other will be the best amp you have, unless you move in deep waters. They both were raging successes for their target market niche - the Dynaco was a kit for everyman, while the 8/8B was Marantz' statement piece TOTL by Sid Smith. They are completely different animals.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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  4. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    I owned an 8b and restored it electrically myself. It outperformed virtually anything I put it up against.
     
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  5. gouldglen

    gouldglen New Member

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    Sheltie Dave, thanks for your thoughtful reply! When i mentioned a rebuilt 70 with VTA board and upgraded parts, that brings the dynaco into the $1000 price point or so. At least in the amp i owned i don't think there were any lurking performance issues. what do you think a fair price for the marantz 8 would be? I too think 2 grande without any upgrading is high.
     
  6. sony6060

    sony6060 Super Member

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    Quality tubes and audio transformers plus best coupling caps takes amps over the top. 7199? No thanks, needs replacement.

    I think the Marantz 8 audio transformer would take it over the top. And, a Raytheon USA 6CG7 black plate in place would seal the deal. Roll the input tube to your desires.
     
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  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    [​IMG]
    Marantz8Bbefore by mhardy6647, on Flickr

    In my opinion and FWIW the Marantz 8B is a superb amplifier; indeed, in my experience I've yet to hear a better commercially produced amplifier, full stop.

    The ST-70 in stock form is fair at best; there is a cottage industry of modifications that can certainly make them sound different but I've certainly never heard one in the league of an 8B.

    Note the trimmer pots and air-variable trimmer caps in the photo - the 8B was just a superb piece of audio engineering; certainly the best-sounding EL34 amplifier I've ever heard with my own ears.

    (note my carefully implied qualifications above - the best sounding amps I know of aren't commercially manufactured and don't use EL34 outputs... although I do know someone running a pair of PPP EL34 Langevin amps that do sound very, very good!)

    In full and complete disclosure, I've never seen, nor heard, an unsuffixed Marantz 8... but I have to believe it's in the same ballpark as the 8B.
     
  8. sheltie dave

    sheltie dave Addicted Member

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    The lowest 8B on Ebay recently sold for $1200, with no tubes and looking like it survived a hurricane, down in Homestead Florida. That is a decent base to start pricing. An operating runner starts around $1500, and the quality of the tubes will drive the price from that point.

    I wouldn't pay more than $7 to $800 for any ST70, because it is a limited amp in any rebuild. You hit the ceiling of its capabilities quite fast.

    It boils down to how much money you can carry in an amp, budget wise. Once you hit the four figure pricing, it makes all the sense in the world to save a little longer and pick up a Marantz.

    If you are in the Midwest, come visit St. Louis and you can listen to ours for a day, and compare it to a ST70. It is the difference between good and great. :thmbsp:
     
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  9. kconnor

    kconnor Well-Known Member

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    Consider the Marantz if you are looking for an investment that will only increase in value. Implemeting some of the many sophisticated mods available for the ST-70 the Dynaco will slaughter the Marantz sonically.
     
  10. parkcitygolf

    parkcitygolf Searching for the sound. Subscriber

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    That marantz is a crazy good. It has won a blind listening tests on Audiokarma going up against some steep competition. Im a huge fan of the dynacos but that marantz is considered to be one of the best tube amps made. Ive never had the opportunity to listen to them side by side to compare although I sure would like to test them for a few years or so. :)
     
  11. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It would be fun to A/B an 8B with a Citation II. I've yet to hear one of the latter; it's the only other commercially made amp I know of that might be in the same league.

    (and that includes the PPP EL34 Marantz 9 monoblock - a gorgeous piece of hardware but maybe just a little too much...)
     

     

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  12. sony6060

    sony6060 Super Member

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  13. sheltie dave

    sheltie dave Addicted Member

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    The Duece brings the hammer to the table, while the 8B is oh so smooth. Overall, I like the 8B more, but either is well into the "forever" category.:thmbsp:
     
  14. kcin

    kcin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have completely rebuilt Marantz 8b ,Citation II, Marantz 5 and Marantz 2s

    The 8b is the most solid stereo amp of classic design in its power range. It is better engineered IMO from a construction and parts point of view than the Citation and almost any consumer amp except the Western Electrics. I like any Marantz better than the Citation BTW..just my taste.

    It is steak and hamburger. The steak is better -no question- hamburger is good but will never be a steak. Unfortunately, steak costs more you do get what you pay for.

    It is true that that the Marantz will always rise in value the Dynaco will hit a wall in performance and value.

    Kcin
     
  15. Shadowdog

    Shadowdog Super Member

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  16. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    at some point, all that's left of the ST-70 is the chassis (or maybe just the component layout).


    Interestingly, the current fad with Klipsch's "heritage" speakers is basically to change everything about them that can be changed and then marvel at how good they sound... pretty much the same game is played with the ST-70... it's like the old folk tale known as "Nail Broth" or "Stone Soup".
     
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  17. sheltie dave

    sheltie dave Addicted Member

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    Except in the case of Klipschorns, you already have in its junior form, the La Scala, an "A" rated speaker setup by Stereophile.

    Just like the Citation Deuce, however, there are well known deficiencies than can be easily rectified. Drop in a tractix midhorn, and either keep the original Atlas mid driver, or get a JBL or other higher end, better performing driver. Drop in an APT, Beyma, or JBL tweeter with a tractix or 100x100 horn, and you are good. Drop in an active xover and time correction, or an ALK based xover, and you are even deeper in Heaven. PWK was a very active supporter of testing and modding his Heritage speakers, and I know that from personal experience.

    The Klipschorn is a Klipschorn due to its bass chamber, not the tophat. PWK wasn't too concerned with the top, other than it was capable of doing what he needed. That arose out of his decades long struggle to source mids and tweets that were serviceable.

    The ST70 is characterized by its good transformers, and by the very weak front end board and compromised power supply. The majority of the top end tube amps are often first characterized by their superb transformers, and then by not allowing anything else to compromise or limit the delivery of that superb power and bandwidth.

    All those upgrades, with the new TE chassis for the ST70, is $1336. I would get a knackered 8B, some spraypaint, replace the three power filter caps under the chassis, and $600 of excellent tubes, and be ahead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  18. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Curiously no mention of McIntosh unity coupled amps in this thread, always thot them the main competition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  19. kcin

    kcin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Many others will have different opinions but I think the St -70 is a more pleasant amp than the Mc240 . The 6l6 is glarring to my ears probably because of that 12ax7 cathode follower driver.

    The only Mc amp that I think is worthy is probably the Mc225 of which I have a sample and it sounds really nice on the Quad ESLs.

    YMMV and all that!
     
  20. battradio

    battradio Electron trainer Subscriber

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    The real limiting factor of a ST70 is the output transformers , they are very good but the Marantz's are superb . I have rebuilt ST70's no expense spared , have put Latino outputs on them and they are great on the low end to the midrange but the stock Dyna outputs are better on the high end . Want something to be better than the Marantz it will have to be custom made with $1000 a pair output transformers .
     

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