Meeting the Band at the fair

Last Friday we slipped out of the shop early and headed over to the Alameda County Fair. There are nightly concerts that are included in the admission to the fair and on Friday 38 Special was schedule to perform. We got in line about an hour before the gate opened and found some good seats, center stage about one-third up the isle.

Just before the show was about to start a member of the Fair came out to thank everyone for coming out tot see the show and to thank Safeway for being one of the shops sponsors. She asked who would like to meet the band? All hands went up. She then asked all of the Safeway shoppers to wave their Club Cards high in the air. Her compatriots ran through the audience and grabbed 5 couples who would get to meet the band before the show. Guess who got picked? Me and my wife!

We hustled down the steps and were herded to an outdoor area behind the amphitheater. Someone from the road crew gave us the lowdown, stand inline, give them your camera phone, meet the band, you get one picture taken, then move on.

The band came out, all of them including Donnnie Van Zant and Don Barnes. I got to shake Don's hand, my wife shook Donnie Van Zant's hand, we posed, the picture we taken and we moved along.

Needless to say this was one fantastic concert and something we will remember always.

My kids are sooooooooooo jealous! HA!


It's raining pre amps

The last 3 model I've found locally have all been preamps.  I like it when things come in 3's.  Yesterday I picked up a Model 3300 Preamp from a local seller.  The 3300 had belonged to his father who apparently had a life long affection for audio gear.  While his original Marantz amplifier was long gone, replaced my many different amplifiers over the years he finally settled on a Carver Amp, nice choice.

He must have really liked his 3300 to have kept it all of those years.  This is serial number 1760 which makes it a very early production model.  It is as close to perfect and new as is possible.  I may have been the very first person to remove the screws and lift off the cover since it was built.  The screws had that "never been removed" feel to them.

When I slid the cover off there was the unmistakable aroma of vintage electrons inside the case.  Everything is original as far as I can tell, even the pilot lamp seems to be original.

I connected it to my current Model 30 project and gave it a quick listen, mmmm nice. 

See all of the Model 330 Pictures


Everyone likes a good video

This past week I invested in a good quality webcam and I'm looking into the different video editing and podcast software.  For now here is a short video of a Marantz Model 30 Integrated Amplifier. I hope you all will like it.

See all of the Model 30 Pictures



I found a Perfect match for my Model 33 Preamp, A Model 32 Amplifier

Today was a good day that got even better when the postal carrier delivered a nice heavy package this morning.  Frank the postal carrier said "this must be the one your waiting for" he knows what goes on around here and that the heavy packages are he special ones.

Today's packaged contained a very well packaged Marantz Model 32 Amplifier, also know as a Sixty-Sixty.  This particular 32 was reported as not working but it is in fantastic condition.  No real marks or nicks on the faceplate and it is completely original.

With a serial number of 2022 it is very early and has a gold toned, engraved faceplate.  The name placard is loose but that's an simple fix.  I'll have some time later today to give it a quick look over.  I have done several model 32's and usually the rectifier relay board is the immediate source of a non working unit.

This is one of my favorite sights when I remove a cover for the first time, dust dots.  For me this means that the cover has not been removed for years and years.  There's nothing better than an all original unit just waiting to be renewed and given a new life.  

This Model 32 will be the perfect mate for my recently acquired Model 33. 

See all of the Model 32 pictures.


Sunday started off like any other day

During my Saturday morning eBay search I ran across an Marantz Model 33 Pre Amplifier in its original wood cabinet. This was a surprise because I'm sure it wasn't there on Friday. Not only was it a 1 day auction but it was located in San Jose, CA. About an hour from where I live.

Fortunately I won the auction and the 33 was mine. I made arrangements to pick it up on Sunday morning. As I pulled down the street, slowly looking for the house I saw to my amazement what would have to be a great site. There was an entire garage full of vintage audio equipment and test gear. It was like an American Pickers electronics honey hole.

I met the seller, a really nice woman named Nancy who explained that she was selling off a life times collection of vintage electronics from her uncles estate. Packed into her two car garage and spilling into the driveway was only a small part of the over 300 boxes of his collection.

There was endless bits and pieces from all sorts of test equipment. There were transformers and capacitors and box upon box of components and test leads. Oscilloscopes dating back 50 years were strune upon the ground along with bench gear that only the original operator knew what it was for.

There was several Fisher tube receivers, Marantz 22xx and 23xx receivers, a variety of tube amplifiers which looked like they were pulled from maybe jukeboxes, all sorts of power supplies, both solid state and tube. This guy collected everything he could get his hands on.


Nancy was very overwhelmed with all of this and didn't really know what any of this stuff was. She had been selling the easy to identify items on eBay. Gone were the many Fender guitar amps, a Marantz 2238 and 2385 along with some of the oscilloscopes.

I spent about an hour trying to explain what some of this stuff was and how to sort it into groups based on age. With the amount of equipment she need to sell, it could easily take a year to sort through everything. She had about a month to get it all sorted and sold.

What I took away from this experience was not only my new Model 33 pre amplifier but a better idea of what a collection can do to future generations. What a burden we create with our stuff. When I watch American Pickers I've seen relatives who have inherited a family members collection. It is amusing when it's on TV, it's a whole different thing when you see it live in Nancy's garage.

See all of the Pictures for this pick.


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