The One That Got Away

I own a perfectly serviceable little Marantz 25 watt receiver from some nameless year in the mid eighties. It don’t look like much, and it comes from too far this side of the 70’s to have that legendary Marantz legendariness. But it works fine for my less-than-audiophile .mp3 –> laptop soundcard –> headphone jack playback scenario, and it fits on my bookshelf. And it has big shiny silver knobs and switches, which I think I would greatly prefer to the recessed, black-text-on-little-black-buttons interface so beloved of modern audio equipment design even if I hadn’t grown up with my dad’s 1970s 120 watt Yamaha. (which, by the way, never got turned up above 3 1/2.)

Some day I think I want to invest in that two-martini sound. Maybe get me a 2330 from the month I was born or something. Not right now. Too big for the bookshelf, and for 30 year old audio equipment they don’t exactly go cheap.

But yesterday I was procrastinating on ebay and I watched this adorable little 2015 come and go before my misty eyes. With wood case and gyro tuning and everything. It would fit snugly between my text books and my harddrives and glow blue. And maybe or maybe not have that sound, depending on the state of the aging diodes and such. But they’re heavy little things, packed as they are with the weight of distilled grooviness and decades of accumulated affection, and shipping charges were $45. The final bid was $50 bucks, which sounds so cheap… but $50 + $45 just ain’t. I didn’t even bid, which is a sign of my resolute self-discipline.

woody little gem of a receiver

What a shame. I think it wanted to come and live with me.

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