The Marantz 2238 was introduced in 1976 and retailed for around $360. As the model number implies it produces 38 watts per channel at 8 ohms. It’s a 2 channel solid state receiver in the mid range of the Marantz offerings. It also has the classic Marantz styling with the silver face plate and gyro touch tuning wheel.
The WC-122 wood case was also an option with the 2238. It measures 17 5/16 x 5 3/8 x 14 3/8 and weighs in at just over 26 pounds.
The Marantz 2238 is a Direct Coupled design which provides wide power bandwidth, excellent low frequency response and superior damping. It also incorporates a highly sensitive dual gate MOSFET FM front end and Phase Locked Loop (PLL) FM stereo demodulator. These result in low distortion levels, superior noise reduction and excellent stereo separation.
The 2238 has three tone controls, one each for Bass, Treble and Mid. They are based on a Baxandall negative feedback circuit. This circuit design allows for more specific control over a narrower band of frequencies. In other words it can boost or cut the highest range of bass or treble without affecting the mid range frequencies. The user can then adjust the Mid control without affecting the highest and lowest bass and treble frequencies. That way you can adjust your Marantz to fit your speakers and other acoustic factors.
Other Marantz offerings for the model year were the 2252, 2226 and 2216. The 2238 fit in at the higher end of the midrange. It’s 0.1% Total Harmonic distortion was equal to the 2252. In fact the 2238 is similar in performance in almost every way except for the higher watts per channel.
The layout inside the 2238 is organized and clean and the components used are top notch. There is also a 2238B model made by Marantz. The 2238B looks different on the outside. The balance control was moved from the slider in the middle of the face to a knob control next to the tone controls and the dial face changed from the black to white. Internally there are differences as well. Most claim that the 2238 is the better built receiver.
You can’t really go wrong with a good Marantz receiver and the 2238 is no exception. It’s well built, sounds great and looks good too. If you find one and have it restored you’ll have a both a fine hi fidelity receiver and a good investment.