This is one of the more powerful Marantz receivers ever made. It’s the Marantz 2500. It is somewhat rare and was produced from 1977 to 1979. It retailed for around $1600.00 and was eventually replaced by the 2600. The 2500 put out 250 watts per channel in to 8 ohms and was second only to the 2600 at 300 watts.
The Marantz 2500 utilized a massive toroidal dual wound power transformer. This accounted for a large portion of the 2500’s 60 pound weight and the fact that it had a cooling fan in the back. Still, given its weight it was not a huge receiver and only measured 19.25 x 17.25 x 7 inches which, compared to other monster receivers, was not that large. It was probably the first of the awe inspiring receivers. It was quickly followed by Pioneer with their SX-1980 and Sansui with the G-33000.
The Marantz 2500 is an engineering work of art. Each channel has an independent power supply section and it total harmonic distortion was less than 0.05% which at the time was a first among receivers. It also incorporated a special pin-fin heat sink design and fan to effectively dissipate heat.
Marantz was known for their “Scope” which appeared on a number of their components such as the Marantz 10 and the Marantz 18 and they utilized it on the 2500 as well. It was a true CRT oscilloscope and was really more then just a decorative feature. It could be used to accurately tune AM and FM and adjust multipath and stereo separation. The FM tuner is fantastic and used a 5 gang tuner as well as a dual gate MOS FET front end.
The 2500 has 6 tone controls – 3 for each channel including a mid adjustment. On the back panel is a Dolby FM Decoder Receptacle for the optional Dolby decoder cartridge. Another option was the WC-124 wood case.
As I mentioned above the Marantz 2500 is fairly rare so it doesn’t appear for sale all that often and when it does it tends to bring high prices. One in exceptional working condition recently sold for $2000.00 (10-22-2011). They will generally sell from $900 to $1800. depending upon options, condition and functionality.
Update: Nov 2015 – a parts unit sold for $1500. Obviously prices are still going up!