Speaker Recommendations for my Vintage Marantz 2270 and Miracord 50H MK II

I just purchased a Marantz 2270 that was refurbished.  Wondering what speakers you think might go well with the system.  40 years ago I had this turntable matched with a Pioneer SX838 and Avid 103 speakers.  Looking for a full range floor standing speaker with a small footprint say approx. 12-13" wide.  Price range under $2,000.  Thanks for your comments. Bob
Used DCM timewindows if you can find them.
Check out the Vandersteen 1C!
I had the identical system back in university ( about the time that General George Washington was hunkered down with the Colonial troops in Valley Forge😜)

points to ponder with your gear

The good option - hands on kit recommendation 

JBL L100 speakers ... JBL,s very large studio monitors from the same era in the 70's. They were relatively efficient, easy to drive, had that signature California sound with heavy spike/ accents  at the bottom, mid, and top end cuz they were designed for the pop music of that era. Even though the frequency curve was nowhere near the linear graph if today's monitors, they were the cats ass of their day thst rocked the college dorms. They worked best IMO with your gear - full stop.

The bad - "vintage" speaker choices 

(1) L100s were never put forth as classical or light jazz fare performers . If you swing towards the latter genre, consider say the  BBC Rogers LS3/6 BBC monitors ... Totally different animals sonically. The JBLs were the very top (in their time) pop music icons but with an emphasis colouring as highlighted herein . Fun stuff , but choose your music genre wisely.

(2) The 2270 receiver speaker posts are the vary narrow gauge wire accepting types with the push-in spring-loaded  cheap tin contact points . They accept only about an 18 gauge speaker wire.
The limitations in that are intuitive and not insignificant ..

They were matched by similar ones on the L100s.

Unless the L100s  or the receiver have been rebuilt with new upgraded posts and caps (unlikely) you are limited to Home Depot narrow gauge speaker wire .... BUT ... i Still had fun with the rig  back then .

current era quality build speakers all have full binding posts ... Sticking in HD bargain basement gauge cheap speaker wire will killing their performance potential ... Like putting sandals with a tuxedo.

IMO don't waste your money pushing $2000 for the upstream gear - you will max out its performance in it a lot lower on the $$ tree.

The ugly (potential disappoint ) 

(1) This can be great fun  nostalgia gear.... But Nostalgia gear in a shoot-out / head to head bake-off against a quality build Euro integrated amp from today just won't measure up, so that price/performance quotient is still a big compromise and resulting point to ponder. Again, it's fun stuff but don't expect any insertion of $2k speakers into the mix will dramatically elevate the performance quotient and made its warts,

(2) 40 year old gear all fails ... Not if, but rather when. The costs to repair them properly fire even the basics ( caps, speaker surround refiam, limited grunt in the packed in power supply that will fail, ) will likely exceed its FMV without prejuduce to the fact that today's integrated amps will handily best  that receiver. It was good in its day and can still provide great enjoyment, but as a receiver - any receiver - is quite limited in its performance vis-a-bus its current era integrated . 

Your takeaway

I had this system. ...It was fun And Good for Its time ... But  ... To spend up to $2000 strata speakers with this nostalgia gear is IMO severe overkill and a poor spend. That $2k pricepoint  speaker won't overcome its warts and send you to that audio nirvana point .

 Sure... the rest of the nostalgia gear is fun kit but it plateaus out severely performance wise with speakers costing in the same price bracket as the receiver commands. The excess outlay will be a waste ... Full stop.

Enjoy the gear but IMO resist any temptation to think that $2k speakers are the silver bullet for you. This fun nostalgia gear attains its max performance level well down the speaker price pole and  you will have a fun kit maxed out anyway.

Happy hunting....
The 2270 was refurbished with all new caps etc. just recently. I contacted the shop who did the work and am going to have them change out the speaker posts to spades. $100.  At the price point I paid for this I would have had to pay 3-5 times it cost plus many don't have Phono pre built in.  It is a 100% analog rig. As for the jbl 100 I too looked at them 40 years ago and opted for a set of Avid 103. In my option they blew them away for a fraction of the price. I can honestly say this receiver blew away the 8'year old integrated I previously was using.  Love the look of it too. Looks brand new. Not a scratch. I too believe I don't really have to spend $2,000 but was using that as a limit. But thanks for the input. 

Are you looking to match your vintage receiver with vintage speakers?  Or are you just asking for recommendations, new or used, that would match well with your Marantz 2270?

If the latter, then know your receivers limitations.  Unlike todays amps that can almost double down into 4 Ohms, most receivers back in the day were strictly 8 Ohm amps. Your Marantz is no exception as it puts out the same 70 wpc into 4 as it does into 8.  So no matter which speaker you choose, I would make sure they are only 8 Ohms and look for sensitivity ratings of 90 db or higher.  So go out and start auditioning those that sound best to you - if you liked the way your old Avid 103's sounded suggest you narrow your search to models with soft dome tweeters.  Speakers are way too subjective for anyone to make a meaningful recommendation.  You must listen.

BTW, I wintered at Valley Forge too along with akg_ca and couldn't agree with him more about vintage being smoked by todays gear.  I had a pair of Avid 102's and pushed them with a 65 wpc Technics receiver of the same vintage.  A good amount of power at that time.  At 85 db sensitivity, I was constantly blowing the fuse for the tweeter.  The 103's were only 83 db and even more difficult to drive.  Most air suspension designs back in the day were severely underpowered, but watts were a lot more expensive back then.  I think you'll find many of todays speakers far more pleasing to the ear with only 70 watts of output.

Good luck!


Doesn't have to be a vintage speaker.  I agree with your assessment in looking at 8ohm with high sensitivity.  Ran my old 103's with a Pioneer SX-838 50wpc and while they could crank never blew a fuse.  Also, the room this system will be in is only 12x15 so I don't need a huge speaker just one that will sound good with rock as well as jazz.

I would look at a pair of Silverline Prelude speakers. Small footprint, easy to drive and they sound good!

The Marantz 2270 is more than capable of handling 4 ohm speaker loads.

From the 2270 owners manual:




Rated continuous (RMS) power output per channel, both channels operating simultaneously, 20Hz to 20,OOOHz

70 Watts at 4 and 8 ohms

40 watts at 16 ohms

Comparable Total Music Power (I HF) 210 Watts at 8 ohms

Marantz 2270 owner manual, PDF


Yes, I seen this too.  But the fact that this receiver puts out the same amount of power into 4 ohms as it does 8 ohms tells me it has a very limited power supply.  A 4 ohm speaker could suck the life out of this receiver in a hurry.  Most modern amps can almost double their wattage into 4 ohms as opposed to their rating into 8.  If it was me, I wouldn't trust a vintage receiver with a true 4 ohm speaker.

This is also why nearly all speakers were 8 ohms back in the day.
Mapleshade speaker cables are great with vintage gear, both sonically and functionally...
If memory serves me correctly, the 2270 was bit if an anomaly when it came to 4 ohms vs 8 ohms output.  The Julian Hirsche review measured the 2270's output as 46 wpm into 4 ohms.  Opposite of what you would expect

In any event, I used a Marantz 2245 for years with modern era speakers. I found the best pairings to be:  http://www.nhthifi.com/products/10668-classic-three-bookshelf-loudspeaker#specs NHT SB2 (I would go for the Classic 3) and the http://omegaloudspeakers.com/super3i.html Omega Super 3i (I would go for the Super 7 monitor mk2.

I never tried the Marantz with a floor stander, only monitors.  

What would interest me, if you would want to try an old school designed, new speaker is the http://directacoustics.com Direct Acoustics Floor Stander.  

does anyone know if the Avid 102 tweeter is the same size as the Avid 103 tweeter ?...thanks

You can use any size cable you please with those old Marantz units. I've got a couple. You just have to terminate the cable with pin connectors. I've been doing that for 25 years with those things. 
" Yes, I seen this too.  But the fact that this receiver puts out the same amount of power into 4 ohms as it does 8 ohms tells me it has a very limited power supply.  A 4 ohm speaker could suck the life out of this receiver in a hurry."

NAD has been using that design philosophy for few decades. 

" Most modern amps can almost double their wattage into 4 ohms as opposed to their rating into 8."

As many know on this forum and elsewhere, "some" of these amps have "skewed"(conservative) 8ohm specs to appear that they double down into 4ohms.  They are beefy indeed and can drive most speakers with ease but don't truly double down when a controlled and accurate bench test is performed.
" If it was me, I wouldn't trust a vintage receiver with a true 4 ohm speaker." 

Now with that said, a 40 year old receiver may not be the "best" choice for true 4ohm speakers.