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The Marantz 2220B
The Marantz has an AM/FM tuner, 20 watts per channel, and a frequency respond between 10Hz and 50 Hz. It has 2 tape in and outs, an aux in, and a phono input.
However, when you buy a vintage receiver, you are stuck with only its tuner and maybe a few analog inputs. However, those inputs are what make it easy to modernize.
It is easy to complain about the lack of streaming options, but that really isn’t a major shortfall. Many people are streaming using third party devices anyway. With analog inputs, you can add a third part streamer, a DAC, etc.
For my own use, I went with an all in one solution, but you can connect an Amazon Dot to one of the Aux inputs, add a Chomecast Audio device, an Airport Express, etc. There are a bunch of streaming products that have analog out that make it plug and play.
The Yamaha WXC-50 is also small and can be put on its side or placed horizontally in its normal stance. I decided to stand it up on the side since it means it only takes 2 inches of shelf space.
Below is a more recent pic (the gray device to the right of the Marantz is the Yamaha):
However, for me, Bluetooth is ultra-convenient. Since the Yamaha has Bluetooth built in, I simply paired it with an Amazon Dot and can now play music without any effort at all. Just say “Alexa connect to stereo” and it pairs to the Yamaha that feeds the Marantz. I can do this from anywhere within earshot of the Dot, so it can be done when I am just cleaning up the living room or lounging without the need to fire up the main system.
One of the amazing things about the Dot is the price for the performance. I won’t go into the privacy issues, but I would definitely recommend researching that if it is a concern. I buy so much from Amazon that it really didn’t bug me to have them in my living room, but I definitely prefer Apple’s take on privacy (though it hasn’t been perfect). However, they don’t make anything similar device right now. The HomePod does not have Aux or Bluetooth outputs. You can use it with an Airplay 2 device, but the Yamaha uses Airplay 1. You could pick up something like the Bluesound Note 2i if you don’t mind spending the extra bucks or try to locate a compatible Airport Express device that got updated with Airplay 2.
For me, if I use the Dot, it is for casual listening. However, Yamaha does have something called “compressed music enhancer” that I believe makes Bluetooth sound a lot better.
Remote for turning on the Marantz?
However, if you just want to control it by voice, you can install the skill onto the Amazon Dot and just tell Alexa to “turn on receiver” and you are up and running.
My Favorite way to use the Marantz
It is also quite useful and convenient with Apple Music since it has Airplay built in.
To Wrap up
All in all, I am very happy with my modernized vintage receiver. It plays any digital file I throw at it and the Dot gets around always needing to turn it on manually. Also, knowing that the product goes back to the 1970s brings back a bit of nostalgia. It would be interesting to add a turntable down the road, but that is probably overkill for this secondary living room setup.