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In Reply to: RE: Marantz 8B with Bob Hovland Mods? posted by AA6U on May 23, 2020 at 21:29:57
Many years ago I had a pair of 8Bs modified by Bob. They were wired for mono and triode operation. The input tubes were 6HK5 and had 5687 for the phase splitter. I'm sure he replaced the selenium rectifier but as far as I know the power supply was otherwise stock. Of course the coupling caps were Hovlands. So basically his circuit using the 8B chassis and transformers.They sounded great.
In a fit of temporary insanity I sold them but no doubt most of us have similar stories. I have no definitive information on resale value but as in most things stock generally brings more $$.
In person Bob is the most gracious, unassuming, down to earth person you will ever meet.
Thanks for the input. The guy selling the 8B has both the stock version and the Hovland-modified version and I will be able to listen to both for comparison. I'm just wondering if the Hovland-modified version will sound that much better than the stock version to justify the decrease in resale value. I want to use whichever version I buy on a regular basis, so I want it sound good. However, I don't want to buy something that will be hard to resell someday or get a greatly reduced price.
If resale value is your prime criterion then stock is the way to go.
As has been posted, the 8B is a very fine amp and an all time classic. If it is indeed stock, then it could very well require some service in the future.
Regarding sound, I would expect the modified amp with the Hovland capacitors would sound different. Which one is better is for you to decide.
One other note on the subject of modifications, Sid Smith of Marantz, who had a hand in the design of the 8B, used to modify Marantz Model 7 preamps with whatever changes he felt were for the better. He also wrote up changes he felt were beneficial to the 8B. Somewhere I have some literature from him describing the mods.
I would be curious to see what mods Sid Smith had for the 8B. The stock one I'm looking at has had the selenium rectifier replaced with a silicon one, protection diodes installed for meter protection and the cathode bypass caps on the output tubes replaced. Other than that, it's stock and dead quiet. I do worry about having the original caps in the bias circuit because, if they go, they can take out some critical parts. I also wonder if the unit might sound better with more capacitance in the filtering section, although it sounds great now. Back in the day, large capacitors were large and expensive plus the old type silicon rectifiers couldn't handle the large current surges that larger caps would generate when charging. If I changed the filter caps, I'd leave the original can on the chassis so whatever I did could be easily reversed.
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