Marantz Reference MA-9S2Price: $11,999.98 per pair

Website: www.marantz.com

Howard said: Being the offspring of Marantz’s classic Model 7 preamplifier and Model 9 amplifier, the Reference SC-7S2 and Reference MA-9S2 have some rather large shoes to fill. By my account they do just that, and the folks at Marantz appear to be worthy stewards of the historic company name. If you’re looking for a pair of amps and/or a preamp anywhere near or even above these models’ asking prices, you’ll want to head to your local Marantz Reference dealer to give them a listen.

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Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: The Model 9 improved.

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