View Full Version : Kicking myself... sorry, Sid Smith!

02-05-2008, 10:03 AM
I could shoot myself. Someone do it for me, please.

Recently, I was talking with someone when we were looking at audio gear, and I said something like, "Of course, there is always the Sid Smith!" At that moment, I had been looking just behind them, and saw the name on an amp with a gold-colored front, and controls that looked a LOT like vintage Marantz gear. He looked at me like "Huh? Sid whom?" and I pointed to the amp.

We both had shook our heads and chuckled at the fact that someone had either tried to copy/clone a Marantz, and even put their name on it, or maybe (more likely) ordered a special faceplate for a real Marantz. Would you put YOUR name and little else on a faceplate, instead of the brand name? Tacky, tacky... laugh, laugh... We shook our heads and I almost forgot about it. It intrigued me a little, though, because it DID look like pretty good quality, but we went on to other things and I never went back to ask again about that amp. Where it was then, it would have been relatively cheap.

Of course, many here already know where this is going... I just didn't connect up the name with what I have read about Marantz history. My brain just didn't "work" that day, the way it should have.

I saw the same amp later in another place without asking the price, and then today I saw that SAME amplifier, in yet another (consignment) shop in the downtown business district. It was obviously being traded up the food chain, so to speak. Today I checked the price on it. It was approx. US $6,400. :yikes:

Sid Smith is, of course, the legendary design partner of Saul Marantz, whom Saul himself called a genius. This must have been a very special, limited edition amp by the man himself, or something of that kind. If I had only known.... but I didn't when I needed to, and obviously someone else did, bought it, and put it up for sale in the right place.

You can read more about Sid Smith here:

And while you could kick me any time, don't bother. I'm kicking myself, over and over and over, for not recognizing that amp for what it was and GRABBING IT! :tears: That would have been a GREAT cornerstone piece for my tiny collection of Marantz rarities. I'll never again ignore another amp with a guy's name on the front, until I've at least looked up who the guy is/was!

This probably ranks as my second-worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) "one that got away" story, ranking just below seeing Ben Blish's Marantz prototype reel-to-reel, which I saw and 'had a shot at" before he ever got it. At least when I saw that, I knew I wanted it, although I didn't realize it was a one-of-a-kind. I wasn't "established" enough at that time to get much attention among the dealer's "feeding frenzy" over it, and I didn't have the money on me to out-bid the guy who ended up with it (for over $2,000, and who later auctioned/sold it to Ben), and might not have been able to raise enough to get it from him at that time, if I had wanted to. At least then I had an excuse... This time, my own stupid memory lapse did me in. Not much of an excuse. Oh, well...

02-05-2008, 12:41 PM

02-05-2008, 04:29 PM

02-05-2008, 04:32 PM

02-05-2008, 04:37 PM
Yeah but look at it this way, it was probably already over $5,000USD when you first looked at it.

There, don't you feel better already?