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Systems and players we grew up with!

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Rick-An Ordinary Fool, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    FL
    Remember those old portable cassette decks that came with a microphone jack? You would plug the cord into the deck and the microphone would come with this groovy little plastic stand that you could prop right up to the speaker of your radio? Yeah I did that a lot trying to catch the newest Olivia single. Free music for a broke...star struck teenager. :laugh: There was never enough written space on the cassette for all my free music. Lol
     
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  2. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I definitely can Relate Rick I got my first Cassette recorder at age 11 and I thought I had it made in those naive kid days
     
  3. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I remember trying all sorts of "tricks" to get the best recorded sound from those microphones. Usually, the results were about the same.
     
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  4. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I used to do the same thing Rick... patiently sit there listening to the radio, waiting for a certain song to play, hoping that my reflexes would be fast enough to get the recording started when it did... and then, while my favorite song was finally recording, either the phone would ring, or my Mom would knock on my bedroom door, or I'd have to sneeze! :laugh: Sometimes it took days to get a clean recording of the song I wanted... Good memories!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    I had a separate line input on my cassette recorder where you could plug in a patch cable from an earphone outlet on a radio or TV. So that worked quite well at the time. I still have a couple of those tapes somewhere. One was the TJB TV special with the Muppets.
     
  6. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    I feel so old. I had a reel-to-reel recorder in 1963. That was one of the advantages of having a dad who worked for GE. They made every kind of appliance or electronic known to man, and he got discounts at the company store.
     
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  7. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    So, does that mean he only owed half his soul? :wink:
     
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  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    You were Very Fortunate DeeInKY and I can still remember my Very First Sanyo Portable Cassette recorder at age 11 And I thought I had it made back in 1978 ( I was Extremely Naive and Clueless at that time)
     
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  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    I had one of those small portable reel to reel recorders--it used the three inch reels. Trouble is, the bottom of the case was made of some kind of fragile plastic, and it wasn't long before it just wouldn't stay held together anymore. And because the function lever was so close to the one corner, a few wires were knocked loose. That GE cassette recorder I had was a tank in comparison. Surprisingly I found a picture of it on Google:

    upload_2018-2-16_23-44-57.png

    I'd found a picture of the little reel recorder I had, but I'd have to dig for it. I didn't kill the music industry with this cassette recorder--that would come when I got an actual tape deck several years later.
     
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  10. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    My mother wasn't much into electronics, so I was the beneficiary of those types of things. Over the years I had a transistor radio, the tape recorder, a portable color TV, and a stereo (with an 8-track no less). :D I must say that dad was the best gift giver ever.

    The tape recorder and TV were birthday gifts, the stereo was a Christmas gift, and the transistor was my prize for coming home with chicken pox in second grade. 1962/63 were bad years for me - I had walking pneumonia (and possibly boogie-woogie flu :uhhuh:), measles, and rubella. Dad never had any of the usual childhood diseases so we had to stay in opposite ends of the house from each other. He threw the radio box at me from across the room and said, "Here you go, kid."
     
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  11. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Wow You were Spoiled with Luxurious Electronics you sure had an awesome Childhood.as well as a Good Father.
     
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  12. BWNegs-0001.jpg Here's an old black & white picture of my old basement "system" after it had grown quite a bit. This had to be around 1978 since there's a CLOSE ENCOUNTERS poster hanging. Dad threw together the shelves for me. You can see some of the warpage from the weight of everything. I covered the bare wood with some ugly orange carpet tiles. (It was the 70s, everything was orange!).

    I had started years earlier with just the two "flip" record racks that held my smallish collection back in the Herb-Sergio heyday of the 60s. After just a couple of years in radio, the collection grew immensely.

    For equipment (L-R), you can see my Sonyreel to reel recorder (still have that though it needs work), an Akai cassette deck that my radio station employer gave out instead of Christmas bonuses one year (they were poor!), Koss Pro4AA headphones hanging from a hook, my stereo amplifier with a little clock sitting on top of it. Next is a Radio Shack mixer that I used to mix the two turntables, both B-S-R brand.

    On the wall, to the right of my TIME TUNNEL picture, you can see a system switch. Dad hooked all of the circuitry for that area to that switch on the wall, so with one flick, everything was powered up. On the left of the wall, I'd found a lighted beer sign with a thermometer in it, removed the beer ad, put plain plastic and a red light bulb, and made an "ON THE AIR" stencil. It was crude, but I had fun with it.

    Down below the middle shelf of records you can see my old reel-to-reel tape boxes. There's a phone there too, hooked into the system so I could play stuff directly to my buddies in their homes.
     
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    :idea: We should split these into a thread of "stuff we grew up with". :D

    Yep! Plus, living rooms had the "sculptured" carpeting, and the kitchens had either harvest gold or avocado green appliances. :D To complete the look, a set of Corelle dishes with one of these five patterns (we had the cornflower pattern, which is the top plate in this photo):

    upload_2018-2-17_14-33-58.png

    Somewhere I have a photo of the smaller system I had in my bedroom, but strangely, not the system it morphed into that grew quite a bit over the years, nor do I have photos of the record shelves. I have a few of my current setup but it's definitely not nostalgic (unless you count the vacuum tubes :D ).
     
  14. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I still have my parents set of Corelle dishes (the green pattern, second from the bottom on the picture), and use them everyday. They are amazingly durable... unless you drop a piece, then it explodes and sends glass shrapnel flying everywhere!
     
  15. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    We had that gold sculptured carpet. At least we missed out on the shag craze, but I will admit to riding in a shag lined van with 18 other people.
     
  16. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    The first sound system I was exposed to was a Zenith Hi/Fi console that was about 4ft tall, 3 or 4 feet across and maybe 2ft in depth. On top, it had a lift-up lid that revealed a pretty nice turntable (even by today's standards) and below that was a speaker. My dad was a salesman and won it in a contest (otherwise he never would've had one). My first personal electronic device was a Panasonic cassette recorder in which I would tape private conversations of my family members around the dinner table, I would call it "Candid Microphone" (of which they were not pleased!). My first sound system I ever bought with my own money was around 73/74 when for $99 they had a GE receiver/8 track tape player, 2 speakers, and a very small turntable component at Zody's, which was akin to White Front or Gemco in SoCal at that time. Back in the day, people that owned reel to reel systems were serious audiophiles that were revered in my small circle of friends. My brother-in-law had a Kenwood system, and I just thought that he was the "cat's meow" for owning such a nice set. Back in that era people were buying quadraphonic systems and the whole elaborate car stereo craze was taking off. Baby boomer good times!
     
  17. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Although I spoke previously of my first cassette recorder I will follow that up with my first stereo system it was a cheap Soundesign unit with 2 speed turntable cassette deck AM/FM Radio and a good line input ( which enabled me to feed my VHS audio through later) it was $157 And change I bought it in the summer of 1984 and from money saved from my Very First job at the time which I worked on a Janitorial crew of course a few years later in 1987 I upgraded to a Panasonic rack stereo which sounded much better and the cassette deck was a dual deck with high speed dubbing ( it was a big upgrade to have more functions) and the next year i got my first CD player it was a Sharp standalone player which began to go bad after a couple years then later i switched to Changers i currently own a couple of Onkyo changers one 6 disc DVD player and a 6 disc CD changer and Both play Mp3 encoded discs and CDR And CDRW discs but only one plays DVDs Through the years i was very fortunate to find long lasting Good sounding and affordable equipment I have to do a lot of research before even planning on buying things to make sure I get what I'm looking for
     
  18. Yes we too still use that green pattern Corelle®-ware. We used to use the yellow pattern up north but inherited a larger set of the green pattern when we moved south, so we gave the yellow pattern stuff to a cousin who still used THAT pattern.
     
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    FL
    My dad also had a Zenith console stereo system, I can still remember using it in the 70's. I think he actually got it in the 60's. Here is a picture that looks exactly like the same one, I can remember as a kid running my fingers up and down the slates on the side where the speakers were trying to trace the sounds coming out. It had incredible bass. I believe it also played 78's because my dad had both LP's and 78's.

    When you opened the lid, the turntable was on the right and on the left side towards the front was a radio built in and behind that was an empty space perfectly made to hold about 15 to 20 Lps. The turntable had this arm that could hold more than 1 LP good for parties. It was form meets function as the cabinet was beautiful. I can remember every time you turned the volume up or down it would cause all this feedback like the speakers were fading in and out...lol so you had to keep going up or down until it settled in and then don't touch it. ha

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Those consoles were likely the very first place that most people had access to FM radio.
     
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  21. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    My parents had a similar console stereo they had a late 70s Soundesign system with radio.BSR turntable. Cassette recorder And of Course the Dreaded 8 track tape player.
     
  22. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    We had shag in two rooms--a tri-colored pink in the master bedroom, and a blue/light blue/tan/brown shag in the den. With my dad dragging his right leg later in life, we had to rip out the pink shag when we sold the house. I should mention that bedroom also had the pink flocked wallpaper which was also popular back then. :D

    My grandmother had the yellow pattern in the middle. I had a set from the late 80s (it actually got a bit scratched up and worn looking), but around 2003 or so I replaced it with the ivy-patterned Corelle. There was one other wildly popular pattern called Shadow Iris that I think they still sell pieces for. I'm surprised they didn't bring back the original patterns due to the "retro" craze.
     
  23. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    My parents had a smallish console "phonograph" that had a radio in it, but since there were no radio stations within reach, the radio never got used. I listened to Going Places and What Now My Love countless times on that thing.

    My first "sound system" was a Lear Jet P-550 portable 8-track player. You had to change the tape channels by hand, unless you wanted to listen to the same 10 minutes of music over and over. I soon traded that one in for a P-570, which switched channels automatically.

    Lear Jet eventually came out with some fairly respectable "home systems" and I had one of those in my high school years.

    Around the time I graduated high school, we had started carrying Panasonic (and, by extension, their Technics line) at the store, so I saved up and got myself a pretty decent Technics system. That was my first exposure to a direct drive turntable, which I thought was pretty amazing. At first, Technics did not make speakers (or our warehouse didn't carry them, I'm not sure which) so I got a set of Akai speakers. That was in 1976 and I still have those same speakers today, hooked up to a Pioneer receiver and Blu Ray player. I think I had one other Technics receiver before I got the Pioneer. I tend to keep stereo stuff for quite a long time.
     
  24. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Flocked wallpaper! I forgot about that. We never had any, but I remember seeing it in other houses. There used to be a particularly tacky combination of flocking and silver foil. I saw that in one bathroom that also had those lights on chains.
     
  25. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    We had a monaural Admiral upright console in the basement (LP only) that got most of my (ab)use in my youngest years. I remember that the original turntable got a bit worn, so when my grandfather upgraded his turntable to a Garrard Synchrolab 95, he handed down his Heathkit turntable (which was made by Glaser Steers) which we installed as a replacement.

    When my mother's aunt had upgraded to a Sony receiver, Small Advent speakers and a Garrard, they gave me their old VM Triomatic 560-A, which was like a mini-console of sorts.

    upload_2018-2-19_0-24-8.png

    Same blonde color. This had a couple of interesting features. In the turntable opening to the left was a vented panel, which also had an RCA jack where you could plug in an auxiliary radio. On the front panel between the volume and tone knobs was a clear lucite rod--it lit up when the unit was on, plus you could push on it to trigger the turntable into "reject" mode (which, if it was off, would start it playing...or if playing a stack of records, "reject" would make it drop the next record on the spindle). The tube amp used 6V6 output tubes, and it drove three oval speakers (two forward facing, one wrapped around facing left).

    I bought my own "stereo" somewhere around 1973 or so, a General Electric like the following with its matching avocado green and white speakers.

    upload_2018-2-19_0-38-15.png

    Elsewhere in the house, we had a late 60s Magnavox console as our first stereo set--it was rather long, and when my mother redecorated the living room, she wanted something smaller and around 1974-75 we got a shorter Magnavox console, which had an empty bay for an optional cassette deck (which we never got).

    My only cassette machine during this time was the portable I posted above.

    My current system grew out of decades of upgrading as I went along and would take too much space to list here. :wink:
     
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