Systems and players we grew up with!

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

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Ouch! Sure, I remember that foil also. We didn't have the foil, thankfully, but I'd seen it in other houses.

    We did try grasscloth twice in the living room! I don't think that was so common though. It replaced a really loud somewhat floral patterned dark blue on white. The first grasscloth we had was a brown with a blue background; the first night it was up, the wall was crackling all evening long as the paste dried! Well...that experiment turned out to look a little too "grass hut" for mom's taste, so that got taken down and an all-blue grasscloth was put up in its place. When that started to get faded and a little dusty, that came down and the wall was painted, and remained that way until the house was sold.

    Consider this in a slightly greyish hue of blue and you've got the grasscloth nailed:


    Yes...I know. :laugh:
  2. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I have an uncle who was in the Navy. He would bring home all sorts of cool electronics. He had an awesome Sony reel to reel tape deck that he loaned my dad for a while.... that was probably the first "high end" piece of audio equipment I got my hands on. I remember it had a built-in amplifier and a pair of really large speakers that went with it. I played with that thing endlessly and didn't even break it! Knowing my uncle, he's probably still got it in a closet somewhere.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    A lot of people in the service used to get killer deals on the equipment--they could buy it overseas, like in Japan, and ship it home. Often they were models that were never available in North America.
  4. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, how I remember the big console stereo system in the living room when I was growing up and living at home with my parents.

    It was made by Magnavox and called a Home Entertainment Center. It contained a TV in the center of the console, with the record player/changer on the right side and the AM/FM radio and system controls on the left side. Those sections were accessed under sliding doors on the top of the unit.

    That was the system that I played all my Tijuana Brass records back in the 1960s.

    I also remember having a portable record player in the bedroom that had two speakers; one was detachable and could be placed a few feet away from the main speaker and turntable section. Don't recall the manufacturer of that unit.

    I had a couple different kinds of AM/FM transistor radios. I recall beginning to listen to music more seriously in about the 6th grade and on into junior high school on the AM Top 40 stations on those radios.

    I thought it was all wonderful for the 1960s - beginning about 1963 and on through 1969.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  5. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    Come to think of it, when facing the console, the record player on the Maganavox was on the left side of the TV and the AM/FM tuner section and all the control knobs were on the right side of the TV.

    As a junior high and high school student in the mid to late 1960s, I listened quite happily to those systems in those days, and didn't seem to care or think about anything being better at the time.

    I haven't heard a console like that for many years and wouldn't know how to describe the sound after all these years.
  6. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    And now that I think about it, I don't really remember of those transistor radios had FM or not....I thought they did - at least one of them - but all I listened to was AM Top 40.
    Carpe diem likes this.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Our '69 Magnavox was a bit boomy and did not have clear highs, even though it had a couple of horns as upper frequency drivers. The Magnavox from the mid 70s sounded a bit better and had more modern electronics.

    Speaking of consoles, I saw a photo of a modern day console someone had made out of IKEA furniture. Might have been a set of EXPEDIT or KALLAX shelving units. Kind of had a Scandinavian vibe to it.

    In fact, here is a modern-day console:

    Modern Record Console – SYMBOL audio


    It uses a tube amplifier for the left and right speakers, plus there is a subwoofer built into the metal pedestal that supports the console.

    I know someone in Chicago who custom-builds mid-century modern cabinetry and home decor. If I had the $$$, it would be fun to put together some sort of modern-day console.

    My own first transistor radio from the early (?) 70s was a white Panasonic that had AM and FM. My folks had a maroon-cased AM transistor radio from the 60s. It was always in the closet, yet I never remember them using it. I still have it in a box somewhere. It might be a project to get it working again once I get done working on an old Victrola 45 changer, and the Grundig 2420 I picked up a few weeks ago. Winter projects, for certain.
    DeeInKY, Captaindave and Bobberman like this.
  8. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Since you brought up transistor radios it brought me back to an earlier time. I remember the proliferation of transistor radios as a kid growing up in the 1960s. A lot of them came from Japan. I think transistor radios ignited the Japanese economy towards electronics. I remember as kids when we had an item that fell apart or was "junky" we would say "made in Japan!". Little did we know that within a couple of decades Japan would lead the world in electronics production with high quality. Nowadays, it's hard to find any electronics that are actually Made In Japan.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  9. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    Sometime in either 1967 or early 1968, we purchased our first color TV. I guess you would call it a portable becasue it wasn't a piece of furniture like the Magavox console. I think the screen was slightly smaller than the screen in the Magnavox console. The Maganvox console was then used only for its radio and record player features.

    I'm pretty sure that I saw the Beat of the Brass TV special from April, 1968 on that color TV when it first aired. I have a DVD of that program, and the color and picture quality are certainly primitive at best. Of course, so was the TV.
  10. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    The first transistor I had was AM only. A few years later Dad came home with a snazzy new FM model.
  11. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    We had an old Zenith TV for a while which was VHF only--it was one of those with tubes, where the picture would disappear into a tiny dot in the middle of the screen when it was turned off. Surprisingly, I yanked it out of the attic more than a dozen years later and it still worked! We had replaced it with a smaller MGA black and white set somewhere around 1967-1968, and it was all transistorized with UHF. Probably somewhere around 1972 we bought a color Sony Trinitron set. I remember seeing the TJB's "Coney Island" TV show with the Muppets on that one, and recorded the sound from one of its two earphone jacks into my cassette recorder. (One of the jacks would mute the speaker, where the other wouldn't.)

    So it took us a while to hop on to color. My grandfather had a color set, though, which he had built via Heathkit. Pretty sure that one was vacuum tubed powered as well. On that one, I remember going over there on a Sunday as they were broadcasting the first moon landing.
  12. Captaindave

    Captaindave Well-Known Member

    We had the Magnavox console in time to watch The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in February, 1964. So I imagine we got it in late 1963.
  13. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    We had a Curtis Mathes console, B&W TV, AM and FM radio, and of course the stereo. We got that in '62.
    Bobberman likes this.
  14. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    My Late Grandmother got a Curtis Mathes color TV in 1975 to replace her old aging Zenith ( or similar brand) 19 inch Black and white tv which surprisingly was still working her Curtis Mathis worked Flawlessly until she replaced it with a late 90s model in 1997 it was true the Curtis mathes products were Very high quality and costed more but as they used to say in the old commercials " But Darn Well Worth It" the performance and quality always speaks for itself
  15. Our family got a color TV during the "color-hype" period in early 1966. During that season (1965-1966), the main color network was NBC. Both ABC and CBS were just starting to dabble in color that year, with the idea that all primetime shows on all three networks would be in color for the fall 1966 season.

    We tended to watch CBS the most, with occasional shows from ABC and very few from NBC. I think our household got comfortable with CBS back in the 50s and early 60s because it came in the best. But by the time color was a reality, all of the signals were about equal. Still, even though NBC was mostly color in 1965-66, when we got the color set, we still sought out our favorite CBS shows, some of which, like GREEN ACRES, were already in color.

    Our first color TV was from Sears (Silvertone). It was a big metal cubical box with fake woodgrain on its cabinet exterior. It was a tabletop set, so we didn't get one with a stereo or radio or even big speakers, but color TV was a magical experience.

    I can still recall bringing the set in the house and hooking it up for the first time. It was a Tuesday night and the first show we got to see in color was THE RED SKELTON SHOW followed by PETTICOAT JUNCTION. We could now verify that both Red Skelton and Lucille Ball had red hair! (Lucy's was more vivid!)

    I remember eagerly watching all of the summer promos for the fall season when all the new shows - and old returnees - would be in color. Favorites like LOST IN SPACE and THE FUGITIVE would now be in color, and new shows like STAR TREK and THE TIME TUNNEL promised to be amazing in color.

    As for old consoles, my buddy's family had a big Admiral console set with the big speakers and internal stereo and FM stereo radio. I remember experiencing stereo for the first time on his console. It came with a demonstration record that introduced "Admiral's Phantom Third Channel"!

    When I heard that guy coming out of where the screen was - not a speaker - I was mesmerized, and I knew that I had to have a stereo at some point in time. That Christmas, I was given one of those fold-out stereo phonographs and a bunch of Tijuana Brass records to play on it. Heaven!

    Who could have known that 50 years later I'd be seeking out the mono versions! :)
    Bobberman likes this.
  16. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Heck yeah! I had one of those fold-down stereos in the 70s.

    Of course everybody had to watch Bonanza in color. I actually had a color portable TV before my parents did. Dad gave me one for my 11th birthday. Got to watch The Monkees in color! All my friends would come over to watch.

    Mom thought Dad was spoiling me. :D
    Bobberman likes this.
  17. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    You were truly Your Daddy's girl for sure. your mother was probably right I'm sure your dad probably spoiled her equally as much Maybe more so
    DeeInKY likes this.

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