Copper


Test Records and Demo Discs, Part Three

Issue 207Audio Anthropology

In the days before digital music, the primary medium for sound reproduction was vinyl records. Sure, there were some who preferred reel-to-reel tapes, but they were in the minority. The...

Getting to the Point-to-Point

Issue 207Audio Anthropology

  Glass behind glass: here's a guy testing kenotron rectifier tubes the old-fashioned way. From Radio Craft, May 1947.     Now that's what we call point-to-point wiring! Here's a...

Test Records and Demo Discs, Part Two

Issue 206Audio Anthropology

In the days before digital music, the primary medium for sound reproduction was vinyl records. Sure, there were some who preferred reel-to-reel tapes, but they were in the minority. The...

Making the Grade

Issue 206Audio Anthropology

  We thought it was a tube tester at first...but no, it's an electronic egg grader!     The ventilation grille alone is enough to make us want this 1960s Fisher...

Test Records and Demo Discs, Part One

Issue 205Audio Anthropology

In the days before digital music, the primary medium for sound reproduction was records. Sure, there were some who preferred reel-to-reel tapes, but they were in the minority. The turntable...

Motorola Madness

Issue 205Audio Anthropology

Above: a Radio News 1925 artist's conception of what Nikola Tesla's wireless power transmission system might have looked like in the future. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Frank R. Paul/public domain.  ...

Start Soon, Earn More!

Issue 204Audio Anthropology

    Fisher made 500 Series receivers, but who knew they made 500 Series tube radios also? This gorgeous specimen is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Gregory F. Maxwell.     What...

All Dolled Up

Issue 203Audio Anthropology

  What the...? This is a homemade "Sleepy Time Bed Radio" found at a meet sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club (MAARC) about 20 years ago. He dreams of vacuum...

On the Air Tonight

Issue 202Audio Anthropology

    It might be low in cost, but we bet it sounds good. From Electronics World, September 1959, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/public domain.     How can something as utilitarian...

Can You Hear Me Now?

Issue 201Audio Anthropology

    In 1991 The Absolute Sound decided to do its first Guide to High-End Audio Components. I was on staff and it was my first experience working on a...

Into the Groove

Issue 200Audio Anthropology

  This is an original Fillmore East program from 1971, from my personal collection.  There's a reason this is special to me... ...it was the first time I'd seen Frank...

Nothing Comes Close

Issue 199Audio Anthropology

  You know, they might have been right. From Audio, November 1958.     Then again, maybe not! From Audio, February 1965.       Now that’s what we call home entertainment! From Electronics Made...

Portable Audio, 1960s-Style

Issue 198Audio Anthropology

An AR-XA turntable, circa 1960s. As Ivan Berger noted in his article in Issue 105, hundreds of thousands were sold.   Elegant simplicity: the AR-XA pivot and counterweight.   This example...

My First Stereo

Issue 197Audio Anthropology

   Here's a Panasonic full line catalog circa late 1960s or early 1970s. No big deal, except...   The RE-7670 system, "The Barrington," was my first stereo. My father bought...

Now Hear This!

Issue 196Audio Anthropology

  Just don't touch any of my records, thinks dad! From Audio magazine, March 1955.   When the Admiral speaks, they listen!   They went all out on props for this photo shoot. From Audio magazine,...

Goin' to the Bank!

Issue 195Audio Anthropology

This is a fax I received from Les Paul in 1992. In it he answers a series of questions I’d asked him in researching an article for The Absolute Sound in 1991, including...

A Modern Engineering Marvel

Issue 194Audio Anthropology

Beyond cool: a circa 1940s or 1950s EMI Dicta recording – yes, recording – system that used 12-inch floppy magnetic discs. They worked like magnetic tape does, except in disc form. Spotted...

Crunch Time

Issue 193Audio Anthropology

This might be the most gorgeous preamp and amp set we've ever seen: a Radford DSM Stereo Control Unit and matching 12-watt-per-channel amplifier. Courtesy of Ken Kessler, taken at Tonbridge...

Seal of Approval

Issue 192Audio Anthropology

Here's an old-school Signet TK6020 cartridge analyzer. I used to use one of these when I was Harry Pearson's setup person at The Absolute Sound. You'd use the TK6020 in conjunction...

Surrealistic Audio Zone

Issue 191Audio Anthropology

Here's a pair of classic JBL L100s, sadly without the iconic grid-like foam grilles, which perhaps have crumbled into the sands of audio time.    Now that is an old-school...

Made to Measure

Issue 190Audio Anthropology

Here's a rarity for you: A McIntosh car stereo made for Subaru. As an online forum notes, these are difficult to identify, so we don't feel too bad about being...

Audio Shelving

Issue 189Audio Anthropology

There's a reason we're fixated on classic McIntosh gear: the aesthetic is timeless. Here's a superb C26 preamplifier, introduced around the late 1960s.   Just look at those connectivity options!...

A Dream Goes On Forever

Issue 188Audio Anthropology

Nearfield Acoustics offered a number of PipeDreams loudspeaker models from around the year 2000 until...? Not much information is available online. They came in a number of configurations, often comprising...

Off the Meter

Issue 187Audio Anthropology

  These interestingly odd speakers came from a Panasonic all-in-one system, possibly from the 1970s. We suppose they looked cutting edge back in the day!   This classic logo was...

Singin' in the Studio

Issue 186Audio Anthropology

Portable listening fun: an RCA VZP11B record player. Admit it: how many of you owned turntables or record players where the LP was bigger than the platter?   You could...

Tailor-Made Listening Pleasure

Issue 185Audio Anthropology

Here's a Denon DP-500M direct-drive manual turntable. It has old-school features like quartz lock servo speed control, a large wooden base, and a die-cast S-shaped tonearm. We found a variety...

Magnetic Attraction

Issue 184Audio Anthropology

A pair of Mariah Acoustics speakers. Manufactured in Arkville, New York, these were made in the 1980s, according to an old forum post from the original owner. A few models...

Noteworthy

Issue 183Audio Anthropology

McIntosh fans, we know gear like this sets your hearts a-flutter. Here’s a magnificent MR 65B tube stereophonic FM tuner, introduced in 1962.   This is audio componentry as industrial...

The Ears Have It

Issue 182Audio Anthropology

There was a time when Nakamichi cassette decks ruled the world. Here’s a Nakamichi 550, made between 1974 and 1980. This top-loader offered Dolby B noise reduction and three mic...

Decisions, Decisions

Issue 180Audio Anthropology

Here are a few stunning shots of a Barber & Howard stereo integrated amplifier, and tuner. We could find almost nothing about this brand online – the company was founded...

The Doppler Effect

Issue 179Audio Anthropology

Object of desire: a Bang & Olufsen Beogram 1800 turntable. This sleek, fully-automatic turntable looks dazzling in person. The Beogram 1800 was simplicity itself to operate and changing cartridges was...

Holiday Warmth

Issue 178Audio Anthropology

Some serious “wow” factor here – a 1950s McIntosh C-104 mono tube preamplifier. It used three 5751 tubes and could accommodate five (mono) audio sources.   Detail shot of the...

A Safe Bet

Issue 177Audio Anthropology

A Dynaco SCA-35 vacuum tube integrated amplifier, a budget audiophile classic. It was introduced in 1963 and was rated at 35 watts per channel. It even had a "Spare" input...

Stay Focused

Issue 176Audio Anthropology

From The Audio Classics Collection, here’s an absolutely jaw-dropping McIntosh MR 65B tube stereo tuner. These beauties were made from 1962 to 1964.   Looks great from any angle, and...

Remotely Possible

Issue 175Audio Anthropology

Spotted at Angry Mom Records in Ithaca, New York, a 1970s Kenwood KR-7070 receiver. Perhaps ahead of its time, it had a moving-coil phono stage.   KR-7070, rear panel. Photos...

There’s a Kind of Hush

Issue 174Audio Anthropology

From Audio Classics in Vestal, New York, here’s a gorgeous, 16-pound Sherwood Electronic Labs S3000 III FM tube tuner from the early 1960s. Sherwood was founded in Chicago in 1953,...

The Prospects Are Good

Issue 173Audio Anthropology

How many of these has anyone seen? It’s a circa 1960s JVC Nivico SRP-471E turntable. Not much information is available about these online.   Detail shot of the SRP-471E. It...

Tubes to Go

Issue 172Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris Boldly proclaiming the maker’s name in one of the coolest logos ever: the Marantz Model 240 stereo power amplifier. Available with in black or silver, this...

Analyze This

Issue 171Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris   Not much is known about this early M&K three-piece satellite/subwoofer system (pictured above and below) found at Audio Classics, but it looks and sounds very...

World Music

Issue 170Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris From the Museum of the Hard to Believe: a 1970s ADC Accutrac 4000, featuring computerized playback of any track, even in random order! The 4000 had...

Blue In Green

Issue 169Audio Anthropology

A Sansui 2000x receiver, made from around 1971 to 1975. Delivering 30 watts per channel, these older receivers used to be looked down upon by high-enders, but have gained cachet...

Listening With Dog's Ears

Issue 168Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris They don’t make ’em like this anymore: an early Garrard AT6 turntable (thanks Ken Kessler for identifying this model).   Another view of the AT6. Photos...

Eico Eico

Issue 167Audio Anthropology

An Eico HF-81 integrated amplifier. With restoration, this unassuming circa 1960s component can sound excellent.   Eico HF-81 rear view showing its EL84 output tubes, generating a mighty 14 watts...

Plug and Play

Issue 166Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris Revox PR 99 Mk II reel-to-reel deck, introduced in 1980. Talk about functional elegance!   Revox made it easy to adjust the left and right channel...

She Had a Hat

Issue 165Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris Classic elegance: a circa 1960s KLH Model 24 loudspeaker, from The Audio Classics Collection.   The KLH Model 24 with the grille off. Why bother making...

Nothing Short of a Miracle

Issue 164Audio Anthropology

Written by Frank Doris Burmester Model 001 CD player. As a component that’s almost 20 years old, we’ll call it vintage now. It was a landmark upon its release, with...

Ambient Music

Issue 163Audio Anthropology

The Luxman L3 integrated amplifier, sporting one of the coolest logos of all time. Howard Kneller paid $395 for it at New York’s Harvey Electronics in the 1970s, quite a...

Crowning Achievements

Issue 162Audio Anthropology

A Fisher 440-T receiver circa 1964. By this time, transistors were starting to supersede tubes, and this 40 watt-per-channel model is the first Fisher transistor receiver. It’s known for having...

Take Me to the Pilot

Issue 161Audio Anthropology

Look at this beauty! Toshiba AM radio, 1955. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Masaki Ikeda (talk).   A late 1950s or early 1960s Pilot Radio Corp. SA-232 stereo amplifier. These were high-quality amps...

Trust the Experts

Issue 160Audio Anthropology

“The sound that inspired a generation”: an original pair of McIntosh tube 350-watt monoblock amplifiers, circa 1968 – 1971. This amp was famously used at the 1969 Woodstock festival.  ...