The Ears Have It

The Ears Have It

Written by Frank Doris

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 inputs for recording in mono or stereo.


The 550 had a built-in test tone generator and tape calibration!


The 550 certainly lived up to this claim. Photos courtesy of Howard Kneller.


Grid emission tests influence the quality of vacuum tubes. Who knew? Radio and Television News, October 1951.


Look at the tonearm on this thing! It’s a Luxor Empire radiogram from 1948 with a 78 RPM record changer. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Erik Lindblom.


Now those are what we call hearing aids. Popular Electronics, August 1956.


Howard Kneller’s audiophile adventures are documented on YouTube (The Listening Chair with Howard Kneller) and Instagram (@howardkneller). His art and photography can be found on Instagram (@howardkneller). He also posts a bit of everything on Facebook (@howardkneller).

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