Madman Muntz

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Madman Muntz
One of our newest writers for Copper Magazine is Ray Chelstowski, the former publisher for Rolling Stone Magazine. In his latest article, Eight-Tracks: Taking The Plunge, he reminisces of 8-Track tapes which brought back memories of an earlier technology and its colorful inventor: Madman Muntz. Earl William Muntz invented the Stereo-Pack, better known as the 4-track cartridge, the precursor to Lear's 8-track cartridge. The Muntz car player was the first time I had ever heard stereo sound. From the first moment of listening, I found myself hooked—which today surprises me because I can only imagine the level of fidelity of that first encounter. My cousin Don had one of the first Corvette Stingrays in California. A gold, 1963 split-window Vette, with one of the very first Muntz stereo systems installed along with a spring-loaded reverb. To suggest this was anything close to High Fidelity is to put a smile on one's face, yet to my ears which had only ever heard monophonic sound, the few stereo tapes he had, coupled with the coolest car on the planet, were enough to forever make a dent in me. How many of my readers remember these old players? What was your first experience with stereo?
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Paul McGowan

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