OK, what's the first audio/video gear you can remember? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-02-2009, 02:48 PM
My recall goes back to the early/mid fifties. My folks weren't really into that stuff so I'd say it boils down to three things. Most of what I note here didn't become apparent until much later in my life.

1) A big, hulking mahogany Du Mont console TV, maybe 21" or so. This would have been over four feet tall, maybe more and had an actual tuning dial. No click stops but a circular tuning dial with a magic eye tuning indicator. Pop would yell when I gave it a good spin to go from the low to the high channels I was ahead of my time because between stations six and seven (I believe) it had the entire FM band. It was cool because it had a 10/12" speaker and even to my widdle ears it sounded dang good. This was condemned by my pop to rot in our cellar until I was in my mid teens and by then I thought it was obsolete junk. Actually, by then it kinda was so it was jettisoned.

2) A wooden Delco AM Radio. It was poorly designed because for as long as I can remember it always had a charred/burn spot on the top right over the output tube. Unbeknownset to me they replaced it with a Sony transistor AM/FM and threw it out when I was in the Air Force.

3) A burgundy leatherette covered Webcor one-tube phonograph. Used the motor as a dropping resistor for the tube filament. Felt covered platter, crystal cartridge, and a 4" speaker. Actually sounded better than it reads. I have fond memories of this. It provided Christmas music for many years until I got my first real stereo in the early 60's, when we gave it to my cousin.

So, get into the attics of your mind and clean off some of those cobwebs from your memories.

05-03-2009, 04:17 PM
I was born in 61. By the time I was 10, my oldest brother was building Heathkits on the kitchen table. Next it wast Dynaco gear and later, Hafler kits. Ah, and the AR5s to listen to it all through.

My first stereo was a Heathkit receiver.

05-04-2009, 06:59 AM
The first video equipment I got to play with was the Sony Portapak

Glen B
05-04-2009, 07:46 AM
The first audio gear I remember was my dad's huge console when I was about 3 years old. It housed a Blaupunkt radio that had phono capability, and Garrard turntable. There was a separate subenclosure that housed a 12" woofer. The speaker in the radio was about 8" and had a whizzer in the center. My dad died when I was very young. My mom played records on the system for a few years after, then got rid of the console and turntable but kept the radio. When my interest in electronics developed, I ended up taking the radio apart, as I did to a lot of other stuff to see how it was constructed.

05-04-2009, 08:08 AM
I was borne in 1960. As far back as I can remember, my patents had an Admiral console stereo. It was big & bulky and had a matching cabinet that housed the other speaker. 12 inches is my guess. I found a pick of one of Admiral's old consoles. Ours was a little different, but not by much. Dad had fixed it many times over the years. I can still remember listening to "my" Disney record over and over. Mom used to spin Dean Martin all the time. There's a Money Road Ahead.. DETOUR. And, When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. That's amore. Oh, the memories.

Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife,
I mean the bare necessities,
Of mother natures recipies,
That bring the bare necessities to life.

Wherever I wonder,
Wherever I roam,
I couldnt be founder of my big home,
The bees are buzzing in the trees,
To make some honey just for me,
When you look under the rock for plants,
Take a glance at some pantsy ants,
Then maybe try a few.

the bare necessities of life will come to you,
they'll come to you.

look for the bare necessities,
the simple bare necessities,
forget about your worries and your strife,
i mean the bare necessities,
thats why a bear can rest at ease,
with just the bare necessities of life.

now when you pick a paw paw,
or a prickly pear,
and you prick a wrong paw,
well next time, beware,
dont pick the prickly pear by the paw,
when you pick a pear, try to use the claw,
but you dont need to use the claw,
when you pick a pear of the big paw paw,
Have i givin you a clue?

05-04-2009, 09:48 AM
I was borne in 1960.

Oh yeah, I remember 1960, that's the year I got my first driver's license. That's also the year underdog Washington trounced Wisconsin, 44-7 in the Rose bowl led by one-eyed quarterback Bob Schloredt. If he had two good eyes God knows what the score would have been.

A couple of years earlier my brother had bought a Columbia "stereo". Wow, it was something. It looked like a normal record player box with a front speaker. But what was absolutely amazing and the latest thing was that it came with an extra box that had a second speaker in it connected to the first speaker with a cable. Stereophonic music was the cat's meow and boy did it sound good! (actually it wasn't that bad sounding and I'm sorry I called you boy)

Later he got a Webcor tape recorder. One night when I was about 18 and my parents were out of town, I had a few of my friends over for "playing cards" etc., plus some liquid refreshments. We had fun playing with the recorder. It accidently was left on and recording. The next day my mother happened to play back the tape, after she asked me why my eyes were so red and I explained to her that my hay-fever was acting up. When she heard the "F" word uttered on the tape during the festivities, that's when the you know what hit the fan.

At the end of the 60's when I was in Vietnam I started collecting my first real audio equipment (Pioneer receiver and headphones, Dual turntable and Wharfedale speakers. I have been hooked every since.

RR6 :0:

05-05-2009, 06:42 AM
I remember and still have an old 45 turntable my grandmother had connected to her Philco radio. It has only a 45 spindle and a bakelite case. I looked it up online and it was a 1950 model, which was a year after the 45rpm record was introduced. It has a mono output. I haven't tried to pull off the 45 spindle to see if its capable of playing 33s.

05-05-2009, 07:13 AM
Oh yeah, I remember 1960, that's the year I got my first driver's license. That's also the year underdog Washington trounced Wisconsin, 44-7 in the Rose bowl led by one-eyed quarterback Bob Schloredt. If he had two good eyes God knows what the score would have been.

RR6 :0:

Old fart.

05-06-2009, 02:52 PM
My late Dad's setup from the late 1950s: An Arkay (RadioKits, get it?) AM-FM stereo tuner...that's one channel on AM, the other on FM! Harmon-Kardon "Trio" stereo integrated amplifier (EL84 outputs). Webcor record changer with Shure M7D cartridge. All this gear was of decent quality for its day...the HK amplifier is a sweet-sounding low-powered tube amp, even today. Where he cheaped out was speakers: a couple of no-name 12" paper cone speakers with whizzers, in a console cabinet. No stuffing in the speaker boxes, but who needs any when there isn't even a BACK on the speaker boxes?

Many years later I found the Shure M7D cartridge in a junk box and upgraded it from its original 5 gram tracking to 2 grams, with a NOS Shure N21D stylus assembly. I don't use it today, but I still have it and am confident it would perform at least competently if I needed it.

05-13-2009, 04:10 AM
My Great Uncle Joe and Aunt Jenny bought a TV in 1939 to watch the Joe Lewis fight. They lived in NJ at the time and I believe that prize fight may have been the first or one of the first sporting events ever televised. I don't believe there were even any active TV stations at that time.

Back in the 1980's my great aunt was still watching that huge TV with a tiny porthole screen. I believe it was made by Dumont? In Raleigh where she later lived they had a contest for the oldest TV set. Her TV turned out to be 10 years older than the runner up. She never had to have that TV repaired and it was still working when she passed away.

Aunt Jenny and Uncle Joe were friends and neighbors of the Edison's in NJ who of course were the first family on their street to have electric lights - true story

05-13-2009, 05:21 AM
The first true audo we ever had was one of those pink, black and cream portable record players with built in AM radio. It wasn't a "stereo" but it touted "High Fidelity" or whatever that means. It was all we had for years. Harry Belafonte and Nina Simone were the primary inhabitants. First .45 rpm? "Gypsy Woman" by the Curtis Mayfield and the "Impressions".

Da Worfster