Category Archives: Retro Electronics

Akai AM-2200 Amplifier

Akai AM-2200 amplifier

The Akai AM-2200 was manufactured between 1976 and 1979. Its an integrated amplifier rated at 20 watts-per-channel and has quintessential 1970's style with all-aluminum face, knobs and buttons. The Akai AM-2200 is a slightly obscure model, originally designed to compliment the Akai AT-2200 AM/FM tuner, but is still well-respected by its past and current owners. It has dedicated magnetic phono turntable, aux, and tuner inputs, as well as two tape in/outs and an old-school DIN socket. Everything is housed in a classic faux walnut vinyl veneer cabinet, and the entire unit measures 15 inches x 8 7/8 inches x 4 5/8 inches. Like many higher-end hi-fi stereo amps and receivers of its era, it has dedicated outputs for two sets of speakers, stereo/mono output selector, a loudness booster, and high and low frequency cut filters. The Akai AM-2200 was never designed to blow the roof off the sucker, but it is a solid mid-powered amp and still sounds great at high volume. 

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The Lasonic TRC-931 Boombox

Lasonic trc-931

The Lasonic TRC-931 boombox is truly the undisputed heavyweight champion of boomboxes. With two 8-inch woofers and an abundance of bells and whistles, its sheer size dwarfs the Magnavox and Emerson boomboxes I had when I was a kid.  A friend in middle school brought his Lasonic TRC-931 on a field trip, which I believe was the very first time I experienced the emotion of jealousy. I can still remember riding that school bus and listening to the holy trinity of 13-year-olds...the Fat Boys, the Beastie Boys, and Run DMC.

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The Ronco Record Vacuum

Ronco Record Vacuum

The original 1976 Ronco Record Vacuum!  Manufactured for Ronco Teleproducts by Southbury Manufacturing of South Britain, Connecticut, the Ronco Record Vacuum is an ingenious battery-operated device that  seems like such a ridiculous novelty that you'd think it couldn't possibly work, and...well, the jury's still out. The Ronco Record Vacuum automatically spins your vinyl through foam rubber cleaning brushes and hidden anti-static foil sheets. During this process, a "powerful" vacuum cleaner sucks away the loose dust particles and blasts them out of a small exhaust vent.

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1963 Admiral Playmate Portable Vintage Television

Admiral Playmate Vintage Television

Admiral Playmate Vintage Television Model P1110E

This 1963 Admiral Playmate P1110E portable vintage television has an 11-inch black & white screen and an ultra-slim profile. As a matter of fact, it was the smallest 11-inch TV manufactured at the time. The Admiral Playmate P1110E has an innovative design, with the picture tube poking out of the front of the cabinet in a bubble-like fashion. This allows the cabinet to stay so skinny, as there is no need for the extra bulk in the back to house the end of the picture tube. The dome-shaped picture tube also gives the Playmate a distinctive retro vibe that just looks swell. The following copy is from a 1964 sales ad:

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Sherwood S-7900A Receiver

Sherwood S-7900A Receiver

Sherwood Receiver S-7900A

This 1974-1975 vintage Sherwood AM / FM stereo receiver model S-7900A was a high-end unit from the Chicago company, clocking in at a respectable $479.95 retail price. This American-made unit has 60 watts per channel and a variety of unusual extras, including a dedicated mono speaker connection, front and rear "Dynaquad" speaker hookups, inputs for a four-channel quadraphonic adapter (and an FM quad adapter), and a tank-like build with a 3-piece brushed aluminum face and heavy-duty black steel cabinet. Bold blue backlit tuning dial and a lighted analog center tuning needle meter give it that unmistakably classic vintage hi-fi look. Entire unit measures 16.5 inches x 13 inches x 5.5 inches.

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Panasonic R-12 “Spinet” AM Radio

Panasonic R-12 Spinet AM Radio

The Panasonic R-12 "Spinet" AM transistor radio was conceived and designed during Matsushita's heyday of wild and crazy mod concept electronics. This standard tabletop model has nothing standard about its design, with a round cylinder casing measuring 3.75 inches in diameter. The circa 1970 Panasonic R-12 Spinet has ultra-modern space age styling, with a ribbed black cylindrical body and a cool speedometer-like round display dial. This classic Modernist electronic masterpiece has a brushed aluminum face and accent band, as well as a shiny chrome boomerang-shaped platform.

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Akai CR-83D 8-Track Tape Recorder

Akai CR-83D 8-Track Tape Recorder

This 1974 Akai CR-83D 8-track tape recorder / player is an awesome standalone unit with super-sleek looks and high-quality recording and playback. The perfect device to enjoy your old 8-tracks on, the Akai CR-83D has twin lighted analog needle VU meters that monitor both recording and playback, separate left and right record level control knobs, multiple play modes and auto stop function, pause and fast-forward capabilities, and a cool lighted counter timer that looks and works like a real clock.

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Casio Rapman

Casio Rapman

This 1991 Casio Rapman RAP-1 vintage electronic keyboard has 25 tone presets and 30 rap beats / patterns, along with a rotating "scratch pad" and percussion buttons. It has a mic input, and the Rapman can alter your voice with the "Voice Effector" and "Vocoder", giving your vocals a freaky harmonizer Skinny Puppy vibe. It has a onboard loudspeaker, as well as a 1/8" output for amplification and mixing/recording. It is powered by a fistful of AA batteries or an AC adapter, which was originally included with the Rapman, along with a tiny toy microphone. Fortunately, you can buy these loose without accessories and use your own universal AC adapter and microphone. In fact, we tested ours using a Shure SM-58 and a mono 1/8" adapter tip to connect the 1/4" mic plug. The Casio Rapman measures 20 inches x 8 inches x 2.25 inches. Scroll down for more pictures of the Casio Rapman.

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The Apple iPod Hi-Fi Boombox A1121

Apple iPod Hi-Fi Boombox A1121

 

The Apple iPod Hi-Fi Boombox model A1121 packs some of the best sound quality we have ever heard from a portable stereo. It delivers a rich and full spectrum of tones with a perfect blend of deep bass, mid-range punch and bright highs. The iPod Hi-Fi Boombox has an AC power cord that is connected to the rear panel, or can be powered by four "D" cell batteries.  The styling of the iPod Hi-Fi A1121 is classic Apple minimalism...a simple rectangular box with smooth rounded corners and a bright gloss white finish. A black fabric grill screen covers the three onboard speakers and bass ports, shown below...

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