From Danish designer Jacob Jensen, the Beomaster 3000 stereo system has a stunning minimalist space age style. Like dozens of other Jensen-designed B&O products, this mid-1980s audio line was at the cutting-edge of ultra high-end aesthetics and electronic engineering.
Here's our collection of somewhat silly, slightly offbeat, and downright fun vintage turntable record players that are more high-style than hi-fi. Miniature portable hand-held units, colorful briefcase models, onboard flashing psychidelic disco lights...the emphasis here is on appearance, not audio quality, so check out these cool pics and see our videos of these amazing devices playing obscure and forgotten hits!
This Scientific Audio Electronics SAE 5000A Impulse Noise Reduction System is designed to remove pops and scratches in vinyl records during playback. The SAE 5000A measures 10 3/4 inches x 8 3/8 inches x 3 inches and is comprised of a textured black aluminum casing with solid walnut side panels and a black anodized brushed aluminum face. Manufactured by Scientific Audio Electronics of Los Angeles, California, this is an upgrade to the original SAE 5000, and this particular unit has a date code of March, 1980. The SAE 5000A is deceivingly simple to operate, but if you are not familiar with it, connecting and operating it can be a daunting task.
This set of 1960s Electro-Voice E-V Four speakers (alternate spellings include EV4, EV-4 or EV Four) are an awe-inspiring set of legendary monster speakers made in Buchanan, Michigan. The original shipping carton has a catchy and truthful brand slogan: Electro-Voice...Your Finest Choice. Each E-V Four speaker cabinet measures 25 inches x 14 inches x 13.5 inches, and they were sold over the years with different finishes and wood types. This particular pair is made of solid hardwood maple planks, while others have plywood / particle board walls with real wood veneers (we have owned a pair of each, and you can see them further down the page). The complete specifications / user instructions are not on paper labels (like the veneer set just mentioned), but actually screen printed on the painted back panels of each speaker cabinet. This set of E-V Four speakers was originally sold unfinished and the cabinets were hand-stained by the original owner to match his existing furniture! The grill screen covers are made of black woven wicker with a blonde wicker overlay pattern, and the style and craftsmanship of these EV-Four speakers add a genuine touch of class to your home decor. Inside each heavy-duty cabinet is a rugged horn tweeter, a 5 inch mid-range driver, and a most rugged 12 inch speaker that looks like something that fell out of the engine of a jet plane. Check out the following images to see what we're talking about...
We love the HH Scott Stereomaster line, and we have been fortunate enough to come across a few fine examples from the 1960s. Scroll down to see HH Scott tuners, HH Scott tube amps and receivers, and HH Scott speakers.
The Isis Model 20 Radio Radio
This original Isis model 20-1 radio has an iconic Pop-Art flair with quintessential turn-of-the-80s retro style. Sometimes called the Radio radio, the model 20 was manufactured in 1980 for Isis of Charleroi, Belgium. It has a molded red plastic cabinet shaped like the word "radio" in all capital letters. This amazing AM FM transistor radio gets very good reception and has a single mono speaker built into the "O" in RADIO...where else would it go? The power / volume and tuning knobs are located in the top and side of the "O", too. A telescoping antenna is hidden on the rear of the bright red plastic casing. This Warhol-esque piece of in-your-face Post Modern fun measures 10 inches x 3 inches x 2.5 inches, but makes a much larger decorative visual impact. These Isis Model 20 radios were made in a variety of color schemes, and some of them have different speaker grill covers. We really like the red one, though. The color really pops in any room. This Isis model 20 radio was well-loved, and it does have some flaws. The red plastic has scratches, scuffs and hazy spots. There is some structural damage, too. The rear battery compartment covering is cracked and the battery cover is missing. The original 9V battery connector has been replaced with a new one. The cracked casing can only be seen from the rear. The radio is very clean, it works great, and it still looks good despite the damage. Check below to see examples of other Isis radios for sale on the internet.
Empire Speakers Model 6000
This rare matching pair of Empire 6000 vintage speakers are from their mid-60's Grenadier Speaker System line. Like other Grenadiers, these Model 6000 Empire Speakers are shaped like hexagonal column end tables with round tops. The 3-way 75-watt speakers have a nice 12-inch woofer hidden in the base of the cabinet, pointed down at a dome-shaped plastic housing that forces the sound to radiate outward 360 degrees. The plastic dome also conveniently hides all of the crossover wiring, too. A mid-range driver and tweeter are mounted in a more traditional location, and are well-protected by highly detailed removable cast aluminum grille covers. The imitation walnut veneer cabinets measure 24 inches tall. Though not as powerful as the marble-topped Empire 9000 model, it seems to be a fairly general opinion that these Empire 6000 speakers have a more balanced and natural sound than their big brother. I have never heard the Empire 9000, but I can say that these Empire 6000 speakers do sound amazingly clear and full. Cosmetically, they could be in better shape. However, they still look pretty good despite the random scratch and some peeling veneer on the base stands. They have been fully tested, all speakers are working properly, and they really do sound awesome. They have a classic funky retro look and are sure to be an instant conversation piece in any home decor.
Vintage Horn Speakers
This awesome pair of Sound-Craft vintage horn speakers will cut through any noise with serious power. Two classic steel siren horns in Machine Age putty gray are mounted on a pair of heavy duty professional aluminum tripods that adjust from approximately 20 inches to 52 inches. Everything fits inside a custom-designed rugged portable case. These vintage horn speakers were assembled by Sound-Craft Systems "Atop Petit Jean Mountain, Morrilton, Arkansas, USA". I'm not certain, but these horns look like they were made by Federal Signal Products. They have two metal tab connectors. I tested them by simply connecting them to our home stereo system. You can forget about deep bass response, but these have a classic in-your-face sound. They would be perfect for simple public address purposes, or can be used to supplement a current PA setup for added high-end tones. Personally, we think these vintage horn speakers look ultra-cool and think they would be perfect for a garage band keyboardist or organ player!
This pair of Realistic Minimus 7 speakers are the "white woofer" model 40-2030B, the third edition of of one of the most popular speaker system lines ever sold. These Japanese-made Minimus 7 speakers have the original sealed aluminum cabinet design and domed speaker grill covers. Each of these tiny little bookshelf monitors feels as heavy as a brick and delivers 40 watts of crisp clear and powerful sound. The original retail price for the Minimus 7 in the late 1970s was $49.95 at your friendly local Radio Shack, and Realistic (and later Optimus) manufactured different versions of the Minimus 7 into the late 1990s. As with most electronics manufacturers, the quality began to decline as the years went on, but the original Minimus 7 is a rightfully well-respected bookshelf monitor. Each black aluminum cabinet houses a heavy-magnet large excursion 4-inch woofer with foam surround, and a small 1.25-inch dome tweeter. They make a fabulous pair of bookshelf speakers for your office, and would be perfect as a clear and powerful pair of rear satellite speakers your modern surround sound system. The cabinets each measure 7 1/16 inches x 4 7/16 inches x 4 15/16 inches and have built-in hangers for easy wall-mounting. There is an inexpensive crossover upgrade kit for these Realistic Minimus 7 speakers available online. I have never heard an upgraded pair, but based on other opinions I have read, the upgrade makes a noticeable difference in the sound quality of a speaker that already sounds great. When I pulled these out of storage, one of the grills was actually pushed in and had dented the tiny dome tweeter. I removed the grill, popped it back out, and was able to fix the caved-in dome by carefully utilizing a vacuum cleaner hose to suck the dome back out into proper position (that vacuum cleaner hose technique really works...I have rescued four different speakers using this tip!). The Realistic Minimus 7 is both a legendary and affordable vintage stereo Hi-Fi accessory. Why not give the Realistic Minimus 7 a try?
This hard-to-find American-made vintage Philips receiver model AH7861 was manufactured around 1977 and stores a healthy 45 watts per channel in its massive oversized cabinet measuring 21 inches X 12.25 inches x 5.75 inches. This unit is part of the short-lived High Fidelity Laboratories series, which was Philips' attempt to break into the growing high-end stereo market of the '70s. The original manufacturers suggested retail price for this model in 1977 was $325.00. The Philips AH7861 BK01 has sharp black anodized aluminum face with matching aluminum knobs and switches (hence the additional BK01 in the full model number). It has a pleasing yellow backlit tuning dial with a nice wide array and a big smooth-turning knob that helps you fine-tune your favorite stations. Of course, the analog needle meters for signal strength and center tuning lets you know when you have the strongest signal. The Philips AH7861 has stereo inputs for Phono / Turntable, Aux, and two tape inputs/outputs. It also has a couple of signal processors like a high filter cut and a loudness boost. You can also go back and forth between stereo and mono signals with the flip of a switch. It sounds as good as it looks, and has more than enough power for normal human ears.