WELCOME TO MY

MULTI SPEED RECORD PLAYERS

 

Hey, what’s this doing under multi speed? Well, read on. This jukebox is a 1952 Wurlitzer model 1450. I wanted this model because it’s one of the few that will play 78’s, 45’s, and even 33’s, 7 or 10 inch records. It’s currently set up for 45’s. I’ve owned 4 jukeboxes and this one is without doubt, the best sounding of the 4. I sold the other 3. They were a 1954 Rockola, 1956 AMI, and 1972 Wurlitzer. Of those 3, the AMI sounded best. I love how this Wurlitzer sounds. A good balance of all frequencies. It needs a little cosmetic work, but nothing serious. I’ve redone the color panels in the lights, but they just wash out in the picture. The colors are all there. I play this one regularly. It has two tonearms, one to play each side of the record. The shaft that raises the record to play position is driven by two motors, one to play the top side and one to play the bottom side in reverse rotation. This jukebox uses the Zenith Cobra cartridges that are now very expensive. They send a radio type signal to a 6J5 radio type tube rather than an audio signal like conventional cartridges. They were good in their time of late 1940’s to early 50’s.

I believe this is Webster Chicago's first three speed record changer and was made in 1949. This is just before that company came out with the Webcor name. This Webster Chicago is model "Three Sixty Two". It still used the side push off, so the center post was inactive. In order to play 7" records automatically, you had to have the optional attachment, which is shown attached in the picture above, that hooked onto the pushoff mechanism. You also had to raise a lever beside the tonearm rest to make it land for a 7" record. Things got much easier in the next year.

This is about a 1951 Webcor. One of the first models from Webster-Chicago with the Webcor name. This is also one of the first 3 speed players. It uses the "feeler arm" turntable. This piece is in the museum.

This Webcor is about a 1955 model. This was one of the best sounding suitcase players made. It uses an astatic 91T plug in cartridge. The needles in these cartridges track better than the others and they play the new stereo LP's without skipping, even with heavy bass notes.

This one is my favorite. Why? Because, other than color, this is the exact hifi I had when growing up. I got it for Christmas in 1956. My childhood one was biege, but this is otherwise identical. Sound wise, the 1956 Webcor has nothing over this Silvertone. This player sounds great, with two good sized speakers and a 3 tube amp that cranks out plenty of volume. No wonder my parents said I disturbed the neighborhood. However, the webcor does have a better and heavier cabinet.

This about a 1961 Philco. This one is very light weight with just a single speaker. I rebuilt the front grille area as it was in pretty bad shape. This piece is in the museum.

This is a Voice Of Music model 990B made in 1953. This is true portability. I can only find the one year they made this model.

At left is a very early 50's Silvertone suitcase model 2249. This one uses the VM record changer. A year or two later, Silvertones used the BSR changers. This player is in really nice condition and I'm very pleased to have gotten it. It sounds quite good too. The tone control is a 3 position, not variable. This model didn't use a duel needle cartridge. It's a single 2 mil needle. I put a .7 in it for LP's.


The Silvertone at right came to me clean, just needing the usual capacitor change and lubrication. It sounds great with it’s two speaker system. It’s about a 1954 model.

I bought the player at left because I had this same model when I was a little kid. It plays all 4 speeds and 12" records do fit. This one has many scratches, but no breaks in the plastic and it does play loud and clear.



I really like this ~1951 VM player at right. It uses a larger size oval speaker and sounds quite nice. The cabinet is in great condition, which is why I bought it. It features a lighted button on the grill next to the tone control that you can push to reject. Nice feature, works great.

Here's an early 1950's Voice of Music turntable. I bought this to hook up to a modern amp at my son's house. I changed the cartridge to a plug in 89t because they track better on later 33 albums.

At left is a Voice Of Music model 556A. The 556 was introduced in 1954. Mine is a 556A, so I'm guessing it could be a 1955 model. This is top of the line in a suitcase, VM's best model, and it beats just about all other suitcase players made at the time for sound. It has an 8" woofer and 3 " tweeter, plus it uses two 6V6 power output tubes for incredible sound. That's about 14 watts of audio power which was truely amazing. It uses a Sonitone cartridge that has a great tracking stylus. A great player.


At right. Ok, so Voice Of Music had the best suitcase player in 1954 with the model 556. Well, they they came out with the model 557 in 1957. This one also incorporates an 8" woofer, but also has a 5 x 7" instead of the 3". Both players have two power tubes for greater output than most all other players of the time. This one produces up to 12 watts of music power and it's clearly heard. This one has a room size switch, bass and treble controls, another switch called "tone-o-matic", and stereo/mono switch. The unit itself is mono, but it has an output via RCA jack for a stereo speaker, but you would need another amp. This model also has a tuner input and switch, but you could hook any monaural souce to it and play it through the amp and speakers. It produces music you can feel. I love it!!!

Here's a different type of player. It's a Dormifone. Yes, it is a standard stereo suitcase record player using the VM turntable, but it was specifically built to use as a teacher (maybe to learn a language) while you sleep. The clock has pins all around it at 15 minute intervals. The unit will play where the pins are moved toward the clock face and shut off when it comes to a pin that's away from the face. I use it on weekends to wake me up. I throw on a stack of 78's and it comes on at the time set and plays my records. It's also equipped with a hook to hold the 12" record senser over so the arm will only land at 12" position if you're repeating the same record, as in learning a language. The other feature is a tethered clip to go under the record stack holder arm so it won't go all the way down. That way the unit will keep replaying the same record. This unit is in very nice condition.

At left is a very nice portable player made by Steelman. The leather case zips open, then you ift the tone arm and play records. It has all speeds and twin speakers.



At right is an early 50's Symphonic Deluxe 3 hifi record player. It uses essentially the same VM turntable as the unit above this. The covering is genuine leather, so it had to be their top of the line unit. It does have a few minor scuffs on the cover, but nothing at all serious. It's a very nice player.

This is my Dual 1019 that I purchased new in 1969. This record changer has gone down in history as one of the best ever made with the best tone arm ever made. I can vouch for that, it's been great all these years and still tracking like a pro.

Now this is a great sounding record player. The amp on this is truely upscale. Hook this to a good set of speakers and you can't tell it from a good component system. It sounds absolutely big time with plenty of volume. But, I've never heard of a Murasonde, so I had to have it. It uses the standard VM changer of the mid 50's. It has inputs for a tuner and another source. It even has an equalizer for the different types of records from the 40's and early 50's. A truely great piece.

This is a Collaro Micromatic record changer. It's made in England. When it comes to record changers used in mass produced record players, this is the cream of the crop. Other than turntables like the Dual, etc., it doesn't get any better than this Collaro. The motors run so quiet, you can put a magnetic cartridge in it, as I have, and it picks up no noise at all. Try that with other brands used in suitcase and console record players. I have mine tracking at 1 gram with a Shure cartridge installed. I'm currently using two Collaros, both with magnetic Shure catridges.

This Columbia 618 is what I call a sleeper. It’s not that high on the collector’s list. But, what sound it reproduces. It’s not high on power, just 2 50C5’s worth. However, with it’s 8” woofer and about a 3” tweeter with a crossover capacitor, along with bass and treble controls, it sure does sound great.

Here is an Emerson Wondergram. Now this is small. It will play 45’s and full 12” 33’s. Ok, it’s not HiFi, but it’s sure easy to pack for a day at the beach.

Ok, this one is very special to me and you can’t find one anywhere. That’s because I put this one together. I had a large schoolhouse player that was basically junk. I stripped out the cabinet and covering. Then I recovered it with this snakeskin pattern heavy duty vinyl. I put metal corner protectors and all new hardware. The amplifier is a push-pull 6V6 that came out of an old Philco console from the late 1940’s. I had a similar amp that I previously built, but it wouldn’t fit. This Philco amp is flat with the tubes sticking out one end, so it fit under the record changer. I tried a newer BSR changer at first, but really wanted the Collaro, so I had to modify the cabinet to make room for it so the lid would close. I tried a few different speakers and ended up with an 8” woofer and 3” tweeter, both new. Then I added a magnetic Shure cartridge, so needed a tube preamp, which I just happened to have, and it fit under the changer. I like to play records with the lid closed for best sound. The piece of foam you see in the player is to place between the lid and cabinet, otherwise it vibrates like crazy and howls. With the foam in between, this thing rocks like no other suitcase player. It sounds more like a console than a portable. It’s the best sounding portable I have. The only problem I had is, the heat builds up enough with the lid closed to unglue the vinyl from the inside of the lid. The back of the box is vented and the tubes are at the vent, but heat likes to rise. So, I have to raise the lid  once in awhile to let the heat out. Other than that, WOW!! If you’d like to hear this player, click here.

Here’s another sleeper at left. This one’s a Capital model 732. This suitcase player is true HiFi. It has a good 6 x 9” woofer and a pair of tweeters along with separate bass and treble controls and plenty (and I mean plenty) of volume for one of the best sounding production suitcase players ever made. I believe the cabinet is covered in leather. It uses the most common record changer of the time, the good old reliable VM.



On the right is a nice looking Admiral model 4D28 player. It’s in decent shape and sounds about average for mid priced units of it’s time, which I believe is early/mid 1950’s. It uses the VM changer.

Here we have two Magnavox suitcase players. The one on the left is old and mono. I’m going to guess it’s from the early/mid 1050”s. It uses a VM changer and has a nice amp with bass and treble controls.




On the right is a later one and is stereo. Probably about 1960, give or take. This one uses the Collaro changer, which is my prefered low cost changer.

This is a huge and very heavy Motorola model SP29E. This call this portable? Whoa. Anyway, it has a three channel amp. It has about 7 watts of power going to the bass channel that feeds the 8” woofer in the main box. The two satellite speakers get about 3 1/2 watts each and the rest of the audio spectrum. It’s supposed to sound great, and it does. But, it doesn’t beat the VM 556a or VM 557 models in sound quality or volume. There were a few other similar models from Motorola.

Here’s a couple of lower cost players. On the left is a Decca model DP542. This is a very compact unit and easy to cart around, unlike the Motorola above. It doesn’t sound great, it’s not HiFi, but it’s pretty to look at and does what it’s supposed to do. It uses a BSR changer.



On the right is a Dynavox. This one is a bit bigger, but not much heavier. It sports separate bass and treble controls and the dependable VM changer. Looks to be from the early/mid 1950’s.

JUST 78’S

Here's a nice Silvertone player form the early to mid 40's. I just like these.

This is a 1940 Zenith wireless record player. It has a built in transmitter that transmits the sound to 1540 on your AM dial. There is a mechanism by the tone arm that you can adjust to shut the turntable off at the end of a record. This was an add on unit for people who just wanted to play their records through a radio.

This is a turntable I found in a store that came out of a console. I really not sure who made it, but it works really well. I have the only remaining "live" thumb screw crystal cartridge I have in it. It actually sounds good.

Now this is an interesting piece. I'm guessing it's from the early 40's. It's made by Aireon who made juke box speakers and the like. This is called Aireon Melodion. It playes 78's only. It does work well. As you can see, it lights up when turned on.

These pictures do it no justice. The color panels wash out in the pictures because the camera meters the light for the entire picture. On the right, however, I metered the camera down to get the color panels to show up. That leaves the rest of it in the dark. You’ll just have to imagine how it looks in person.


If you’d like to see a video and hear it playing, click here.