Videos of some of our restorations.
1946 Philco 46-1201
“Bing Crosby” Phonograph/Radio
The Philco 46-1201 was a popular phonograph/radio nicknamed the “Bing Crosby” because the singer appeared in its ads. He also hosted the Philco Radio Time show in the mid to late 1940s.
The 46-1201 features a unique “no-fuss” needle and tone arm design. Simply open the drawer, slip in the record (10” or 12”) and close the drawer. The arm drops automatically at the beginning of the record, and the record stops turning when it reaches the end.
1951 Zenith H664
In 1950, Zenith introduced the Cobra-Matic variable speed automatic record changer –
the “first and only changer that plays any speed record now made or yet to come, 10 rpm to 85...with two simple controls a six-year-old can operate.”
The H664 is highly prized among collectors and admired for its mid-century design that takes its design cues from the Detroit road queens of the 50s. This is one gorgeous hunk
NOTE: Even though the video shows 1955 in the title, this Zenith is actually from 1951.
1966 RCA Victor VHP33J
“The Daredevil” Phonograph
All instruments in this series are portable, completely self-contained stereophonic record playing systems. Speaker enclosures are designed so that they can be spaced from each other to obtain the best stereophonic effect.
Individual volume controls in each channel and a dual tone control are provided for the regulation of the amplifier. The four-speed turntable has a light tone arm for minimal record wear and features a flip needle for
1970s General Electric Wildcat
The General Electric Wildcat was a popular record player from the late 60s through the 70s. As teenagers became the biggest music consumers, a portable stereo was needed that could be proudly displayed in the bedroom as well as taken to parties.
The Wildcat came in a variety of colors; black, cream, blue, mustard and green like this model. Records can be stacked and it includes a 45 adapter. The turntable flips open and closes for easy portability.
1955 RCA Victor 45-EY-3
The RCA Victor 45 players were the “ipod” of their day. You would just pack a bunch of 45s into your case and take your records and portable player to a party or a sleep-over.
Manufactured by RCA starting in 1950 it included a built-in 3-tube amplifier and speaker and featured a completely redesigned record changer. Up to 13 or 14 records can be stacked at once! This player is unique in that it's portable and includes a completely enclosed case with lid and carrying handle. This model boasts excellent sound quality when the lid is closed and is also a favorite of collectors today
1926 Victor VE 8-30X Phonograph
This is Spin Alley's latest restoration. The Victor VE 8-30 was introduced as a wind-up model in 1925. The selling price was $300 and for $35 extra you could get it with an electric motor, the VE 8-30 X, like this one. A total of 30,642 were produced.
For this project we replaced all the wiring. It had gotten brittle. We also took apart the motor and cleaned and greased it. The tone arm support was cracked and needed to be replaced. The felt on the turntable also needed to be replaced as well as the torn grille cloth. The Orthophonic reproducer was completely restored by Pete at EMG Vintage Audio and Antiques in San Francisco. The cabinet was cleaned and touched up where necessary and all the hardware was polished. It sounds and looks good as new!
1954 Zenith Malabar Cobra-Matic L566 Phonograph/Radio
In 1950, Zenith introduced the Cobra-Matic variable speed automatic record changer --
the “first and only changer that plays any speed record now made or yet to come, 10 rpm to 85...with two simple controls a six-year-old
1936 Emerson AB178 Radio
Emerson Radio Corp. was incorporated in 1915 as Emerson Phonograph Co. by an early recording engineer and executive, Victor Hugo Emerson, who was at one time employed by Columbia Records. The first factories were opened in Chicago and Boston, in 1920. Although Emerson introduced the first radio-phonograph combination sold in the United States, the company remained in obscurity until 1932, when, during the Great Depression, it introduced the "peewee" radio. The AB178 is a 14 tube superhet with broadcast (AM), shortwave and police wave bands.
This radio was missing the speaker and it had an ugly, non-original grille cloth. Both had to be replaced as well as all the capacitors and some of the coils. A new speaker board had to be cut to accommodate the new, smaller speaker.
The chassis and all the hardware was cleaned and polished and a new coat of shellac was applied.
1965 Columbia PYE CBS
This record player was designed by CBS Laboratories who developed the long playing
LP record and the original “360” phonograph, and it's unique in both conception and design. It features a walnut cabinet and inside,
an acoustically sealed sound chamber which prevents internal sound from getting out,
thus reducing record changer vibrations and feedback.
Contained within is the Garrard fully automatic intermix record changer, the CBS “floating” cartridge which minimizes record wear, two diamond needles for stereo and mono and two full-range transistorized amplifiers that deliver 30 watts peak music power to the six balanced speakers.
1954 Admiral 5D31D Phonograph
This Admiral has been beautifully restored. The cabinet is in exceptional condition. The radio and phonograph play well. The radio even features Cold War era Civil Defense bands. There's an output at the back for an extra speaker. Great for your vintage jazz and pop records!
This is straight from Admiral's advertising for this player:
Here’s Admiral’s finest record changer combined with powerfulStandard Broadcast radio in a cabinet just 8 5/8” high, 16 3/4” wide and 17 5/8” deep. It features Civil Defense bands.
• Plays all records automatically:
33 1/3, 45, 78 and 16
• Plays up to five hours with one loading!
• One control, one spindle, one needle
• Heavy-Duty 6” Alnico PM Speaker
• “Featherweight” Miracle Tone Arm
• Wide-Range Tone Control
• Super-Power AM Radio
• Positive non-jam Record Changing
• Phonograph turns off automatically
• Full-Fidelity Tone System
1949 Philco 49-1401 Phonograph
The Philco Model 49-1401 has the same mechanism as the popular Philco "Bing Crosby" Model 46-1201. A record is front-loaded and it starts playing when the door is closed. The platter automatically stops when the record is finished. It plays both 10" and 12" 78 rpm record. It also features an AM broadcast radio.
1923 Brunswick Model 101 Phonograph
The Brunswick Company was known for making billiard equipment. It was founded in 1845 by John Moses Brunswick, who joined Julius Balke in 1873, thereby forming the J.M. Brunswick and Balke Company. In 1879, Hugh W. Collender merged with Brunswick and Balke calling themselves the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company.
Brunswick cautiously tested the phonograph market in the teens and by the 1920s, Brunswick was America's second most important phonograph and disc manufacturer. All Brunswick spring motors are of amazingly good quality – well-designed and quiet running.
The Model 101 features a box under the lid for records storage, speaker doors for volume control and two storage wells for new and used needles.
1938 RCA Victor 811K Radio
This popular model featured the “Magic Brain” which offered “a new thrill in home radio—‘Studio Tone’! Reproduction so clear and true, so vivid it actually seems to seat you right in the broadcast studio.”
It also featured the innovative “Magic Eye” with its “electronic ‘beam’...which looks much like a human eye and tells when you are precisely in tune”.
The radio features broadcast (AM), short wave and medium wave bands.
This radio had been painted by the previous owner in green latex paint in an effort to "antique" it. The paint was stripped off and the cabinet was refinished. Some spots with missing veneer were fixed. All electrical components were serviced and replaced when necessary. Brass parts were polished and new reproduction decals were placed under the controls. The grille cloth was replaced.
The radio now works perfectly and even picks up stations on the shortwave band from the Ukraine and Vietnam!
1950s Garrard RC98-4L
Garrard record changers, which were made in England are highly prized and sought after by collectors. This model features an early record changing system that employs a "shelf" for stacking records. It can play 7", 10" and 12" records at 78, 45, 33 1/3 and 16 rpm.
1952 Zenith J655 Cobra-Matic
In 1950, Zenith introduced the Cobra-Matic variable speed automatic record changer – the “first and only changer that plays any speed record now made or yet to come, 10 rpm to 85...with two simple controls a six-year-old can operate.” The phonograph plays the three standard sizes and four speeds: 16, 78, 45 and 33 1/3. Records can be stacked for extended listening. There is also a powerful AM radio. This is a great phonograph for listening to your mono jazz and pop records!
1946 Espey Model 641 Phonograph
The Espey Model 641 is an early example of an electric phonograph with a record changing mechanism. A stack of records is held in place by two record shelves that can be adjusted for 10" and 12" 78 rpm records. Up to five records can be stacked. There is also a manual feature for playing individual records without changing. Two controls are used for adjusting volume and tone.
1957 Voice Of Music
“The Summit” Model 568
The Voice Of Music Model 568 is a transitional model between mono and stereo systems. Although it is a mono console, it's equipped with an outlet for an extra speaker, thus converting it into a stereo system.
The console has an AM/FM radio and a powerful 5-speaker system. The record changer will play 33 1/3, 78, 45 and 16 speeds and records of the same speed but different sizes can be intermixed.
One of the unique features introduced by Voice Of Music is the “Lazy-Light”, a small pilot light at the front of the console that will start or reject records when pressed.
The controls include adjustments for room size, tone control and volume. There’s also storage space for records.
With stylish mid-century lines, this console would look great in any Mad Man's pad!
1948 Philco 48-1200 Phonograph
The 48-1200 uses the same mechanism as the popular Philco 46-1201. It features a unique “no-fuss” needle and tone arm design. Simply open the drawer, slip in the record (10" or 12") and close the drawer. The arm drops automatically at the beginning of the record, and the record stops turning when it reaches the end.
1929 Brunswick S31
In collaboration with General Electric Company, Brunswick produced an acoustic phonograph for playing electrically recorded 78s called the Panatrope. Many believe this was Brunswick's finest phonograph. The S31 was one of the earliest electric phonographs, in a time when most phonographs were still wound up by hand. This model was sold as a Panatrope with radio. The S31 was "radio at its best, even at high noon under a blazing sun...tone that for clarity rivals the finest night-time reception."
This phonograph/radio took over a year to restore. The motor was completely dismantled and serviced. All the major wiring which was very brittle was replaced with fabric-covered reproduction wiring. The variable capacitor which had mostly crumbled was replaced as well as the tubes. The tone arm was missing and it took almost a year to hunt one down. The magnetic horseshoe cartridge was not working and had to be restored. Veneer was missing in some spots and had to be matched and replaced and the cabinet was cleaned up and given a new coat of shellac.
1953 Admiral 6J2 Phonograph
This is one of the most popular Admiral models of the early 50s. With a dark brown Bakelite case and gold accents on the faceplate and the four-speed turntable, it’s an attractive addition to any collection. It also features AM radio.
1959 Grundig SO162 Stereo
The German Grundig company was established in Nuremberg in 1945 and made high-end audio equipment for listeners who had the ears—and the money—to appreciate advanced recording technology. This console features stereo which had recently been introduced, preset sound controls, equalization and the most notable feature: the Elac Miracord 9 turntable with a tone arm that could detect what size record was being played. You could stack records of the same speed and any size, 12", 10" or 7" and it would play them all in one sitting! The radio features FM and two shortwave bands.
This stereo was restored for a client who specifically wanted a console with mid-century styling and it had to have legs. When we first acquired this stereo the tonearm was broken and the previous owner had replaced the cartridge with an incorrect one. The cabinet had scratches and water rings and the interior was filthy.
We spent about two years tracking down a replacement for the tonearm and finally found a turntable and used the best parts from each.
1959 Teppaz Transit Phonograph
The French-made Teppaz phonograph was very popular in the late 50s and early 60s. The Teppaz company was founded in 1931 by Marcel Teppaz. The Transit runs on six D-cell batteries and plays four speeds. It features one double sided speaker. You can hear the music from either side. It has an impressive sound for its size and can be carried anywhere like the beach or a picnic.
Victor III Phonograph
“The Victor III started out as the “Victor M” (Monarch) model in 1901, and then was transitioned to Victor III nomenclature around 1905 when the tapered arm was first used, but there was some overlap in production with the M Model series. Selling for $40.00, it featured an upgraded double-spring motor, a brass horn, and a tapered tonearm (after 1905). The cabinet was made of oak, somewhat larger than the Victor II, and with additional corner ornamentation. The Victor III was produced up until the early 1920's, by which time its price had been raised to $45.00. Approximately 104,000 of these phonographs were produced. At present, there is not a good correlation between serial number and production date for this model.”
1964 Magnavox Model 1SC235K
This beautiful mid-century phonograph features a Custom top-of-the-line record changer made in England that was found in many Magnavox consoles and portable phonographs in the 60s. As each record drops the tonearm touches the edge of the record to find out what size it is. Records of different sizes and the same speed can be stacked. It features a flip cartridge with two needles, one for 33 1/3 and 45 and one for 78. This phonograph looks like something you could travel with on a Pan Am flight!
1915 Edison Model A100 Phonograph
This is an example of an Edison disc player. The popularity of cylinder players peaked in 1905. Columbia stopped producing cylinder players in 1912 and Edison was the last man standing. Noting the popularity of disc players Edison's company secretly worked on a new design that still used his patented hill-and-dale playing method.