$10,000 Magnavox MCM Stereo Console Turntable Reel-to-reel Bluetooth Mad Men Era
MAGNAVOX MCM STEREO CONSOLE RECORD PLAYER REEL-TO-REEL BLUETOOTH LED MAD MEN ERA. BACKGROUND: This is the last and finest Mid Century Modern (MCM) Magnavox Imperial Stereo Radio-Phonograph-Tape console ever made. As part of the top-of-the-line Imperial series of Astro-Sonics, it was not generally available to dealers or the public. Only factory-authorized Magnavox dealers having the separate Imperial Franchise were allowed to handle those models. These models did not even appear in the standard Magnavox catalogs at the time. They had their own color Imperial Magnavox Series catalog. Further adding to the exclusivity was the fact that the model offered for sale was never advertised nationally. So if you love MCM furniture and want the very finest Stereo Radio-Phonograph-Tape console of the classic “Mad Men Era”. This is it! THE ULTIMATE WAY TO ENJOY VINTAGE VINYL: Both recording industry engineers and Magnavox engineers knew the state of the art of their respective businesses in the 1960s. So they designed BOTH the vinyl LPs and Phonographs of their time to complement each other. Vintage vinyl – to many ears – sounds best on vintage equipment. And, dollar-for-dollar there was NO Radio-Phonograph equipment that performed as well as what Magnavox offered. With the professionally installed Bluetooth component, you can also enjoy both vintage and current music from your Bluetooth music source (usually a Smartphone) through the rich room-filling Magnavox amplifier and speakers. All power and audio connections are inside the console, and the ONLY AC line cord is the original one from the Magnavox factory. When you turn the console “On”, the Bluetooth unit automatically is powered-up and may be played when the function selector is in the Tape position and the switcher next to the Tape Deck has the “1” button pressed. When turning the unit “Off”, the Ring turns red momentarily to confirm that it is powering down. LED WALL HALO. Because it is likely that this MCM Magnavox Imperial will be a focal point in your home, the back of the console has LEDs that will outline the set with a “Wall Halo” if desired. Many colors are possible (blue is my favorite), and the lights can also strobe if desired. Control of the lights is possible via the remote control supplied, or a manual button on the back near the top (shown in images at right). And – of course – the LEDs may be turned-off if desired. NOTE. The LED remote must be used in close proximity at the console (from the top – near the radio) because the infrared sensor is on the back of the cabinet. SEE THE VIDEOS – SEE IT PERFORM: Three videos are linked at the bottom of this green background description section for you to see this Magnificent Magnavox Imperial in action. Or, just visit YouTube and enter Mid Century Magnavox Imperial in the YouTube search box and you will see THREE Videos: Part I is an Introduction (18-min 56-sec), Part II demonstrates Bluetooth and Tape Deck Play (16-min 30-sec), and Part III covers the Micromatic Changer operation, LED “Wall Halo”, and Tape Deck Recording operation (7-min 42-sec). IMPORTANT NOTE: It is impossible for the little built-in microphones of my camera to do full justice to the richness of the sound and the incredible soundstage achieved by Magnavox’s Acoustical Tunnel with speakers projecting sound from both the front and sides of the cabinet. However, a hint of the clarity and character of the Imperial’s sound is achieved and will be of interest to serious buyers. BUT, to see ALL of the images, you must SCROLL DOWN. IF YOU INSIST ON THE FINEST… THIS is the vintage Radio-Phonograph you will want. Magnavox stunned the world when it introduced the World’s First solid-state radio-phonograph line: the famed Magnavox Astro-Sonic model range – in 1962. Their use of germanium transistors in a unique amplifier circuit design provided the sought after “warmth” of tube sound… But eliminated the component-damaging heat of tubes. THE MAGNAVOX COMPANY invented the Electro-Dynamic Loudspeaker in 1915, coined the term “Stereophonic” in the 1930s, introduced the first High-Fidelity instrument in 1937, and then followed with the World’s First complete line of all-in-one Stereo Consoles in 1958. Magnavox was the envy of the Electronics Industry throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Forbes Magazine (January 1, 1970 issue) named Magnavox as one of the TOP TEN best-run companies in the U. Few companies in the history of US industry so dominated a category as Magnavox did in the fields of Stereo High Fidelity and quality Television. FINE FURNITURE ACOUSTICAL CABINET/SPEAKERS. They had to be… The sliding lids required much greater production tolerances than competitive “lift lids” of this era, but had the advantage of allowing a decorative top-of-set accessory to be placed (usually on the left upper lid) without being disturbed during operation of the Radio, Changer, Bluetooth, or Tape Deck. By 1969, the Magnavox furniture empire included Baker Furniture – widely acknowledged as the Rolls-Royce/Bentley of the industry and still in business today under the direction of Koehler. Unlike competitive console cabinets that were sourced to outside furniture builders unfamiliar with hi-fi acoustics… Magnavox’s cabinets were an integral design element of the sound system and contributed significantly to the total performance of the instrument. The huge Ultra-Sonic 15 Bass Woofers (with a combined magnet weight of 7-pounds) are mounted on the sides of the acoustical cabinet, because low frequencies are omni-directional and this mounting arrangement provides maximum dispersion of bass tones throughout the room. FOUR theater system-inspired Exponential Treble Horns – with the acoustical efficiency of 40 conventional cone-type speakers – are front-mounted and canted to deliver crisp mid-range and treble frequencies to the full width of the room. Best of all, the speaker system is acoustically sealed in the patented Magnavox Acoustical Tunnel which was ONLY available in the Imperial Series. This tunnel effectively doubled the usable enclosure size of each speaker channel. The resultant extension of bass response results in a richness of tone not matched by any other make. A three position speaker control appears above the Tape Deck – allowing the playing of INT (Internal speakers), EXT (External speakers), or BOTH. Finally, Magnavox’s sliding top lids give easy access to all radio and changer controls as well as generous record storage for over 100 albums. UNIQUE STUDIO-TYPE SOUND CONTROLS – The tone controls on upper-end Astro-Sonics such as this model have THREE tone controls: Studio-design Step Bass and Step Treble permit the listener to adjust Treble frequencies without sacrificing Bass response… And to adjust Bass without affecting Treble response. On conventional competitive sets, the adjustment of Treble diminishes Bass, and vice-versa. Finally, an additional and Magnavox-exclusive Timbre control is provided to further tailor the sound to taste (full or narrowed frequency range) after the Step Bass and Step Treble controls have been optimized. AFC (Automatic Frequency Control) keeps FM stations “locked in”. SEPARATE AMPLIFIER CHASSIS. Provides 150 Watts of Music Power to the highly efficient 15 Bass Woofers and 4-Exponential Horns. WORLD’S FINEST RECORD CHANGER… The Micromatic was made in Magnavox’s own plant in Barking, England and is widely considered to be the finest record changer ever installed into a console. Unlike some clumsy changers of the time, the Micromatic was made like a precision watch and was fully clutched to eliminate jamming. The tone-arm delicately measures EACH record before it is played… Ensuring proper indexing every time. It also features a very soft brush that sweeps each groove clean before the diamond stylus plays the record. While many competitors used a much cheaper 2-pole motor, the Micromatic motor is BOTH 4-pole and synchronous – which holds speed constant by locking into the 60-cycle frequency of AC current (which does not vary) rather than line voltage (which varies widely). There is even an automatic mute switch to prevent changer noises from being heard through the speakers as records are changed. Nor is it slowed by the 33 rpm speed. This is because Magnavox went through the expense of designing a separate drive idler for the changing mechanism which is always driven by the constant speed of the motor. Many competitive changers change records painfully slow at 33 rpm… And recklessly fast at 78 rpm because their change mechanisms are driven via the platter rather than a separate drive wheel to the constant motor velocity. NOTE: during operation, the Phantom Remote is designed to allow the owner to reject a record at any time, if desired. STEREOPHONIC 4-HEAD REEL-TO-REEL TAPE DECK. Complements the Imperial perfectly. Magnavox engineers did a masterful job of mating the Tape Deck record/play circuits to the audio characteristics of the Tuner/Amplifier chassis. If you have a quality pre-recorded tape, the results will astound you. And, with an excellent record or radio station, you can make an impressive recording. Be sure to see/hear the YouTube tape demonstration noted previously in this description. NOTE: to play the Tape Deck, be sure that the tuner function switch is in the TAPE position, and that the switcher next to the Tape Deck has the “2” button depressed. EXCLUSIVE MAGNAVOX PHANTOM REMOTE CONTROL. Though primitive by today’s standards, was ingenious in its time. Using no batteries, it will adjust volume in ordered steps (Loud – Med – Soft – Off), tune radio stations, or reject records from the Micromatic changer. It is important to note that these were a bit temperamental when new. And perhaps even more so today. As you press the button, an air bellows directs air through a precision brass high-frequency whistle. That whistle tone is picked-up by a microphone within the cabinet, and a signal is sent through the remote processing chassis to the tuner, stepped volume control, or the Micromatic changer – depending upon the operation desired. Frankly, it is very common for most of these not to work, because the air pressure, whistle frequency, and microphone circuits all must operate within tight design tolerances to function properly. However – as shown in the YouTube video – this Phantom Remote is working at this time. I cannot guarantee that it will continue to. I simply selected the very best Remote hand unit I have to provide one that works today. This Magnificent Magnavox is part of the world’s most comprehensive Magnavox Museum. It has been a long time since ANY console has been available from my Museum – which was featured on HGTV. It is for sale only because I have had to make room for new exhibits, and have acquired sufficient MCM/Mid Century Modern stock in other similar models to cover this important style category. I have no more of this model/style to offer from my collection which spans over 100 years of Magnavox. FULLY & PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED – YES… The Tape Deck, Amplifier, Tuner, and Micromatic Changer have all been removed. All controls were cleaned/lubricated, connections checked/repaired as needed, and ALL radio dial scale bulbs (and the hard-to-find STEREO indicator light) were replaced. When deemed necessary, critical capacitors were removed/replaced. Most importantly, ALL major mechanical assemblies of the Micromatic automatic changer were cleaned/adjusted/re-lubricated for as-new operation. Many weeks of work have gone into the preparation of this Magnavox Imperial. BONUS -PAGE BINDER OF SCANNED MAGNAVOX FACTORY SALES & SERVICE MATERIALS: It is amazing to hear the sound quality of this 55 year-old Magnavox! To me – and many others – there is nothing from any “big box” store today that will compare to it. To keep it working, this sale includes a binder collection of materials created from my Magnavox archives… Likely the largest library of its type in the world. The binder includes: Original Owners Manual, Original Imperial Catalog pages and scanned/printed Service Manuals (in depth operation/design explanations/diagrams/schematics/parts lists) for the Tuner, Amplifier, Changer, and Tape Deck. In all, there are 66 pages of Magnavox marketing/service materials (plus the Owner’s Manual) that are not likely to be available anywhere else in their entirety. All of this will prove invaluable in maintaining the full operation of the electronics for the next 55 years! At the end of the binder, instructional materials on the installed Bluetooth component, Bluetooth/Tape Deck Switcher, and LED “Wall Halo” operation are included. PICK-UP DETAILS. Pick-up is available in Cumming, GA (northern Metro Atlanta suburb). , or arrange for their shipper to come. When you visit the USHIP site, you will be able to tell them what you’d like to pay… They typically wrap the console in blankets – just as any furniture mover would do. No “packing” is necessary. Length is 73″, height is 29.5″, and depth is 21 with an estimated 250-300 pound weight. FINAL COMMENTS, NOTES & CONDITIONS OF SALE: Yes… However, please understand that this is a 55-year old item that required periodic maintenance when new, and certainly will in the future to remain fully operational. Like classic cars that are now a half-century old, an adjustment or repair – even with the best restored examples – may be needed at any time. Most communities have a few experienced electronics shops that will help you maintain this beautiful piece… And you will have the factory-issued manuals and schematics that will enable any competent technician to make repairs and/or adjustments as needed. Also, though this example of a 1967 Magnavox Imperial is one of the very best I have ever seen in my 68 years. Nothing is “perfect”. Please expect a degree of age/wear patina “here and there” as shown in the final images at right. Many of the imperfections will be most evident only when the light is “just right” – but overall – the original beauty shines through. ITEMS NOTE: Items Included in this Listing. The Magnavox Imperial console & Phantom Remote Control, Bluetooth Receiver, Switcher, back-mounted LEDs and Remote Control, Magnavox Factory-sealed Blank Tape (plus one take-up reel), Magnavox binder of Sales/Owner/Service materials, and the MAD MEN Season Two DVD set as shown. NO other items are included. MCM Mid Century Modern Magnavox Imperial Stereo Console FOR SALE Part I (Introduction). FREE scheduling, supersized images and templates. Get Vendio Sales Manager. This item is in the category “Consumer Electronics\Vintage Electronics\Vintage Audio & Video\Vintage Record Players”. The seller is “murpho” and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States.
- Brand: Magnavox
- Modified Item: Yes