Young People – Old Desires



Why is the jukebox so popular? I hear people trampling over each other to get a jukebox for a social event. I lived in a small town in South Africa and I don’t know of many pubs that had one but yet going to the USA there was not a pub without one. Is this where the demand came from. Sunny South Africa had no juke boxes. Sure we came from an ox wagon era but so did the USA. My money is on an original ‘Gram’, restyled with semiconductor FM radio and valve/thermionic tube amplifiers, a turntable, CD/DVD player. All we want is the old sound.  The question is, will there ever be a demand for something like this? Modern amplifiers are such that you’ll blow the Radiogram apart – but what a way to go.  Sure, this will cost an arm and a leg but you know what, people with money pay good money for something out of the ordinary. After a hard day at the office, park in the den and switch on your new-old sound system and listen to music the way it is supposed to be played, fidelity, high notes and ambience.

I did a search on Google and found that most images were from yesteryear – don’t people restore these things anymore?  My dad had an old Grundig radio (tube driven) which would have knocked the socks off modern radio sets. Or did it? Sure you had to turn a dial to get a station but once you had it the sound quality was superb. Maybe, not to give my age away, we should be looking at why I would like to see a funky radio gram in my study. Or a wire recorder. Do engineers even study thermionic effect anymore? It’s far easier to understand thermionic effect than semiconductor theory which relies heavily on doping. But this is it, switch on a tube amplifier, watch the heaters glow and you have music. Now, you display the tubes and not your LPs. Now you display your old vinyl collection and not your CDs. Who keeps reels of wire in their house?  Instead of fishing reels keep all your latest music on a reel of wire. Now we’re talking. But what is all this nonsense about anyway?  Wood.

Yes, in the old days one purchased stuff made from real wood, not plastic. I read popular mechanics religiously and all their projects are made from real wood. Real men build from real wood. Not plastic. Amplifiers had wooden boxes. Speakers had wooden boxes. The sound compared to modern equipment was atrocious but they had ambience. Modern keyboards are made from plastic. Real pianos are made from wood. I am sure readers are thinking that I am out of my cotton picking mind but the reality is that antiques are valuable, sometimes not to Sotheby’s, but to the collector. People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy old cars. Why not for old radiograms? You Tube you can download very very old tracks, maybe popular when you were still a sperm cell – guaranteed they are going to sound better on the older equipment. Memories? Bet your life on it!

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