Get together a bunch of recording artists and try to develop a better digital marketplace, one where the music doesn’t sound like crap and where you actually get paid, and whaddaya get? A yellow paperweight, that’s what.
RCA had the bright idea in 1964 to reproduce video in a phonographic format. Great idea. They then took 17 years to develop the idea and bring it to market. Not such a great idea.
That’s right, not rotating platforms for displaying automobiles. Actual record turntables for vehicles. This was a thing.
When folks talk about Bang & Olufsen’s heyday back in the early to mid 1970s, they’re usually talking about this particular turntable, the world’s first electronically controlled tangential gramophone, a marvel of both function and design that floored the hi-fi community upon its release.
A few months back, we featured Koss’ classic Porta Pro headphones and asked if something could truly be “retro tech” if it was still purchased and used on the reg. Now we look at the ELP LT-1XA, the world’s first laser turntable, from the only company that makes laser turntables, a technology that has barely evolved in a quarter century, and ask, “Is it retro?”
Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed the earth, giants that shook the ground with their collective roar. But there was one that stood above them all. That time was the Eighties, and that giant amongst giants was the Conion C-100F.
In the late ‘70s, the people wanted more power, and by god, they would get more power. Thus the Receiver Wars were born. And that is how we ended up in 1978 with the Pioneer SX-1980, weighing in at 78 pounds with a whopping 270 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Boom.
Can something be Retro Tech if it’s still readily available for purchase, used regularly and beloved with almost cult-like fervor by devotees worldwide? Such is the case with Koss Porta Pro On Ear Headphones, introduced in 1984 and largely unchanged 36 years later.
Mr. Microphone was a handheld, battery-operated wireless microphone for broadcasting over FM radio that was first sold in the late 1970s by Ronco, a Chicago-based company that endlessly hawked its assorted devices on television with ubiquitous ads that would become part of that generation’s pop culture.
Sony first rolled its MiniDisc format in 1992, but failed to gain wide acceptance beyond Japan and the United Kingdom, save for a small group of tech enthusiasts and musicians.