We’re lucky to live in an age of endless music. Through the internet and your devices, you have access to the deepest jazz catalogs, the freshest remixes from around the world, and just about everything in between. But how do we bring back the connection that makes music so central to our lives? Vintage audio gear is here.
A crop of beautiful hybrids combines the ideas and charms of music machines past with the technology of now like never before. Our selection of modern and retro jukeboxes, turntables, and radios represents the best of both worlds for music lovers of all kinds. Here’s a quick tour.
The colors, the bubbles, the selections – the jukebox brought an incredible music revolution to public spaces in mid-century America. These glowing odes to golden oldies represent music’s power to bring people together, and today’s reproductions are designed to do the same thing.
It’s tempting to head to the thrift store and get your hands on a real piece of the past, but – trust us – it’s not worth it. Older jukeboxes are huge and heavy, tend to need much more repair and maintenance than most folks can handle, and don’t actually offer great sound or user experience.
Today’s jukeboxes from Crosley and other favorite retro audio makers stay faithful to the visuals of the originals but boast technology that Rock-Ola never dreamed of.
As charming as vinyl records are, they’re not very practical in a device that has to physically sort them. CDs are more affordable and plentiful than ever, and many of our jukeboxes are set up to play them. If you’ve got a big collection of shiny silver discs already, this is the option for you.
iPod/mp3 Player Jukeboxes
Instead of flipping through a limited number of ’45s or CDs, look for a modern jukebox with smartphone or even tablet connectivity. This gives you access to the nearly infinite selection of legal electronic music through your choice of apps and services.
Vinyl records are making a comeback in a big way, and not just among music nerds and audiophiles. In a world of digital files and headphones, holding a physical print of music you love is a special experience, and buying a record is great way to connect with your favorite artists. Whether you’re buying records from indie labels online or digging through dusty crates hoping to score an original pressing, there’s never been a better time to own a turntable.
A console table is the type with which you’re probably the most familiar. With the platter, tone arm and needle, and controls all housed together in one unit, these turntables are simple to operate. Many makers have taken to recreating suitcase-style turntables, which have built-in speakers and let you bring your tunes anywhere.
Everyone today seems to be seamlessly blending the old and new, and there’s no better example than the USB turntable. These models let you rip your records to digital formats that you can play, copy, send, burn, and share. Look for a huge variety in this category, especially from Crosley – you’ll find both beautiful wooden boxes and the sleek futuristic Revolution.
USB CD Recorders
Record players with media recorders are designed to let you both preserve and play your precious records. Vinyl degrades over time, so it’s a good idea to rip your records to a digital, copyable format. Using standard USB connectivity, you can take the audio from records (and sometimes tapes!) and burn them directly to CD. Many of the best USB recorders also have great built-in speakers and enough audio connectivity to be your main music hub.
There’s something truly charming about turning on the radio to find audio entertainment. The ritualistic turning of the dials, the endlessly morphing sounds as you pass through static, disembodied voices, and fragments of classic songs. Vintage radios are designed to keep this experience in the center of your living room or bedroom experience. You’ll find recreations of designs from across the decades.
In classic wood arched shapes with ornate speaker openings and tons of vintage charm, radios of this type really recall Grandma’s house. Imagine getting the family to gather ’round for Prairie Home Companion or even just to listen to some of the kids’ favorite songs. Many feature modern connectivity for CDs and mp3 players, too.
Mid-Century and Beyond
Other vintage radios recreate the clean, modern lines of the 1950s and 60s. Recalling the Bauhaus school of design or the iconic looks of Dieter Rams, these retro radios add more than a dash of personality to your space. From a portable unit perfect for a picnic to a stay-at-home radio with iPhone dock, there’s something vintage perfect for your modern life.