I've got an AMI Model E juke box, circa 1951. I've had it for more than 35 years.
Bought it from a guy who used to run a juke box operation in Houston.
It's still a thrill to watch the carriage run down the line of records, the hook
clamp down on the selection, then rotate and swing it down horizontally on
the turntable. True, it is hard on records...that's why they are all my "B"
stock...not to be confused with "B" sides!!! And the old tube amp used to
make it rock with that good old boosted bass...though it's a solid state
amp now. When I first got it as a teenager, I eagerly loaded it with my
45s and watched in horror as it scanned for my selection...breaking
every record in the rack. The mech got out of adjustment in transport
and the hook didn't open completely, knocking a notch out of each record
as it passed. It's fixed now.
Boerne, TX 78006
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----- Original Message -----
From: Larry S Miller
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Living Presence promo copies
Do you know about LP jukeboxes? Not the kind that plays 7-inch 33-1/3 discs, but the type that plays full-sized 12-inch LPs. I've encountered only a couple, one in a long-gone restaurant near the Mizzou campus called the Agora House. Not only were the enchiladas good, for, I believe, a quarter, I could hear an entire side of 'The Doors" or "Surrealistic Pillow." Probably not the sort of thing you'd want to put your shaded dogs on, but if you had a Dynaflex re-issue of something, who cares? By the way, I think it had a Shure cartridge.
For a long time, I had dreams of a classic 45-singles jukebox, but then when I started shopping for
a well-restored one, it turned out they mostly sound like crap due to both mid-grade to low-grade
phono pickups and also the fact that most singles sound like crap from Play One. So net-net, I
decided that they're great for noisy bars and diners but not so much for focused listening at home.
I admit still being thrilled when I come upon one that still works in a bar or diner. The first
thing I do is feed it dollars so I can sample its contents. Nowadays, if you find it working, it's
usually on its last legs and the records are circa early 1990's or earlier. No interest in or use
for CD jukeboxes; I remember when those first came out, higher prices per play and less fun to use.
Plus much less frequent switch-ins of music, at least in the upstate NY market, so the whole purpose
of a jukebox was being defeated. It went from a music-discovery machine to an oldies and stale hits
-- Tom Fine
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