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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> A very few of those old all-in-one console/furniture stereo rigs has great
speakers and amplifiers.
> Ampex's top-drawer elite line comes to mind. These were made by hand and sold
for thousands of
> dollars. One old Ampex guy told me that most of them were sold via Neiman
Marcus to Texas oil
> barons.
>
Reminds me of my E. H. Scott 800-B...
> I'm talking about the top-line ones that had 30W EL34 amps and 3-way JBL
speakers built in.
> They had one of those crappy Ampex 900 series reel decks in a pull-out drawer
and a record-wrecking
> Garard changer under a cover. The Ampex preamp had a decent phono stage and
innovative
> selector/switching system and the Ampex tuner was pretty much middle of the
road for that era. The
> look was definitely California-meets-the-oil-patch-mansion. Once in a while,
an oil baron's
> grandkids will put one on ebay but usually they get parted out.
>
The one useful thing about these old "console stereos" is that a lot of them
had three-speed record players...often with the 78rpm needle (or "point")
essentially unused. Since they run between $5 and $10 at yard sales...and can
often be found in folks' trash (they had no use for it and couldn't figure
out what else to do with it...!)...it's a cheap way of acquiring a "78 player!"

Steven C. Barr