There’s something really soothing about listening to an LP on a vintage record player. Likewise, I quite like the occasional crackle of an analogue radio when it’s tuned into my local station. I’m a bit of a retro music device fanatic, and here’s why you should include them in your home…
If you’re going for a mid-century inspired decor like me, vintage music players are the finishing touch. I’ve got Ercol sofas, a Remploy coffee table and Jentique sideboard, all ranging from the 1950s to the ’70s. So I feel that it would be a little out of place to bring a contemporary media player into my living room.
Instead, we’ve got a Dansette record player on our Ladderax unit, above the LP storage segment – it’s simply made for it. We also have an old radio (the reasons for which I’ll go into more detail below) and I recently picked up an original JVC CD player. I just need to find a matching retro amp and my vintage sound system will be complete!
Throughout my years of listening to music through retro record players and radios, I’ve found that the sound quality is often better. At one point we even had one of those old radios that built into a whole sideboard, and the richness of sound was incredible as it reverberated around the unit.
While our Dansette record player doesn’t have the loudest sound, it still provides me with the sound I want from an LP – that pop and crackle as the needle touches the vinyl. And, because you can’t crank up the bass, there’s no chance of annoying your neighbours with your music!
I’ve also found that I’m better off listening to local radio stations through a vintage radio than through my new DAB radio. That’s because the new radio can’t pick up the signal from our local station and trying to tune it in on the digital radio just results in a crackly mess of sound. However, when I pull up the aerial on our Hacker radio and move the dial into position, there’s no problem at all.
THE HISTORY OF VINTAGE MEDIA
Over the past few months I’ve written about both my Dansette record player and my Hacker radio for my Design Icon column in Reclaim magazine. I got to research the background history of each brand (SO interesting!) and have shared the tell-tale signs to look out for when identifying a genuine piece of vintage tech and how to find out the date it was made.
In these articles I’ve also brought together examples of vintage tech being used to style a home in different ways, with the help of Vintage Mischief and retro radio expert Steve Rogers. You can still buy the latest issue 50 of Reclaim here and check out how to use retro Hacker radios and record players for an industrial, mid-century or garage-chic look. My Dansette article was in issue 38, so check out the back issue archive if you want to get a copy for yourself.