OLD VS NEW: SWINGING SOUNDS
Back in the fifties (I am not that old I just have heard stories and seen movies), where the local milk bars and hamburger joints, had a big box that let you choose the music you wanted to hear from a large collection of recorded singles, apparently there were many brands out there with this device known as the jukebox, but none have stood the test of time quite like the Wurlitzer.
An imposing machine with it’s bold use of chrome taken from the look of the cars of the time, neon lights and a glass top allowing you to see the vinyl moving around and being played and the integrated speakers provided a free standing disco which has become a collectors item, with many of them still in working order.
Fast forward to 2010 and the Jukebox has evolved from a large ‘keep in one spot’ item to small personal music devices that people can carry in their pocket. While the cost of the old Wurlitzer made it more suited to businesses or the wealthy, these days, with music players ranging from the $10 special all the way to the lotto wins, there is a music player for everyones budget.
Everyone would agree that Apple is probably the biggest seller of the personal jukebox devices and systems, with the wide range of iPods and iTunes. They’ve managed to cater to old and young, big and small music collections have even bought video to the humble jukebox. For those after something discrete, functional and easy to use, the iPod Shuffle is perfect. This is minimalism at it’s best. Clean, simple and with an integrated clip on the back, it’s a great way to listen to music on the go
For those wanting more bang for their buck and would prefer to just carry around one all purpose device, the Nokia N900 might be just what you’re looking for. Not only does it have 32Gb of storage for your swinging sounds, but it’s a phone, internet browser, document writer and game player.
Systems like this a great for on the road, but what about if you want to sit back and chillout to your favourite tunes at home? The iPods have certainly become the brains behind many home jukebox systems.
Docking stations have become all the rage with the ability to carry your entire playlist on one small device but have the choice to listen to it at home or away. The B&W Zeppelin, although looking a little strange, fits will with the finish of the iPod but most importantly sounds great.
If you’re wanting to maintain the heritage of the Wurlitzer, then Roth Audio’s MC4 not only connects easily to your iPod, but with the glowing valves, it helps bring a little nostalgia to your music experience.
Maybe you’re like us and between your records, tapes and CDs, you’ve got such a large collection that a music server is the only option, then don’t fear, the Meridian Sooloos could be one to keep in mind. Although a pricey brand, the quality and performance that comes with a Meridian is exceptional and you can see where the money goes.
Although the discman was around well before the iPod, it didn’t allow a continual change in music like a jukebox system. If you wanted a different CD, you had to change it yourself, unless you had the BeoSound 9000 from Bang & Olufsen. This simple a gorgeous design could be laid flat or hung on a wall and even today has a certain aura about it.
What do you think? Have we evolved for the better? I think the new technology is amazing and is certainly changing the way we do things but there certainly is something about the Wurlitzer that stands out and has yet to be replicated in these new jukebox systems.