Speakerbits

Our radio and turntable museum

Take a squiz at my collection of vintage radios and record players. I'm old enough to remember the 1970s when all this gear was being thrown out and smashed to bits by me and my mates for fun. I started the collection around 1995 when you could still get them for five bucks. Since then I've collected hundreds and hundreds, some of which are on display in the office here. They always draw many admiring looks and nostalgic comments from customers.

Some resonate in both the personal and audible ranges. The cream Kriesler in the centre of the main shot belonged to my dear friend, the talented audio wizard Lewis Muratori who shuffled off this mortal voice-coil in 2010. I might fire it up one day in the hope it shoots a few sparks and a bit of spurious static, thus reminding me of the temperamental bastard.

Further along the shelf, although not visible, is an industrial looking heavy duty short wave valve set made in the mid 1960s by a resourceful, talented and thoughtful radio and TV engineer. The thick sharp edged aluminium front panel, neat arrays of under bonnet componentry, dangerous voltages and chunky machined front panel knobs speak to a vanished time and place.

This piece sat on the shelf at home for decades. I'd tilt it up from time to time and wonder at its hardwired electronic real estate. Its strange, screwed together beauty evokes a Münch Mammoth motorcycle. The builder was my father Max Manning who knows so much more than how to engineer and repair radios.

They're all just for fun really although we do work on this equipment from time to time. We're always seeking donations for the museum and we do buy gear for the shelves if the price is reasonable.

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Thanks to Lee Hira for the sensational shots taken on his hand made 6 x 14 panoramic redgum camera. He shot them one day and gave me a stack of A4 black and white prints with the most phenomenal resolution. Puts digital photography to shame doesn't it? We'll load the rest of the pics up shortly. Contact Lee at facebook.com/foundmelbourne.

Tom Manning - April 2014

Last modified on Friday, 21 November 2014 12:08
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