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History Automobile for an Audiophile

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Sep 13, 2019 at 9:22 AM.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,020

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    Automobile for an Audiophile


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,641

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    I wonder what that system sounded like?

    My dad left me his McIntosh stereo from the 1960s and when setup right and tuned, it's produces incredible sound - on par or better than some crazy high end stuff made today. So given that experience, I would think the technology wasn't that far off in 1960. I bet it was rich and warm, but not necessary clean.
  3. Jarek Thompson
    Joined: Oct 9, 2018
    Posts: 8

    Jarek Thompson

    The interior that launched a thousand missteps
  4. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,268

    from Ioway

    McIntosh tube gear has almost a cult following. The amplifiers look vaguely like some electrical appliance, not so much a hi-fi stereo. Well made stuff, and sound very, very good.
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  5. Realistically, probably not that good; 'state of the art' in those days wasn't anywhere close to what even a mid-price system can deliver today. Consumer stereo recordings were in their infancy, with commercial stereo recordings only becoming available starting in 1958 even though the concept dated to the '30s. Even at that, stereo recordings were rare and expensive; it wasn't until the mid-60s that stereo recordings became commonly available. Up until the mid-60s, stereo records couldn't be played on mono turntables or vice-versa because of differences in the stylus design as damage to the record would result. It was the mid-60s before they finally figured out how to make the stereo records compatible with mono equipment. If the speaker count given is accurate, it was probably actually a mono setup or possibly a hybrid setup, not 'true' stereo as we know it today. I would be curious to know if the gear he used was the 'new-fangled' solid-state stuff becoming available or was still tube-based. I suspect solid-state as tube gear probably wouldn't survive long in that environment.

    Ryan, hang onto that Mac gear. McIntosh had (and still has) a reputation for clean sound, conservative (and accurate) specs and near-bulletproof construction. The tube-based Mac stuff is highly prized among audiophiles, but even the later solid-state stuff is very highly respected. I recently sold my Mac 1900 receiver (purchased new by me in 1972) for only $100 less than what I originally paid for it. I also sold a same-era Mac amplifier for more than it sold for new...
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 12:52 PM
  6. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,227

    Bandit Billy

    I used to sell high end audio, Carver tubed amps, 8 channel reel to reel, Klipsch corner horns, etc. I personally prefer the sound over todays digital music. I got the hankering to find an old set of corner horns a month or two ago, still bringing $12,000 to $15,000 a pair. Bluetooth speakers my ass.
    More to topic, but not really, I had a friend many years ago that took the back seat out of his 68 GTO and added a hifi complete with reel to reel, tuner, amps, crossovers woofers, tweeters and horns. He also ran power converters like the 40 above, the sound was not bad at all.
    Rolleiflex likes this.
  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,864

    from oregon

    Welcome to cyber-space, I'm lost in a fog
    Everything's digital, I'm still analog
    When something goes wrong, I don't have a clue
    Some 10 year old smart-ass has to show me what to do

    Sign on with high-speed, you don't have to wait
    Sit there for days and vegetate
    I access my email; read all my spam
    I'm an analog man

    The whole world's living in a digital dream
    It's not really there - it's all on the screen
    Makes me forget who I am
    I'm an analog man

    Yeah, I'm an analog man in a digital world
    I'm gonna get me an analog girl
    Who loves me for what I am
    I'm an analog man

    What's wrong with vinyl? I think it sounds great
    LPs, 45s, 78s
    But that's just the way I am
    I'm an analog man

    Turn on the tube - watch until dawn
    100 channels, nothing is on
    Endless commercials
    Endless commercials

    The whole world's glued to the cable TV
    It looks so real on the big LCD
    Murder and violence are rated PG
    Too bad for the children - they are what they see

    The whole world's living in a digital dream
    It's not really there - it's all on the screen
    Makes me forget who I am
    I'm an analog man

    Yeah, I'm an analog man in a digital world
    I'm gonna get me an analog girl
    Who loves me for what I am
    I'm an analog man

    Yeah, I'm an analog man in a digital world

    Joe Walsh
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 6:01 PM
  8. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,751


    Klipsch junkie here. nice sets of cornerhorns come up for "a few" thousand all the time. location can be a factor, i suspect so, in the PNW.

    my living room setup are 58 & 62 Klipschorns powered by Dynaco tube amps. i got the khorns as singles at different times for less than a thousand each within the last few years, for well maintained nice original units. i also run speakerlab Ks using all klipsch drivers and crossovers in the shop.

    as far as i'm concerned, Klipsch speakers were the hot rods of period audio.
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,227

    Bandit Billy

    If you get tired of staring at those archaic music boxes let me know and I'll take a little drive and help you out!!!
    A dream of mine to own a pair
  10. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,751


    there's a good chance i'll die owning these. if you're ever in the area though, stop on by.
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  11. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 7,903


    very interesting Mctalk here and a lot of info learned and absorbed. Music is the influence that unites the world, being able to hear it thru the right gear is sublime.
  12. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,028


    Where's Ron? Where's the '40. Is Pete Sukalac still alive? who owns his thousands of pictures of NW cars?

    J.Ukrop likes this.
  13. flatford8
    Joined: Dec 12, 2012
    Posts: 93

    from Lyman,ME.

    I always have loved listening to music but never went big on the gear. Any “new to me” ride got a cassette player and a pair of Jensen’s. Now all I ever use is one of those shitty Bluetooth speakers and play it off my phone. The stereo comes from the two exhaust pipes.
    I never have understood the “Boom Boom” cars or why the HELL people have to have a loud stereo on a motorcycle.....Mark
    Speedwrench likes this.
  14. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,833

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Looks like he's still in Eugene. Anyone care to give him a ring and see if he still has the 40?
    Would love to know how he swung a 4k build at age 19 in 1960. Parents back him? That was a chunk of money. Probably money enough to get into a house back then.
    Ron Heddinger, 79 Eugene, OR
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,929

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    I recently cruised, a slightly off topic, convertible through town. it had all state of the art stereo equipment, ten amps, ten speakers and some video screens to further enhance the high tech feel. the music could be listened to at the #10 level of volume so I popped in a Motown variety cd and turned the volume to 26 level and watched peoples reactions as I went by. lots of thumbs up and smiles,...... I was the coolest.......well.......until, while stopped for a light, Aretha Franklin's feels like a natural woman came on. good song, but not really manly.
    kidcampbell71 and flamingokid like this.
  16. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,189


    Back in the late 80's, I competed in autosound challenges. My M.O. has always been to pack a big punch without showing too much. My 86 MSE Gran Prix had 37 speakers in it and only 4 showed, 2 unless you opened the trunk to reveal the pair of Cerwin Vega 18"s. Better to have nice electronics tastefully installed than to have a cheap setup in a 100k show car. I've done beefed up, vintage Blaupunkt equipment in vintage German cars and I've done some of the new MacIntosh tube amps (90's) in a few old cars. Always plan on the sound if you like a finished car, rather than see the looks of folks suddenly go from smiles to frowns when they see your Walmart radio.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019 at 10:04 PM
  17. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,550

    from SW Wyoming

    Garrard is a name I haven't thought of in years. A friend had one with an adjustable speed control, hooked to a 100 watt Pioneer, with some Pioneer 3 ways and a pair of Bose reflectors. Good times, those.
  18. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,504


    Cool Hotrod lots of is interesting that ones likes and interests get entwined into the Wheels...its all good and that fella was a trendsetter/pioneer into Big Sound in Auto...

    I like many of the others would love to have heard it...gotta ask is it still around?

    Thanks for sharing this most interesting Hotrod @J.Ukrop
  19. Wow... $4 000! That's somewhere between 26K and 35K in today's money, according to

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