Turning the Table, Old School

To go along with my junky collection of old vinyl, I have a junky old all-in-one turntable, an Audiotronics 304A.

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I bought it at a library book sale around 1996 in Weymouth, MA. I think I paid $6 for the thing. The library had a whole bunch of them for sale, that they probably tossed in a dumpster at the end of the day. Mine’s in pretty good shape. It needs a good cleaning, but it plays fine for its age. No damage anywhere, other than some marker writing on one side.

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Similar ones on eBay seem to be going for $20 or so.

I am quite fond of this relic, since it is the exact kind that I grew up hearing records on at school. Back in the day, these things were as ubiquitous as they were indestructible. I heard everything from Gilbert and Sullivan to Peter and the Wolf on one of these beige music tanks. In my Facebook 20 Albums post, I referenced the educational joys of listening Led Zep and AC/DC in my sixth grade art class. This was the kind of turntable that brought me the dulcid tones of Robert Plant and Bon Scott.

It’ll play anything from 16 to 78 RPM.

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The turntable itself gives new meaning to the phrase “Heavy Metal.” I don’t think I could dent it with a hammer.

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The inside cover sports instructions you can’t lose. I love it. But they make me jealous that I don’t have the model with a microphone jack.

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It even has a swanky integrated mood light, which the manual coldy refers to as “Illuminated Pilot Lamp Post.” I call it groovy.

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