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Vintage things that have REAPPEARED in your lifetime?

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,277
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
A lot of older radios with an FM or VHF band on them have been given a new lease of life with the advent of plug-in FM transmitters for mp3 players. For older, but still collectable, radios which predate FM, my understanding is a lot of folks add an FM band by conversion, but there surely must be a market for a similar, small-reach transmitter device that AM hardware can pick up... cheap mp3 player (or tablet) with downloaded content of the right period, and away you go.... I wonder if anyone has made such a product yet, or is it the case that FM is just too dominant?

The definitive small AM transmitter in the US for several years was the AMT-3000 from a company called SS Trans. It was sold as a kit, and you needed to be handy with a soldering iron to put it together, but once assembled, it outclassed not just cheap novelty transmitters but many commercial broadcast models. The guy who sold the kits went out of business several years ago because he couldn't keep up with the demand. There is a company in the UK making a similar unit under the "Spitfire" brand, which is well worth considering. These are easily found on eBay and while not cheap, will be a satisfying unit to anyone who has a good AM radio they want to put into actual use. There's no need for Bluetooth or any of that -- these transmitters all take audio thru RCA plugs connected to a headphone jack and operate over about a quarter-mile radius.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
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9,964
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My mother's basement
… I love stuff from that time because they were solidly built, relatively repairable, and had a tactile feel that I like. I like knobs, and wheels turning, and big ol’ dancing VU meters…seeing moving parts soothes my troubled soul. But the prices are just nuts.
Yup. I came of age when a manual control — a knob or a switch, say — did but one thing. Even after all these years of living in the digital age I still sometimes struggle with pull-down menus and all that. You know, you gotta tap on this to tap on that to get you where you wish to be.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,964
Location
My mother's basement
Some of those 60s console stereos had excellent sound, but terrible flimsy record changers, and the cabinets, usually made of veneered pressboard, did not like to get wet. Store one for twenty years in a damp cellar, and you won't have much left -- hence the scarcity that faces the present demand. If your parents still have one in the living room, tell them to keep it there.
Mine is no fine piece if furniture, but I bought it at least a dozen years ago from the original owner, who was one of those guys who wouldn’t have a blade of grass out of place. He had a super-clean ‘67 Vette and a restored old Chevy pickup in his spotless garage.

As I recall, I paid him 60 or 65 bucks for the console. It would easily fetch a grand today. If it were in a “Mediterranean” cabinet, rather than a “mod” one, maybe someone would want it for parts. Or kindling.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,544
Location
London, UK
Yup. I came of age when a manual control — a knob or a switch, say — did but one thing. Even after all these years of living in the digital age I still sometimes struggle with pull-down menus and all that. You know, you gotta tap on this to tap on that to get you where you wish to be.

I much prefer buttons or knobs myself over a touch screen for most things outside of a phone. It's one of the marks of quality I look for in anything - sturdy, robust. I like a volume know where I have a physical sense of the travel of the pot against the volume scale, not just a knob that turns freely forever connecting to software. I expect that's partly norms born of experience and partly how I 'think' in terms of the connection between brain and spatial awareness. Maybe a bit of preference (born of experience) for the tactile over the virtual.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,277
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I don't know if it's my body's capacitance or what, but I have a lot of trouble with any kind of touchscreen, and I won't use one if there is any other possible option. If there's no option but to use one, I'll generally move on and find something else to do.
 

Woodtroll

One Too Many
Messages
1,025
Location
Mtns. of SW Virginia
"Multi-function" buttons, switches, and menus are the devil's own invention, and just one more modern thing that I struggle with.

See all those switches in an airplane cockpit? They're there because they need to be, and they only do one thing each, whether in a calm pre-flight check or in a panic situation. Same thing, every time, with no surprises or software hiccups.
 
I much prefer buttons or knobs myself over a touch screen for most things outside of a phone. It's one of the marks of quality I look for in anything - sturdy, robust. I like a volume know where I have a physical sense of the travel of the pot against the volume scale, not just a knob that turns freely forever connecting to software. I expect that's partly norms born of experience and partly how I 'think' in terms of the connection between brain and spatial awareness. Maybe a bit of preference (born of experience) for the tactile over the virtual.

I've never really thought of it in such an existential sense...brain/spacial awareness...I just liked to reach over and crank some tunes. But now that I think about...that's exactly what it is. I know exactly when I'm turning it up to 11. Which is nice.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,544
Location
London, UK
I've never really thought of it in such an existential sense...brain/spacial awareness...I just liked to reach over and crank some tunes. But now that I think about...that's exactly what it is. I know exactly when I'm turning it up to 11. Which is nice.

One of my favourite things about the BBC's online offerings is that the on-screen volume control for their iPlayer streaming tv content is graded to run from zero to eleven.
 
One of my favourite things about the BBC's online offerings is that the on-screen volume control for their iPlayer streaming tv content is graded to run from zero to eleven.
There are aftermarket faceplates and knobs for most guitar and amplifiers nowadays marked to 11. It's just one of those things that has found a life of its own. It's a subtle inside joke that has become almost mainstream.
 

ChrisB

A-List Customer
Messages
396
Location
The Hills of the Chankly Bore

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,964
Location
My mother's basement
Many “mod” housewares and pieces of furniture and architecture and the like, which got “hot” well over a decade ago and are still going strong, actually date from decades earlier. Think Bauhaus (1919-1933), for instance, or Black Mountain College (1933-‘57), or Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), or Eva Zeisel (1906-2011), whose work you probably know, even if you don’t know that you know.

Most of this stuff never really disappeared, and much of it was widely emulated by lesser lights. But several cutting-edge architects and designers who didn’t get their due when they were alive have attained a posthumous celebrity status in some circles.
 
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