|The start in Sweden
Recordchangers were first seen in Sweden in the early thirties. The Swedish radiomanufacturer Luxor claimed, in later advertisingmaterial, that they made the first recordchanger on "the continent". This could either refer to Scandinavia or the European continent. It seems most likely that the first european recordchangers were built in England, however the word "continent" might be used to exclude England from the European main continent and then it´s fully possible that Sweden were second nation in Europe to make recordchangers. Some sources claim that Luxor released their first model already in 1934. They obviously didn´t although the patents might have been registered then. Luxors automatic recordchanger was first introduced in the january number of "Populär Radio", 1936.
There were of corse recordchangers avaliable long before Luxor made them. It might actually be an Australian invention from the beginning although the first commercial models appeared in USA in the late 20´s. Some of these early types may have found their way to Sweden but since they were expensive to buy and considered as luxury items they were propably very few. An American homepage avaliable here will give you more details of historical and technical facts.
Luxors first recordchanger in action.
(From "Populär Radio" nr 1 - 1936)
|The mechanics are simple and driven by a small wheel, making contact with the side of the turntable. Records are placed on the centerpin and layed to rest on two sidepoles. A record is dropped down on the turntable by the sidepoles rotating back and forth once allowing only one record to drop at a time. The tonearm is of course out of the way while a new record is dropped and then it moves forvard and loweres at the edge of the new record. When the record is finished the mechanism raises the tone arm and pulls it out of way for a new record to be dropped. When the last record is played you will have to turn the power off otherwise it will be repeated over and over again since there is no automatic stop on the earlier models. The drawbacks of the changer system is obvious since it´s only capable to handle records of standard size (25cm / 10").||
Detail of Luxors first recordchanger type GW.
Note the small wheel beside the turntable that
drives the mechanism.
|Garrard RC 6 was built in Swindon, England and sold from the mid 30´s up to ca 1940 when war made it difficult to import and perhaps also to manufacture. This changer had an advantage compared with luxor: It could play and change either a stack of 25cm records or a stack of 30cm records. Records are placed over the bent centerpin and layed to rest on the sidesupport which is adjustable for either 25 or 30 cm. During the changercycle the recordsupport moves a bit towards the spindle pushing the record in the bottom of the stack over a small edge on the spindle making it drop down on the turntable. The rest of the records in stack are held back by the shape of the centerpin allowing only one record to pass over the edge at a time. Since Luxor´s changer couldn´t even play 30cm records most manufacturers used Garrard in their radiograms instead.||
|Another recordchanger that was developed in sweden during the later
half of the 30´s ought to be mentioned here although it wasn´t
designed for use in private homes. A young man, Gösta Ishammar, experimented
with a mechanism for an automatic grammophone that could be used in cafés
and restaurants. Since it was supposed to be coinoperated it was to be
nothing less than what we today call a jukebox. Already in 1932 at age
13 he started working on the problem. Some American jukeboxes were avaliable
in Sweden at the time although it´s not likely that they were more
than a dozen or so. The number of selections on these machines were something
between 8 and 20. From what I´ve heard Ishammar was irritated
about people selecting same tunes all the time and thus decided to make
his machine non selective and to hold more records than its forerunners.
It took some years and propably several prototypes until it finally was
ready for production. Ca 1940 the first "Diema" was put on location. Around
40 units were made and at least 3 are known survivors to our time.
It has a rather unice changersystem: There are 3 horisontal screws
containing the recordmagazine. It can only take 25cm, 78-rpm records and
the magazine holds 30 of them. I have never seen this changer
There are two srews at the bottom for the records to rest on and one screw at the top to keep them standing upright.Depositing a coin makes all 3 screws rotate at the same time moving all the vertically standing records one place to the right. The record released from the screws is pushed forward along a sideguide of the machine and folded down onto the turntable by two metalstrings that sincs down below the surface of the turntable leaving the record free to playing. The turntable being a lot smaller than the recordsize leaving place for another pair of metalstring guides as well. When the record is finished these second guides raises it up against the opposite side and another guide pushes it back onto the screws and thereby back in magazine. The record has now been turned over so the next time it comes into playing position the other side of it will be played. This made Ishammars jukebox able to play 60 different tunes before the first one was repeated again. I´m not sure about the reliability of the mechanism but it is rather sensitive to bumps from what I´ve heard.
Ishammar also made a selective jukebox in the early 40´s called the "Telex" and although this takes us rather far from the subject domestic recordchangers I couldn´t resist mentioning it here and also showing a picture of it to the right. Only 16 examples were built of this model. After these two jukeboxes Ishammar directed his efforts to a wide range of other amusementmachines but that is definitely another story.
|In the late 30´s Luxor was the only Swedish producer of domestic
recordchangers. All radiogram manufacturers in Sweden except Luxor seem
to have used Garrard changers. Also the foreign manufacturers on the Swedish
market favoured Garrard, except HMV/Marconiphone that of course used their
own HMV changers. It´s possible that even the large brands like Philips
and Telefunken thought it would be unnessecary to develop recordchangers
of their own as long as Garrard specialized in changers not entering the
radiobusiness. At least the Swedish salesbrochures for Philips, Telefunken
and Orion shows radiograms with Garrard recordchangers assembled.
The War years
Brittish HMV recordchanger from ca 1938.
|For the radioseason of 1940-41 troubles seem to come. Some foreign radiomanufacturers leaves the Swedish market but those who have their own production or assembling facilities in Sweden stay. Telefunken starts using Luxor´s recordchangers from 1941 and so does Orion too. Philips had a large newly started factory in Norrköping where also Dux and later Conserton products were manufactured. As far as I know Philips had still no recordchangers of their own but I miss a lot of brochures from Philips during these war years so I´m not really sure whether they stopped manufacturing radiograms or not. Several Swedish radiomanufacturers didn´t sell any radiograms at this time and those who did sold them with Luxorchangers or they sold them without changers stating that they offered a radiocabinet with place for a recordplayer or changer of the brand the customer would prefer. At this time those who wanted a recordchanger almoust had to prefer Luxor.||
Paillard sidepolechanger (Switzerland or
France) Still avaliable from a mailorder
company in 1942. Sold to be fitted in a cabinet
but never used by any commercial radio-
manufacturer as far as I know.
|Then another Swedish radiomanufacturer suddenly wanted to give Luxor some competition. AGA-Baltic being part of the large AGA corporation with lots of financial and technical resources had all the necessary knowledge and material to make a recordchanger of their own. In 1942 they dropped a bomb on the Swedish market. They had managed to build a recordchanger that could take 25 and 30 cm records intermixed. It also featured pause and repeatfunctions. Pause could be set between each or every second record and it was adjustable from 5 seconds to 3 minutes. An extra set of controlbuttons could be assembled on the left side of the present upright buttons. AGA-Baltic used this feature on their radiogram "Orkester" making it possible to operate the changer from outside the cabinet without opening the lid.||
AGA-Baltics first recordchanger of 1942,
type V 42 M.
|It must have been a hard strike against Luxor because now they started
to improve their sidepole changer and made sure customers heard about it.
First they added a repetition function (1942) and then an automatic stop
function (1943). Still the people over at Luxor must have realized that
AGA had left them far behind. Luxors sidepole changers still had the advantage
of a low retailprize compared with AGA, but they could loose the important
"top of the line" market. Using AGA changers in their classiest radiograms
would be to much of a humiliation. There was a war going on all around
too so they couldn´t import any foreign model. Just to make things
worse Telefunken and some other manufacturers abandoned Luxors recordchangers
for their radiograms and used AGA-Baltic instead.
It took until 1944 before they had the new changer ready. It was clumsy and very complicated but they managed to build a machine capable of doing all that AGA´s model did and a few more tricks too. It was called Luxor "Robot" with the model codes RBW (AC) and RBWL (AC/DC). It could change 25 and 30 cm records intermixed and it could make pauses between each or every second record or repeat them, just like AGA. In addition it had a mechanism that always checked the normal forward movement of the pick-up as a record was played. When the pick-up stood still, because of the record being finished or damaged the changercycle was tripped. This made the machine able to detect the end of records regardless of the form of the endtrack and even if it was only halfway to the normal stop position. As I mentioned it was also able to detect if a record was damaged so that the needle got stuck playing the same passage over and over again or if the centerhole was worn out so that the record was played eccentric. It was of course an ingenious apparatus but it became so expensive that Luxor had to keep the sidepole changer as a budget alternative. Being the owner of a "Robot" I can tell that it works allright but also during a record is played there is always a ticking from the mechanism that can be very irritating when listening to a tune at low volume. The tonearm must not be interferred with during the changercycle and you mustn´t move the controlarm either. To clearly indicate when changercycle is operative or not Luxor have mounted a lamp that shines red when you may not disturb the changer.
Luxor type AW with repeat and autostop.
|Luxor had beaten AGA for the time being but they had lost important marketshares and this at a time when export was almoust impossible. German radiomanufacturer Telefunken didn´t just sit back and watch when AGA and Luxor struggled their competition. In late 1943 they released their own recordchanger. It´s rather likely that it was manufactured in Sweden and maybe even constructed in Stockholm though I haven´t been able to find out for sure. It seems to have a lot of controlknobs and settings but since I´ve never seen it in real life I don´t know much of it´s function, however the brochure says that it is able to change 25 and 30 cm records intermixed.||
|Late 1944 AGA released a new version of their recordchanger but this time it wasn´t such a bomb as it had been in the first place. It didn´t really introduce any new features just some smaller technical improvements and the basic functions remained as before. The type was called V 42 S and it´s pictured to the right.|
|After the war.
The war finally ended in 1945 and now things could get back to normal again. For Luxor, however, things were never really to be the same. Their position as the only manufacturer of recordchangers in Sweden were gone. By the end of 1945 Telefunken released a new changermodel called "Crypto". Just like AGA´s changer it had 4 buttons to control it. It was propably manufactured in Telefunkens factory at "Tellusborg" outside Stockholm. Brochure says that its able to handle records of different thickness and worn holes without difficulties. Don´t ask me how that is supposed to work.
|Another large radiomanufacturer wanted a piece of the cake too. Philips started producing their own recordchangers from 1945. They were built in Norrköping, Sweden. Their first recordchanger was called 145 LV and played 25 and 30 cm records intermixed. Like its competitors it also featured pause and repeatfunctions and it was controlled by buttons just like AGA and Telefunken.|
|And then in 1946 Garrard was back on the Swedish market. They called
their new changer "the Mixer" so it obviously must have been able to mix
25 and 30 cm records. I don´t think it has any pause or repeatfunctions
but I´m not sure. The typecode of this "Mixer" is RC 60 and it was
some years later replaced by a model that didn´t play 25/30 intermixed
(RC 70) so maybe it didn´t work so well. Of course the RC 70 could
have been a budget alternative released while the RC 60 still was avaliable
on market too.
Now there were so many recordchangermodels on the Swedish market that one gets tempted to belive that such a small market couldnt possibly have room for any new types. Yet if one thinks twice about the situation it becomes obvious that new models simply had to be introduced. It was a matter of outrunning the competitors with new selling constructions.
Garrard type RC 60, the "Mixer" ca 1946.
Garrard type RC 70, no more mix. Ca 1949?
|Those companys producing their changers in Sweden did have one trumph
on their hands though. The government came up with restrictions for imported
products and at the same time they encouraged Swedish companys to export
as much as they could. Of course there were ways around those restrictions
if it was considered nessecary. For example it could be all right to import
a recordchanger from abroad as long as it was fitted in a Swedishbuilt
radiogram, so the actual effect on the industry was minor.
Luxor saw the chance of taking back parts of the Swedish market and they also hoped to take up export to countries they had marketshares in before the war broke out. In 1947 they released a whole new line of changers. Looking closer at the models, however, one soon recognizes the old ideas in slightly new disguise. Fact is that the new budgetmodel SEW were almoust identical with the improved sidepolechanger of 1943 and the second model in the line was a sidepolechanger of conventional type with a new pausefunction added. The third model was actually the only one to offer some real news. It was called ROW (or ROL in AC/DC version) and it was the new generation of the Luxor "Robot". It didn´t really feature any other functions than the original "Robot" but it was a lot less clumsy and much easier to operate.
Since 78-rpm records by this time had been standardized to the two sizes 25 and 30 cm and the smaller odd formats hadn´t been sold in sweden for ca 15 years (with an exception for some children records) there weren´t really any obvious need for new features on the recordchangers. The top of the line machine could play both the mentioned formats intermixed, it could repeat each or every second record and pause of adjustable duration could be set also between each or every second record. It stopped automatically after the last record in stack had been played and also allowed records to be played manually. What else could there be to ask?
Luxor ROW / ROL of 1947. The second of the
|Despite this new models had to be introduced just to stay in business. Late 1947 AGA released a new model. Type V 71 (or V 72 in AC/DC -version). They had actually made a lot of technical improvements but most of them couldn´t be seen by the user. The scarcity of some materials during the war had forced AGA (and certainly other manufacturers as well) to use rubber and other substances of rather low quality and such details were now replaced with more reliable stuff. They also made some cosmetical changes of course as can be seen on picture to the right.|
|Philips had to follow the other companies of course so by 1948 they also introduced a new model. It was called 148 V (148 VL and 148 VT also exists) and the buttons had been scrapped in favour of 2 handles to control the changerfunctions. Philips had a rather large share of the Swedish radiomarket so they had no problem getting use for their changers in their own radiograms. They also controlled two other Swedish radiobrands: "Dux" and "Conserton" who´s radiograms also were equipped with Philips recordchangers. Telefunken, however, seem to have discontinued their production of "Crypto" from ca 1948 and got back to use AGA-Baltic changers in their Swedish radiograms. I don´t know why.|
In 1948 American recordcompany Columbia introduced the new lightweight, microgroove vinylrecord with 33(&1/3)-rpm. Other recordcompanies were of course worried about what would happen. The ability of recording almoust half an hour on one side of a 30cm disc were of course rather convincing and the soundquality were much better than on the old 78-rpm records. When it seemed clear enough that the new format had come to stay in 1949, another American recordcompany, RCA, introduced their new idea of a recordformat. A vinyldisc of 17cm with a 38mm centerhole and the speed 45-rpm. This later format was supported by the jukeboxmanufacturer Seeburg and that propably helped it to make a major braketrough in popular music. At the same time the 33-rpm LP format showed ideally suited for symphonies, operas and other classical music. The impact on the American grammophone industri was obviously a lot harder in the beginning than it was against the European corporations.
Swedish recordchanger manufacturers simply continued to present new slightly improved types of their earlier 78-rpm changers. Luxor put bakelite tonearms on their changers instead of the former metal ones and AGA skipped the pausfunction on their new changer to come up with a budget alternative. Also Philips released a couple of new models called 149 V and 150 V. The vinylrecords hadn´t become a real threat yet since no Swedish recordcompany manufatured them.
Luxor type RKW ca 1949-50. Almoust similar
to the ROW but with a new bakelite tonearm.
|By 1950 Philips started to release microgroove records on the European market and since they made recordchangers too they simply had to release a new construction at the same time. Their first 3-speed recordchanger was type 2975 introduced in the same year. It was able to play 25 and 30cm records intermixed but had to be manually reset to play 17cm. Records with 38mm centerholes had to be played with an adapter. Different pick-ups were used for normal respektively microgroove records and must be changed by hand.|
|Just when the new recordformats were confusing manufacturers of recordchangers another actor entered the Swedish market. It was the Stockholmbased company Centrum radio who made their first changer in 1950. They introduced a 78-rpm, 25/30cm intermix changer just like nothing had happened at all in the business. Model is called 531 and I´ve managed to find one although they are seldom seen. While the already established recordchanger manufacturers must have struggled with the problem to get a 3-speed changer off ground, Centrum chosed to enter the field with an already outdated construction. Perhaps they hoped that the new formats would just become a shortlived gimmik or maybe they had already invested so much money in making their own recordchanger so that they simply had to try to get some of it back.||
|Maybe the other companies hoped for the new formats to flop as well. Because by 1950 Philips were the only manufacturer able to introduce a 3-speed machine. In late 1951 AGA went first among the Swedish owned companys with their 3-speed changer type V 203 S (V 202 S in AC/DC-version and I own a type called V 201 not presented in the brochures). It changed 25 and 30 cm records intermixed but had to be manually reset to change 17cm format just like Philips 2975. They had totally skipped pause and repeatfunctions on this machine.|
|Luxor didn´t have any solution ready for a 3-speed changer
that could match their competitors. In late 1951 they took a 78rpm changer,
made it adjustable for 3-speeds and added an extra tonearm to play microgroove
The tonearm for vinyl did, however, contain a smart new idea. It had a "rolling pick-up" that could be placed anywhere on the records surface. A small wheel takes the tonearm out to the edge of the record and when the wheel falls over the edge it folds into the tonearm and the needle is landed in the records starttrack. The vinylplaying arm is not locked in 78-rpm changer position, but at least there is no risk that it might be in the way for the changertonearm since it is placed on the opposite side of the turntable. Luxor even released a luxuryversion of this two-armed changer type RP 3 W which offers both pause and repeatfunctions.
|By 1952 Centrum´s 78-rpm changer 531 was rebuilt and speed made adjustable for 33 and 45 rpm as well. Like Luxor they also added an extra tonearm to play microgroove records but Centrum had no rolling pick-up so they mounted the new arm under the first one so that it shouldn´t obstruct the changer cycle when 78-rpm records were used. The new model was called 535 and sold only as an optional alternative to 531. As far as I know those were centrum´s only and rather shortlived contribution to the era of recordchangers. It was in many ways outdated since the 78-rpm pick-up still used screw-mounted steelneedles. They were only sold in Centrums own radiograms and even then by order of a customer sometimes replaced with another manufacturers changer.||
|And now, 1953 or late -52, the time to drop a bomb on the market had finally come for Luxor. They introduced the first model in the RT-series: RTW 1. Records of any sizes between 15 and 30cm could be played intermixed as long as they were of the same speed. You didn´t have to stick to one of the three standardsizes 17, 25 or 30cm since the changer had a rolling pickup maintaining it´s own settlingpoint at the records edge. All you have to do is set the speed and start the machine. You don´t even have to think about changing the needle between normal and microgroowe tracks. That is automatically done when you set the speed for the records. The rolling pickup in combination with the automatic needlechanging mechanism became a hit for Luxor and they sold wery well both in sweden and abroad.||
Luxor RTW 1 from ca 1953. The first model
in the very successful RT-series. Later types
got a larger and heavier turntable for better
|Free import again
At the end of 1954 the importrestrictions were lifted and foreign producers could compete on the same terms as Swedish. The radiomanufacturers that didn´t have any recordchangers of their own seemed to prefer Garrard again. Radiola and Kungs delivered their radiograms with Garrard RC 75. Centrum that entered the recordchangerfield just a few years earlier now stopped production and mounted Garrard RC 75 too. Both size and speed had to be the same for all records in stack.
Garrard type RC 75. Popular in the mid 50´s.
|At the same time AGA dropped production of their changers and made a deal with the German manufacturer ELAC (Electroacoustic). Their recordchanger type PW 6 S was mounted in AGA radiograms with a sign on the changer saying "AGA made in germany". The changer could mix 25 and 30 cm records but had to be manually set to take 17cm singles.|
|Telefunken seem to have stopped production of their "Crypto" changer already in 1948 or -49. They used AGA´s recordchangers up to 1953 and then they started mounting the German company Dual´s changers instead. The type they used was called 1002 and it could take all standardsizes with 25/30 intermixed and 17 changed either as only size or if put on top of a stack with larger records. Tjerneld also imported and used this model in their radiograms|
|Then in 1955 Telefunken came back on the market with a recordchanger of their own brand. It was called the "Musikus D" and was now fitted in their radiograms. This changer was actually made by the US company Voice of Music and was then called Tri-o-matic but when assembled in Germany from American parts Telefunken put there own trade mark on them. Pushbuttons were used on this model as it was on their old model "Crypto". It could change 25/30 intermixed and 17 without resetting but not mixed with other formats.|
|HMV also introduced a new changer in 1955. I haven´t seen any of this model so I dont know much about it. According to the brochure it should be able to change all 3 standardformats mixed. It is also equipped with a speed trim regulator and stroboscop pattern on the turntable. They were of course used in HMV radiograms and also sold as a separate unit. Although it may certainly be a rather advanced construction no other manufacturer on the Swedish market appeared to use them.|
|Philips recordchangers during the 50´s
Philips of course continued to introduce new recordchangermodels too. The one that was to become most popular of them was AG 1000. It looks in many ways like 2975 and it has the same features. 25 and 30 cm records could be changed intermixed but it had to be reset to change 17 cm size. It could also repeat 17 or 25 cm discs but 30 cm records were repeated as if they would have been 25 or 17 depending on setting. I think it was first introduced in late 1952 and then it was called AG 1000 S. About two years later came the AG 1000 NS and some three years after that AG 1000 R. Differences between those types are minimal. Picture to the right shows AG 1000 S.
|In 1953 Philips introduced a 4-speed recordchanger. It was built in Sweden and called AG 1002 V. This was also the first Philipschanger to take all 3 standardsizes intermixed. The time of the changercycle is constant regardless of which speed the turtable is set for. It seems strange that this type didn´t outrun Ag 1000 but it´s very seldom seen so it must have had it´s technical drawbacks. The prize might of course have been a factor too since it costed more than AG 1000.|
|In 1954 Philips introduced a 3-speed all intermix changer that was called AG 1004. This model was propably made in Holland. It couldn´t beat AG 1000 either and I don´t have any good explanation why. It doesn´t have the repeatfunction of course but on the other hand it ought to be easily operated. AG 1002 cost a bit more than AG 1000 and that might be the reason for it´s less sales but this type were actually cheaper.|
|Another budget model was the type AG 1003. Propably introduced 1954 or 55. The brochure claims that it is able to change all standardsizes intermixed. The intermix changing is made possible with the help of an arm that is struck by a record falling down from the stack on its way to the turntable. If it´s a 30cm record the arm is pressed all the way down but if it is a 25cm record it will only be struck down a little bit. The mechanism is built to detect the difference and thus determinig the settlingpoint for the pick-up. If the arm is not struck at all the mechanism sets down at the 17cm position. If records are to be repeated or singleplayed a special button is provided to set size with.|
|A Swedishbuilt budgetmodel from ca 1956 also exists. It was called NG 1401 and plays records of all 4-speeds. It was controlled by buttons and had a special setting for manual playing of a record. On this model recordsize must be set for the whole stack and also speed of course. This model or the sistermodel NG 1402 was often sold in Conserton radiograms and the changer can also be seen marked with the Conserton name. Conserton was an old Swedish radiomanufacturer that now was controlled by the Philipscorporation.|
|In 1957 a 4-speed version of the former AG 1003 was introduced. Type is AG 1014 and it seems to have just about the same features as it´s predecessor except of course the ability to play 16-rpm "talking books". It was rereleased in a slightly different version in 1958 called AG 1024. Picture to the right is of AG 1014. There is a special button for repeatfunction on all three of these changers. The explanation to that is that the size feeling arm that is to be struck by a falling record of course won´t be struck if the same record is repeated and then the mechanism would set down the pick-up at the 17cm position no matter what size the record on the turntable would have. If recordsupport is removed they can all act as automatic singleplayers.|
|A special hi-fi version of the AG 1024 called AG 1105 (or AG 1005 if it was delivered built in a radiogram) was also released in 1959. It had a built in stroboscope and a speed trim device. Normally it was a recordchanger but it could also be used as an automatic singleplayer. This was actually one of the last recordchangers made by Philips. Later models were automatic singleplayers in first hand though some type were able to operate as a recordchanger with some limitations.|
|The German wonder conquers Sweden
Sweden became a wealthy country in the fifties and it showed in peoples demand for new home electronics. The radiogram had always been considered a luxuryitem before 1950 but now it was to become a natural part of most peoples homes. While the market growed the industry also could grow accordingly, however in 1954 when importrestrictions were lifted a lot of foreign producers also wanted their piece of the cake. German producers that had been represented in Sweden before the war such as Saba, Loewe, and Blaupunkt now returned and newcomers like Grundig, Graetz and Körting came with them. None of these companies made their own recordchangers but of course most of them sold radiograms and the changers they used would be either Dual or Perpetuum-Ebner. Some producers sold them without changers too of course. Graetz, Grundig, Schaub-Lorenz and Blaupunkt used Perpetuum-Ebner changers of the Rex series. This changer played all size intermix and the tonearm itself checked size of each record while it was only halfway dropped to the turntable in the first step. Blaupunkt and Schaub-Lorenz actually used Garrard changers in some models though. Saba and Loewe normally featured DUAL changers.
Perpetuum-Ebner Rex type A ca 1956-58.
Perpetuum-Ebner Rex S deluxe ca 1957-58.
This model is a 4-speed type.
|The last great years
Garrard finally released a recordchanger with a straight centerpin and a special arm to detect size of records in the stack. It changes a mix of all 3 sizes as long as the largest records are put in the bottom of the stack. Ca 1956 came this new type RC 110 and it was used by several Swedish radio manufacturers among them Centrum and Radiola. This model was also used in some of Blaupunkts radiograms. A few years later they introduced the type RC 120 which came in both 3 and 4-speed versions.
|Telefunken released a new model in 1958 called TW 501 and it works a lot like the "Musikus D" but they had now skipped the pushbuttons. It seemed to be a trend that the changers should be easily operated rather than loaded with a lot of extra features. Pause had disappeared already in the early fifties and now it seemed that the demand for repeating records had faded too. In 1959 Telefunken introduced a stereochanger called TW 562 and both of these were also constructed and manufactured by American Voice of Music. This was propably the last changer from Telefunken on the Swedish market.||
Telefunken type TW 501 from 1958.
|AGA introduced a new changer in late 1957 or early 1958 although it was actually another model from the German company ELAC. The type was called PW 9 S and it played all 3 standardsizes intermixed. The arm scanned the size of the record under the stack but it couldn´t settle for any position, just the 3 standard formats were possible to set. It also featured 4-speed.||
AGA (or ELAC) type PW 9 S.
|Finally back were we started, with Luxor. The RT-series was improved bye and bye with a new model released almoust every year. First they gave it a bigger and heavier turntable, then they introduced a microswitch instead of the original quicksilverswith and then they changed the motorassembly so that it could be fitted in radiograms demanding less deepth under the baseplate. Then there was time for a new pick-up type, then 4-speed and then stereo and so on. I don´t know exactly how many different models Luxor made of the RT-changers. I have seen the following: RTW 1, RTW 3, RTW 6, RTW 7, (RTW 77, a special table type) RTW 10, (RTW 101, 102 & 103 are just variants in different tablemodels) RTW 21, (RTW 210 also a tablemodel) RTW 24 and RTW 242 S. The last two, introduced ca 1962-64, does no longer have neither the rolling pick-up nor the automatic needlechanging mechanism. In the early 60´s Luxor redesigned their changers to be more up to date for the hi-fi era and the mentioned features having served Luxor well for years was now considered as a source of rumble affecting the reproduction. Instead of the rolling pick-up they introduced an arm with a brush that checked the size of each record before the arm set down to play it. The RT-series was very successful and exported to all parts of the world. It was also manufatured on license in some countries, notably also in the USA. Luxor discontinued recordchanger manufacturing in the mid 60´s.||
Luxor type RTW 101 a 4-speed changer from
ca 1958-59 built in a socket.
|Recordchangers did of course exist also after the mid 60´s.
Garrard, Dual, Perpetuum-Ebner and BSR could be seen on the Swedish market
at least until 1970 or so, but from my point of wiev I´d rather favour
those small mecanical wonders of the 50´s or earlier. An old radiogram
with recordchanger can still be purchased at an affordable cost at an auction
or so. It´s getting difficult to find spareparts, i´m afraid,
but many of these machines still work and if you´re a little handy
you might be able to keep it playing for many years to come.
It may well serve as an alternative to a jukebox, and although I´ve now aquired such an automat, I won´t stop using my radiograms. It´s nice to play old tunes from old records and using old equipment. Keep playing!