Spotlight on: Grundig Majestic Hi-Fi Console
Before there was stereo there was high fidelity, or "hi-fi". This term encompassed recordings and equipment designed with the intention of providing faithful sound reproduction in the home. Not to overlook their American counterparts, German companies such as Grundig, Blaupunkt, Telefunken and Emud excelled in producing tube driven radio components known for their rich, warm sound, even though it was monaural in nature. Not only that, but the consoles these components were housed in qualified as high end pieces of furniture with their beautiful wood grains and elegant design.
We happen to be fortunate enough to own not one, but two Grundig Majestic consoles. Both sport radio tuners that receive AM and FM broadcasts, as well as a number of short wave bands. Both also have a BSR Monarch turntable that plays records at 4 different speeds. The smaller, dark console is a Model 7018 console in excellent working condition, while the larger blond console is a Model 7028 that is a work in progress. I have seen photos of the Model 7038, and it includes a reel to reel tape player.
One recent evening, after arranging our latest compliment of MCM living room furniture in a new layout that put all of the elements in harmony with each other, my wife and I decided to relax with a period-appropriate adult beverage and listen to the radio. One of the difficulties I have encountered in trying to enjoy this "majestic" classic is that there is a scarcity of radio stations playing music that showcases its superb audio qualities and at the same time suitably matches it's graceful and refined lines.
Tuning across the FM radio dial I stumbled onto a station that we had never heard before. Their musical format consists of classical music during the day and jazz (real jazz, not "smooth" jazz) in the evening. Perfect! We sat in the semi-darkened living room and did what our parents and grandparents used to do before the advent of cable television and the internet (don't GO there....!). We listened - the music was the entertainment and the Grundig was the medium.
As we were serenaded by many of the giants of jazz I was transported to a completely different time, one where pride took precedence over profit. Furniture and appliances were meant to last a lifetime and be passed from one generation to the next.
There is also something nostalgic about the soft, warm glow of a vintage radio's dial light that can't be matched by the flashing red digital numbers seen today. While we sat and listened to a 50+ year old radio hand built by craftsmen, I couldn't imagine our kids deriving the same sort of enjoyment and sharing the same sort of listening experience with a 50 year old iPod (if such a thing should actually happen to exist in the future).
If you like vintage audio equipment and classic music then hopefully this short clip should help put you in the mood...."Mood Indigo", that is. Enjoy!
Grundig Model 7018