Posted on Leave a comment

1950s Dansette, EAR, and Teppaz Record Players. Which would you choose?

1950s Dansette, EAR, and Teppaz Record Players.

1950s Dansette, EAR, and Teppaz Portable Record Players. Which would you choose?

1950s Dansette, EAR, and Teppaz Record Players. Which would you choose? These weren’t the only manufacturers around at the time but:-

  1. One was a Rolls Royce product but didn’t sell well
  2. Had great advertising but is less well remembered
  3. One was very popular but wasn’t necessarily the best built player

Which is which? Read the following blog to find out!

Portable Record Players

Long before the Walkman, portable CD or even the iPod and tablet, portable music was considered cool but the preferred format throughout the 1950s and 1960s was the record player.

This demand spawned some absolutely dreadful players, some which are mediocre yet have achieved cult status and some which are relatively unknown, despite being ‘Rolls Royce quality’ pieces of kit!

In fact, Retro portable record players have come back into fashion, as have vinyl records. There are digital players that can:-

  • Play your Vinyl records
  • Act as an MP3 player
  • DAB Radio
  • Alarm clock
  • Make your dinner for you! (Only joking!)

Now who would have said that twenty years ago when they said that vinyl was dead! Have a read of our blogs on vinyl revival and the vinyl record’s manufacturing process.

In my humble opinion, none of these modern electronic devices, {at the lower end of the market (<£100) not the megapriced audiophile equipment}, have the sound quality of the old electronic valve based record players. Not that I ever had one. My pocket money didn’t stretch that far!

The 1950s/60s companies, however, were pretty good at producing some brilliant advertising (think ‘Mad Men!).  Some of this has stood the test of time better than the record players themselves!

Dansette

Original 1950s Advert for the 'Dansette' record player
Original 1950s Advert for the ‘Dansette’ record player

Think “The Beatles’, ‘The Shadows,’ and other iconic 1950s and 60s Popular music, and you’ll probably have played or heard your latest ‘single’ on a Dansette in the UK. They were quite expensive at ~ 11 Guineas (over £300 in today’s money) and, most electronics experts agree, were not good value for money.

Dansettes could play 7, 10- and 12-inch discs of 78, 45, 33⅓, and 16 rpm.  The Viva and Junior models were designed to be transportable, with a handle and studs affixed to the side of the case and latches to secure the protective lid. This design set the standard for the day. They also had built-in speakers. Woo-hoo!

E.A.R Microgram

One such ‘Rolls Royce’ device is the EAR Microgram produced by Electric Audio Reproducers (EAR) Mortlake, London SW14. E.A.R were one of the first companies to start producing record players after WWII.

1950s EAR Microgram Portable Record Player
1950s EAR Microgram Portable Record Player

This little beauty, dating from 1955 – 1957, is quite a peach with a Collaro 57 deck, allowing replay at speeds of 78, 45 and 33 rpm driving a Single Ended (SE) valve amplifier having an EL84 and EZ80 valve lineup. All wrapped up in a ply case covered in figured refine with the sound provision courtesy of an Elac full range loudspeaker.

EAR ceased trading in the 1960s when competition from the Far East became too fierce.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find an original advert for this record player so I’ve shared one showing 1950s fashion instead!

Wasn’t 1950s fashion so elegant? However, many teenage girls wore full skirts and petticoats with ‘Bobby socks’- not a great combination!

1950s Fashion- nothing to do with portable record players but I love the advert!
1950s Fashion- nothing to do with portable record players but I love the advert!

Teppaz

Teppaz was an electronic brand founded in Lyon, France by Marcel Teppaz in 1931. In the late 1950s and into the 1960’s the brand dominated the European mainland with it’s portable record players, indeed, this company produced the ‘Gallic Dansette’!

However, the company differed from the staid Margolin brand by employing adventurous advertising, (which would not be allowed today!), as shown below: –

They also cultivated the patronage of their products by iconic figures such as Marlene Dietrich: –

 

So, based on the above, which would you prefer to choose to ruin your 45s!

Did you get it right?

  1. One was a Rolls Royce product but didn’t sell well
  2. Had great advertising but is less well remembered
  3. One was very popular but wasn’t necessarily the best built player
  1. EAR Microgram
  2. Teppaz
  3. Dansette

 

SaveSave

Please follow and like us:
Leave a Reply