1961 HiFi Console: Can of Worms

A vintage furniture restoration project leads to a world of vintage electronics and audiophilia.

In 1961, one guy in the Bay Area of California spent a small fortune on his custom HiFi system. In 2022, I paid $750 for the same system. I bought it as a piece of furniture for our home and received an education in vintage audio in the bargain. Now I’m taking responsibility for restoring this piece of history and bringing it back to life.

We found the system at a vintage hifi dealer in Los Angeles. We were attracted by the simple, modern design of the cabinets and by the tambour closure but, as a bonus, we also got most of the original electronic components and lots of the original paperwork. In 1961, the eventual owner specified the following:


  • Custom cabinets: $409.50
  • Fisher 500B Amplifier: $359.50
  • ¬†Garrard Type A Auto Turntable: $79.50 + $29.85
  • Viking 86 reel-to-reel tape player: $299.50
  • Two Electro Voice 12TRXB speakers: $132.00