Straight out of the Jetsons, this stunning mid century modern styled stereo is ready to grace your home with outstanding vintage looks and equally appealing sound. Designed by CBS Laboratories, it is the Columbia Model Stereo 360 player, manufactured by Pye of England. I have seen similar units dated to 1962.
Inside the cabinet is a Garrard Laboratory Series Turntable I believe to be a Garrard AT 5. The turntable rotates properly at 16, 33, 45, and 78 speeds. (At 16, it seems to require a bit of a nudge to get up to speed.) The turntable works in both the manual and auto modes.
I can't see any identification of brand or number on the cartridge, descriptions of similar units claim it is a "Pye butterfly ceramic" but I have no way of verifying. A small, red knurled knob is missing from on top of the tonearm head, where it would be used (I believe) to adjust the cartridge weight or tracking in some way. Also, the matching red rubber grommet that covers the end of the sliding control that selects speed is missing; I have replaced it with a black rubber piece that works fine.
Four rotating knobs on the front fascia control "loudness" (volume), balance, treble, and bass. These knobs all function. However, the effect of adjusting them (with the exception of loudness) is quite modest; I have no idea whether this was the original intent or not.
Each side of the cabinet houses three speakers; bass, midrange and treble. When the cabinet top is lowered, the cabinet becomes an acoustic chamber which adds sound reinforcement, primarily to the bass. As far as I can tell, putting my ear to the sides of the cabinet, all drivers are working. The side-firing drivers produce a widely spread and convincing sound field.
The cabinet is in excellent condition, especially in light of its vintage. The side panels still retain the original fabric, though it does show some frays. The wood looks superb, showing one small ding on the top and a few very modest surface ripples.
This unit also includes that rarest of rare "accessories," which is the original wooden support base. Although these players do very occasionally turn up in the United States, it is nearly impossible to find one with the base — especially a base in this outstanding condition.
I am the second owner of this unit, and have only owned it a few weeks. I have enjoyed it thoroughly, but simply do not have room for it in my home. The original owner was one of three daughters, each of whom received a player from their father as a gift. He was a fine wine authority, importer and author on the subject. The daughter from whom I bought this kept it boxed for most of its life, and rarely played it.
Here is a good video of an identical unit in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrar0TnYewg
This piece will ship in two boxes. One for the unit itself (quite heavy) and the other for the stand. I have sold a fair number of high end turntables without issue, and will pack and ship this unit appropriately. Please view my feedback and purchase with confidence.
If you have been looking for a modernist styled stereo for your Eames era home, or simply appreciate fine industrial design, you will not want to miss this stunning piece. It is perfectly delightful, beautiful and functional as-is, and also makes an ideal candidate for a full-scale restoration should you desire one in museum-quality condition.