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Hi-Fi Heaven: Stereo & Record Player Advertising (1960s-1980s)

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1968- Australia

“It’s waiting for you! An exciting adventurous step, out into a completely new world of sound.  Vivid.  Intense and alive.”

I have, for your viewing pleasure, a healthy supply of vintage stereo advertisements from Europe, the US, and elsewhere around the world spanning the 1960s through the 1980s.  We have everything from Andy Warhol sponsored Pioneer stereos to mod space-age flying saucer 8-tracks. It’s a vintage hi-fi lover’s dream.  So, put on your headphones and buckle up, ’cause we’re turning it up to eleven! Enjoy.

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The vintage sound system is awesome enough, but the amazing decor and groovy chick just sent this advertisement into the stratosphere.

1971

1971

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Includes a built-in 8 track player – I’m sold.

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“For the sophisticated lover… of music”

You’ll note that a lot of these advertisements were geared specifically for males.  Considering the vast majority of stereo consumers in these days were men, it was a logical strategy.

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From 1971 – Can you dig that clear plastic chair? The perfect furniture for relaxing to the new Herb Alpert record.

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The mod space-age flying saucer stereo called the Weltron 2005 from 1970 has become a treasured item among vintage stereo enthusiasts.

 

 

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March 1975

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publicite-philips-electrophone-stereo-ad-1971-a1971

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As this page from a 1969 brochure attests, home stereos were often like pieces of furniture. Television were the same way – heavy and expensive, consumers who purchased these were definitely not anticipating a quick obsolesce.

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1968 – Australia

1984

In decades past, the home stereo (and television) was quite the investment – and, in the days before everyone had a wallet-full of credit cards, purchasing one was a big deal.  It may be worth your while to do a little research beforehand and attend the Hi-Fi show.

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I don’t think I need to remind you that, when the target consumers are men, the “sex sells” approach works like a champ.  Just stick a pretty lady into your advertising, and it’ll all work out.

1980s-audio-video-systems

It wasn’t until the 1980s that homes began to have their TV’s hooked up to their stereo system.

 

1970

1970

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1983

This advertisement from 1983 demonstrates the true future of sound: “Compu-Edit” to record your records to cassette, and the proto-playlist via the “Compu Selector System”.

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(L) “By the addition of just two speakers and the new Fisher TX 420 2-Channel/4-Channel Converter existing stereo equipment can be converted into genuine, discrete 4-channel system.  Converter incorporates 8-track tape cartridge deck.” (1971)

(R) As you can plainly see, one country’s normal average everyday stereo advertisement, is another country’s pornography.

pioneer-vintage-speaker-advert

“Get a personal demonstration at your quality Pioneer Hi-Fi dealer.  And while you’re there ask him for a FREE Blood, Sweat & Tears wall poster.”

1970

Panasonic and Kenwood ads from 1970

1968

1968

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1970

1970

1974

1974

1970

1970

1967- Australia

1967- Australia

1970

1970

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What in God’s holy name is that mask in the CD cabinet? I’m thinking it’s supposed to be Mick Jagger?

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(L) 1970, (C) 1974, (R) 1974

An entire generation of X’rs were conceived to the sounds of the Boomer’s brand new stereo systems.  Whether it was Barry White or Barry Gibb on the turntable, Hi-Fi’s in the 1970s were made for lovin’.

And on that note, we’ll take a break to turn it to Side B.  Next up – boom boxes and other portable stereos.  Stay tuned.

  • Roland C.

    Thanks for this great post, I used to drool over these kind of ads as a teenager in the 70’s. I still use the Pioneer R-300 speakers which I bought in 1975 in my home theater system.

  • AB

    My parents had a Superscope in the 70s and I dated a girl who’s parents had something almost identical to the GE Scandia as late as 1983.

  • Freakanatcha

    In my college frat, I had the largest set of speakers we called “the bears” – a definite chick magnet. Then it transitioned to the biggest, loudest sound system in your car, which could still attract women (and car thieves). But today it’s airpods. Can anyone expect to snag a cutie with airpods?

    A tip of the cap to Dick Blade for scoring a nice combo of best porn name and porn stash in a non-porn catalog ad.

  • Steve Mills

    The girl in the blue arrow dress in the Toshiba ad would become a treasured addition to my collection.

    Warhol in a stereo ad? What the hell did he know about sound? What a sham.

  • StandingTallAsAnAmerican

    Aaaaah, SuperScope!! That was my starter stereo back in 1974. Two years later I upgraded to a Pioneer SX 434 receiver, BIC turntable TEAC A170 tape deck and Advent speakers.

    And while I didn’t have an army of babes, I did manage to snag the blonde across the street!!

  • NGO

    1980. For Christmas our parents got each of us a Hitachi all-in-one. Turntable, AM/FM receiver, and Cassette Recorder. My first love. Have not been able to find a photo of it though. Hitachi decided to locate the tape deck flat on top, not vertically on the front, very cool.

  • njguy54

    Apparently, the more you spent on a stereo back then, the better it could make pretty ladies’ multiply while making their clothes disappear.