Music Centres

From the likes of Ferguson and Grundig, Music Centres were the height of fashion for those with absolutely no musical appreciation, but longing for a sideboard that made noises. Primarily seen as a piece of furniture, at worst they looked like a coffin, complete with lift up lid. Tucked away inside was a cheap radio, turntable and cassette player (pre-CD of course) with the speakers behind grills at each end of the front panel.

The sound quality was, well, less than good shall we say, and only surpassed in awfulness by the later (much later) launch of the Amstrad 'hi-fi', whose chief attraction was the CD loader that went in and out at the touch of a button. Well, for a while at least.

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Do You Remember Music Centres?

Do You Remember Music Centres?

  • Kato on 2014-04-23 22:01:01
    Yes, that sounds like a radiogram. My gran and my aunt both had one. My gran's was quite small and looked like a cocktail cabinet and you pulled the door down at the front. I can vaguely remember a Beatles LP in it. My aunts was a big long radiogram. I seem to remember the sound from it was quite good.
  • trip2themoon on 2011-11-16 20:01:27
    @TMC1959: That sounds more like a radiogram you've described than a music centre. Our music centre sounded a million times better than our radiogram. A music centre looks kind of like a Technics 1200 turntable only wide enough for a flip top tape deck at the side.
  • Caz43 on 2011-10-17 13:42:22
    If you are ever feeling a bit nostalgic, pop into a second hand shop that selling furniture as you will most likely come across one of these. I like to just stand and look at them as I am immediately transported back to my childhood and can see myself sitting beside it with my pile of Bay City Roller singles .....then the memory of my Brother shoving me out of the way so he could play his Meat Loaf cassete tape :o(. Many elderly people still have these in their living rooms believe it or not and refuse point blank to update to a cd player until it packs up !!
  • Paul-b4 on 2009-06-10 13:32:13
    I'm afraid to say that I owned 2 Amstrads - an SM101 (the record deck whirred in and out at the touch of a button, in the days before CD became popular) and a Studio 100 (a music centre-cum-4 channel recording studio, which appeared to be a sea of knobs and meters.) Yes, sound quality wasn't great, but in those days CDs used to inhabit a small shelf at the back of the record shop, and so we were all strangers to the crystal clarity that was digital sound.
  • Mark on 2008-10-07 18:33:26
    When I think of a music centre, I think of those long things with a clear plastic lid, containing a turntable at one end, a cassette player in the middle, and a radio tuning dial at the far right. I had one of these - The radio would crackle terribly when tuning to another station, and the overall sound quality was something similar to what you would get if you placed a cushion to each ear while listening. My stepfather had a music system comprising a large wooden cabinet with legs, containing a turntable and a radio, plus a cassette deck he added himself. The speakers were also made of wood, and the grills were made of delicate embroidered fabric - very decorative, but the sound was extremely muffled! The whole system was beautifully made, obviously designed to blend in well with other items of furniture, but sound quality was something the manufacturers spent far less time working on.