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From Hand-Crank Record Players To Wireless Audio

Wireless multi-room audio and high-end audio dominated the news cycle in recent days, but on a recent weekend trip to New York’s state’s Hudson Valley region, my thoughts turned to an earlier generation of home-audio products. Much earlier.

In a dusty antique store, I found not one but two compact audio systems from another era. Both were RCA Victor turntables with a footprint of only about 1.5 square feet and a height of about eight inches, excluding tonearm. Neither was designed for use with a bulky gramophone horn. And neither turntable required electricity to operate; you cranked a handle and let the 78s spin.

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