Retro Tech for your Bar

A few repro/retro suggestions for your bar sounds.

When setting up your home bar, Mr. Booze feels it necessary to point out that your music has to be played on something that compliments your cocktail vibe. Like I’ve mentioned before, classic drinks demand music born in bygone eras. Mel Torme’, Dean Martin, Johnny Hartman, Chet Baker, Nat Cole and more all sound better coming out of electronics that compliment their eras. I’m not anti modern electronics. I-pods, MP3 players, modern set-ups … all have their place. I just believe that if a flea’s gone to the trouble of setting up a home-bar, an intimate more personal expression of sharing the music is called for. Retro and classic mixed drinks, in my opinion, call for retro and classic looking reproductions. Alas, the originals are hard to come by and are just not wired for compact disks or downloaded music.

What Mr. Booze has in his bar can still be found pretty easily if you devote an afternoon on the Internet. What I have is a Classic Reproduction Grundig 960. This is just a beautiful, 1940’s-50’s, wood-cabinet radio, which I’m able to easily hook up to my CD player. The radio acts as a receiver so I’ve just stashed my multi-disk CD player under the bar and display this gorgeous radio up on top. The sound quality is excellent and the built-in speakers are felt covered which soften and wrap the sound in warmth not found in today’s electronics. The volume potential more than covers my needs. I can have a room full of guests and this bar set-up provides all the sound I need. Blasting music is not what you want with a night of old school imbibing. Reproduction radio/CD players are an elegant way of honoring and celebrating simpler times.

The Grundig Classic 960 is no longer in production but I see ‘em all the time on ebay. You should easily find one for under $200. Worth every penny.

Crosley Radios and Record Players are also affordable options for display and the playing of your cocktail party music. I have the below mentioned turntable and I love it.

With it, I’m able to take full advantage of all the classic vinyl I find at Saturday Estate and Yard Sales. Trust me, a Tom Collins and some 1960’s Jack Jones records on a Friday night with a the wife and another couple or two, just adds up to a great evening to press in a memory book. This player also player CD’s and tapes. I buy old radio shows and enjoy them even more through the fabric-covered speakers. The all-wood cabinet looks nice as all get-out and the old sounds just sound better spilling out of one. I’ve posted a link below, but you can find ‘em on sale in Department and box stores like Target and Bed, Bath and beyond. Check it out here.

Crosley also puts out a little 1950’s style repro. Radio. It’s called the CR612 Corsair and it looks like a little streamlined piece of retro heaven. Chrome and black plastic, this baby would just be dynamite tucked back on the corner of your bar or on your liquor shelf. Slap some John Coltrane in it, mix up a shaker of Manhattans, invite some buddies over for poker and you’d be all set.
Here’s a link. Check it out here.

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