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Monday, August 5, 2013

Electrohome Circa 75

The photo of an unusual-looking stereo has piqued some curiosity, both on the blog and in the store. Here it is beside the Eames lounge chair and ottoman on our showroom floor. It is an Electrohome Circa 75 Model 701.


Electrohome stereo

Gordon Duern, Electrohome's design director, looked to the Canadian government's space program for ideas when he decided to come up with the design. The prototype, a round model created in 1965 or 1966, is housed in the Waterloo Regional Museum in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. It had a solid state stereo and controls in a teak cabinet, a wall screen television and a sound chair with built-in speakers and arm controls.

Duern envisioned the Circa 75 to be a communication center which could do amazing things, like track the New York Stock Exchange, link with distant cities and universities and even allow the owner to shop at his favorite store. Unfortunately, the technology for those applications did not exist at the time, but the stereos did go into production.

From electrohomecirca75.blogspot.com 


Ad for Electrohome Circa 75 Model 701
midcenturymodernfreak.tumblr.com

Electrohome Circa 75 Model 703
electrohomecirca75.blogspot.com
When we take photos of the one in our store for our website, I'll give you some close-up shots of the controls, which are pretty amazing.

13 comments:

  1. 30+ years in the electronics industry (my hobby since I was about 12 has been HiFi (remember that?) and stereo) and this is the first I've seen those uniquely attractive stereos. I wonder if any survive any place.

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    1. That's one in the flesh, sitting in our store. You'd probably be interested in the discussions on electrohomecirca75.blogspot.com.

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  2. Such style! ...are you planning some soiree's in the new shop?

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    1. We're planning a grand opening celebration to coincide with a big art walk in the Design District in about a month.

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  3. Thanks for indulging me Dana!
    That Electrochrome is the coolest piece of vintage tech. I can see how it would be a nice complement to a wood-and-chrome desk.

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    1. I had a feeling this would be right up your alley. :)

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  4. That most definitely is a gorgeous stereo. I would take it or a Dieter Rams design any day but that would mean trading out the speakers my dad built from scratch . . . .so sentiment wins out every day. I love, love, love when something is functional AND really well designed. Thanks for sharing. Cheers - CT

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    1. We had a gorgeous Braun stereo designed by Herbert Hirsch for Braun with a Deiter Rams interface. I would have loved to own that piece...but you're right that sentiment would have to prevail in a situation like yours.

      http://mid2mod.blogspot.com/2011/08/in-store-drexel-precedent-braun-stereo.html

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  5. Somehow I deleted a comment and my response, which might be of some interest to several of you. Luckily, I was able to copy it before I refreshed the page:

    Anonymous August 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM
    I just purchased a Circa 75 model 703 in Minneapolis this week. It is in great shape and I absolutely love it. It even came with the owners manual and schematics and the original receipt. It was originally purchased for $625 in 1970. Good luck with your Electrohome!


    Dana@Mid2Mod August 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM
    That was quite a chunk of change in 1970. According to an online inflation calculator, that would be $3,761.34 in today's economy. Congratulations on getting one in such good condition!


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  6. I have one of these in my house, which is a mid-century modern ranch. It is glorious in the right setting. The internals are fairly fried, so I'm considering a discreet (hidden) update with modern components, while preserving as much of the original as possible.

    Has anyone undertaken a project on one of these babies?

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  7. If I'm not mistaken, Dallas Vintage Audio in Bedford, TX, did some work on this one before we sold it. If you don't live in the area, they might be able to steer you right via email or phone.

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  8. I have the Circa 75 Model 701 in excellent condition that I am considering retro fitting with a SONOS Connect Amp.
    What is one of these worth currently?

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  9. Hello
    I own a circa 701 cabinet ,does anyone know with what type of speaker can you replace the originals ?

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