This is just to see if anyone in the UK has seen
this stereo or similar and just to share and a funny story about a
piece of retro Hi - Fi and seek some technical info. I know
it's not a classic hi fi piece or a high end piece but maybe it's of interest.
story starts in 1969 when my best friend's older brother bought his
first stereo. It was an HMV 8 + 8 (see photos). It was
marketed in Australia as a budget table top stereo and was enormously
popular with teenagers and young adults because of its styling. It
had the feel of a separates but was compact enough for a small room.
It had a BSR turntable proudly proclaiming 'Made in England' and had
a lifter for the arm only seen on more expensive turntables. With HMV
and BSR many Australians thought they were buying a bit of class,
imported and with connections to the old dart. Yet the cabinets were
manufactured locally to spec for HMV.
In 1969 my friend and I were 9 years old, so we
weren't 60's boomers, just grew up in it. But when friends' older
brother was out, we used to sneak in and play this machine. It was
the first time we heard Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, the Beatles and
so on. It was the first time I had experienced stereo in close
quarters and it's something you don't forget.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Ipods and Cd's.
I collect singles, not albums, just singles. I have about 3,000
dating from the 50's to the
last pressings in the 90's. I have a good turntable and amp and am
pretty careful with them but it is a working collection, i.e. I play
It was just out of curiosity I looked on ebay to
see if I could find an '8+8' no luck but I found an HMV stereo for
sale. Looking at the photo, there it was a thirty year blast from the
past. I put a bid on it and won it. Anyone with e-bay experience
would know it's always good to ask a question about its condition.
Every time I asked a question about whether it worked, or any other
query, it was a real mono syllabic answer like 'dunno' or 'know
nutthin about it'. I took a punt and paid $50.00 (about 15 pounds).
When I picked it up I found it was from a guy who was selling off all
his fathers' stuff who had recently died. He was a 20 something
and didn't even know about records. I mean to him, this record player
might as well have been a meat grinder. No idea of records which made
sense from his answers on e-bay. Can't blame him, just a generation
removed from records.
this unit was immaculate. It was like it just came out of the shop.
I have never seen a Perspex lid absolutely scratch free. The big
question was did it work? (As it came without speakers). Took it
home, plugged it in threw a couple of speakers on it and it played.
Not very well mind you.
So I rang a bloke who I bought an amp off when I
was 18 and who still has a hi fi store in Dee Why (a wee suburb in
Sydney). Now the funny thing is I have been overseas for 15 years and
came back a couple of years ago but this guy Dave Ryall (and an
Englishman by the way) turned me onto hi fi as a lad and he still has
a small shop in DY.
So there I am talking to a bloke I haven't spoken
to in 25 years, and would he have a stylus for a crappy ceramic
cartridge for an old BSR turntable? As it turned out he did. $20
dollars later with a new stylus installed and a pair of second hand
speakers from St Vincent's de Paul it sounded as good I guess as it
Now the only thing missing is an HMV logo on the
Perspex lid and a rubber mat (I bought a mat off ebay so no probs.
there was also the option of replacing the automatic spindle with a
short spindle. The clip is there but the spindle is not. If
anyone knows where I could get these two parts please get in touch.
I had a query about the output on the front if
anyone can help. The 8+8 styling put all the specifications on the
front in text. So you get this rave on the front about the amplifier
response and so on. On the front it has two mini jack outputs proudly
proclaiming '600 ohm 8 volts r.m.s. max'. I assumed
this would be the equivalent to a line out, so I made some leads up
and plugged it into my amp and you get an output but it's a bit
fuzzy, it doesn't sound right. What also I find strange is the output
can be controlled by the volume control on the record player. Would
anybody have any idea of what this output was intended to match?
Anyway there it is. The 8+8 interested to know if
a similar model was made in England and this was based on it. It's
not a high end piece but certainly brings back a lot of memories. The
front panel cam in two versions a black front panel with silver text
and silver knobs or as my one is a brushed aluminium front with black
text and black knobs.
P.O. Box 5162 Wheelers Height 2097
Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Tel : (612) 9972 1771
Mob: 0431 967 365