Ah yes, the good old days. You’ve seen them on TV, or when you’re out and about, or maybe you are one of the lucky few that owns a restored one yourself? We’re talking about the jukebox.
For those of you who fancy a taste of nostalgia, this year Sound Leisure, one of the very few companies still making handcrafted analog jukeboxes, is about to launch a brand new vinyl jukebox—Rocket Vinyl—the only one in the world.
Sound Leisure is based in Leeds, England, and the Rocket Vinyl is the first new vinyl jukebox the company has made in 20 years. It will be available to purchase, retailing for around £8,000. Currently the company makes handcrafted CD jukeboxes.
Colin Vernon, Sound Leisure’s Classic Jukeboxes Division Head, told the BBC that the jukebox is not going to be a mass-produced item, saying: “It could be we only manufacture between 20 and 50 jukeboxes a year.”
This product is so sought after that people have put their names on a list just to get on the waiting list.
This new and updated version of the jukebox is a step up from the vintage models that were made in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The earliest jukebox models looked amazing but the sound quality had left a lot to be desired. With the Rocket Vinyl, sound engineers made sure that the jukebox would provide the superior sound people have come to expect these days.
Each Rocket Vinyl jukebox will offer a choice of 140 tracks equating to 70 45rpm singles, playing both sides. Of course, with the booming market in original vinyl, and record companies and artists tapping into this, the chances of getting new and old pressings of your favorite music have gone up dramatically.
As of now, Sound Leisure is the only manufacturer in the world producing vinyl jukeboxes, but with vinyl gaining more and more popularity, it’s likely that US firm Rockola will start manufacturing its own handcrafted vinyl jukeboxes for the US market.
Quick fact: The most expensive jukebox ever sold at auction was a Wurlitzer—a 1942 Wurlitzer model 1950 designed by Paul Fuller, which was sold by Christie’s in their LA auction room in 2001 for $22,325.