Frank Zappa’s estate unveils retro stereo furniture

One day back in the 1970s, a pickup backed into our driveway. In the back was a massive Viking console stereo. It looked something like this, only bigger. A lot bigger.

Viking was in Eatons’ in-house electronics brand. Dad bought it second-hand for $100, a huge sum back in those days. It was also the era when audio and video equipment was often disguised as massive pieces of furniture.

Inside was an AM/FM radio and a Gerrard automatic record changer, the kind that allowed you to stack at least six albums on a tall spindle. Once a side finished playing, the tonearm swung back, the next record dropped into place and began to play. You could have maybe two hours’ worth of music lined up.

Speakers? Full-range rattlers behind the barely transparent mesh grills.

These days, such monstrosities are no longer tolerated by anyone–except, maybe, the estate of Frank Zappa.

Frank’s estate has announced a new deal with LUNO, a luxury design company for this “luxury hi-fi console series,” resulting in “The SSK Soundwave, FZ Limited Edition.”

See the brass inlay? That’s the soundwave from Frank’s 1988 composition, “Sofa No. 1.”

Inside you’ll find a Pro-Ject Esprit CS turntable (a good one!), a 2.1 speaker system, a 100-watt sub, two aux inputs and Apple Airplay.  If that’s not enough, a big selection of Zappa albums are included along with some Zappa-themed whiskey glasses and a few other things.

How much? No idea. But only ten are being made, so it’s not going to be cheap.

Read more here.




Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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