by Dan Jobin DJobin@kicker.com
This has to be one of the earliest car tape players made. The Patent number shown in two places on the back of the unit were issued during the year 1959. The pamphlet that came in the box shows cartridges available at the time. Some research into the issue dates on these albums reveals that the newest album was released in 1962 and all of those listed are monophonic recordings.
One more indication that this is an early tape player is the way in which the audio is reproduced. Instead of having a built in amplifier with speaker wires coming out like all the other tape players, this one has an AM radio signal generator that feeds an antenna jack on the back. The audio from the tape being played is modulated onto the AM radio frequency, which is connected to the antenna input on your stock AM radio. When you tune the radio to the right frequency, the tape audio is heard through the stock speaker(s). This method of signal transfer was used on the underdash record players from the late 50's, but not on any other type device since then, as far as I know.
This player is built to accommodate Fidelipac 300 and 600 cartridges. The 300 is a standard size cart (like the 8 track) and the 600 is about twice that size. It will play either mono or stereo cartridges, but the output through the AM radio will always be mono.
It would be interesting to see where this player fits in with the early car tape player scene. Muntz units were reportedly sold starting in 1962. Is this some of the technology he used to develop the first Muntz players?
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