Recently I had a great conversation at a local coffee shop with an area musician and we got to talking about stereo VS mono recordings and I was discussing how, growing up, I actually listened to most music in my formative years on a vacuum tube console radio similar to the one picturedImage, so I was used to mono music initially. My dad was a TV repairman and also had been a Ham radio operator and FCC licensed radio engineer and, in our home, the main radio was a large console radio like this one, the radio was from the early 1960s and we used it until the late 1980s. We lived in the country, so we did not have cable TV, instead dad had a huge rooftop antenna on top of the house directed toward Kansas City and he also had an additional booster/amplifier wired in from the antenna to the living room. We would use a clip to attach either the TV or the radio to the rooftop antenna, therefore, the radio had super reception. We lived in Osage City and most people in the rural area there without cable could only pick up Topeka TV stations, we could also pick up all of the Kansas City stations as well, even KQ-2 out of St. Joe, Missouri. I could also pick up all of the Kansas City radio stations very clearly and could pick up the low-powered KJHK college radio station out of Lawrence, that was where I first heard punk rock on that vacuum tube radio. I have this very vivid old memory of my mom making divinity candy once and me sampling it while listening to KJHK and hearing Minor Threat for the first time. I probably developed a particular love for garage punk style music because I first got into rock n roll listening to mono rather than stereo. Of course, by the time I got to the mid-80s and was in my mid-teens (yes I am THAT old), I got around to getting a cassette radio boombox with headphones and stereo, but I always miss the sound of that vacuum-tube console and it’s mono sound for certain kind of music, very full and rich in its’ own way and definitely “rock solid”.

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