Stonehenge Stereo Speakers, Circa 1975

Exhibit / September 28, 2016

Object Name: Stonehenge stereo speakers
Maker and Year: Altec, circa 1975
Object Type: Loudspeakers
Description: (Richard McKenna and K.E. Roberts)

Along with Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, and several ancient monoliths attributed to alien astronauts in Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods? (1968), Stonehenge became a symbol of occult mystery in the 1970s, a subject of novels, films, albums, and even a music festival. Various manufacturers also appropriated the name to confer upon their products a mystique that transcended the commercial arena, as demonstrated by these speakers from Altec, a California company catering to a new breed of consumer following the consolidation of hi-fi—the audiophile. Billed as “a classic of contemporary technology” inspired by “an ancient mystery,” the three Stonehenge models (I, II, III) were of impressive size and allegedly capable of producing devastatingly loud volume, the original model housed in a cabinet made of “luxurious hand-rubbed Afromosian Teak.”

3 thoughts on “Stonehenge Stereo Speakers, Circa 1975

  1. So I would imagine that this was the precursor to the Altec Lansing speaker company we know of today?

    It’s amazing how times have changed. Through the ’70s and ’80s there was this big push for booming systems with tons of bass and dynamic range. From home stereo hi-fis to car stereos. Heck, I even remember the names for the top-selling brands just because everyone talked about ’em so much. Rockford Fosgate. Kickers. Bazooka Tubes. Cerwin-Vegas. JBL 6x9s (the absolute minimum setup for a decent car stereo system, apparently). Nowadays there’s a basic contentment with streaming audio and perhaps a nice, compact Bluetooth speaker. Seems the only audiophiles left are the 40-something Gen-Xers and boomers who remember and relish the grand old sound of Hi-Fi systems.

  2. Pingback: “The Best of Britain in Miniature”: Tucktonia Model Village Brochure, Circa 1976

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