Retro stereos, tech & ’80s electronics from the 1981 Sears catalog

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Retro tech - home electronics - 1981 Sears catalog
’80s electronics: Never easier to choose the ideal stereo (1981)

Buying a stereo system today can be much easier than it has been in the past.

Before, customers had to mix and match stereo components instead of buying just one brand. Since few manufacturers offered everything for the complete hi-fi system, shoppers had to use a different brand of receiver, speakers, turntable cartridge and tape deck to complete their system.

ALSO SEE: Music to your ears: Walkmans & other portable cassette players (1981)

Today, however, while customers may still want to mix and match component brands, most major manufacturers produce all the major elements of a complete system. To make buying an outfit that much easier, some makers have put all of those one-brand components together in special racks to minimize space problems once the system has been purchased.

Retro tech - home electronics - 1981 Sears catalog

(Article continues below)

Vintage stereos, TV sets, tape players, VCRs and more electronics from the 1981 Sears catalog

Click on any image below to see larger catalog pages for these vintage electronics in the 1981 Sears catalog, and to start the slideshow!

(Article continued from above)

electronics from the 1981 Sears catalog: No more one-size-fits-all stereo systems

In the past, some prospective stereo buyers may have taken one look at the seemingly complicated audio control panels and been intimidated into buying a simpler model, one with a less than excellent performance.

ALSO SEE  Which way does the wind blow? A look back at antique weathervanes

To prove to himself how simple the control panel really is, all a customer has to do, after locating the mode selector, is to turn the knob to phono, FM, AM or to AUX for tape-playing. To play a record, merely change the setting to phono, check to see if the speaker knob is on “A” (meaning the main set of speakers if there is only one pair), turn the power on and plop a record onto the turntable.

Digital station readout makes listening to today’s stereo radio less complicated. Many stereo receivers offer the digital readout to ensure that the radio is tuned to the correct station. Some systems even allow its users to pre-set the dials to a certain station, lock the station into a memory, and automatically call it up again, instead of constantly redialing the station.

Now hear this! Top 10 audio cassette tape tips from the ’70s

Still other receivers offer pushbutton selectors or automatic scanning of the tuning scale for even faster station location. Also, digital synthesized tuning may be found on several receiver models for more precise, drift-free tuning than ever before.

The days of the “one size fits all” stereo components are no more. Systems are now produced with space needs in mind. besides being manufactured as sleek, low profile hardware to better match a customer’s home’s decor.

Without compromising on sound quality, downsized components are offered by several manufacturers as an ideal second system for the home. or even as a first stereo for the boat, mobile home or camper. Apartment dwellers who find themselves paying more money for less apartment may turn to mini-components to save precious bookshelf space.

Component flexibility allows an owner to add a tape deck, upgrade a receiver, move to a better cartridge or add a second speaker system in another room. All this may be done — via components — without scrapping the old system and buying a new one.

Article: Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Florida) – September 18, 1981

If you liked this post, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest, plus see exclusive retro-inspired products in our shop. Thanks for visiting!

More stories you might like

Check out our books!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

Join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.