AMI CONTINENTAL A Jukebox that was, until about 15 years ago,
largely ignored by jukebox junkies. The AMi Continental is now
reverred in most circles of jukebox fans. A late developer the
Continental was not introduced until 1960 as the Mk 1 which was
followed in 1961 by the Mk 2 version. The cabinet design was a
radical change from the style trend that AMi had set with the
models H, I, J and K that had preceded it. They totally ditched
the 'car look' and came up with a futuristic almost Sci-Fi vision,
back then, of a music machine for the future.
Mk 1 and Mk 2 are similar, in fact the mechanics are identical,
but the sound systems are different and so are some cabinet trims
and colour scheme. These were the days of Îadd-on1 amps to facilitate
the production of stereo sound. Alot of audio manufacturers were
hedging their bets as to whether stereo was a viable proposition
or not. The Conti one was put out as mono and the Conti 2 was
either mono or stereo, with the stereo being achieved by an 'add-on'
unit - replacing the mono preamp with a second power amp and fitting
a new stereo preamp in that way AMi played with the stereo/mono
thing a bit longer than other manufacturers.
twos that you find do tend to be stereo and when set up correctly
are capable of that great AMi beat. I say correctly set up as
the speaker connections are a bit of a nightmare : there is the
main front speaker , tweeter and a mid range speaker on each side
- all of which are coupled to the amplifier via a crossover unit.
It is important to get the front speaker as the loudest one with
the sides at much lesser volume to make the machine sound good.
I have heard countless examples where the front unit is supplying
the background sound whilst the poor little side ones are almost
splitting themselves in two trying to cope with the volume, so
give it some thought and do not blindly follow the service manual
amplifier is not a cheap one to rebuild particularly the stereo
version. All the capacitors always need changing and most resistors
100k ohm and over + time + cost of new valve set = money! Currently
the only really difficult parts to replace, as original, are the
speaker grills on both models, the glass dome, the lower trim
around the speaker grill and the 'neck'. The neck is the part
that holds the titlerack above the dome, an important function
and one that is put in peril when the neck is cracked ! This often
occurs in transit and with mishandling when you are trying to
get this surprisingly large machine into your house.
Continental does appear to take up more space in your home than
other jukes because it likes corners. Placed in the corner of
a room the Conti two side speakers will actually work to good
effect as the sound they produce is bounced forward by the walls
in the corner. The shape of the box and the titlerack actually
suits a corner position and they certainly look at their best
when sited like that.
with all AMi jukeboxes do not take short cuts in their restoration...you
will rarely get away with it. They can be made to function reliably
and they should sound great but as Nursie says you have to be
thorough : amp rebuild, pulse convertor cleaned etc., motors cleaned,
mains wiring replaced and micro switches replaced, not the easiest
machine to service so do it all ONCE to
save all that frustration that will otherwise happen later.
first 200 selection 45 rpm juke box also dubbed the "Centennial"
commemerating Wurlitzer's 100 years of musical achievement 1856-1956.Its
main claim to fame is through its use of turning pages to enable
you to view all 200 titles.
centre section is static whilst to the left and right of it are
the "books" of pages. When the button is depressed a
page is turned by a mechanical lever assembly linked to a small
A.C. motor via a gear box. This feature was also used in their
1957 model the 2100. The turning page system was not used in any
other fifties models - it probably attracted a bit too much attention
as it is fun to watch the pages turn!
turning pages always gave the old operators trouble and were not
liked in the old days. This feature is unique to these two models.
styling of the 2000 is identical to the 1900 (104 selections)
the only difference being in the number of selections and the
way that the titles are displayed. High prices are being sought
for the W2000 mainly due to its so called"limited production"which
is proving to be a bit of a myth - How many were made? I think
that no-one really knows. Here at The JukeBoxMan we have many
parts to make your Wurli 2000 radiate its former glory - check
Vincent rocked and his Blue Caps rolled, Chuck Berry did that
walk, Elvis got all shook up and Rock Ola produced their "Rock'n'Roll"
series of jukeboxes. The luxury of retrospection gives us the
ability to identify the models 1448 - 1458 that RockOla produced
during the years 1956-1958 as Rock'n'Roll classics. Designed to
look compact, but in reality there is very little difference between
their dimensions and any other jukeboxes, these models are full
of typical American Fifties Flash but with a non-agressive styling
featuring plenty of chrome,glass and light. The fully visible
play deck is surrounded by a colourful plastic "dress-cap".
The colour/shape/style of the dress cap changed with each model
and so is a very important feature. Internal silver or gold coloured
foil was used on all models to either totally line the top part
of the cabinet or only partially when used in conjunction with
brightly coloured plastic as in the 1458.
1455 was the first to have the record magazine partially obscured
with shaped plastic caps which were further embellished in the
1458 by using self-coloured 'aqua' plastic. Other major variations
between models are found on the speaker grill.
1448 has its "icicles or as some people say "waterfalls"
or "chains" together with decorative glass panels (four)
vertically mounted across the front - this glass in its original
pattern is known as "Waffle Glass"
due to its pattern. The 1454 exchanged the two outer waffle glasses
for two strong metalgrids also with a reduction of the chromed
"chains" but this time included the famous RockOla shield
fixed to the grill.The 1455 disposed of the somewhat fragile glass
panels and "corrugated " grill and in their stead opted
for a flat very open mesh grill with a set of nine gold rings..3
large and 6 small. Another significant styling difference was
the bulkier button bank casting giving the juke box a heavier
look. This was improved with the 1458 by having the front casting
chromed instead of a stuck on woodgrain finish as in the 1455.
All have a standard RockOla mechanism with very few technical
surprises. The main problems are usually with the selector pins
and associated contacts. All have the typical RockOla sound :
slightly compressed tone range with loads of volume..perfect for
those great sounds of the fifties! The cult Rock'n'Roll movie
"Hot Rod Gang" has lead to the 1458 being dubbed the
"Gene Vincent" jukebox . In that movie the 1458 is sited
in the local hang-out for the kids and very nearly gets involved
in a fight. The film is only memorable for the classic performances
by Gene and the Blue Caps - terrific ! The appearance many years
later of the 1458 on the front cover of the "greatest hits"
type album just strenghthened the name.There is one other RockOla
that has received the 'star' treatment the model 1455. Since featured
on the cover of the classic "New Juke Box Hits" by Chuck
Berry it has been nicknamed the Chuck Berry RockOla. If you have
never seen this Chess album cover check it out ! -- The sharp,
handsome Mr Berry gazes entranced in to theRock Ola...boy what
'Chantal' is a juke box without frontiers : conceived in Lausanne,
Switzerland and where the first ones were built (Swiss Chantal)
- later built in Bristol, England (English Chantal) also
exported/altered in Paris, France (French Chantal).
the Chantal was conceived and designed by Jean Foufounais and
Andre Deviaz. The Jukebox was named after Foufounais' wife Chantal.
It is said that 500 to 600 Swiss machines were assembled by hand
and sold between 1956 and 1961, which seems an extremely low number
for 5 years work!
factory in Switzerland went up in flames in 1961 ending the Swiss
English Chantal was made in 1959 under licence by David Fry as
Chantal Ltd in Bristol. A re-designed cabinet gave this
Chantal a more solid look which some say is less aesthetically
pleasing when compared to the Swiss machine.In 1962 a fire destroyed
the Bristol factory bringing production to an end only eight months
after the Swiss fire.
to production numbers, well these have been declared low as in
the Swiss factory BUT I have handled quite a few and know of other
dealers who have done the same. These are not all the same machines
and speaking with ex-operators it is easy to see that production
numbers were not low.
such operator told me they had between 200 - 300 on site and that
he can remember burning 50 in one go alone !! That accounts for
the lack of survivors!
These machines are not easy to restore. The lack of parts is most
frustrating, the large perspex domes very expensive to make correctly
and most mech parts non -existent. A solid sounding machine with
bass and drive it can be rather unkind to your 45's.
perserverance and skill will prevail and like the Phoenix a Chantal
can be reborn from the ashes.
'Classic' LyThe 'Classic' Lyric was made in Germany by Deutsche
Wurlitzer from 1961 - 1969. I say 'Classic' to distinguish the
61/69 range from those Lyrics that came after : from 1970 onwards
the flat play mechanism was used and all the 'action' was obscured
by the cabinet. The 'Classic' Lyric operates in the classic Wurlitzer
45rpm style by playing the records vertically just like its American
to the Yankee Wurli the Lyric is classed as a compact jukebox
of a rather 'lightweight' nature. What it is though, is the Classic
sixties jukebox - definitely 601s in design and, some might say,
jukebox was very common in England throughout the sixties and
seventies ideally suited to coffee bars, cafes on the A1 and the
back rooms of pubs. At max volume it won't make your ears bleed
but the sound is more than adequate for the more modest locations
and some might say an ideal home jukebox.
opinion has always been that the Lyric is an ideal jukebox to
learn the basics of jukin with.It
is a simpler mech to the USA Wurlitzers: still the same principles
but utilising slightly different components like motors/relays.
amplifier is really not a patch on the American Wurlis but is
adequate although limited. Problems when restoring these models
are always with trim parts particularly the glass, and even the
motors. The turntable motor is a 30volt AC type and so is fairly
unique to these models. Complete title rack with frame is always
a BIG order and so are the badges.Selector buttons and there clear
covers, particularly numbers, are now fairly hard to find.
can be made to sound pretty good : a new p.u usually helps as
does an amp rebuild and sometimes even speaker replacement of
either one or both loudspeakers but as I said before they do have
a limited output value with what some people may consider a limited
tone range as well. Values of these machines have soared to a
couple of thousand pounds but realistically it is alot less than
dealers would only sell a good restored example with all the relevant
trims etc in place for between £900 and £2000 including full guarantee,
delivery etc.. As with most jukes what you see is what you get.
1950 Seeburg set the benchmark for the coming decade with the
100 select M100B. It made everything else obsolete overnight and
sent the competitors back to the drawing boards in a big hurry.
Seeburg had gambled on the new 45rpm record becoming the industry
standard and it paid off in spades. It was 1954 before Wurlitzer
caught up with a new mechanism expressly designed for the new
discs, and by that time Seeburg were ready to rock the industry
back on its heels yet again. The following year they would unveil
the mighty V200, the worlds first 200 select machine and inevitably
a jukebox classic.
1954 HF100R was therefore Seeburg's last electromechanical selection
machine, but no less inovative for that. It pioneered the 'Bandshell'
look(using cantilevered support for the front glass), a feature
widely copied by other manufacturers, and its use of glass 'waterfall'
panels and ribbed gold interior was also influential.
1454 of 1956 was in many ways a direct copy of the HF100R but
what it didn't have was the 'Seeburg Sound'. The combination of
an unprecedented five speakers, Seeburg's unique magnetic pick-up
and a hefty amplifier made this one of the sweetest sounding jukeboxes
of all time. By the end of the decade things were changing fast
in the jukebox world. The Eisenhower era was over and the design
opulence of machines like the HF100R was gone forever, but despite
the dictates of planned obsolescence these things were built to
So drop a nickel in the slot and enjoy the sound that only a valve
amp and big speakers can make .....still wonderful after 45 years!
of THE Jukes?
in from the intrepid explorer Ernie about his 'Liberation' from
the Americans of one of their >Last< Jukebox treasures.
whereabouts of the legendary Gabel Kuro, one of perhaps only two
surviving, has been known to a select few for some years now and
along with the rest of the owners fantastic collection, never
moves on and mostly every ones circumstances/thoughts on life
change, what was once important becomes less and what was not
thought of is......He decided to sell! Ernie brokered the deal
between the seller and the buyer and what a deal !!
jewel of the collection was the Kuro but even without it the collection
contains some extremely fine machines. Before
the machine reached Holland some Americans were already making
good money offers on the machine but the guy who bought it does
not want to sell - yet!
Gabel Co made the first 'light-up' jukebox in 1936 with their
18 selection model 'Starlite'. The
Kuro of 1940 was designed by Clifford Brooks Stevens The name
of the model was an amalgam of the names of John Gabel's two sons
Kurt and Robert. As a designer Clifford Brooks Stevens was one
of THE best.
John Gabel Company - USA manufactured the following models:
Entertainers from 1906 - 1916, 24 selections
Gable jr. 1929-30, 12 selections
Commercial 1929-30, 24 selections Entertainer 1929-30,
Standard Gabel Jr. 1931-33, 12 selections Moderne Gabel Jr. 1933-34,
24 selections Sheraton Gabel Jr. 1933-34, 24 selections
Starlite. 1933, 12 selections
Entertainer. 1935, 24 selections Streamline. 1936, 12 selections
Elite. 1936, 18 selections
Aristocrat. 1936, 24 selections
Lorelei. 1936, 12 selections
Charme. 1937, 18 selections
Rainbow. 1938 - 39 , 24 selections
KURO. 1940, 24 selections.
made a significant contribution to JUKEBOX history in 1906. The
1906 version of their Automatic Entertainer was multi-selection.
It was mounted in a five foot cabinet with a forty inch horn on
the top. It had a screw feed mechanism to carry the sound box
across the record, a magnetic slug detector (coin system) and
was wound up from the front by the patron. Gabel stopped, the
manufacture of the Entertainer in 1908 - as this system was just
not good enough for patrons to abandon their money in to: the
sound let it down !!!
name is Russell Ofria. I am a jukebox historian going back to
1981 when I published my first stories in Nickel A Tune magazine,
and then in Loose Change Magazine. I hope you will not take offense
at a few corrections I offer. In your website, you have a page
that talks about rare machines: "John Gabel Co made the first
'light-up' jukebox in 1936 with their 18 selection model 'Starlite'.
" Actually, the first light up machine was made by Holcomb & Hoke
in 1926 called the Electramuse. This machine came in several models
all of which had a back lit artistic panel at the top. The Concert
Grand model even had animation in that panel. Second, "Gabel stopped,
the manufacture of the Entertainer in 1908 - as this system was
just not good enough for patrons to abandon their money in to:
the sound let it down !!!" The Gabel Automatic Entertainer was
produced from 1906 up until about 1929 or 1930. AND, in 1914 it
won an award at the Pan American Exposition. It was judged the
"best sounding reproducing machine" winning over even the Victor
and Edison phonographs! The Gabel Automatic Entertainer was the
most successful machine of its day with around 6000 of them produced
before Wurlitzer produced a few thousand P-10's. Again, I apologize
for being such a nit-picker. I just thought the record should
be set straight. These days, there are several books circulating
that have presented a little erroneous information. I think they
bear correcting. Cheers, Russell Ofria. September 2002
Empire was Norman Newboults project to build a jukebox from scratch
is now complete. The machine I've named the Empire is now in our
living room stacked with LP's and working well. It all started
after admiring a Discophone Goliath and seeing a lot of the internals
made of wood. I had a desire to acquire one of these machines
but began to think about the possibility of making one, as they
don't turn up very often and maybe pricey. I particularly like
the style of the cabinet on the lines of a 1930's cinema, hence
the name of my machine "The Empire". My thoughts soon turned away
from a Goliath copy playing 45's to one which would play vinyl
LP's. I chose the Wurlitzer counter top idea were all the records
are stacked on the turntable and devised a method of splitting
the stack and sliding the tone arm in between. This would only
play one side, to play the other; the record stack is locked into
a rotating mechanism, rotated through 180 degrees and placed back
on the turntable. After selecting an LP any track can be played.
I won't go into technicalities but to say it is all mechanical
technology, not a chip in sight only valves and relays. As there
is no modern technology to position the stylus in the gap between
each track the machine relies on solid engineering.
frame of the working part of the mechanism is welded steel suspended
on rubber mounts in an aluminium frame to eliminate any movement
of the prealigned parts. The cabinet is in 5 parts, which attach
to the frame with lift off hinges. As can be seen from this type
of construction the machine is heavy. Weighing the various parts
on the bathroom scales and adding it all up it comes to 485lbs.
It would have made more sense to adopt a more modern approach
but my interest is in juke box mechanics and pre transistor technology
led me to build it this way. The mechanical programmer using solenoids
to push in pins could have been replaced by a few chips but I
would not have had the interest to complete the machine.
sound system has 6 inch speakers each side for stereo reproduction
and a 15-inch bass in the front door fed by valve amps. Built
in stages, most of the work was done during the winter months
taking around 5 years to complete. During this time if I got fed
up, it would be pushed into the corner of the workshop and covered
over until the next wave of enthusiasm or I had forgotten why
I had pushed it in there in the first place. The whole machine
is built from scratch in my workshop with parts like motors, gears
and relays salvaged from scrap equipment refurbished and modified
as necessary. The only parts I was unable to make are the glass
pilasters, stained glass and leather turntable covers. I would
like to thank Dave Burton, an artist who produces fantastic designs
in leather for making the turntable covers.
liked his work so much we had a leather-topped table made up with
the same design, his speciality. My thanks to Ros and Alan Battson,
Alan for turning my sketches and ideas into computer images for
Ros to make up into the stained glass for the front of the machine
and a green and red dome which when lit from above illuminates
the visible part of the mechanism. Norman.
10 LP's separated by aluminium discs are held in a rotating mechanism
which allows them to rotate though 180 degrees to play either
side. When the selection is made the record stack rotates to play
either side. The turntable rises up from below and lifts the whole
stack out of the rotator into the separation section that has
8 separation claws.
claws drop into gaps between the discs and when the selected record
is reached the turntable will stop rising. The motor will reverse
and the stack descends to the play position leaving some of the
records up in the air held with the claws. The tone arm moves
across to the selected track and starts playing. After playing
the tone arm moves back to the rest position, turntable rises
up to the remaining records, the claws open to release and the
whole stack descends back into the rotator ready for the next
selection is done by 20 rods in a moving carriage assembly, one
rod per side. Each rod has 8 pins that can be pushed into place
by solenoids operated by pressing a key on the keyboard. After
the record and track selection is made the carriage assembly will
start to scan and look for pins pushed out. When a pin is found
the scan stops and the rod will be pushed upward to 2 detector
top portion of the rod has adjusting screws pressing against the
detector arms to set the start and stop position of each track.
At the bottom of the tone arm is a mirror that reflects a beam
of light onto detectors at the end of the detector arms. As the
tone arm moves over the record the beam of light will hit the
stop detector and lower the arm onto the start of the selected
track. When the end of track is reached the beam of light will
hit the stop detector and the arm will lift off the record and
return to rest. All this works with only15 electric motors, 54
micro switches, and 89 relays. On the audio side a magnetic pickup
feeds a 20-watt stereo valve amp. 6 inches mid range speakers
either side of the cabinet for stereo and a 15 inch bass speaker
in the centre.
bass speaker is fed with it's own valve amp by mixing the left
and right hand channels after the pre amp. The cabinet and visible
part of the mechanism are illuminated by a total of 30 lamps and
11 fluorescent tubes. 4 fans mounted on rubber to keep then noise
down remove the heat generated inside the cabinet by all these
lamps and valves.
from Bristol, Geoff. From the pic, the sound boxes appear to face
frontward. Pathe machines were like that, as they were intended
to play vertically cut discs, same as the Edison cylinders and
Diamond discs. Pathe's cleverly arranged it so the sound box could
be turned around to play lateral cut as well, using a steel needle
instead of the ball sapphire. So the "Cakestand" might be of French
origin, around 1920. Some five years before electric recording...
Hope this is of use,John Weedon.
Jukebox or ?
you any information that can help identify this machine? It is
obviously old. Totally mechanical as it works by a clockwork motor.Nicknamed
Cakestand bythe owner - there are no i.d. marks on it.
spare parts for Wurlitzer Jukeboxes, Seeburg Jukeboxes, AMI Jukeboxes,
Rock-ola Jukeboxes, from Europes leading Jukebox
spare parts supplier. Jukebox parts and Jukebox spares, Jukebox
needles and styli for all makes of jukebox including Wurlitzer
Jukeboxes, Seeburg Jukeboxes, AMI Jukeboxes, Rock-ola Jukeboxes. Jukebox amp replacement valves, motors, castors
and loudspeakers. Record dinkers. Jukebox title strips. repairs to all makes of Jukebox (except NSM and Jupiter).
Jukebox keys and locks.