G.E. Musaphonic - Trying to out-Panduit the Zenith.

A few pages away from Monday's Zenith table radio ad, we find this G.E. radio ad of identical size and placement on the page. Coincidence??? Possibly! Is it also pretty??? Definitely!

Whereas the Zenith radio had the non-catchy name of "Model H511", the G.E. wins the silly name category with the hilarious moniker "Musaphonic"! Zenith's alphabet soup system of nomenclature implies thorough engineering, as if the model were named for the serial number in the corner of the blueprint. "Musaphonic" sounds like it was voted on by a committee of jackoffs gathered around a long mahogany table. It implies nothing but marketing based on the assumption that the consumer (you) is an ignorant troglodyte easily dazzled by long words that have no meaning but earn big bonuses for the jagoffs that come up with them. Such is the long, rich heritage of the advertising industry.

Does the G.E. sound good? Well you wouldn't ask if you had bothered to study the wigglyness of the plexiglass cutout, you idiot. See? It's wiggly fidelity that your eyes can hear.
The ignorant troglodytes of 1954 would have been horrified by the use of the term "frequency spectrum", so they made an attempt to translate the concept of "clarity" and "detail" into something visual. Why not make a graph? Because most people don't like looking at graphs. A hundred years ago (1990-something) I can recall comparing frequency spectrum  graphs on the wrappers of competing audio cassettes, trying to figure which one to buy. That was hopeless. Instead, I just chose the tape that was the darkest. Rust colored tape meant "good enough for recording songs off the radio" and the shiniest black hi-bias tape meant "record from a CD with the shortest RCA cord possble because I'm an audiophile."

This G.E. radio reminds me of the new-ish Panduit building on I-80 near Tinley Park, which it turns out, is the world headquarters for the manufacturer of industrial geekdom. Here it is in Google maps, which seems to have cruised past early in the morning on a day when the place was still a skeleton.
Here's the finished structure. I'm not sure why this picture was flipped horizontally. The vertical section in the middle should be towards the left side of the building. Pretty nice, huh? I don't know how a design so clean and modern got through a committee. First time I drove past it, I said "jeez, that's a nice looking building. I bet it sounds really good."


Craig F. said...

Second mention in 24 hours for the ol' "Sonomatic" radio in the '68 Buick.

All those douchebaggy names have a great purpose. They're a ready made name for a garage band. To wit:

"Ladies and gentlemen, Revvy McNingning and the Sonomatics!"

"Direct from the bar, Phil-Are-Go and the Musaphonics!!"

"And now, Fonovox!!"

"Join me in welcoming Skeech Ballsack and the Vibratones!!"

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Yeah, "Fonovox" and all these other names have the Eisenhower era written all over them. When did the alphabet soup thing start? I know, as far as cars go, it began with the Germans and the various BMW models, right? I still like that. It sounds like the engineers run the show, rather than the douchebags.

Thanks Craigf!

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