Clairtone Project G2 Series T11 Console Stereo System & Garrard Turntable
On offer is a rare completely original Clairtone G2 Series Home Stereo System from 1966 featuring two distinct exotic wooden boxes one that houses the tuner and the turntable both protected by plexiglass covers and another that has bins to hold LP’ s The system is supported on a black painted T-shaped metal base. Cantilevered on either end are black cast aluminum globe speakers that in this model can be removed and placed anywhere in a room.
The G2 was the second generation of the Avante Garde Clairtone Project G Console Stereo System originally designed by Peter Munk and David Gilmour. The futuristic design of the G2 was the brainchild of designer Al Faux and was brought to fruition in the mid-1960s giving the system a cleaner more compact appearance. than the first generation design. The system implements the movable sound principle with the more compact 13″ Sound Globes which may be rotated a full 360 degrees to alter the sound aural landscape of the room.
This unit was acquired practically in mint condition from an estate liquidation in the late 1980’s in the Toronto area of Canada and after minimal use was placed in storage in favour of more modern stereo systems that were in vogue in the late 1970’s and 80’s mostly coming from Japan. The system has therefore been “mothballed” for 40 years and while it is still fully functional it has incurred some minor cosmetic damage like scratches on the turntable’s plrexiglass cover. The arm of the turntable needs adjustment as after four decades of idleness it appears to be stuck and just needs adjustment.
The system comes complete with its original operating, instruction maintenance and specifications manual as well as a number of LP’s of the time including ones by Dean Martin Frank Sinatra, Marty Robbins, Frank Mills the Platters and others which will be included with the sale of the system.. The operating manual for the Garrard Zero 92 Automatic Transcription Turntable featured on this system and commissioned for the project from Garrard based in Swindon Wiltshire UK will also be provided.
A brief history of Clairtone’s amazing story is told further down this page but for those that would like to delve a lot more deeply into the evolution, success and ultimate unfortunate demise of the company , there is a Hardcover 176 page book titled “The Art of Clairtone: The making of a design icon” by Nina Munk the daughter of one of the two founders of Clairtone. This exact same model is in fact featured in
a 2 page spread pages 110 \111) of the book along with a lot of information on how the system was developed. The book will be included in the sale as well.
Clairtone Sound Corporation Limited was a manufacturer of high-quality sound electronics and accessories based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1958 by the entrepreneur and electronics engineer Peter Munk with furniture designer David Gilmour, the company established an international reputation for stereo and cabinetry design in the 1960s.
Already in 1959, Clairtone won a design award from Canada’s National Industrial Design Council for its very first hi-fi model, the “100-S”—a long, low teak cabinet fitted with a Dual 1004 turntable, a Granco tube chassis, and speakers obscured by cream-colored broadcloth from Knoll. But the most famous Clairtone design was the futuristic Project G series like the one offered here designed by Hugh Spencer and introduced at the National Furniture Show in Chicago in January 1964. Striking, massive (nearly seven-feet long), and expensive ($1,600, or about $12,000 today), the Project G featured a wooden cabinet mounted on a metal base, and, at either end, cantilevered black aluminum sound globe speakers). The Project G introduced the now-standard modular approach to consumer audio that offered a dramatic departure from boxy cabinet design popular until that time (and which Clairtone also manufactured). The Project G won a silver medal at the 1964 Milan Triannale and the Canada Design ’67 Award of Excellence for originality and design. An identical model to the one offered here is in the collection of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa Ontario
Clairtone opened its first international sales office in New York in 1960 and convinced Frank Sinatra and Oscar Peterson, among others luminaries, to endorse Clairtone’s sound systems. “Listen to Sinatra on Clairtone stereo. Sinatra does,” was one of the company’s memorable tag lines. The Project G system was featured in the films Marriage on the Rocks and The Graduate, marking an early example of product placement, and Clairtone hired the fashion photographer Irving Penn to photograph the hi-fi for its promotional booklets and brochures. The Project G came to epitomize the ethos of the Swinging Sixties when Hugh Hefner bought one for the Playboy Mansion.
Remarkably, back in the day half of Clairtone’s stereos were being sold in the U.S., at
high end Department Stores like Abraham & Straus, Bloomingdale’s ands Macy’s in New York, Marshall Field’s in Chicago, Halle Brothers in Cleveland, and J.L. Hudson’s in Detroit. In Canada Simpsons Eatons and the Hudson Bay Company all carried the Clairtone.
Today, the Clairtone G2 remains one of the most iconic and coveted examples of mid-century modern hi-fi design worldwide.
Dimensions: 78.5″W X 24.25″H X 9.25″D