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The KB Discomatic is the UK version of a portable juke box produced by a Swiss company Gerinvex in the 1960's.  In the UK KB ( Kolster-Brandes ) purchased parts from the Swiss company to manufacture their own version.

 

The player holds 40 records which it plays using a double sided crystal Ronette B40 cartridge.

 

John Lennon was undoubtedly the most famous owner of the KB Discomatic.  So much so that the model is often referred to as "The John Lennon Jukebox".  He had one in the mid 1960's which would accompany him when touring.  George Harrison also had one, and it featured in an article in the Record Mirror in January 1966.  Brian Epstein also owned one. A Discomatic also shows up in the background of the room used as the Beatles home in the Help! movie.

 

John's jukebox turned up in the late 1980's and was sold at auction in 1989 for £2,500.  Forty one of the tracks listed on the index card were the subject of a double cd release in 2004 entitled "John Lennon's Jukebox".

 

 

 

 

c1965 - The KB Discomatic

(The John Lennon Jukebox)

When received my discomatic had a number of issues.  e.g a record would load but the cartridge would not align, Instead it inevitably fouled against the edge of the record.  The lid mechanisms for both the outer and inner lids were broken.   The autotrip at the records end of play did not work, so to the auto stop operated by the mech at the end of it's return to the left hand side of the case.  The missing chrome cap on the volume control has been addressed.  Finally the amplifier was noisy and in need of a rebuild.

 

All work has now been completed and I have to acknowledge the help of Stuart at www.askstuart.com who has "held my hand" through the restoration.  Should you not wish to restore your machine he will in fact do it for you including refurbishing the amplifier.  That latter part was a bridge too far for me  so the amp has been rebuilt by Stuart.

My Discomatic has an early serial number which therefore makes it of fairly early manufacture.  This, and given the date on one of the capacitors is Jan 1965, would tend to date the introduction of the Discomatic to around that year.

IMG_6685 JL's jbox

The Beatles and The KB Discomatic.

Specification:

Power Consumption 60 watts

No. of Records - 40

Output - 2 watts

Cartridge/stylus Ronette BF40

Cabinet - Wood with "suwide" covering

(Details per Service Manual)

Dimensions: 54cm x 46cm x 26cm

Mike at the KB Museum has kindly allowed a link to his website where there is  a pdf copy of the original service manual for the Discomatic.

 

If you wish to download the manual please drop Mike an email at:

enquiries@kbmuseum.org.uk

 

 Click the button to visit.

 

Please note:  Wiring the mechanism outside of the case and operating the Discomatic with the plastic lid raised as shown in the photographs and videos on this page exposes the user to risk of electrocution.  In particular connecting the mechanism outside of the Discomatic's case should only be carried out by a qualified electrician or someone competent with electrical circuits.

I can accept no responsibility for injury to anyone copying what I have done.

Discomatic Service Manual