The thrill of the hunt is part of the allure of the Great Glebe Garage Sale. Mario Scaffardi, who has “a bit of a fascination with vintage audio,” had passed on many potential finds over the years. But at last spring’s event, he found a working mid-1960s stereo console with a space-age aesthetic he could not refuse: an Electrohome Circa 75 Model 702 housed in a well-preserved Deilcraft cabinet, all made in Kitchener, Ontario.
The system was heavy and huge; Mario wanted portable. Still, it was a pretty good deal for $300, and the owner agreed to deliver it.
Model 702 was manufactured at a time when Electrohome’s design director, Gordon Duern, was charged with predicting advances 10 years into the future.
“This is by far the tamest stereo console in that line,” says Mario. (The prototype for the line sported a circular wooden console, accompanying wall-screen TV, and a cockpit-style sound chair with control buttons on the arms and speakers at ear level.) It was an astounding leap in design that led, in 1967, to the Circa 703, a circular console and sound chair.
Mario’s Model 702 sports the space-age control panel common to the others, but the similarities end there. It is a companion to his Telefunken and Carver stereos, though he denies being a collector. “Collecting is a strong word. I just like them.”