HiFI Antique, Paris and Disquantique, Montmarault
In the course of my research for this site, I stumbled upon this website www.hifi-antique.com and its related site www.disquantique.com, run by Patrick Pennetier in Paris et Bernard Billon in Montmarault in centre of France.
I managed to pay a visit to Patrick in his Ali Baba like warehouse, well hidden in a courtyard in the middle of Vitry, a suburb on the south-east of Paris. No sign, just a bland painted steel door and a difficult to find doorbell...This is not the most salubrious part of the "banlieue" hence the discreet location, identified only by being the only business in that courtyard WITHOUT a sign: clever!
Past the door, and this is the first glimpse of the fabulous collection assembled here by Patrick. It is obviously a work in progressm as Patrick buys famous vintage products and restore them to their previous glory and then resell them for a profit...bien sur!
Patrick is so typically French looking, a chain smoker of self rolled cigarettes, that you expect to be sharing a glass of red wine any minute after the initial greetings...but, in good french tradition, this would not happen in the middle of the afternnon! Besides, I am that late because of a long and well lubricated lunch with a good friend of mine.
But back to business, the second item I spotted is a very well preserved Hencot pro tape recorder, a unit I was once desperate to own - I finally bought a Stellavox instead because of the portability.
It was (very well) built in a nearby suburb of Bourg-La-Reine, and was a three head, 19/38cm/s unit in the 70s
But a lot of Patrick's inventory revolves around Elipson and all versions of them, probably recovered from the studios of Radio France. It is obviously difficult to find the original speakers from Supravox, as the newer versions are nothing like them - Patrick had both side by side, and although the chassis and motors are similar, the membrane and cone are completely different and there is NO WAY they can sound the same.
Incidently, Supravox has once more gone bust and I doubt it will be revived, but who knows, I might be wrong.
The Scientelec Regie ORTF was a latter version of the speakers used by Radio France in the 70s, an amplified 3 way designed by Mr delamare and subcontracted to Scientelec, more famous for their amplifiers than their speakers. The pair seen in my pictures have been nicely refurbished since my visit:
Patrick has also a nice collection of British and German vintage products - nobody is perfect!
I will finish with a typical 70s design product, a combined turntable amplifier and tuner with speakers to match!
I used to own the turntable!
HiFi Vintage - Christian Grados - Paris
Bang pang in the middle of Paris, in the Halles quartier, between up and coming young fashion designers boutiques and century old delicatessen, Christian Grados is running a nice little business, selling vinyls (the original part of the business) and primarily vintage electronics, turntables and tape recorders. Speakers are scarse as space is at a premium.
Christian takes great pride in his customer service: during my visit he spent a good half an hour changing a tiny little bulb in an alarm clock radio that was certainly over 40 years old for a customer much older than that, for whom this little piece of history was probably essential to his daily routine.
I spotted a few favourites of mine: turntable from Braun, amplifier and tuner from Dual, Revox B77 tape recorder,a Merlaud amp being taken care of (they were once my client when working for HP...), Ampliton, Esart, two other famous brands in the 70s and many a Marantz and Pioneer, all in perfect condition, ready for you to fall in love again...
Check his new website: www.hifivintage.eu and in the meantime, here are a few photos to feed your dreams: