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The Prototype G is the very first Project G stereo we acquired. It was found at a mid-century modern furniture dealer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. When we first spotted it we were understandably excited as we had been looking for some for An Original Project G. However, when we opening the lid it had not only been gutted it had also had quite a lot of it’s interior woodwork cut away in what looked like a very crude attempt to modify it for a more modern amp. The original Elac 10H Turntable was still inside and that was about it. Also, the exterior rosewood not only looked faded it looked practically bleached. With all these problems it would turn out to be our most involved and intensive restorations as well as our most successful.
So how did come about calling this a Prototype G? In all early promotional photographs of the Project G prior to their being released on the market we noticed that the amplifier in the unit photo featured was not the TC4 amp but rather an earlier XB7 amp which has the same specs as the TC4 and fitted easily into the TC4 (which was not yet ready during the time the promotional materials were being made) amplifier housing. When we found a Clairtone XB7 amp we decided to replicate the original Project G prototype as most famously depicted by the photos of Irving Penn. With access to the Design Exchange’s archives we found several photos of the original Project G prototype as well as the designer, Hugh Spencer’s, notes and from that were able to create, while not the actual prototype of course as it has been lost to history an exact copy. And while it is not the actual prototype is 100% Project G and it is, without a doubt, one of our favourite units.
Below are a few select images of the Prototype G just move your mouse up and down over the images to view - enjoy!
We found the Prototype G is a mid-century modern store in Montreal and it was in a terrible state - all the more the challenge!
About the only thing that was left of the nearly gutted interior was the original Elac 10H turntable and despite how it looks it worked magnificently.
During the restoration process. Here youican see the stripped down exterior rosewood. The interior still has its original colouring and while not an easy task it we managed to match the exterior to the original interior wood.
Another photo of the restoration process. Here you can see the exterior rosewood is almost complete. Almost everything of what you see of the interior we had to reconstruct from scratch.
From the transplanted XB7 amplifier to the newly built velvet-lined record storgae box the Prototype G looks great, in our humble opinion.
The Newly refinshed XB7 Prototype G
On the left is the 1963 Irving Penn photo (which was used on the cover of the first Project G owner's manuels) and one the right our Prototype G