winnipeg ottawa prototype
arizona cheltenham cheltenham
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In the sixties, Clairtone’s Project G stereo was the epitome of bachelor pad cool. It transformed the traditional console box by cantilevering its speakers outside the Scandinavian-style modern cabinet. It won a silver medal at the 1964 Milan Triennale, the international design industry’s most prestigious exhibition, and was adopted by progressives within the arts and entertainment community. Frank Sinatra endorsed it (“Listen to Sinatra on a Project G; Sinatra does”), and G series models appeared in films such as The Graduate with Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman and A Fine Madness with Sean Connery. Hugh Hefner bought a unit for the Playboy Mansion and jazz legend Oscar Peterson claimed that his music sounded as good on a Project G as it did live.

Constructed of Rosewood with eighteen-inch anodized aluminium globe speakers (hence the G), it was labour intensive to produce and retails for close to $2000. The Project G employed transistors instead of tubes, which eliminated the need for cabinet ventilation. As a result, the unit was finished on all sides and rolls on castors (although
some early informational company material suggest that the castors could be replaced with ‘pins’ to keep the unit stationary), allowing it to break away from its expected stationary position against a wall. Despite sales of fewer that 400 units, the futuristic style and sexual revolution swagger of the Project G makes it an icon of the space age. It is the most important stereo of its period and is a coveted international collectible.

The Project G stereo came in two models. While the exteriors of both these models almost identical the interiors are vastly different. On the first run and rarer Project G all components such as the TC4 amplifier, the Elac 10H turntable are mounted sideways with the record storage (in red velvet) in the center of the unit between the amp and turntable. In the later T10 models all components; the amplifier and the Garrard Lab 80 turntbale are mounted horizontally in relation to the length of the cabinet. In the later T10 models the record storage in located in at the base of the amplifier. Earlier Project G stereos are usually a more reddish rosewood exterior while the later T10 models and less red in appearance.

Designer: Hugh Spencer for Clairtone Sound Corporation, 1963
Materials: Brazilian Palisander (rosewood) cabinet, leatherette sides panel inserts, rotating 18 inch aluminium
sound globes in stain black finish and brushed, solid aluminium base.
Dimensions: h71cm  X w206cm  X d47cm  - h28 inches  X w83 inches X d18.5 inches

Most of the above information courtesy of the Rachel Gotlieb and Cora Book
Design in Canada