Technology is continuously changing. The stuff we have today is a lot different from what we had 15 or 30 years ago, yesterday's top-of-the-line features becoming entry-level as altogether new technologies spring from obscurity to ubiquitousness. I became interested in these trends back when DVD was replacing VHS in the late 90's and, finding nowhere on the internet to learn about the devices of yesteryear, I started my own. It is interesting to see the evolution among brands and between model years, the relationship between budget, performance, and those in the middle. This database is designed to capture these trends and display them at a glance. Beyond my own interest, I hope this archive is helpful to those looking for information about old product lines and faded technologies.
After a few years offline, the Audio/ Video Component Archive was brought back in 2017. It's no longer part of the main website (linked at bottom of the page) so the design is different. There are huge coverage gaps which will be filled in over time. My goal was for it to span "from Beta to Blu-ray," offering information from the 80's, 90's, and 00's. Now it's just "from whenever to the present." Whenever I find the time to add more listings, anyway.
"How can I help?"
This archive won't be complete for quite a while. There are still gaping holes in its coverage with just little ol' me using bits of free time to close them. But those who wish to help out can get credit in the listings.
If you own a piece of equipment I don't have listed, or don't have much on, I welcome you to e-mail me about it. Include the kind of details you see for similar equipment (click here to view a list of categories, some of them have templates) and by all means take a picture. Ditto for product literature and old catalogs: please scan or take pictures of the pages. Please get my okay before you send a bunch of large images, though.
How to Read the Listings:
Brand/ Model Number: The model number of the component, listed without any dashes or spaces. Sometimes, extra characters may be used (such as a "U" at the end of JVC VCRs' numbers, or a "MKII" to indicate "mark 2"). The information will generally reflect models sold in America.
Category/ Subcategory/ Year: The KRC302 was a "Car Cassette Receiver" from Kenwood's 1996 line, within the "CD Changer Control" subcategory. Not all listings have subcategories and the year isn't always known. A "?" after the year indicates an educated guess.
Related Models: The KRC202 was the next lower model from the same year, and the KRC402 the next one up. The KRC301 was its 1995 equivalent and the KRCS300 its replacement in 1997.
Features & Specs: The data about the component. Underlined features are what it had added over, in this example, the KRC202. Sometimes features are taken away, these are put underneath in italics. The way this database lists features is being standardized, making it easier to match them up across different models. Size and weight are given in metric units, even when my source gave inches/ pounds. Conversions are indicated with a tilde (~).
Photo: If I find an image available, I'll scan it and post it. Most images do not belong to me and are posted under Fair Use. A higher quality image, and the permission to use it, may be found among the sources I listed for that model. Some images are used more than once when the models appear near-identical.
Price When New/ Sources: Price is how much the model cost when it was first sold (in U.S. Dollars); many people mistake this for a current selling price, I do not sell anything and those who do should be charging a lot less for used equipment. My sources for a given model are listed, including the source for the image. Clicking on the price will convert it to 2017 dollars.
Link to this: Some users link to database entries on other sites (thanks, by the way!). Clicking "Link to this" will take you to an easily linkable page with only the selected model.
Sony CDPC79ES (1992 Home CD Player)
Sony MDS101 (1992 Home MD Recorder)
Sony STRD311 (1993 Home Receiver)
Sony STRD511 (1993 Home Receiver)