Digital Jukeboxes

Introduced in 1969, the LS3 was Seeburg's first digital jukebox. The development took about two years, and included the design of three custom integrated circuits. Two were housed in a black plastic box (called, amazingly enough, the 'Black Box').  One chip took care of credit functions while the other took care of selections. The system was designed to make it easy to attach the new style Digital Electronic Consolette or DEC. To do this, all selections (even those originating from the console) were encoded for transmission as though they came from a DEC. The third custom chip (housed in a gray box, called -- you guessed it, the 'Gray Box') decoded the selection and logged it into the Tormat memory. The system was fairly complex, and Seeburg wanted to prevent competitors from figuring out how it worked, so the boxes were sealed and had to be returned to the factory for repair. They never published schematics for the boards inside the boxes or logic diagrams for the chips. That information is available, however, in my book 'The Seeburg Black and Gray Boxes', which includes complete schematics, simplified logic diagrams, and troubleshooting procedures.

Included on this page are the two 100-selection machines using the CSP1 or Red Box, designed by me. These machines are the 100-77D Topaz and 100-78D Celestia. While these machines did not use the custom chips, they did use digital logic chips.  Please note that the year listed below is the year in which the machine was first produced.  The machine would have first been built in the fall of that year, and considered to be the following year's model. The prices listed below came from a Seeburg Phonograph Reference sheet, which was basically a sheet listing various features of each machine.

LS3 Apollo 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1969.    Price: (September, 1969) $1545.00.

The first Seeburg Digital jukebox, introducing the Black and Gray boxes. Seeburg's marketing name for this new selection and pricing system was 'Microlog'. The name was featured in all their manuals and advertising, but in few other places. A more popular name for the system turned out to be: 'Black & Gray Boxes'. The cabinet itself was a 'warmover' (i.e., a slightly modified version) of the LS1, LS2-series cabinet design, which had been around since 1967. 

There was a hideaway version of this machine (HLS3) available for USD $1295.  A hideaway is the mechanism, gray box, amplifier, and control center in a plain cabinet, designed for use exclusively with Consolettes.

 
Books applicable to this machine: LS3, USC1, USC2 Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot

USC1 Musical Bandshell 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1970.  Price (August, 1970) USD $1725.

Features an innovative new cabinet design by Bob O'Neil, his first effort for Seeburg. All of the following Microlog machines (and the 100-selection machines, starting with the SX100) were styled by him. This machine is quite stunning; it set a new standard for jukebox cabinet shapes, featuring the extensive use of metal castings for cabinet parts, in a manner similar to what was done in the jukebox 'gold' and 'silver ages'.

A hideaway version (HUSC1) was available for $1295.00

 
Books applicable to this machine: LS3, USC1, USC2 Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot

USC2 Bandshell Firestar 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1971.    Price (August, 1971) USD $1695.

Facelift of USC1, limited primarily to cabinet graphics and trim color.   

A hideaway version (HUSC2) was available for USD $1295.00

 
Books applicable to this machine: LS3, USC1, USC2 Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot

SPS160 Olympian 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1972.    Price (August, 1972) USD $1695.

Completely new cabinet design, using many metal castings. The graphics panels were also available in blue and orange, in addition to the pictured magenta, see below. Every machine I saw at the factory had magenta panels. This machine introduced the SHP1 (Seeburg High Power) Amplifier, which had some early production problems. These were resolved during the production run. Starting with this model, the Auto-Speed was made optional.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp
 

SPS160 Olympian alternate graphics colors. Photo courtesy Hildegard Stamann of Stamann Musikboxen.

 

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

FC1 Regency 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1972.    Price (December, 1972) USD $1795.00.

Seeburg's first attempt at the 'furniture console' design, being pushed at the time by Rowe/AMI and RockOla. First use of small 'grain-of-wheat' (type 2182) lamps for an eye-catching display. These lamps were mounted behind a perforated, painted metal screen, resulting in moving 'halos' of light as you walked by. I like this machine so much I bought one from an Internet auction and restored it. Originally, the trim (silver in the photo at left) was to be gold, but that got changed prior to production. I once owned the prototype machine, to which I added a color organ, making the lamps (which were changed to red, green, blue, and white) blink in time to the music. The color organ was a project I was involved in early in my Engineering career at Seeburg, which never made it to production because it was too time-consuming to install in a machine once in the field. Unfortunately, I sold the machine when I moved from Chicago. If anyone knows the current whereabouts of this machine, please email me. This machine started Seeburg's trend of using many extrusion sections as cabinet structural and trim elements. 

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp
 

SPS2 Matador 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1973.

Facelift of the SPS160, including new, chrome plated upper speaker grilles and title strip holder surrounds. Quite an attractive machine.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp
SPS2 Matador Quad Conversion.

Very few of these conversion kits were made. The conversion was done in the field by the distributors and operators. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.  Thanks to Kevin Preston for supplying this photo, and the one on the Quadraphonic page.

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

 

STD160 Vogue II 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1974.

Previous models made extensive use of cast metal parts for the cabinet structure. With this model and the ones following, tooling budgets became restricted.  Instead, cheap extrusions were used wherever possible, along with formed, spot welded, and painted metal panels. First machine to use the improved SHP3 Amplifier as standard equipment.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp
 

SQS160 Quadraphonic First Edition

This machine used a Hafler Quadraphonic Decoder (which was actually just three wire-wound volume controls mounted in a tamper-proof plastic box, connected across the amplifier speaker terminals, and external speaker systems), along with a different graphics panel. Otherwise, the SQS160 and STD160 are identical. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

STD2 Entertainer 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1975.

Same basic cabinet design as STD160.  The same lamps used in the FC1 were put into motion by a 5-bit Sequencer Electronic module designed by me. The lamps were mounted behind mirrored glass in a mirrored channel to give an infinity lamp effect. An off lamp travels through a field of four on lamps (for a total of five) repeated in a sequence. The illusion was that the off lamp traveled from the bottom to the top of the machine. The bulbs are difficult to replace, since their leads are pressed into insulation-displacement contacts along with the connecting wiring, using a special tool and a lot of patience.

 

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

SQS2 Quad Entertainer

This machine used the same Quadraphonic decoder as the SQS160. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

STD3 Sunstar 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged

Introduced fall, 1976.

Same basic cabinet as the STD160. The front panels were changed to a foam material, poured into a mold and allowed to harden. After production started, it was noticed that the foam tended to warp when exposed to heat or sunlight. Many internal stiffening brackets were added to combat this problem. Foam was used because the molds were VERY cheap, and resulted in a cabinet, that while little changed from the previous year, looked quite different. The design featured attractive silk-screened graphics in a circular pattern with many-colored spokes, surrounded by a circular version of the moving lamp display. The lamp sequencer was carried over from the STD2. Here, the lamps were mounted on Printed Circuit boards, primarily due to pressure exerted by Underwriter's Laboratories and Seeburg's operators. A secondary benefit is that they are much easier to assemble initially and later to replace.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

SQS3 Quad Sunstar

Quad decoder same as before. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.

 

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

Below is a publicity photo of the SQS3 Quad Sunstar. Photo courtesy Hildegard Stamann of Stamann Musikboxen. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

FC2 Hutch 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged.

Introduced fall, 1976.

This machine used the same lid design as FC1, but the cabinet is now wood-grained, with no lights other than the fluorescent lamp for the title strips. All internal speakers were deleted, to be replaced by bookshelf speakers mounted on the optional hutch portion above the jukebox lid, shown in the photo at left holding knick-knacks. If the hutch was not used, extension speakers would be hung from ceiling brackets in the establishment. This machine was very low production.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

STD4 Mardi Gras 160 selections, 45 RPM native, 33⅓ RPM with optional Auto-Speed engaged

Introduced fall, 1977.

This machine also has the same basic cabinet as the STD160. It is the last digital (Black & Gray box) jukebox, and the last 160-selection machine to use the Tormat. The moving lamp display is now in the center of a set of three ovals, still using the same 5-Bit Sequencer.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp
Below is a publicity photo of the SQS4 Quad Mardi Gras.  If you have any information about this, please email me. Photo courtesy Hildegard Stamann of Stamann Musikboxen. Interested in reading more about Seeburg Quad? Click here.

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

A quadraphonic version of the STD4 actually exists!  According to Jason Sneddon, who contacted me about this machine, the serial number sticker on the back of this machine says only 'STD4'. So this very rare version may have been a field conversion. On the other hand, it may have been the same machine in the photo above, and was a one-off conversion used for the publicity photo.

Photo from ebay

Books applicable to this machine: Black & Gray Combination offer, Black & Gray, Mech book, Troubleshoot, SHP Amp

100-77D Topaz 100 selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1977.

New graphics on the previous-year's SB100 cabinet. The old electromechanical pricing and selection system of the preceding 10 years of 100-selection machines was replaced by the Red Box System (a much simplified version of the Black & Gray boxes), designed by me. The red box still used the Tormat memory.

 
Books applicable to this machine: Red & MCU Combination offer, Red & MCU, Mech book, SHP Amp

100-78D Celestia 100 selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1978.

 Yet Another facelift of the SB100 cabinet. This was the last machine to use the tormat, and the last to use the red box. Note the almost identical appearance of the 100-79M DaVinci, following.

Books applicable to this machine: Red & MCU Combination offer, Red & MCU, Mech book, SHP Amp

The last of the machines using the Black and Gray Boxes was the STD4 Mardi Gras. The Red Box only ran for two year's worth of 100-selection machine production, and the number of 100-78D Celestias built was probably quite small. Both systems were replaced in 1978 by the MCU MicroComputer system, covered next. Click here to see these machines.

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