MicroProcessor-Controlled Jukeboxes

Seeburg introduced the industry's first MicroProcessor-controlled jukebox in 1978, the SMC1. In actuality, all Seeburg jukes built after 1978 were controlled by a MicroProcessor, but I chose not to show any of the CD machines. All the other manufacturers followed suit, introducing their versions as time progressed. By any 'official' accounting, all machines featured here are still members of the Console Era (along with all of the Digital jukeboxes) but I choose to display them separately.  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.

MicroProcessor Survey: I'm hoping you can help me with a survey. I'm trying to determine how many different programs Seeburg used for the 3870 Microprocessor these machines are controlled by. If you open up your MCU and remove the Pricing Board (the one with all the jumpers, or, alternatively, a four-position mini-switch on it), you will see a fairly large chip (40 pins) with '3870' written on it. There will also be 'MK' or 'M', followed by a five digit number and maybe a letter. This is the ROM pattern number. Also, there will be a four-digit number starting with 78, 79, 80, 81, etc. This is the date code. I would really appreciate it if you would email me with both the pattern number and the date code. After I get a reasonable number of responses, I will post the numbers on this website. Thanks in advance!

SMC1 Disco 160 selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1979.

A completely new cabinet design, with a completely new Pricing and Selection system, the MCU MicroComputer, using a single-chip microprocessor. Here, the tormat is replaced by chip memory on the CPU board.  Customer credits and the now-playing indicator were on a digital display, just to the left of the selector keypad. A small spotlight reflects off a jewel glued to the turntable, catching the eye as a record plays. This is the 'glint' visible between the red/magenta/blue circles and the upper chrome piece in the photo.

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

Seeburg SMC2 Phoenix 160 Selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1979.

This machine is a facelift of the SMC1. Very few of these were built by Seeburg, as they went bankrupt shortly after production began. It can be distinguished from the later Stern/Seeburg SMC2 Phoenix as having the vertical speaker panels in brown, rather than orange (see below). For the Seeburg version, the disco ball rotates whenever the machine is on, but here the lights are on only when the mechanism is running.

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

Stern/Seeburg SMC2 Phoenix 160 Selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1980.

This machine was built by Stern after acquiring Seeburg during the bankruptcy sale. The main difference is that the vertical speaker columns are orange, and that the disco ball is always on and lighted, rather than the lights on only when the mechanism is running as in the Seeburg version, pictured above. One of my first tasks after the Seeburg buyout by Stern was to redesign the MCU's CPU board, to incorporate bug fixes, and to make the board easier to manufacture. Generally called the 'Sternburg' SMC2.

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

100-79M DaVinci 100 Selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall 1979?

Little known and quite rare 100-selection machine using the MCU system. Probably only 100 or so were built, mainly for export. The cabinet and graphics are identical to 100-78D Celestia. Only minor changes were made to the selector panel to accommodate the MCU digital display. Even though I worked for Stern/Seeburg at the time this machine was built, I did not know of it until 2003, when I received an email asking a question about it. This machine was also known as the SMC1 Jr. For more information, please refer to the SMC1 Jr. article.

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

VMC1 Video Music Centre 200 Selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced fall, 1981.

Built by Stern/Seeburg. A completely new cabinet and selection concept, using a video screen to display record titles instead of the old paper title strips. This was the last 200-selection machine built by Seeburg. In my opinion, it has the best-sounding amplifier and speaker system of any jukebox ever built. It was a failure in the marketplace; only about 300 were built, and many of these were exported to Europe. There was also to be a video Wallbox (no built-in speakers) offered, with a monochrome screen, which worked identically to the color Console screen. The controller board was interchangeable between Console and Wallbox. A working prototype of the Wallbox was built, but I don't believe production ever started. Click here for a photo of the VMC Wallbox.

Books applicable to this machine:  Mech book

SMC3 Prelude 160 Selections, 45 RPM.

Introduced 1984

Built by the Seeburg Phonograph Company, started by a group of outside investors after the Stern bankruptcy. It used the same cabinet as the SMC1 and SMC2. In this version, the Disco ball was replaced by lamps mounted on stalks protruding from the rear of chamber, giving the effect of floating in space.  They blinked in time to the bass and treble notes in the music. When no selection was playing, they stayed on with no blinking, similar to the color organ kit which was to be offered as a field modification to the FC1. This is the last machine to use the MCU, and Seeburg's last vinyl record machine, replaced the following year by the first CD machine, SCD1.

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

Remote selectors (Wallboxes and Consolettes) were available for all Seeburg coin-operated jukeboxes, permitting a selection to be made from the privacy of your booth, rather than approaching the console itself. Also, 'Hideaways' (a plain box containing the mechanism and selection receiving circuitry) were available to replace the console. While not flashy like the console, these machines were certainly cheaper and could be placed somewhere out of the way, in a closet, for example. To see the remote selectors, click here.

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