ISO50

RSS

B&O Beogram – 1974

Posted by Scott


Bang & Olufsen are masters of industrial design and Jakob Jensen’s Beogram 6000 is one of their greatest achievements. The lines on this are as close to perfect as you’ll find and you can’t lose mixing wood grain with stainless steel.
I really can’t say I am as impressed with their work in recent years. It seems as if industrial designers are always trying to “evolve”, which is fine as long as your idea of evolution is turning into an alien. When I look at a classic example of design like this I really see a human element missing from a lot of it’s modern counterparts. Objects like the Beogram 6000 seem to be begging humans to touch them, whereas objects like this seem cold and foreboding.

23 Comments Leave A Comment

1

drew kora says:

October 11, 2007 at 5:22 am

WOW, your “alien” comment hits the nail on the head. So many products, especially ‘guy-gadgets’ like electric razors, are these curvy, ergo-tech looking hunks of plastic that all look the same and are all ugly. That, or they design something square and metal and it comes looking cold and cheap instead of user-friendly and stylish.

Along those lines, an industrial desginer friend of mine is making his own mp3 player that he calls the ‘un-p3 player’ and addresses just those issues. He’s going for a more haptic design approach: http://www.designsojourn.com/2007/05/20/the-un-p3-project-part-2-prototype-samples/

*interestingly enough he has the device sitting next to a pair of B&O headphones, which I think are pretty cool looking.

2

Cesar says:

October 11, 2007 at 8:01 am

Regarding the “alien” design, I partially agree with you. I love the 74 beogram look, its really stylish. I agree that the new pieces designed by them have this alien feel, but don’t you think that this might have been the opinion of the majority of people back in 74 about this Beogram? Maybe, 20 years from now, we may look back to the 2007 Beogram and look at it the same way we are looking to the 74th version of it.

They look alien, but I love the modern ones as much as I love the old ones :D

PS: I really admire your style, I love your pieces.

4

Scott says:

October 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Cesar-
I know what you’re saying…..we’ve discussed this in a previous post. It’s easy to look back and say things were better because we weren’t around when they were contemporary. But I would have to believe that if I lived back then I would have appreciated this, although I know it’s really hard to be objective about something like that. I guess the way I look at it is this: I truly hate a lot of 1950′s style industrial design, the space age stuff, I really don’t like stuff from before that either. The era I really gravitate towards is the scandanavian / german stuff, the 60′s-70′s and early 80′s. So it’s not really about nostalgia, it’s just about a specific time and place when it seemed like they were getting it right. All that said, it could just be (probably is) my memory of the objects in the house where I grew up and some subconscious connection to that style that’s driving my tastes. Either way, stainless steel and woodgrain need to come back in a big way!

Drew-
that player looks cool! keep me updated.

7

Pak-Kei says:

October 18, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Hmm, putting wood in design. Tactility is definitely an important aspect of design that designs of glass and steel these days had forgotten, probably due to the fact that plastic and aluminum parts are easier to mold and mass-produce than wood. Of course, hopefully not the revival of wood patterns made of plastic like the 70′s.

8

Rainer Brockerhoff says:

October 18, 2007 at 7:21 pm

Nice, this was the first turntable I bought. I still have it, but the needles are somewhat worn, and the tropical climate has rotted both rubber belts. B&O in San Francisco have quoted me something like $150 to replace, plus a couple of months waiting… meaning, I’ll probably have to get some el-cheapo equivalent. I still have lots of old LPs to convert to MP3.
Agree with you and other posters, current B&O design and quality has gone downhill. Sad.

9

Tyler says:

October 19, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Brings back memories of my friends dad’s B&O setup, the sleekest looking stuff, even at about 15 years old, it looked and sounded great. The red “eye” laser that would read the groove ahead of the needle, so sweet. This same friends dad gave me his old beautifully simple Thorens TD – 190, I believe, for free! It needed a belt and needle, but it sure was simple and beautiful!

10

Jon Mutch says:

October 25, 2007 at 7:56 am

I absolutely love B&O design. My dad passed down a vintage Beocenter to me, but unfortunetly, it needs about 400 dollars worth of parts and labor to get going again. I also have the U70 headphones which you posted recently. They still look incredibly fresh, and are a testament to such forward thinking Danish design.

Please, keep posting more of this stuff!

11

Maurice Au says:

December 26, 2007 at 11:49 pm

I started to invest time to understand B&O products ; especially those designed by Jacob Jensen. It is not just a matter of great design. The complicity and precision of the electronic is also something not easy to imitate or copy at that time when comes to mass production. Although they are sometime a little bit complicated to maintain/restore. However, it makes them more scarce than any other brands when time is passing by.

I just bought a Beomaster 1900 and I wish I can own a Beogram 4002 soon.

Regarding the new prodcuts, I like them but it just do not have the midas touch of Jacob Jensen.

19

Looking for Suppliers says:

August 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

Regarding the “alien” design, I partially agree with you. I love the 74 beogram look, its really stylish. I agree that the new pieces designed by them have this alien feel, but don’t you think that this might have been the opinion of the majority of people back in 74 about this Beogram? Maybe, 20 years from now, we may look back to the 2007 Beogram and look at it the same way we are looking to the 74th version of it.