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The EL-COF Discomatic

This page includes facts, photos and plenty of speculation about the Gerinvex EL-COF Discomatic. If you arrived here via the models page you'll know that my theory on the model name is from the French description 'ELectronique COFfre', indicating that the EL-COF included an electronic amplifier and was in a wooden case.

EL-COF, the most desirable Discomatic?

The Gerinvex EL-COF could well have been the top model in the Discomatic range. The EL-COF featured a Discomatic mechanism, built into a veneer-faced plywood cabinet with plexiglass lid.

At this stage I would be very happy to show some photos and take a bit of a tour around the EL-COF, but I've never yet seen one!

What I can do is to show this rather nice, original colour brochure shot of the EL-COF (from the Jeff Osgood collection).

EL-COF brochure
EL-COF brochure

EL-COF construction

The EL-COF appears to be a TD-COF Discomatic with separate amplifier/speaker boxes fixed to each side.

Here's a photo of the EL-COF with a TD-COF from the same brochure to make that comparison.

Check out the centre section of the EL-COF.

That does appear to be a TD-COF.


Speaker box design

Without wishing to be too unkind to this fine Discomatic, looking very much at home in its sixties setting, the EL-COF is a rather curious looking design!

This is mostly due to the height of the speaker boxes which appear to be 20mm or so shorter than the TD-COF sitting in the centre.

The next photos show the brochure EL-COF with a mock-up of a full-height EL-COF. Surely the speakers should be the same height as the player as shown in the mock-up?

EL-COF standard height
EL-COF brochure image
EL-COF full height
EL-COF mock-up with full-height speakers

Some speculation on the EL-COF

So why were the speakers made shorter than the player?

I could propose a few reasons.

The most obvious is that it was an intentional feature of the EL-COF design, but I'm not convinced that was the case.

Perhaps the problem was due to a height change for the TD-COF? The EL-COF speakers could have been made to match an early prototype TD-COF that was shorter.

Interestingly, the dimensions in the brochure show that the height of the TD-COF and EL-COF are 280mm whereas the EL-POR is 260mm. Could it be that the TD-COF was originally planned to be 20mm shorter - the same height as the EL-POR Discomatic?

If that was the case, the speakers would be around the correct height.

Here's that same photo of the EL-COF with a mock-up where the centre TD-COF section is reduced in height to match the speakers. Now that's much smarter!

EL-COF standard height
EL-COF brochure image
EL-COF reduced height
EL-COF mock-up with reduced height player

Did the EL-COF exist?

I'm not sure, but I think it's unlikely. The image in the brochure doesn't look like a finished product to me, unlike the EL-POR and TD-COF.

The EL-COF offered all the features of the popular portable EL-POR Discomatics, but with full stereo sound. The stylish wood veneer cabinet would integrate nicely into contemporary sixties decor.

If it was built, this 'ultimate' Discomatic should have proved very popular with buyers around the globe and there would surely be many survivors? But to date, not a single glimpse of an EL-COF unlike the other models. If it did exist, it probably looked different to the brochure image. Perhaps the photo in this brochure was rushed through with early prototype speakers fixed to a TD-COF?

Perhaps it should have been larger and featured radio?

Consider the role of the EL-POR portable Discomatic. Although more expensive than a contemporary, sixties auto-changing record player, the EL-POR offered around four times the record capacity and a far more precise and reliable mechanism. It's clear that this would tempt many owners to consider investing the extra over the equivalent record player.

The role of the EL-COF would have been quite different. This was presented as a nice piece of furniture so would have been competing with the stereo consoles and stereograms of the time. These were much more substantial and with larger speakers facing the listener, achieving a much richer sound. They also had radio.

So, maybe Gerinvex found little interest for the compact, and perhaps expensive EL-COF?

By contrast, Seeburg's range of home jukeboxes were successful as consoles and some included radio.

The photo shows an example of a contemporary sixties radiogram. Would this style and a richer sound from larger speakers have made the EL-COF more interesting to customers?

European styled stereogram
European styled stereogram

If you do happen to own one of these intriguing Discomatics, let me know and I'll be pleased to feature an accurate story about it here.

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