• RESTORATION: 1996 CD Gazelle jukebox

Restoration Case Study
1996 CD Gazelle jukebox

This gorgeous looking Turquoise Manhattan may look stunning now…but it came to us in a very sorry state after spending twenty five years in a city centre bars across Liverpool. It was time for some love and attention from our R&R team.

It's a hard
knock life

This Sound Leisure Gazelle jukebox was originally manufactured in 1996 with a series 4 rotating CD mechanism. It remains a great mechanism and Sound Leisure still service and repair the platform offering a full range of spares and replacement components. The owners however, we’re aware the jukebox had been partially stripped with parts of the mechanism donated to other jukeboxes over many years. They had also read about a previous restoration project we had completed based on a 1996 Manhattan jukebox, where we updated the entire internal technology platform to our latest S3 Unity solution.

The customer loved this idea as it would enable Sound Leisure’s latest CD mechanism to be installed and would also enable the jukebox to benefit from features such as low energy, LED Diamond Pack lighting and audio streaming from mobile devices via Bluetooth.

Flick through the gallery below to see the condition of the jukebox following 25 years in service…

EVALUATION

The first job we undertake when a jukebox comes back to us is an assessment on the cabinet structure to establish if this is solid. We very rarely find any issue with our cabinets and this unit was in great shape structurally. Sound Leisure are the only company in the world still making one piece, dome top jukebox cabinets and have always done this with our Classic Jukeboxes, so this 1996 model benefited from this feature. When we get an old machine like this back and you see how well the cabinets have retained their shape and strength over many years it does reinforce the ongoing commitment to retaining this feature of our jukeboxes.

There were knocks, scrapes and scratches across most of the jukebox exterior and some significant damage to the cabinet veneer, to such an extend that both the customer and our team agreed it was going to be very hard to keep the original mid-oak colour of the cabinet.

There was also lots of damage and wear to external components and adornments. Many of the selection buttons were missing, glass elements were broken or missing entirely and the bubble tube plastic covers and diffusers were stained with dirt and nicotine. As we still stock a wide range of spares for pretty much every jukebox we’ve ever made, replacement parts for this 1996 model were not a problem.

Inside the cabinet, we discovered lots of the Series 4 CD mechanism components had been stripped and removed as the owner had told us to expect. As it was already agreed the mechanism would be removed to make way for the upgraded S3 Unity platform, the original CD mech was stripped out of the jukebox and sent to our CD Tech department for some T.L.C of its own. Once it’s been repaired and serviced it can then be used for future R&R projects.

RESTORATION -

CABINET WORK

The cabinet was thoroughly cleaned, then stripped of all its components. The front door was them removed so it could be restored separately.

As the mechanism was being updated from the original Series4 CD platform with new S3 Unity technology, the internal cabinet layout needed modifying and new equipment shelves installing. As we’d previously completed a similar upgrade on a 1996 Manhattan jukebox, all the required components had already been designed and fine-tuned as the Gazelle and Manhattan jukeboxes of this era share identical internal designs. The ready-made 3SU mechanism shelf and an upgraded equipment shelf to house a new D4 digital amplifier and S3 Unity control boards were therefore fitted. The S3U control boards incorporate the Diamond Pack LED lighting controller and the Bluetooth module which are now standard options on all S3 Unity Golden Age jukeboxes produced by Sound Leisure.

 

With the new shelves installed, the jukebox was returned to the spray shop to await a decision on how to refinish the cabinet…. and turquoise came the reply!

This is a popular, contemporary finish on new build Classic Jukeboxes, which the customer saw on a production machine during a visit to our factory. Having seen a turquoise jukebox in the flesh, they knew straight away this was the colour they wanted for their restoration project.

The team then set about stripping the cabinet of all its original lacquer and making good the hundreds of dents, scratches and marks. The veneer was patched and repaired as needed, then hours of sanding, filling and sealing followed! Due to the intricate form of the jukebox base and feet, all of the sanding on these elements was completed by hand.

 

Painting

With the hard labour behind them, the team moved the prepared cabinet across to the spray booth for its transformative new paint job. It was primed and then given several coats of beautiful Turquoise Aqua paint, creating a finish we call Turquoise Ash. This is a really popular option, where the paint is applied in a manner which allows the wood underneath to be seen through the paint finish. This gives a strong, bold final colour but also still allows the natural texture of the wood to be enjoyed. The paint was then sealed with a semi-gloss top coat and the base of the jukebox was finished in contrasting semi-gloss deep black. The quick video below was shot following completion of the paint job.

 

Fitting

With the new paint job completed, the cabinet was returned to the production line for fitting out. New glasses were installed along with new bubble tubes, pilasters and plastic covers. New speakers were fitted and the S3 Unity control system and S3U CD mechanism were installed and cabled. At the customer’s request, the original Gazelle top pilaster graphics were removed and replaced with clear ‘Manhattan style’ artwork, resulting in a modern, clean appearance which contrasted really well with the turquoise cabinet finish. New side mirrors were also fitted and the original solid metal castings and adornments which had been stripped and re-chromed were put back in place, looking as good as new.

And so, the transformation was complete. Thanks to the skill and dedication of our R&R team this 25 year old workhorse went from broken, dirty and desolate to clean, modern and inspiring. The level of workmanship was so high, when sitting in our ‘Final Test’ department alongside newly built S3U Classic Jukeboxes it was almost impossible to pick out the 25 year old model from the brand new units. Most importantly, the customer was over the moon with the project and the jukebox goes on to start an entirely new chapter of its story, bringing joy and pleasure to another generation.

This is just one example of how we took an old machine and gave it a new lease of life. We have many more stories to tell.

 

Sound Leisure refines and refreshes the legendary designs of the 1940s and 50s to create jukeboxes of uncompromising quality that are contemporary, full of soul and the real deal. It also offers the only bespoke jukebox build service in the world via its Custom Shop service, producing one off and low volume custom jukeboxes based on our extensive range of cabinets and models.

Custom Shop Rocket: Sola Flecha
RESTORATION: 1990’s CD Manhattan jukebox
Custom Shop SL15: Jägermeister
RESTORATION: 1996 CD Gazelle jukebox
Custom Shop Rocket: The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Vinyl Jukebox

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