Seeburg 1000 – The Vintage Machine with a Classic Sound

Seeburg-1000-16-RPM-Record-Player-Metal-case-openThe Seeburg 1000 Background Music System is a phonograph designed and built by the Seeburg Corporation to play background music from special 16-2/3 RPM vinyl records in offices, restaurants, retail businesses, factories and similar locations. The Seeburg 1000 was introduced in 1959 and is enclosed in a metal cabinet 22 inches wide by 14 inches tall by 12 inches deep.


The Seeburg Background Music record is a vinyl record of a non-standard size of 9 inches diameter with a 2 inch center hole. The recording is monaural, with a playing speed of 16⅔ rpm and a density of 420 grooves per inch.Each side contains approximately 40 minutes of music, typically 20 songs.Records in every series are numbered 1-28 or 101-128. These numbers tell you nothing except where the record was supposed to go in a stack.Seeburg-1000-Red-Industrial-Record

The records were distributed quarterly in boxes of seven. The operator was supposed to replace records in the system with new records of the same number (i.e. MM-125). Each box is labeled with the library type, date to place in service, and instructions to the operator. These instructions also specify that each record is to be returned to Seeburg after use. Upon return, the records were destroyed.


Seeburg provided three different libraries of music with the Seeburg 1000 system: Basic, Mood and Industrial.

The Basic library consisted of medium tempo music, culled from top 40 hits, show tunes and standards. The arrangements, created just for Seeburg, were nearly all instrumental and featured horns, strings and keyboards.

The Mood library consisted of medium-slow tempo songs, in lush arrangements with mostly stringed instruments. The music derived from standards, show tunes and some pop music. The first song on each side of each record was often a current pop hit.

The Industrial library consisted of medium-fast tempo music of a lively nature, to induce workers to be more productive. This was perhaps the most varied and adventurous of the libraries; it contained polkas, mariachi music, twangy guitar, Hawaiian songs, and even the occasional synthesizer.

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