Old-timey, homemade iPhone dock

My pal Matt paid $25 for an old, weathered Magnavox speaker he found in an antique shop in Oakland, CA. Using two scraps of walnut, he carved out a slot for the horn, a dock for his iPhone and a channel to carry sound between the two. Lo-fi, but pretty effective. Side note: Magnavox invented the loudspeaker in 1915 in Napa, CA. The company eventually moved to San Francisco, then Oakland, which means someone in the Bay Area probably has a garage filled with these horns. I'm on a hunt. Write me if you have any leads: steven AT boingboing DOT net
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20 Responses to Old-timey, homemade iPhone dock

  1. technogeek says:

    Wonderful. Yeah, I second the motion; I would love one of these crafted for my own player. But I’m not about to buy a horn until the furor dies down agan and everyone else stops buying them up.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been pondering how best to splice an MP3-player input into my grandfather’s old cabinet radio. Presumably the ceramic-cartridge inputs are equalized oddly, but I could prefilter… Hmmm.

  2. kc0bbq says:

    @6 – Horns without drivers are generally around $25 normally, except for really special or wooden ones. If that Magnavox horn had less wear on the logo decal it would have been more.

    If you scrounge antique show/flea market combos you can find a few of these every time, look under tables. Atwater Kent horns are pretty easy to find in workable condition. Just don’t permanently wreck a good one. :(

  3. kc0bbq says:

    Oh, and I think this is the horn from a Magnavox R3 speaker from 1924. It’s had the color cleaned right off of it in the 95 years it’s been alive.

    It’s really cool to see it amplifying sound, that’s the whole purpose.

  4. RedShirt77 says:

    Did Matt lose much of his thumb in the production?

  5. Steven Leckart says:

    That’s my thumb. I sliced it while cutting a lemon. Totally unrelated.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am really curious about this project – what is the shape of the channel? Did Matt cut the block in two, then carve and sand the channel and lastly glue it back together? Hmmmm…

  7. SamSam says:


    Would it make any difference if the mouth of the horn were directly lined up with the iPhone’s speaker? As it is, it’s having to reflect around a bit in the box, so I wonder if it’s losing some quality/volume.

  8. I like the style, it’s so nice

  9. Marcus says:

    This loudspeaker has been invented in 1915 but it is well known to every musician and music lover as it sound was too awesome when it was played in the past i hope your hunt would be successful on finding this stuff from the rest of the world so that even see this LIVE in my remaining life time…………

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have blown my brains out trying to figure out how to create a good sound channel (google is no help!). I LOVE this idea. Found a horn on ebay for $25!

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    #6: Nice idea!

  12. Jake von Slatt says:

    #6 The volume control is often the ideal place to inject a line level signal into an old amp.

    The patina on that horn is gorgeous! I’m so glad he left it as is.

  13. The Real Mary Sue says:

    Huh, that explains why there’s a statue of an old grammaphone by the Napa Mervyns.

    No I am not making this up. I grew up in Satan’s Cesspool– I mean, Napa.

  14. nicleT says:

    So, this is very clever. A great bridge between ages, thanks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It will not work as it is horn not speaker that if you the mouth of the horn is directly lined up with the i Phone’s speaker….if i could found this old organ I’ll definitely show cased it to my band room and will try to play it…….

  16. Steven Leckart says:


    Yes. Two pieces, both carved, glued together. I’m hoping to eventually make one in his shop w/Matt’s guidance, and will post photos.

  17. CrashAlley says:

    This accessory was not made to work with iPhone. Would you like to turn on Locomotive mode?

  18. Domitype says:

    try again:


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