Music Center Incorporated




Professional audio

‘Jeep’ Harned

Florida, U.S.

Area served


Mult-track Recorders
Audio consoles

Music Center Incorporated (MCI) is the former name of a United States manufacturer of professional audio equipment that operated from 1955 until 1982 when it was acquired by the Sony Corporation. The company is credited with a number of world firsts: commercialising the 24-track multi-track recorder, the tape Auto Locator and in-line mixing console.[1]


1 History

1.1 Technical innovation
1.2 Commercial success
1.3 Digital revolution

2 Notable Products

2.1 JH-10 Multitrack Tape Recorder
2.2 JH-16 Multitrack Tape Recorder
2.3 JH-400 Series Console
2.4 JH-500 Series Console
2.5 JH-600 Series Console

3 References
4 External links

During the late 1950s Grover ‘Jeep’ Harned, the founder of MCI, owned and operated a small record and stereo servicing outlet in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He also designed and built custom audio equipment such as mixing consoles, audio preamplifiers and general record electronics at the request of customers like Mack Emerman, the owner of the nearby Criteria Recording Studios.
Harned’s growing list of record industry contacts led in time to regular referrals, and then to long term service contracts. In addition he installed commercial sound systems for the Parker Playhouse, Pirate’s Worlds and Fort Lauderdale International Airport amongst others.[2] Consequently, in 1965 Harned established the company Music Center Incorporated.[3]
Many years later Harned recounted the change in direction during an interview [4]

“I got into the tape recorder business in an interesting way. I had built a console for Sidney (Sy) Nathan, owner of King Records in Cincinnati. Sid, Mack Emmerman, and Bob Richardson had a bunch of Ampex 350 tape recorders with transports that still ran well, but electronics that were on the verge of quitting completely. So in 1968 Sid, Bob and Mack got together and hired me to design and build some new “solid state” electronics for the old transports. My electronics proved to be quieter, had lower distortion, and they didn’t have the ‘Bias Rocks’ common to so many earlier designs.
I filled this order for 100 units and I thought that would be the end of it, but when the word got around the industry that there was this guy in Florida building these ‘solid state’ electronics, a lot more people became interested in the