The Weltron model 2001 is one of the most sought-after 8-track players, because of its unique ‘space helmet’ design. They are also getting quite rare now which further enhances their appeal to collectors.
My Weltron player was made in 1972 and is bright yellow in colour. This is a little unusual – most of them were plain white with a black face. Apparently there was an orange coloured version, too. As well as different colours to collect, Weltron also offered a matching pair of external speakers in the same space-age style as the player itself. I’ve included a picture of the whole ensemble on this page but I don’t actually have the extra speakers with my unit.
The Weltron 2001 was designed to be a portable stereo system, able to run on dry cell batteries, car battery or AC mains electricity. However, I would describe it as semi-portable. Like the so-called portable televisions of the same period, the Weltron is rather bulky and heavy to carry around. Eight ‘D’ cells are required and probably only last an hour or two of continuous cartridge playing (a battery life meter is included by the cartridge slot). Despite this drawback, the Weltron is a very good portable player. The sound quality is a lot better than the other portables that I’ve tried, and its heavy construction and suction-cup base give it a sturdy feel. The only real problem I’ve come across with these players is the drive belt which seems to melt with age. This causes the 8-track deck to fail. The belt is difficult to replace because it is buried deep in the mechanism and a complete strip-down is required.
In England, Dixons stores sold the Weltron under the name PRINZSOUND STEREO MODULE , model SM-8 . I believe they also sold the extension speakers (Weltron model 2003).