The Juke-Boxes
1958 The Ditchburn MK6 (MK2R) Music Maker 30
The MK6 Juke-Box came about due to the introduction of the BAL-Ami Junior 40, Ditchburn’s main competitor had been getting more J40 jukeboxes into small cafe’s and bars due to its small size and larger 20 record capacity, Geoffrey Ditchburn was well known for not throwing away working machines because they were outdated, so he decided to take some of the old MK2 78rpm Music Maker machines that he still had on sites or had been returned to the depots, he knew his copy of the simplex mechanisms still had some life left in them, and could be a great machine to compete with the Bal-ami J40s and he converted them to MK2R ( R standing for refurbished), within Ditchburn these were officially known as the MK6 He didnt go about this lightly though, firstly the original copy simplex mech had to be converted from 78rpm to 45rpm, this involved changing the turntable to accommodate the larger hole in 45rpm jukebox records and also the associated gear and worm drive for the new speed, also as the original machine had only 16 selections he had to devise a way to allow more selections to be made, they designed in house at Ditchburn a new pin-bank selector that could select 30 records, so the original 16 button selector was removed and a large rotary dial was fitted on the front, connected to a solenoid that moved up and down the pin-bank and could push the pin of the desired record, The current record stack of 16 x 78rpm records was to changed to 30 x 45rpm records, so the record stack was totally redesigned to accommodate 30 records with smaller and thinner record trays. next the cost of play had changed since the MK2 was introduced so a new credit mechanism was required to accept 6d and shilling coins instead of the original 3d on the MK2. Ditchburn wanted a new, more modern styled cabinet but the cost of the mechanical changes had blown the budget for a brand new cabinet, so they decided to reuse the original cabinet but make significant changes that made the appearance totally different, they did this by literally cutting the top off the original MK2 jukebox and replacing it with a full windshield style viewing window and a fibreglass roof, and some of the wooden round speaker trim bars were removed and replaced with a steel speaker grill just leaving the top and bottom round bars, some fancy cast stars were added as decoration and then the cabinets were repainted in a range of colours and behold the New MK6. The cost of this refurbishment must have been extortionate, but at the time they needed something to compete with the growing popularity of the BAL-AMi Junior machines and the MK6 was that machine.
Ditchburn Equipment Ltd, Dock Rd Lytham, Lancashire, UK
Model Number
MK2R 30 selection Simplex Mechanism, Plays one side only ( Conversion of the MK2 16 play Machines )
Years of Manufacture
Quantity Manufactured
78 / 45 rpm
45 rpm
240v AC
Amplifier Type
Ditchburn Amplifier made by BTH. British Thomson-Houston Co Ltd, Aldwych, London ( Valves 2x PX4 )
Mono / Stereo
Size H x W x D
Photo Ref: DB084 Courtesy of Karl Dawson
Photo Ref: DB225 Courtesy of Tony Holmes
Photo Ref: DB077 Courtesy of Freddy Bailey
Photo Ref: DB156 Courtesy of EB
Photo Ref: DB157 Courtesy of EB
Photo Ref: DB207 Courtesy of Tony Holmes
Photo Ref: DB208 Courtesy of Tony Holmes
Photo Ref: DB209 Courtesy of Geoff Young
Photo Ref: DB210 Courtesy of Geoff Young
Photo Ref: DB211 Courtesy of Geoff Young
Photo Ref: DB226 Courtesy of Tony Holmes
Photo Ref: DB494 Courtesy of Ronald Seunig
A MK6 currently on display at the Tera-Technica Time Travel Museum
Photo Ref: DB495 Courtesy of Ronald Seunig
Photo Ref: DB496 Courtesy of Ronald Seunig
Photo Ref: DB497 Courtesy of Ronald Seunig
A MK6 Restored By Rob’s Jukebox Restorations ( see full restoration here )
Photo Ref: DB580 Courtesy of Robs Restorations
Photo Ref: DB581 Courtesy of Robs Restorations
A MK6 Custom designed for Amber fashion store in Liverpool
The photos below were kindly sent to us by Louisa Harrison, they are of a MK6 that was custom made in 1967 for the Amber fashion store in Liverpool, Louisa’s father Dave Harrison, worked as an engineer for DItchburn in the late 60s. he later left to set up his own company Harrison Electronics which designed and manufactured arcade equipment. he acquired the machine, and it was then passed on to Louisa, She sold the machine on Ebay back in 2020 hopefully someone will restore this machine back to its former glory. ( if anyone has any further details on the current whereabouts of this machine or restoration status, please let us know)
Photo Ref: DB582 Courtesy of Louisa Harrison
Photo Ref: DB583 Courtesy of Louisa Harrison
Photo Ref: DB584 Courtesy of Louisa Harrison
Photo Ref: DB585 Courtesy of Louisa Harrison
Photo Ref: DB586 Courtesy of Louisa Harrison
MK6 Music Maker 30 Sales Brochure
The Ditchburn Museum Music Maker 30 MK6 Many people have asked me why is your MK6 machine Red.
Some have even told me that Ditchburn never made red Jukeboxes, i had just assumed that it was refinished by a collector at some point in its life in this red colour, it was when i started to restore the jukebox a couple of years ago that i decided to remove some paint to find out what the original colour was, expecting it to be green or brown underneath but there was no base colour, so i assumed it had been fully stripped and repainted, it was only when talking to Martin Wood a collector of Jukeboxes, that he informed me that he had seen my red Jukebox previously and it was along side another Ditchburn jukebox that he had bought discovered in a store cupboard in a Butlins Holiday camp near Scarborough, and this Jukebox had been supplied to Butlins by Ditchburn painted in the Butlins Red colour. If you come across an old Ditchburn that is painted bright red, its very likely it is one supplied by Ditchburn to Butlins.