17 November 2015

CLASSIC minis - part 1


AIWA M-501 1981 
Shown units: RC-R300 remote control receiver, SA-C50 preamplifier, SA-P50 power amplifier,  MT-50 audio programtimer, ST-R50 stereo tuner, SD-L50 stereo cassette deck

AIWA M-501 1981
AIWA M-501 1981

AKAI UC-5 1980 
Shown units: SW-N5 loudspeaker, UC-F5 stereo cassette deck, UC-W5 power amplifier, UC-A5 preamplifier, UC -S5 stereo tuner, RC-5 remote control receiver

AKAI UC-5 1980
AKAI UC-5 1980 

Aurex / TOSHIBA system 15 1980
Shown units: SC-M15 power amplifier, SY-C15 preamplifier, ST-f15 stereo tuner, PC-D15 stereo cassette deck

Aurex / TOSHIBA system 15 1980
Aurex / TOSHIBA system 15 1980

MITSUBISHI  micro HiFi 1980
Shown units: M-P01 preamplifier, M-A01 power amplifier, M-F01 stereo tuner, M-T01 stereo cassette deck

MITSUBISHI  micro HiFi 1980
MITSUBISHI  micro HiFi 1980
PHILIPS mini 109 1980
Shown units: N 5581 stereo cassette deck, AH 109 T stereo tuner, 209 SA preamplifier, 309 PA power amplifier

PHILIPS mini 109 1980
PHILIPS mini 109 1980

TELEFUNKEN M 1 1981
Shown units: TELEFUNKEN MT 1 stereo tuner, MA 1 amplifier, MC 1 stereo cassette deck

TELEFUNKEN M 1 1981
TELEFUNKEN M 1 1981

WEGA MODUL 42 1978
Shown units: WEGA ADC-2 acoustic dimension controler, MODUL 42V amplifier, MODUL 42T stereo tuner, MODUL 42C stereo cassette deck, MODUL 42P turntable

WEGA MODUL 42 1978
WEGA MODUL 42 1978









13 November 2015

The VU meter

The VU meter

A volume unit (VU) meter is a device found in analog recording equipment displaying a representation of the signal level. In more modern equipment there were peak meters usually made up of a series of LED or fluorescent displays to indicate the highest output level at any instant.  They are used during recording to an analog tape or cassette to set the maximum recording level without distorting the signal. 

As a general rule you have to set the recording in such a manner that the loudest part of music does not exceed the 0 VU (100%) marking on the meter. That's when it enters the red area where the music might get distorted. There are a few exceptions however where you can push the level into the red zone when using Type II or Type IV tape in a compact cassette. Here are some examples of various VU meters found on some of the recorders found in our collection:

FISHER CR-4150 (aka SANYO RD-880)

TASCAM 112B VU
TASCAM 112B - The Classic

SIEMENS RC 555 display
SIEMENS RC 555

FG PROFI RECORDER 306
FG PROFI RECORDER 306

AIWA AD-F660
AIWA AD-F660 using a Type II cassette

JVC PC-D5L
JVC PC-D5L - basic on a portable unit

WEGA C120
WEGA C120 - a SONY in disguise 

YAMAHA K-540
YAMAHA K-540

Lenco Italia MC 70
Lenco Italia MC 70

GOLDSTAR GSK-1100
GOLDSTAR GSK-1100

TELEFUNKEN HC 750M
TELEFUNKEN HC 750M

PIONEER CT-F850
PIONEER CT-F850

PIONEER CT-S88R
PIONEER CT-S88R - a programable cassette deck 

JVC KD-V35 spectro
JVC KD-V35 - with added spectrum analyzer

You can see detailed description of each presented unit here.














12 November 2015

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1



This project was born out of the desire to combine a classic audio product, the turntable, with all the new technologies to create a Hi-Fi system that can reproduce any audio format.

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1
BRIONVEGA ZER0/1

The result is the BRIONVEGA ZER0/1 a Hi-Fi system that incorporates a tangential turntable and a series of modern digital audio compatible formats such as: CD, DVD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB. The system can be remote controlled via a front panel integrated touch screen remote control. The BRIONVEGA ZER0/1 is the work of Roberto Strippoli and Francesco Cugusi.

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1
Tangential turntable

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1
Top view

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1
Touchscreen remote

BRIONVEGA ZER0/1
BRIONVEGA ZER0/1

This is however only a prototype. For more TURNTABLE see here and for more CD see here





08 November 2015

Vertical CD player (part 3 TOSHIBA)


Part 3 of our series dedicated to first generation vertical CD players from 1982-1984 continues with the TOSHIBA based models. Originally created by TOSHIBA as model XR-Z90 this player was also available in Japan as Aurex XR-Z90. As a leader in CD audio technology this unit was sold as rebadged units as well. These were the KENWOOD L-03DP, LUXMAN DX-104 and the Alpine AD-7100.

TOSHIBA XR-Z90




TOSHIBA XR-Z90

AUREX XR-Z90
AUREX XR-Z90

KENWOOD L-03DP 1982
KENWOOD L-03DP 1982

LUXMAN DX-104 1983
LUXMAN DX-104 1983

Alpine AD-7100 1984
Alpine AD-7100 1984

Continue reading: Part 1   Part 2   More CD





30 October 2015

KENWOOD LX-1 LX-2 and LX-3

This is the functional prototype LX series made by TRIO-KENWOOD in 1979, only presented at audio fairs. The components are the LX-1 preamplifier, LX-2 poweramplifier and the LX-3 tuner. There were only 3 sets ever made. What was finally produced was the KENWOOD L-01A amplifier and the matching L-01T FM tuner.

KENWOOD LX-1 LX-2 and LX-3 prototypes

KENWOOD LX-1 and LX-2 at Tokyo Audio Fair

KENWOOD L-01A and L-01T


20 October 2015

PCM digital audio Compact Cassette


At the Tokyo Audio Fair in 1981 there were no more than 16 companies showing CD players before the official launch in 1982. On the other hand the same companies - JVC, PIONEER, SANYO, SHARP, SONY - demonstrated PCM tape decks that were using normal Compact Cassette. The only problem was that there was no standardization of the recording format. The cassette were not interchangeable, each company using a different recording format, track layout and tape speeds. The result is as we all know that only the CD was succesfull and the Compact Casssette remained as an analog audio recording format....or the storage device of the world first Digital Photo Camera.

SANYO PCA-D8 1982

JVC digital compact cassette 1982 (not the later DCC)

SONY S-DAT 1981

In 1985 SHARP presented the: "PCM digital audio compact cassette deck RT-X5 OPTONICA" This was made by SHARP as an early PCM system using a "16-track integrated head system" using a regular "Compact Cassette". 
                                     Here are some technical data for the SHARP RT-X5 :
14 bit / 44.1 khz sampling frequency
Frequency response 2 - 20.000 Hz +/- 0.5dB
Tape speed 9.5cm/s
...and 10kg

SHARP RT-X5 1985

It was only in the late 1992 that PHILIPS presented the DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) a backwards compatible format that allowed to record in digital format to the new DCC cassette but also to play back your old Compact Cassette. But this was too late and it is known as one of the biggest failure in audio history.

PHILIPS DCC 1992

08 October 2015

Victor JL-B1000P - world first quartz turntable 1974

victor jl-b1000

This is the Victor Laboratory (JVC) JL-B1000P broadcast turntable, the world first quartz lock turntable introduced in 1974 by Victor company of Japan (JVC). This Victor Laboratory model was followed by the Victor (JVC) TT-101 for domestic use in 1975.

victor tt-101

From a vintage JVC advert promoting a new JVC Quartz turntable:
"Since we introduced the world's first Quartz-controlled turntable in 1974, we've been constantly refining the ultra-precision oscillator circuits and improving the characteristics of our motor drive system."

Find out more about vintage audio turntable visiting the "phono" section of 


06 October 2015

BeoLab 90 - A Classic was born

beolab 90

The 90th anniversary loudspeaker from Bang & Olufsen has arrived. 
Meet the BeoLab 90 - a 8200 watts per loudspeaker designed by the Frackenpohl Poulheim design studio for Bang & Olufsen.

beolab 90

Bang & Olufsen's new Active Room Compensation technology, Beam Width Control and Beam Direction Control ensure a 360 disperion of sound regardless of room and listening position. The 7 (Scan-Speak) tweeters, 7 (Scan-Speak) midrange, 3 (Scan-Speak) woofer and 1 (Scan-Speak) front woofer are mounted in a 65 kg aluminium enclosure for a total weight of 137 kg. Each speaker has 7 ICEpower amplifiers for tweeters, 7 ICEpower amplifiers for midranges, 3 Heliox amplifiers for woofers and 1 Heliox amplifier for the front woofer.

beolab 90

Until you listen to one of these BeoLab 90 digital loudspeakers in your room, take a look at some of 
Bang & Olufsen's Classic models here and here.



25 September 2015

How to connect a turntable to a amplifier/ receiver


Most of vintage and modern turntable have to be connected to a special input on your amplifier/ receiver labelled PHONO. This input uses a special preamplifier section that a turntable needs before the signal can be sent to the amplifier stage. If your amplifier/ receiver has no PHONO input then you need to buy a separate phono amplifier first.

Important note: 
Some cheap modern turntables already have this phono amplifier fitted in the turntable. In this case you can use any input on your amplifier/ receiver to connect the turntable. Check the turntable's manual first.  

The diagram above shows you how to connect a turntable to your amplifier/ receiver. In most cases the PHONO input on the amplifier can accept turntables fitted with a moving magnet (MM) type cartridge. The PHONO input is a special type of input and is different from all the other inputs of an amplifier. Most vintage turntable and most modern turntable 
must be connected here. 


Playing back music from your turntable
Before switching the power on, set the various controls as follows:
  •      Plug the power cord of these two units into the AC wall socket
  •      Select the speaker switch that corresponds to the speaker system          which is connected to the SPEAKERS  terminals on the rear panel.
  •      Set the bass and trebele controls to "0" position
  •      Set the balance control to the center position.
  •      Select PHONO on the front panel. (Make sure the TAPE monitor is          set to off)
  •      Make sure the volume is set to minimum and switch the units on.
  •      Start playing a record (vinyl) on your turntable and increase the            volume to the desired level.

More about turntables and amplifiers you can read here and here.



31 July 2015

Technics G series

Audio excellence from 1991, this is the Technics G series.

technics g series
Technics B900 cassette deck

technics g series
Technics P900 cd player

technics g series
Technics D900 DAT recorder

technics g series
Technics G900 tuner

technics g series
Technics C5000 preamplifier

technics g series
Technics A5000 power amplifier

technics g series
Technics GE100 equalizer

technics g series
Technics MX200 loudspeaker

technics g series
Technics G series

....and more vintage audio here.