22 February 2017

TEAC Tape Recorder History - The Beginings

teac td-102
TD-102

TEAC Corporation was originally founded as Tokio Television Acoustic Company on 8th of August 1953 by Katsuma and Tomoma Tani. The two brothers in 1956 founded Tokyo Electronic Acoustic Company and finally merging the two in 1964 to form the modern day TEAC Corporation. The first mass produced product was the TD-102.

teac
TEAC founder, Katsuma Tani, and the TD-102

In 1957 the CEO and the chief engineer of Lafayette Radio Electronics visited the newly estabilished Tokyo Electronic Acoustic Company where Tani showed them the prototype of the TD-102. When they saw the prototype they said  “Add a playback amp, turn it into a tape player and change the casing in to a cabinet and we’ll take it!”. And with that, they ordered 25 units.

The second help came from engineer Bretz from radio manufacturing firm Philco who invited TEAC to perform a demonstration of their products at the Far East Audio Club where 50 TD-102 were sold. After the TD-102’s initial success, TEAC’s open-reel tape decks gained wide commercial notoriety when an influential American consumer magazine, Consumer Reports, listed it as no. 5 out of 17 tried and tested audio products.

teac

teac
The TD-102 production line in the late 1950s

TEAC founded TASCAM, the professional division of TEAC and it was the TASCAM 80-8 tape deck that was used to record the voices of R2-D2 and C3PO in the making of the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope in 1977. This was not the first time that a TEAC recorder was used to record important events in history. The call sign  “I am Seagull” (Ya Chaika, Ya Chaika) of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova was also recorded on a TEAC recorder, the TD-330.

tascam
TASCAM 80-8

teac
TEAC TD-330

TEAC's A-4010 4 track home tape deck became TEAC's best selling product with sales in excess of 200,000 units with the A-6010 securing TEAC's position as one of the best tape deck makers in the world. At the TEAC HQ in Tokyo, the very last A-4010 series model produced is on display at the entrance, with a special commemorative badge.

teac
200,000 units sold

teac

teac
An original wooden box used for the 25 year anniversary export model and TD-102 inside box 

teac
The very last A-4010

The last home tape recorder created by TEAC was the X-2000R. TEAC  also made many successeful compact cassette recorders and digital recorders but more about them in another part dedicated to TEAC history. (Source: TEAC Corp.)

teac
TEAC X-2000R

Discover more reel to reel in Reel to Reel CLASSICS


15 February 2017

The Fisher DAC-2415 from 1995

fisher dac-2415 cd changer

This is the FISHER DAC-2415 24-CD Changer introduced in 1995. As part of our regular monthly webpage updates, you can read the full description here. A video of the unit can be seen on our YouTube channel here

08 February 2017

BALLFINGER M063 - New Tape Recorder for 2017.

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

Recent years showed a growth of supply in "Master Tape Copies". These new tapes recorded from original master recordings are considered to be the best possible source for recorded music. Several companies offer tapes like these on large (26.5 cm) open reel tape format recorded in 2 track Stereo format with prices that begin at 300 Euro. Until now the only way to enjoy these tapes was to purchase an old (used or refurbished) tape recorder. Paying attention to this growing trend a German Design firm led by Roland Schneider decided to design a new tape recorder that was presented on 4th of February 2017 in Hamburg at Norddeutsche HiFi Tage / Hortest 2017. This is the BALLFINGER M063, a brand new 2 track reel to rel tape recorder capable of speeds up to 38 cm/s that can accept tapes up to 30 cm diameter.

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

tape recorder, tonbandgerate

Technical data
Operation: vertical / horizontal / 19 inch rack
Counter: Digital / hour, minutes, seconds, hundreth of second
Drive: 3 motor Direct Drive (DC phase locked loop)
Speed: 9.5 cm/s, 19 cm/s, 38 cm/s   Editing: -90 cm/s to + 90 cm/s
Fast winding: 5 m/s, 10 m/s
Remote controlled headphone output.
3 head  2 track configuration
Frequency response:30 - 16000 Hz +/- 2 dB (9.5 cm/s)
                                     30 - 20000 Hz +/- 2 dB (19 cm/s)
                         30 - 22000 Hz +/- 2 dB (38 cm/s)
VU meter: 35 mm x 60 mm ASA standard
Signal to noise: >70 dB (19 cm/s)
Input / output: XLR and RCA
Price: €27,900 (4 feb. 2017)


More Classic Reel to Reel recorders here

26 January 2017

Alpage and the Clones

alpage al-300
Alpage AL-300

The Alpage AL-300 was a cassette deck introduced in 1980 by the Alpine Electronics Inc. which is, in turn, a member of the Alps Electric Group. The Alpage AL-300 was a top-of-the-line model, one of the best 3-head cassette decks on the market. The AL-300 has a 3-head design with Closed Loop Dual Capstan drive mechanism. The AL-300 was designed for use with metal tape (and CrO2, FeCr, Normal) with independent Dolby calibration for left and right channels and also independent BIAS adjustment controls.

alpage al-300
Alpage AL-300

A direct clone of this deck was the eumig FL-900 available with both silver or black fascia.

eumig FL-900
eumig FL-900

eumig FL-900
eumig Series 500

A slightly modified version of this deck was distributed by PHILIPS and several PHILIPS sub-brands accross the world. These versions had instead of the needle type VU meters Fluorescent Tube Peak Level meters and a large bright red LED tape counter. 

The following models were availabe: PHILIPS N5788 (black), N5781 (silver), ARISTONA SR3780, ERRES SR3788, LOEWE SR3788 and DUX SR3788.

philips
PHILPS with Digital counter

PHILIPS N5788
PHILIPS N5788

PHILIPS N5788
PHILIPS N5788

Fluorescent Peak Meter

ARISTONA SR3780
ARISTONA SR3780

LOEWE SR3780
LOEWE SR3780

ERRES SR3780
ERRES SR3780

For more about vintage cassette decks visit www.1001hifi.com


19 January 2017

PCM Adapter - Old Digital Audio Format

Before the introduction of a standardized format to record digital audio to a tape (the DAT recorder) the practice was  to use a PCM adapter (pulse code modulation) connected to a video recorder to record the digital audio signal to tape. The PCM adapter was connected to a video recorder using the video in/out of the unit in order to record the PCM coded audio digital signal where normally the video signal is recorded. The reason to do this was that a linear tape recorder did not have sufficient bandwidth to record large volumes of PCM data while video recorders were available both for studio and home use and the rotary video heads used in a video recorder had sufficient bandwidth to do this. Most video-based PCM adaptors record audio at 14 bits quantization, and a sampling frequency of 44.056 kHz.

pcm adapter
PCM connection diagram

First generation PCM adapter

pcm adapter
SONY PCM-1 1977

pcm adapter
Technics SH-P1 1979

pcm adapter
DIATONE PCM

pcm adapter
SHARP RX-1 VC-6300 1979

Commercial models

pcm adapter
Aurex XD-80 1981

pcm adapter
Aurex XD-60 1981 (right)

pcm adapter
DIATONE D-102 1982

pcm adapter
SONY PCM-F1 1981

pcm adapter
Technics SV-100

pcm adapter
SONY PCM-501 1984 / 553ESD 1985 / 701ES 1984

pcm adapter
Sanyo PLUS 5

pcm adapter
Sansui PC-X1 / PC-X11 1988

Dedicated audio players using VHS video tape

pcm adapter
Technics SV-P100

pcm adapter
HITACHI PCM-V300 1982

VCR with PCM audio

pcm adapter
Aurex TOSHIBA PCM-D1

pcm adapter
Aurex TOSHIBA PCM-D1

Prerecorded PCM audio on VHS tape

pcm adapter
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab prerecorded PCM (digital) audio on VHS

More vintage audio @ www.1001hifi.com

11 January 2017

REVOX Reel to Reel Recorders 1949 - 1993



Finally a book fully dedicated to all the wonderful reel to reel tape recorders of the Swiss brand.

More than 30 years after production of the last ReVox reel to reel machine, we are proud to introduce now the first book of the complete reel to reel production range: 240 pages and 400 color photos, with rich text in English and Italian.

Made for the 50th anniversary of the A77's birth, the most famous reel to reel recorder ReVox (shown even on Pink Floyd's Ummagumma cover), the book 'REVOX REEL TO REEL TAPE RECORDERS 1949-1993' presents in detail all 25 legendary issued models with full history, versions, technical and curiosity in 240 pages and over 400 unpublished Hi-Res photographs. Available on-demand printing from Blurb.

"Just the right book for those crazy fanatics lovers of ReVox recorders - says Marcel Siegenthaler, Advertising and Communications Manager ReVox 1965-1995 – definitely, a book like this no one had ever seen till now. "

Conceived and structured both as a manual for the enthusiast who can recognize in all details each different model and check the full originality, and for the historian audiophile who wish to know in details the birth and evolution of the swiss analog recording brand from his first beginning in 1949 to the glorious end in 1993.

"In this book you will find not only the legendary A77, but also detailed and complete information with all versions and types of tape recorders manufactured by ReVox - explains Fadri Haller, current CEO of ReVox GmbH - I myself read and browsed in deep this work, and I found a lot of new and unknown exciting information about the devices and the history of ReVox ".

The work was carried out by two expert technicians collectors of the swiss company, based on one of the most complete existing collections, and interviewing in deep ReVox and Studer designers, engineers, commercial managers of that time, with extensive research in Switzerland, Italy and Germany of all known versions and variants.

'REVOX REEL TO REEL TAPE RECORDERS 1949-1993' is today the only complete and exhaustive historical book of the ReVox saga. Enjoy it both from the point of view of the technical/historical rich text than for the gorgeous high resolution pictures, shown in a smooth and original way, with unusual shoots and special care about technical interiors, engines, circuits and most noticeable details, with direct comparison between all various versions.

Authors:
Paolo Bologna
Luca Maria Olgiati



With English-Italian text, both in an economical softcover version, than a better and a luxus one, with hardcover and special photographic papers, is available for purchase now at 'blurb'.