11 December 2014

Microcassette in higher fidelity

The Microcassette was introduced by Olympus in 1969. The Microcassette is significantly smaller than a Compact Cassette but it uses the same width of magnetic tape.

Using thinner tape and a 2.4 cm/s standard speed you can have 30 minutes recording time per side and double that duration at 1.2 cm/s. Unlike the Compact Cassette the tape spools in the opposite direction, from right to left.

Microcassettes proved to be popular for recording voice in dictation machines and answering machines. However, Microcassettes have also been used as a medium for recording music on Type IV metal tapes. This article presents some of the higher fidelity Microcassette decks that were manufactured for a short period of time in the early 80's.

Before microcassettes, PHILIPS intoduced the minicassette that was featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange but every body mistakes them by the OLYMPUS microcassettes.

From the movie A Clockwork Orange 1971

From the movie A Clockwork Orange 1971

List of hi-fi stereo microcassette decks:


FISHER CRM 500 1981 (SANYO rebadge)

JVC D-M3 1981 (Victor in Japan)

Lo-D D-MC5 1982 (HITACHI)

SONY TC-MR2 1982

Technics M212 1981 (compact cassette - microcassette)

Technics RS-G800 1982 (microcassette - tuner - amplifier)

Pre-recorded music microcassette

09 November 2014

PHILIPS LHH2000 Professional Compact Disc Player System

The PHILIPS LHH 2000 was introduced around 1985, with its main purpose to function in a professional sound studio.

This was a multicomponent system wich comprises in it's simplest form a CD player (PHILIPS LHH-2001) and a Control Panel (PHILIPS LHH-2051 Function Module + PHILIPS LHH-2052 Command Module)

Up to three professional CD-Players can be operated within the system. These have been designed not only to provide the high standards of performance demanded by professional organisations, but also for compactness so that they fit unobtrusively into a busy sound studio. Each CD-Player is a mere 9,5" wide - just half the width of a normal rack-mounting unit.

The access capabilities of the professional CD-Players are considerably faster than those of a normal consumer unit. This is thanks to a special sensor that's built onto the focus unit of the laser optics system, which rapidly scans the disc for a desired point of access.

The professional CD-Player also features a high quality, built-in digital/analogue converter. It helps ensure the highest standards of reproduction required by studios - without the need for extra amplifiers. In addittion, the special built-in power supply unit handles all the needs of both CD-Player and the CD-Drive Control Unit.

As an aid to easy operation, the CD-Players are designed for top loading. This means that virtually no space is required in front of the unit when loading a disc. Thereby enabling a compact configuration to be achieved. A light touch on the lid, and the door to the disc drive compartment opens hydraulically. Once the disc is placed in position and the lid closed, the turntable mechanism starts rotating automatically.
On the front of the CD-Player illuminated indicators are provided which denote the status of the unit-on-line, ready, and power-on. 

CD-Drive Control Unit
The modulator microprocessor based CD-Drive Control Unit is made up from one function module and up to three command modules. Each module comprises a flat keyboard with an assocciated illuminated display panel. The selected configuration - a single-, dual-, or triple-CD-Drive Control Unit- can be used either free-standing, or flushmounted in a desk.

Command module - one per CD-Player - enables communication between the function module and its related drive, for setting up a programme. It also permits actual pre-checking and playing of the disc. In addition, it allows pauses to be provided. Playing the disc is simpe, and can be carried out from either the command module, or using the fader switches on the control desk. The command module's LED display provides a countdown of the Time to Stop Cue, plus an indication of system status -edit, ready, on-line, or on-air. 

The system comprises up to three professional Philips LHH-2000 CD-Players, connected to a microprocessor controlled, modular CD-Drive Control Unit. This latter element features a function module, to which is linked up to three command modules (one for each professional CD-Player).
Operation of the Professional CD-Player System is simple, thanks to the logical layout of the controls on the CD-Drive Control Unit's keyboard. All procedures carries out to arrive at start and stop cue times, are clearly confirmed on large anti-glare LED displays. Programming sequences are arranged so that the user is guided through the procedures, with the help of the LED displays, in a step-by-step manner. This helps make programme creation not only exceptionally accurate, but also very straightforward.
The unusually compact dimensions of the system mean that it takes up very little valuable studio space, intergrating easily and attractively into any exisiting lay-out.

Exceptionally fast and accurate 
The Philips Professional CD-Player System offers the music presenter and the programme maker, remarkably fast access to the timecode information contained in the compact disc P and Q subcode channels... adn a clear, easy way of using it. Any point on the disc can be accessed in less than two seconds, with an accuracy of 13.3 milli-seconds (or one frame).
With every second of the music divided into 75 frames, each of which can be accessed, the programming accuracy of the system is evident. The result is that studios can plan and prepare their compact disc based material in the knowledge that it will run precisely to time. 

Function mode - gives the extensive search and programming facilities that enable setting p of start and stop cues for each CD-Drive, using the straightforward module keypad, and where necessary, the search dail. 
All programming actions are confirmed on the illuminated display. The result is that music selections can be chosen with extreme accuracy. A shift key is also provided which permits an additional range of user selectable functions. 

Easy-to-operate keyboard
The logically laid out keyboard of the CD-Drive Control Unit makes programme creat ion fast and easy. Commands are entered using the fingertip touch keys, and confirmed by the large easy-to-read displays. The programming capabilities of the system are extensive. They cover virtually anything, from enabling the simple playing of a compete disc, a single track, or an index, to different time-selected sections.
Using the function module, music selections can be prepared to start and stop, wherever the programme maker wishes. This can be in the middle of a track, at a point of emphasis, in the pause between tracks, or at any point in succeeding tracks. The selected piece of music is shown on the display in the form of a Cue to Cue time. And when the chosen section from a disc is being played, an automatic countdown display on the command module gives the operator an indication of the time left on that particular piece. This is shown as a Time to Stop Cue. Once relevant cueing data has been noted, it can be used time and time again, always with the same precise accuracy.
A further advantage to the programme maker is a pause facility. This enables music to be interrupted for announcements etc., and then restarted at the exact spot which it had reached before the pause - either using the key on the command module, or a fader.

Timing accuracy
As with many normal LP's, the duration of each track on a compact disc is given from its beginning, to the beginning of the succeeding track. In other words, the pause between tracks is included. But that's of little help to the operator, as it's essential to know the precise music time.
With the Philips Professional CD-Player System, this is possible thanks to the RTL (or Real Time Left) mode. This means that when the mode is selected on the keyboard, the actual time remainning to the end of a particular track (without the pause) is displayed. Not the time to the beginning of the next piece of music. 

Test function helps cueing
Cueing accuracy is assisted by using the Test Time function on the CD-Drive Control Unit's keyboard. This enables pre-checking of start and stop cues by playing the first or last couple of seconds of a selected piece so that precise cueing points can be found. The test time can be easily extended or reduced using the Shift/Test Time function.

Search dial for rapid access and precise cueing
Any point - accurate to one frame - on a compact disc, can be rapidly accessed using the search dial. In the normal mode, one turn of the dial corresponds to one second of music. Quicker access is also possible using the dial in conjunction with Fast 1 of Fast 2 keys.
In these modes, a single turn of the dial represents 30 seconds and 4 minutes of music respectively. The two fast modes are primarily intended to provide a rapid approximation of the place for cueing. After this has been carried out, the normal mode is re-selected to establish the precise cueing point.
Movement of the dial when monitoring to locate a cueing point, can be either forwards or backwards, and once the dial is stationary the particular piece of music whose frames are being scanned will be continuously repeated. The corresponding position in minutes/seconds/frames of that section is displayed for reference. 

Special auto mode
An automatic mode can be chosen in multi-configurations which enables the playing of one pre-programmed CD-Drive after another. In addition, whilst one CD-Drive is playing, the discs on the other CD-Players can also be re-programmed with other selections.

16 February 2014

JVC VHS - the first

JVC HR-3660EG VHS - The first three-hour
home TV recorder from 1978

The same videorecorder from the 1001 Hi-Fi
collection - picture taken in 2014

Size comparison between the JVC HR-3660EG
and the PHILIPS N2532 cassette recorder.

In true old fashioned way the cassette compartiment
eject is mechanical, hand operated.

30 January 2014

1001 Hi Fi - Will rock you

Our new YouTube promo is online.
Click to play and it Will Rock You.


08 January 2014

Early 90's PIONEER CD player

The picture below shows the CD lens of a PIONEER PD-S701 from 1992. A common problem of PIONEER cd players from this period was the fact that the lens is falling out. However many users are lucky to find it loose inside the player but the question is, how it should be placed correctly in position. This detail photo is meant to help those who want to glue the lens in place.