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

19 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 was 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.

PCM compact cassette prototype

PCM compact cassette prototype
JVC PCM Compact Cassette Prototype 1982

PCM compact cassette prototype
SONY PCM S-DAT Prototype 1981

PCM compact cassette prototype
PIONEER PCM Compact Cassette Prototype 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 OPTONICA by 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

PCM compact cassette prototype
OPTONICA RT-X5 PCM Compact Cassette 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 it arrived too late to the market and it is remembered as one of the biggest failures in audio history.

digital compact cassette DCC

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

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.