22 February 2017

TEAC Tape Recorder History - The Beginings

teac 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 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.


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.



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.

200,000 units sold


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

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 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