20 December 2018

LUXMAN K-05 (1983) - Pure Audio by Lux

cassette deck

The K-05 and K-04 are the cassette decks developed under the ultimate yet essential proposition to realize ultimate fidelity reproduction of original sound. Most of the decks said to sound good accompany a certain colouration, and in many cases such particular atmosphere delivered by colouration is preferred in actual listening. Dissatisfaction at such present status urged LUXMAN to design the top-notch deks K-05 and K-04. Tape travel mechanism is life of tape deck and determines whole sound quality. Good tape transport is a precondition for a good deck. With the K-05 and K-04, the tape trasnport mechanism has been reviewed from the very begining not by means of such temporizing measure to provide ostensible reduction of wow & flutter with Direct Drive motor but by means of newly designed robust "G.T. Transport" - Grand Trust Mechanism, which eventually brought about a dramatic improvement of total tape travel mechanism. Rustic, sturdy chassis made of thick die-cast zinc alloy is moulded and integrated with 2 pairs of capstan bearings, which assures perfect parallelism between the shafts of pinch-roller and capstan as well as their strict verticality to the chassis. 3-DD Motor Configuration, exclusive motor is arranged for each function of capstan drive, reel drive and head-assembly movement. 

High quality recording and playback are made possible only by an accurate 3-dimensional control on tape contact. Many manufacturers put great emphasis on the zimuth adjustment (to parallel both the head gaps for recording and playback and to set them perpendicular to tape) With the K-05 and K-04, all of these conditions are fully satisfied on the basis of ultra-precison R/P combination head. In the case of discrete 3-head system, the most critical point is in the azimuth control for the recording and playback heads. On the contrary, the R/P combination head has a big advantage that it can be fixed at the exact position in addition to its close positioning between the recording and playback head-gaps. To make the most of this merit, during the manufacturing process of the head, its azimuth is aligned in the strictest manner by the unit of microns. As commonly known, cassette tape has quality variations even in the same kind supplied under the same brand. To make most of its recording potential, an optimum value has to be selected for each bias current, tape-referenced recording level and equalization. In the case of the K-05 featuring automatic calibration system, the on-deck computer calibrates all of these 3 items individually then correlatively to locate the optimum points, confirming the result of each calibration step in the form of frequency response. Specifications K-05: 3 Head System - Record Sendust, Playback HIP (Hot Isostatic Press) Ferrite, Erase Dual-gap Sendust/Ferrite Junction. Wow & Flutter (JIS WRMS0 no more than 0.022%. Frequency response Metal 15 - 27.000 Hz, CrO2 15 - 22.000 Hz, Normal 15 - 22.000 Hz. Dimensions 460mm(W) x 361mm(D) x 158mm(H) Weight 11.5 kg.

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck



10 December 2018

Technics SE-A1 (1977) - Extraordinary Class A+ Power Amp

Power Amplifier

From the manufacturer:

"SE-A1 Stereo Power Amplifier
By developing Class A+ operation that provided amazing 350 W + 350 W output power, Technics aimed to achieve the highest level of power amp performance with the SE-A1. Theoretically, Class A operation does not generate switching distortion or crossover distortion. On the other hand, it is low in efficiency, so it is difficult to produce a high-power Class A amp. The Class A+ operation employed in the SE-A1 was similar to the Class A operation, which constantly requires electric current, but with floating ground potential. This system supplied high voltage from a separate power supply amp as needed in sync with the audio signal amplitude. This achieved high output power without using a forced air cooling fan, thus enabling a compact housing. The SE-A1 was a full-fledged DC amp, and boasted excellent waveform transmission performance. The active thermal servo circuit suppressed DC drift. The power supply section featured a dual monaural structure with four power supply units per channel for a total of eight power supply units. The peak meter was a quick-response type. The SE-A1 and SU-A2 were made-to-order, and only one unit was produced per day. The SE-A1 developed in pursuit of the highest possible performance had a considerable impact on the industry.

SU-A2 Stereo Control Amplifier
Using Class A operation in all stages, the SU-A2 was completely free of switching and crossover distortion, and realised low distortion and a high S/N ratio. Featuring the DC amp structure, the SU-A2 used no capacitors and achieved faithful waveform transmission. From the Phono MM input to the output terminals, the rated distortion factor was 0.003% in the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz (at 1-V output). The SU-A2 was provided with a low-noise dual FET for MM and a newly developed low-noise transistor for the MC preamp. Use of the active thermal servo amp minimised DC drift. Despite the multi-functionality, the simplified wiring and switches in each section offered minimal crosstalk. The universal frequency equaliser was configured with four elements in each channel for a total of eight elements. The SU-A2 was highlighted as the most advanced, top-level control amp of the day."

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

03 December 2018

PIONEER CT-A1 (1979) - Spectacular Big Black Recorder

cassette deck

Introduced in 1979 the PIONEER CT-A1 is one of the top recorders of all time featuring a Quartz Lock Direct Drive Closed Loop Dual Capstan mechanism, 3 Head System and Automatic Bias Level Equlizer Tuning System. The CT-A1 can get the best out of every tape, because it has a microcomputer that works like a lab technician, testing each tape and making precise recording adjustments. The AUTO - B.L.E. system automatically determines optimum bias/level/EQ, and stores this data for 9 different types of tape in its memory. Like a technician, AUTO - B.L.E. applies a test tone to the tape, then varies the bias current over 64 possible steps. It then scans the tape in playback to determine optimum bias with an accuracy of +/-0.2dB. It sets optimum level and EQ the same way. You get the most out of Metal, Normal, CrO2 and Fe-Cr tapes. And it takes less than 45 seconds. 

To avoid pitch variations the CT-A1 uses a dual capstan mechanism. The "drive" capstan's speed is regulated by a quartz-phase lock loop system that detects any speed variations, and instantly corrects them. Speed drift is less than 0.02% and wow & flutter drops to an amazingly low 0.03% WRMS. The CT-A1 out-performs all other cassette decks, and rivals the best reel-to-reel. Signal to Noise with Dolby on is -70dB. Double Dolby allows you to record with Dolby, while monitoring it with Dolby. The 3-head system with Uni-Crystal Ferrite heads achieves a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, -20dB with metal tape. The fluorescent meter gives you 24-segment resolution for easy readings from -30dB to +8dB. Since PIONEER briefly acquired the Phase Linear company this model was available for a short time also as Phase Linear Model 7000 Series Two however these were silver models while the PIONEER models were all black.

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

26 November 2018

SONY TC-R7-2 (1977) - To be heard to be believed

reel to reel

Sony's hi-fi components line has to be heard to be believed. With the lowest wow and flutter of any deck Sony ever built, a duo of tape recorders were introduced in 1977. These were the Japanese market SONY TC-R6 and SONY TC-R7-2. The same models were available worldwide as SONY TC-765 and SONY TC-766-2. They both share the same construction but while the R6 is a 4 Track Stereo Recorder running at 9.5 and 19 cm/s the R7-2 is a 2 Track Stereo Recorder running at 19 and 38 cm/s with an additional 4 Track head for playback. The SONY TC-R7-2 achieves an incredible wow and flutter of 0.018% (WRMS) at 38 cm/s and 0.04% (WRMS) at 19 cm/s. This is achieved via a Closed Loop Dual Capstan Tape Drive System. One capstan extends from the motor shaft itself, eliminating intervening gears that can hamper speed accuracy. The other tape drive capstan connects through an extremely steady belt-drive inertia wheel. For a "mirror image" of the original signal, Sony's exclusive Phase Compensator Circuit comes closest achieving this by rectifying phase distortion and producing sound qualitty virtually identical to the original source. 

Illuminated, calibrated and ultra-clear for best monitoring possible, Sony's Professional Studio Standard VU meters are identical in size, shape, color and sensitivity to those on professional consoles. Because of Sony's outstanding Ferrite & Ferrite Heads, plus the remarkably precise fabrication and alignment of the head gap, recordings retain exact positioning of signal throughout the stereo field. The "location" of individual sounds won't wander. There's no annoying phase shift. More professional features include direct-coupled playback FET amplifier, flashing Standby Signal, Punch-in Record and solenoid-operated Logic-Controlled Transport Functions to let you move instantly to and from any mode without stopping. Standard equipment: RM-30 full-function remote control unit with record mute and hinged head cover.

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

19 November 2018

Technics RS-M95 - Professional Series (1979)

cassette deck

The RS-M95 was the last incarnation of the very successful series introduced with the RS-M85. Technics has designed the RS-M95 with three heads, each designed for its special role in the recording and playback process. For low distortion. the recordinq head gap is set at a precise 5 micron. The playback head's tiny 1 micron gap provides a new level of high range frequency response. Both heads feature a special version of Technics' own HPF material for the gap and core to raise the saturation flux density to the heights needed for high input metal tape recording. To bring out its full potential, metal tape needs about twice the recording bias current of normal tape, plus specialized (recording) equalization to deal with its high frequency characteristics. Therefore, the M95 not only has the conventional three positions on its tape selector, it also features a metal position especially for the new breed of metal particle tapes. On top of this, you get added flexibility by using independent fine bias adjustment knobs for each tape type. These can be set for  +/-20% of the conventional bias current to deal with each and every brand of tape. And the built-in oscillator provides 400Hz/8kHz test-tone signals for use in this calibration. 

Wow and flutter were the lowest ever in a Technics cassette deck thanks to the combination of the proven quartz phase-locked direct-drive capstan motor and a computer controlled tape tension control system in the reel drive section. As the major determinant of tape travel accuracy, the capstan motor features highly stable, constant rotation. The servo system is based on a quartz oscillator reference frequency and is phase-locked with Technics' famous planar-opposed DC brushless, coreless, slotless, direcl-drive motor. To bring out the full potential of the quartz DD drive system and ensure optimum head contact with the 3-head configuration, Technics has provided the M95 with a remarkable tape tension control circuit. Based on detection of take-up reel rotations and calculation of the diameter of the tape wound on the reel, a microprocessor regulate the reel motor torque to maintain constant tape tension. Extremely high accuracy is achieved because reel rotation detection itself is carried out by counting the number of reel table pulses within a reference period set by the quartz oscillator frequency. A tension arm on the supply reel side provides the back tension needed. 

Technics has led the field in employing new FL meters as a more accurate and convenient alternative to needle type meters. Now in the M95 a newly developed professional quality FL meter with an extended indication range of -42dB ~ +8dB (30 segments: -6dB ~ +4dB are in 1dB steps; each of the other segments cover 2dB steps; for easier legibility, 0dB and above is a brighter red) is used. Timer start selector, record muting switch and feather-touch controls adds to the list of functions of this Professional Series deck while EIA rack mounting makes this deck a perfect match for the Professional 10000 Series audio components. 

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

cassette deck

10000 series

13 November 2018

FERROGRAPH Logic 7 (1974) - British High Quality

reel to reel

Logic 7 recorders from Ferrograph were high quality British machines. Models available were the 7602H 1/2 track stereo recorder, 7604H 1/4 track stereo recorder, 7622H 1/2 track with power amplifiers & loudspeakers and 7624H 1/4 track with power amplifiers & loudspeakers. The A suffix models were for 117V, 60Hz machines while the D suffix models were equipped with Dolby-B noise reduction. Recording quality was excellent using three heads and separate amplifiers for record and play. Two large, illuminated VU meters read recording or replay levels or the bias (which is adjustable for each channel). Multiple recordings can be made in mono using the track transfer facilities and eletronic echo can be added to mono or stereo recordings. Input mixing allows microphone and line signals to be set individually for each channel and faded up or down with a Master control.

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

reel to reel

05 November 2018

TANDBERG TD 20A (1977) - 4 Motor Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder

The TD 20 A was Tandberg's first open-reel recorder to incorporate the ACTILINEAR process. ACTILINEAR recording include a dramatic increase (20 dB) in the signal handling capacity of the record electronics making them essentially immune to slew-rate limiting and transient intermodulation distortion (TIM). This means better transient response and lower distortion level. Front-panel bias adjustment controls have been included to facilitate optimum performance with any known or prospective tape. Four separate record-level controls, plus a master record control, permit full mic/line and line/line mixing, and a switchable 25 dB mirophone attenuator is provided to prevent possible overload when using high output speciality microphones. 

The TD 20 A transport contains four motors rather than three. The capstan is driven by a brushless synchronous motor, and uses a belt drive and heavy flywheel to eliminate vibrations from being transferred from the motor to the capstan. The two reel motors are directly coupled to the reel turntables, and are controlled by a "PROM" (program read only memory) with a trial output to provide constant tape tension. The fourth motor is used to operate the pinch roller and tape gate, achieving smooth, noisless control impossible with the conventional solenoid activated system. A 5 mm thick aluminium baseplate rolled under 40 tons of pressure in a unique "honeycomb" design eliminates stress and greatly increases strenght. Tandberg's full-logic button control permits you to go from rewind into playback with complete safety, and allows the inclusion of "step-stop" editing with full monitoring capability. An optional infra-red remote control is also available. It was sold in two versions: 4 tracks and 2 tracks.


Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder

Reel to Reel Recorder