25 December 2021

WEGA Concept 51K (1979) - Compact High Fidelity

music centre

WEGA (Wuerttembergische Radio-Gesellschaft mbh) was a prestigious German company founded in 1923 that was acquired by SONY Corporation in 1975. It was in these early years that Sony had plans on launching unique "WEGA styled" hifi systems based on Sony electronics. The WEGA Concept 51K seen here was one of their more ambitious projects of this kind. Responsible for the unique design of this music centre was long time WEGA designer Hartmut Esslinger. Early designs created by Esslinger Design (later frog Design inc.) in 1976 show a prototype named "Skywalker" that featured needle type VU meters and slider controls that later developped into the final product known as the Concept 51K. 

While earlier WEGA music centers featured DUAL turntable this time it was used a SONY turntable with BSL Direct-Drive motor and S-shaped tonearm fitted with a Sony XL-15 cartridge. To the left of the fully covered turntable (featuring only an arch shaped window) we can find distinct "vertical segments" for the cassette recorder, digital tuner and amplifier. The cassette recorder section features Ferrite&Ferrite heads, normal, Fe-Cr and Chrome tape compatibility, Dolby noise reduction and LED VU meters. The tuner section is an analog tuner with digital grafic display, FM, AM and LW wavelenght and 7 FM presets. On the amplifier section we will find the usual controls such as: input selector, two pairs of loudspeakers, bass, mid and treble control, low and high filter and loudness control. The power rating is 50 W/ch sinus DIN 4 ohm. There was a dedicated stand designed for this system as well as visually matching loudspeakers, the WEGA Direct model range. The system was available in black and white (in German this was called light grey). Size: 845xx133x401 mm | Original sale price: 2198 DM (Germany)

music centre
Skywalker sketch 1976

music centre
Skywalker Design Study 1976

music centre
Final Design (Hartmut Esslinger, Andreas Haug, Georg Spreng)

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre

loudspeaker



18 December 2021

TOSHIBA SM-4750 (1979) - Precision Engineering

music centre

At the heart of the SM-4750 music centre from Toshiba there is a digital synthesizer tuner which guarantees absolutely accurate, drift-free tuning every time. Once you've tuned in to your favourite radio station the quartz crystal locks the tuner into the signal until you're ready for a change. No interference, and no drifting. It offers you instant pushbutton tuning on any of 4 wavebands, and the computerised memory control means you can automatically preset up to 32 of your favourite stations. The LED readout display shows you the frequency you're listening to, then reverts to a time display 5 seconds later. Toshiba claims that this kind of accurate tuning was invented by them and offered for the first time in a music centre. The SM-4750 features a 37 watts per channel at 8 ohms amplifier, and incorporates all the features you'd expect from a music reproduction centre that competes with some of the best hi-fi. The cassette recorder section can handle normal, Fe-Cr and Chrome tapes, it features Dolby nise reduction circuit and manual recording level with LED level meters. The turntable is a Direct Drive full automatic model with S-shaped tonearm and Toshiba C-290M cartridge. Dimensions:m692x210x430 mm | Weight: 20,5 kg.

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre

music centre



12 December 2021

Victor Series-1000 (1975) - The Laboratory Standard

power amplifier

The Laboratory 1000 Series was introduced by Victor (JVC Japan) in 1975. This series was specifically developed by Victor Lab Center for commercial use such as studios. Each component was carefully selected, only high reliability parts were used. The heart of the Laboratory 1000 System is the JM-S1000 stereo power amplifier featuring a large toroidal transformer, large 47,000 μF x 2 capacitors and 6 transistors per channel are used in a push-pull circuit. Large PEAK-VU meters dominate the front panel with separate left-right level adjustment while secondary functions are located behind a flip-down panel. In September 1970, JVC successfully developed the CD-4 Discrete 4-Channel Record for the first time in the world. Ever since that time JVC has been devoting itself to improvement of the system and as a consequence the partnering pre-amplifier of the Laboratory 1000 series is a 4-channel pre-amplifier, the JP-V1000. In order to fully benefit form a CD-4 Discrete 4-Channel source the Laboratory 1000 Sytem also contains the necessary CD-4 demodulator, the CD4-1000. Technical data JM-S1000: 180W/ch 8ohm 20Hz-20kHz, Bridged mono 540W 8ohm | THD 0.08% | Dimensions 478x212x488 mm | Weight: 30.5kg | Original sales price aprox. 7200 DM. 

power amplifier
JM-S1000

power amplifier
JM-S1000

power amplifier
JM-S1000

pre-amplifier
JP-V1000

pre-amplifier
JP-V1000

cd4 demodulator
CD4-1000

amplifier
Victor Laboratory 1000


05 December 2021

PIONEER Pure Malt Series - Limited Edition since 1998

Loudspeaker

Available since 1998, Pure Malt speakers have gained worldwide recognition as leading example of Pioneer's recycling efforts. In the "Resource Recycling Technology & System Awards" presented by the Clean Japan Center and supported by the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), the Pure Malt speaker series won the "Clean Japan Center Chairman's Award" in 2009. Pure Malt speakers were developed in collaboration with brewing and distilling company Suntory Holdings limited, which was seeking a way to recycle casks (made from virgin white oak) that were being used for fuels and other purposes after fulfilling their mission of aging whisky. Oak trees grow for 100 years before serving as whisky casks for another 50 to 70 years. After that the wood is recycled into speaker cabinets that produce warm, rich sounds for many more years. 

The first loudspeaker of the Pure Malt series was the S-PM1000, introduced on September 17, 1998 and it was limited to 1,000 sets. The Pure Malt speakers are more than just eco-speakers made from white oak (one of the world's hardest woods, used for the original Santory barrels) they also feature a newly-designed silk soft dome tweeter and composite cone woofer. A set of matching electronics with Pure Malt design elements and limited to 500 units, were introduced in 1999. These were the A-D5A-PM amplifier (60W + 60W 8Ω, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.05%) and the PD-HL5-PM Hi-bit Legato Link CD player. The Pure Malt series continued in 2000 with the introduction of the S-PM2000 loudspeaker, in 2005 it was introduced the S-A4SPT-PM loudspeaker, in 2006 they were followed by the S-A4SPT-VP (TAD) loudspeaker the S-PM300 loudspeaker and the B-PM1000 rack. The last models were introduced in 2016, these are the S-PM50 and S-PM30 Vertical Twin loudspeakers.

Loudspeaker
S-PM1000

hifi system

Loudspeaker
S-PM2000

Loudspeaker
S-PM300

Loudspeaker
S-PM50


26 November 2021

Microcassette in Higher Fidelity - An (almost) Complete List

microcassette


microcassette

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 and it is capstan drive just like Compact cassette.

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.

microcassette
microcassette Capstan Drive

It has to be noted however that before microcassettes, PHILIPS intoduced the minicassette that was featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange but everybody mistakes them by the OLYMPUS microcassettes. They are very similar in size but the Philips minicassette system does not use a capstan for tape transport.

minicassette
A Clockwork Orange movie scene featuring PHILIPS minicassette !!


minicassette
A Clockwork Orange movie scene featuring PHILIPS minicassette !!

An (almost) complete list of Higher Fidelity microcassette recorders:

microcassette
SANYO RD-XM1 (1980)

microcassette
FISHER CRM 500 (1981) Sanyo rebadge



microcassette
JVC D-M3 (1981)

microcassette
Lo-D (Hitachi) D-MC5 (1982)

microcassette
SONY TC-MR2 (1982)

microcassette
Technics RS-M212 (1981)

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

microcassette
AIWA 3-head, Dual Capstan, Prototype 1981

microcassette
PIONEER MT-C8 (1984)

20 November 2021

TELEFUNKEN TRX 3000 hifi (1978) - Power and Presence

 

hifi receiver

The TRX 3000 was a top of the range Stereo-Quadro Receiver (tuner-amplifier) that was introduced by Telefunken in May 1978. The radio section is a FM-Stereo/AM Quartz Controlled unit with Digital frequency display and 7 pre-sets with touch-control. The amplifier section can be operated in various modes and it is specified at 2x100W 8ohm in Stereo mode and 4x50W 4ohm in Quadro mode. You can connect up to 6 4ohm and 2 8ohm  loudspeakers for various types of operation. One speaker pair can be used in bridged mode for stereo operation delivering 100W/ch in 8ohm mode. Another option is to use two pairs of loudspeakers, each in a different room that can also play different sources (eg. one room cassette, the other room turntable). The third option is to use the receiver to playback Quadro source material from a Quadro tape recorder or Quadro turntable from SQ, Discrete or CD 4 encoded material. The power output can be monitored via 4 LED power meters while there are two dedicated balance controls for left-right and front-rear balance as well as bass, mid, treble and loudness tone controls. The TRX 3000 has inputs for 2 turntables, 3 tape recorders (2 for quadro source), 3 headphones, microphone, 1 aux and 1 monitor. All inputs use DIN plugse while some of them are doubled by RCA connectors. Dimensions: 494x163x386 mm 

hifi receiver

hifi receiver

hifi receiver

hifi receiver

hifi receiver

hifi receiver