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Obsolete hifi

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Post by bikeralw Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:26 pm

Roopert wrote:
When my Dad passed away we had no choice but to sell his cherished Tandberg reel-to-reel. It needed work to get running again (which I did myself) but it's just too archaic a format to be practical, with all the rewinding, and noting the counter so that you know roughly where the tracks start (and remembering to zero the counter when you started!). He also had a Cossor which was very very much like that Philips - even down to the "magic eye" - so it must have been made under licence, I guess. But that one didn't outlive him.
I inherited the Philips from my late mother, along with ten 5 inch reels. I remember us all having great fun recording songs off the radio either using the microphone (which I still have) or a dedicated cable, and trying to hit pause before the DJ started talking...
It's due to lockdown that I've finally got round to listening to the whole lot, 45 minutes per track, 4 tracks per tape... 30 hours in all, but what gems I've found, me chatting with my sister when we were children, listening to my dad, 35 years since I last heard his voice, but best of all my long dead grandad singing hymns and playing his fiddle at the age of 85 back in the early 1960's.
All these snippets are now stored safely on modern media, so the Philips machine may never be played again.
Al.
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Post by HairyFool Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:13 pm

I had a Akai 4000DS R2R recorder for many years and I see there are many listings for these on fleabay. Also plenty for reel tapes but knowing how they deteriorated over the years I'm not sure I would go for the second hand ones listed.

When my father was stationed in Heildelberg, Germany with the American Army the Major in the flat below him was a real Tolkien nut long before it was fashionable. He also had a 4000DS so I recorded for him a reading from a 4 LP set of the Hobbit but being voice I dropped the speed to it's lowest (1 7/8ips I think) to fit it on a small reel. I dropped it off when I was visiting my parents just as we were going out. Apparently the whole quadrangle of flats could hear him yelling because he didn't know you had to take the capstan roller sleeve off to get the low speeds.

When we 1st started DJing in the early 70s we only had one record deck and the Akai so we would build a set list on the tape and use the deck to insert specific records as needed. Mostly for mates as it was all rough and ready but eventually we were flush enough for our own dual deck unit with a whole 200 Watts stereo amps built in. I went into a local music equipment store recently and was astounded by the range of equipment in the DJ market now. The lighting alone made my old oil wheel projectors positively stone age.
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Post by Askit Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:50 am

200 watts Whistle1 When I was playing drums in a "pop" band in the 60s, the guys with the guitars were all aspiring to a Marshall 30 watt amp. One eventually got a 50 watt pillar which was great until he knocked a pint of lager that was sitting on top into it snigger

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Post by gassygassy Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:23 am

You would have thought that Marshall was a sufficiently competent company that they would have realised that pints of beer would be put on top, and spilt.
I do believe that valve amps put out more power than solid state ones. Who remembers the 12v 50W/channel Lloytron car radio amps that Curries sold? They had 2A fuses and my brother and I used to have fun teaching Ohm's law to the salesmen.
I seem to remember for some reason I had one in my hands that didn't work. I think a friend had bought it, and from new it rattled inside. I took it apart and some components weren't soldered to the pcb and there was a resistor that was just rattling around loose inside. I guessed where it should be, soldered it all up and it worked. At about 1W per channel of course.
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Post by HairyFool Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:46 am

Of course the 200w was "music power", the 50w H&H we also used had far more punch.

We used to do all the student nurse parties around Carshalton Hospital, the decks were good enough in the houses but needed extra to fill the hall at the hospital.
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Post by gassygassy Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:03 pm

HairyFool wrote:I did toy with the idea of going back to vinyl so was looking at turntables.

I was struck by the number that had Bluetooth confused3 . I can see it would allow it to connect to BT speakers but surely the idea is that vinyl is pure analogue reproduction. Spend out on an analogue solution to promptly convert it to digital confused0
Nowadays of course everything is recorded digitally, then converted to analogue to press on to vinyl.
When I wanted to buy a decent CD player I went to a regular High Street shop and asked to hear their most expensive player. £300.
"No, we don't do demonstrations"
'Why are some CD players £100 and others are £300?'
"Its just the looks of them, the knobs and lights on the front".

I left without comment.

I went to a dedicated HiFi shop and asked what the difference between the cheap ones and expensive ones.
"Sit down there and I'll play you a £150 one".
He played The Flight of the Bumblebee.
"What do you think?"
'Very nice- it's OK I suppose'
"OK, I'll play the same CD on a £400 one"
The same CD sounded brilliant, totally different.
I said 'Why is that different?'
He explained that the quality is all in the D to A converter. He said the first one he played could not process the digital data as fast as it was being fed it from the disc. The second one has a faster clock speed and faster data processing. At that I completely understood, and he played both players again:
"Listen to the first player and imagine if you can, the notes printed on a music sheet"
No I couldn't, it seemed jumbled.
"Now I'll play the disc on the second player. See if you can imagine the notes on a sheet"
It was quite different, I could pick out each note, and they were in the correct order. As in Eric Morecambe / Andrew Preview.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMPEUcVyJsc
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Post by steamdrivenandy Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:44 pm

Going back a bit, but still a good giggle.

http://heywhipple.com/phillips-radio/
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Post by HairyFool Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:43 pm

Yes modern studios are pure digital and have much higher sampling rates and resolution.

These have to be degraded to meet CD specification although some did play with using DVD specifications to produce high dynamic range audio on disk.

The master cutting phase can work with those studio recordings to produce the analogue audio on the record vinyl to be a closer emulation of analogue than you get from a CD.

Don't get me wrong, I find nothing directly wrong with CD audio but when I transferred my collection to mp3 I used 192bit sampling rather than the more normal 128bit because that is closer to the sampling rate on the CD. When they came out the CD advocates claimed the sound was the same, it is not.

Back when record masters were truly cut from the analogue source one of the most important people in the process was the cutting engineer, a dedicated role and the good ones were highly sought after.
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