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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:05 am   #21
Big Loon
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

There was an article on the gramndeck in a recent issue of "Hi-Fi World" magazine (yes I do read such publications!). Time permitting over the next few days I will look it out and scan it. Sadly, said magazine has gone under and is no longer being published.

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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:10 am   #22
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

I have a Gramdeck somewhere complete with the pre amplifier powered by a PP9. I've never tried it but I suspect it 'worked'. It is surprisingly well engineered.

The domestic tape recorder must have been the most expensive household gadget ever. Bought usually at Christmas, played for a couple of hours recording drunken Grandad, Gran singing the Lambeth Walk, baby screaming and some radio programmes recorded via the microphone with appalling quality.

They were soon put on top of the wardrobe and forgotten. Around £40-50 wasted at a time when a £ was a £. The Gramdeck filled the amusement factor for a relatively low sum. Maybe the drop in price of good simple recorders fitted with the BSR TD2 deck and the arrival of the Philips cassette finished them off. John.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:41 am   #23
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Hi i have a new one in box brought from Harrods complete with invoice. Never taken it out of box Mick
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 2:46 pm   #24
lesmw0sec
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

I had one of those prior to starting on proper tape decks. It worked very well and had a good deal of use. The replay amplifier was a tad noisy though.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 7:54 pm   #25
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Smile Re: Gramdeck.

Hi,
Here's a couple of photos of my Gramdeck. I'll get around to trying out one of these days.
I noticed today thet the take up spindle has no splines on it, so curious how it drives the spool?
The supply spool had a felt 'washer' under it to provide a bit of back tension. Revox, it is not!
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 9:04 pm   #26
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractorfan View Post
I noticed today thet the take up spindle has no splines on it, so curious how it drives the spool?
The supply spool had a felt 'washer' under it to provide a bit of back tension.
The take-up hub used another felt washer to provide clutch action, which was quite effective. Rewind was effected with a handle which dropped into the hole in the feed spindle. Back tension in this mode was provided by a hefty "rewind weight" which sat on the other reel...
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 9:10 pm   #27
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

I had a couple of these, passed them on at one of the swapmeets some years ago. The device worked very well, much better than it looked as though it would! The seperate amplifier had a proper AC bias / erase oscillator too.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 9:45 pm   #28
kalee20
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Kendall View Post
Despite permanent magnet erase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mole42uk View Post
The seperate amplifier had a proper AC bias / erase oscillator too.
Tractorfan's photos certainly do show a coil... but we have two different statements here! So is the oscillator for bias only, or is it bias and AC erase?
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:27 pm   #29
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Kendall View Post
Despite permanent magnet erase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mole42uk View Post
The seperate amplifier had a proper AC bias / erase oscillator too.
Tractorfan's photos certainly do show a coil... but we have two different statements here! So is the oscillator for bias only, or is it bias and AC erase?
I am mistaken about the erase, it's been a few years....but here's a leaflet detailing some of the features: https://reel-reel.com/tape-recorder/gramdeck/
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:43 pm   #30
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

The Gramdeck service information under Instant Downloads also explains that it has permanent magnet erase & AC bias for the Record head (Record/Play head).

David
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 11:19 pm   #31
Boulevardier
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Interesting that the Gramdeck was built to the "rigid requirements of the Royal Radar Establishment, UK". Strange that the RRE chose to use them - surely they could have afforded Ferrographs!

Mike
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 11:51 am   #32
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

The Gramdeck is covered in H.W. Hellyer's " Tape Recorder Servicing Manual" book.

David
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 12:13 pm   #33
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

I wonder if any original Gramdeck recordings made in the early 60s have survived??

The whole thing is fascinating to me, one of the possible uses of the variable speeds that comes to mind is for learning Morse, record something at the highest speed then play it back at the lowest speed so that you could read it and then as your skills improved move on to the higher speeds..
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 12:28 pm   #34
Vintage Engr
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

I remember these very well, a friend bought one. The quality, at that time wasn't bad, but the permanent magnet erase, (just like some very early portable RR e.g. Grundig Cub, & later cassette recorders) did the job... at the price of noise.
Fast forward & rewind was a bit of a faff.

The microphone that came with it looked impressive, but, as with many recorders of that period, it was a crystal mic, so therefore Hi-z & the lead had to be kept short, & out of the way of the gram motor. I was more used to Reslo ribbons.

David.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 7:00 pm   #35
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Gramdeck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Engr View Post
The microphone that came with it looked impressive, but, as with many recorders of that period, it was a crystal mic, so therefore Hi-z & the lead had to be kept short, & out of the way of the gram motor.
High impedance, certainly, as far as I remember, but the Lustraphone Lustrette usually supplied was a moving coil instrument.
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