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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 20th Sep 2018, 10:43 am   #1
DromkaTV
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Default Soviet HI-FI

Here's my audio stand made in the USSR. Does anyone want me to film a video of this thing?
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:23 am   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

The tape recorder looks very advanced for a USSR era product.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:28 am   #3
DromkaTV
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Nevertheless. The Olymp tape recorder models has also IR remote control.
The old picture (end of 80s)
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:43 am   #4
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Are those laptop VU meters?
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 2:05 pm   #5
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

The deck (not the electronics) look remarkably like a Studer/Revox A700
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 4:40 pm   #6
DromkaTV
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

From inside
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 5:30 pm   #7
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
The tape recorder looks very advanced for a USSR era product.
That's what I first thought. But then, when you think about it this was a nation who put the first man into space and launched the first man made satellite, so there was no lack of technical skill and knowledge around. I suppose we were always taught that it was nothing but snow and queues for bread but evidently there were good tape decks too!

I have only one USSR deck, an Elfa I think it is. Nowhere near the same league as the kit pictured!
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 7:14 pm   #8
DromkaTV
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Here's more soviet reel recorders: Olymp-006, Idel-001-1, Elektronika-003, Elektronika-002, Sanda-012.
First numeral means the class of the machine, higher in this case.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 8:18 pm   #9
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
The tape recorder looks very advanced for a USSR era product.
That's what I first thought. But then, when you think about it this was a nation who put the first man into space and launched the first man made satellite, so there was no lack of technical skill and knowledge around. I suppose we were always taught that it was nothing but snow and queues for bread but evidently there were good tape decks too!

I have only one USSR deck, an Elfa I think it is. Nowhere near the same league as the kit pictured!
Ha, they did have few space 'firsts' but it's well documented how they took terrible risks to gain them, and on the other hand they completely news blanked their failures. The risks included simply cramming extra seats into rockets just to get more astronauts into space in order to win the space numbers game race against the US. But yeah, they had 'technology' for sure, just don't overestimate it!
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 9:27 pm   #10
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

To keep things in proportion we should also observe that it later came out that the Americans had cut a number of corners in the space race. Lives were sadly lost on both sides.

I'd rather engineer a good future for everyone than try to keep score of the past.

Those recorders do look quite good. The back view shows a 3-motor mechanism with a direct drive capstan, all with outer-rotor motors.

Now, there isn't a plant somewhere in Russia still making tape heads is there?

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:06 pm   #11
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Now that we've discussed the space race, can we please stay on topic.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:15 pm   #12
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Regarding the mechanics, its quite likely that a complete deck was bought in from say Switzerland for the Revox and Japan for the Akai/Tascam deck and these were married to Soviet style electronics and ergonomic design.

Post 6 looks like a Revox A700 chassis but with probably Soviet electronics

Post 8

Picture 1 looks like a cross between an Akai and a Revox.

Picture 2 looks like a Tascam

Picture 3 looks like a Revox A700 right down to the tension sensor rollers but with probably Soviet electronics and styling

Picture 4 looks like an Akai

Picture 5 looks like a cross between an Akai and a Philips.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:46 pm   #13
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

I'd be very interested to hear more about where these designs came from. I worked with a Romanian engineer (a postdoc at a university where I was working) who (pre 1990) had been employed for a while in connection with an agency whose work was to reverse-engineer products bought-in from the west, and recreate them with what was available within the soviet bloc. This struck me as a considerable engineering challenge all of itself. Today the Chinese have it somewhat easier, as companies formerly in the west export production (and subsequently sometimes R&D) with full support and insight into where the product comes from and how it is wished to develop it. Although un-credited knock offs also abound!
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 7:46 am   #14
DromkaTV
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

If you could understand something)

https://youtu.be/3qAb8E6EgCI
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 9:04 am   #15
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_in_manc View Post
I'd be very interested to hear more about where these designs came from. I worked with a Romanian engineer (a postdoc at a university where I was working) who (pre 1990) had been employed for a while in connection with an agency whose work was to reverse-engineer products bought-in from the west, and recreate them with what was available within the soviet bloc. This struck me as a considerable engineering challenge all of itself. Today the Chinese have it somewhat easier, as companies formerly in the west export production (and subsequently sometimes R&D) with full support and insight into where the product comes from and how it is wished to develop it. Although un-credited knock offs also abound!
I totally agree.
Look at Soviet cameras, they were often Leica copies, beautifully made and a fraction of the originals cost, also look at their watches again based on others designs, they were quality and cheap. These tape machines are no different, they will be copies of high end machines, improved where necessary and sold for a considerably lower price. The main reason was to obtain foreign currency and consumer goods were a way of doing this, Soviet Russia had many trade deals with the west for machinery and it worked well for both sides, a far cry from what we see now in the world.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 12:24 pm   #16
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Again, well understood and interesting but no more politics please.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 12:44 pm   #17
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

I like the look of those bits posted by the OP, but then I've always had a soft spot for Rigonda gear!

And I'd still love a Korvet turntable - https://theaudiophileman.com/korvet-...urntable-news/
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 1:29 pm   #18
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

I don't think it was always copying in the Eastern block, I believe the Poles were licenced to build their Grundig clones.

In fact the last time I saw a R2R for sale on the high street (actually Oxford street in London) it was one of these Polish machines in the mid 80s.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 2:02 pm   #19
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

Hi
That's an interesting you-tube video. The logic control seems to be made up of numerous logic gates all neatly laid out - no LSI or custom chips there. I suppose the mechanics will be copies of some sort in that most 3-motor reel to reel machines are pretty similar! I assume they will have been inspired by, say, the A700, but looking at the video the mechanics don't quite look like Revox.
I'm impressed that they all seem to use 10.5" reels - many otherwise excellent Western machines were let down for me by their restriction to 7" spools.
I think the difference electronically is that the Western manufacturers strive for innovation whereas the Soviet bloc tended to use tried and tested technology. There are advantages to both approaches, of course.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 7:23 pm   #20
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Soviet HI-FI

This picture was taken off the utube video, though blurred, it shows, the tension sensors, the brakes and the heads which all look as though they're out of an A700. even the rear shot shows the pulley where the tape counter belt would have gone, exactly like an A700.
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