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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 4th Nov 2020, 12:32 pm   #1
C*yle_MC
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Default Philips EL3549A reel to reel

Hi all, I recently unearthed an old Philips EL3549A from my mums loft. This has been lying unmoved for around 30 years but is in half decent condition to my untrained eye.
I have a few old audio reels that I would like to transfer (old family parties and the like) but I know I will have to replace the crumbling belts. Also it's missing on of the knobs, volume I think. I'd love to get this working again and would welcome any advise on how to access spare parts, manuals (if possible) and helpful tips on working with this old classic.
I'm a newbie to the process and have never used a solder iron in my life so go easy on me... I'll be roping in those more capable but they don't know it yet!
Martin Coyle
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 1:29 pm   #2
Restoration73
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

I have the Stella version ST459 to do - these are the first all-transistor full size mains
recorders Philips made. They also have 4 speeds. You need to check any belts have
not turned to a sticky black mess, as this must be removed.
I have also just finished the previous hybrid recorder ST458 and luckily the snapped
belt was easily removed. Belt kits are available at the usual web outlets.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 3:26 pm   #3
Welsh Anorak
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

Luckily this machine is transistorised and hopefully will not need the attentions of a soldering iron. Also if you're lucky the belts are of the earlier type that don't turn to a horrible black sludge that gets everywhere. They will need replacing, of course, and there are some brakes and clutches that will need attention. Resist the temptation to just plug it in before giving it a good once over.
A service sheet will be available at the top of this page. The mechanics look a bit complex at first encounter, but they soon make sense. Come back to us when you've got the belts and the courage to start and we can help you!
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 5:52 pm   #4
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

Cannot easily find the service data for this particular model (or the Stella version) on the Vintage Radio Service Data above.

Can be downloaded from various sites such as:-

https://elektrotanya.com/philips_el3.../download.html

and freeservicemanuals.info/en/servicemanuals/download/Philips/el3549a.pdf

But can only easily find Dutch versions

Drive belt replacement is often not covered in R2R service manuals, do not know about Philips though.

David
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 10:49 pm   #5
Restoration73
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

In this book if you can locate a copy (useful for many models of this era)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tape-Record.../dp/B019QV4HJI
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 11:12 pm   #6
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

A couple on eBay, but expensive.
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Old 5th Nov 2020, 12:02 am   #7
TIMTAPE
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Default Re: Philips EL3549A reel to reel

I repaired one of these last year. Nicely made machine with the 4 speeds as mentioned, but the rubber belts and tyres may need attention. There may be other mechanical issues. The transistors are all early type Germanium and some made excessive noise and some small capacitors needed replacing.
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