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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 25th Jul 2020, 3:51 pm   #1
hergest74
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Default Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I acquired this old 1970s Phillips tape recorder in the loft with twin stereo mics. I have opened it up and found each belt has understandably perished as it hasn't been used since 1986. I plugged the mics in to see if they still sent a signal and they do as the meters are responding. If not worth that much I will just sell on Ebay but I must say I do like the look of it with the wooden edges.

What I would like to know is if this is worth restoring, is it high quality or average ? Also, as I have a music studio, I would like to use the stereo mics if they are decent enough BUT they don't have phones connections, just a 5 pin which means I can't use them in my AI on my PC.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 5:06 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Vintage Phillips stereo cassette recorder

It's an early Philips stereo cassette deck, not bad quality by the standards of the day but not really HiFi. It predates Dolby B and instead uses the Philips Dynamic Noise Limiter, a sort of playback noise gate. They are quite sought after by collectors but aren't worth hundreds.

The mics are just consumer grade dynamic mics of the era, not awful by any means but nothing special. The connectors on this deck are DIN.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 5:13 pm   #3
stevehertz
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Default Re: Vintage Phillips stereo cassette recorder

Both very low-fi to be honest. Of 'collectors' interest only, and not much of that I would think.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 5:23 pm   #4
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Default Re: Vintage Phillips stereo cassette recorder

Actually these decks don't sound at all bad when working properly with good tape stock, but they're nowhere near as good as the Japanese decks from people like Akai and JVC which arrived a few years later. They're an interesting stage in the evolution of the cassette medium though.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 6:23 pm   #5
dazzlevision
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

It looks like the "N2506" trim strip on the front of the cassette flap has been lost:

https://www.cassettedeck.org/philips/n2506

These were also used in Dynatron equipment of that era.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 7:11 pm   #6
hergest74
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

Oh yes I know about that as I kept it when it fell off. Going to glue it back.

Thanks folks. In that case I may just sell the two on Ebay for collectors to restore.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 7:39 pm   #7
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I can confirm as suggested above it is a Philips N2506 (it has DNL...Dynamic Noise Limiter) fitted. They were reasonably well regarded in their day but could hardly be regarded as true hi fi since their top response was around 12khz. They did sound good however and the DNL made a huge reduction of tape noise. Note that DNL only operates on playback.

Repaired a good many of those when I was at Philips....not because they were unreliable, far from it, but because there were so many of them about.
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Old 25th Jul 2020, 7:51 pm   #8
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

The DNL system did produce very obvious noise gating with a lot of material though - it wasn't very subtle.
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Old 26th Jul 2020, 10:33 am   #9
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I had one bought from the Philips' Staff Shop and found they gave a very good sound for an entry-level product. Of course the recording levels of both channels are ganged by the single slider pot. The unit is very well built and, at its price point, was very good value. If it were mine I would keep it and just use good quality Ferric (high-output) and Chrome tapes. The slider pot cleans up well with Servisol. I recorded a lot of live music with (when fitted onto their stand) those omni-directional microphones with excellent quality. They are very sensitive.
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Old 26th Jul 2020, 8:37 pm   #10
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
If it were mine I would keep it and just use good quality Ferric (high-output) and Chrome tapes.
Don't use Chrome tapes. They cause excessive head wear. We had huge numbers come in with badly worn heads and when the owners were quizzed, nearly all had used chrome tapes. Ferro-chrome where the best alternative although not recommended for very long-term use. Of course it wasn't so bad in the day when heads were available in vast quantities off the shelf but now, forty five years later......!

A later model, the N2507 which in many ways resembled the N2506 was designed for chrome tapes.
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Old 26th Jul 2020, 9:18 pm   #11
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

TDK ADs were the best option to use with these once they became available. They were ridiculously underbiassed, but sounded better than anything else available for such decks in the mid 70s.
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 1:59 pm   #12
hergest74
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I am going to sell it but keep the stereo mics but as it is 5 pin din, is there some kind of adaptor I can get to turn it into 2 x L/R jacks ?
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 4:17 pm   #13
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I've just put " 5 pin female din " into the auction site and many different results came up depending on which way you want to go.
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 4:25 pm   #14
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Default Re: Vintage Philips stereo cassette recorder

I think you will get more for the decks if you sell them with the supplied mics. They aren't a lot of use nowadays - a cheap condenser mic will knock spots off them.

Be careful repairing damage if you're not an expert. A collector will probably want to deal with it themselves.
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