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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 6th Mar 2016, 10:53 pm   #1
Baguette
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Default Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Hello everyone,
I recently acquired an EL3541 from an older gentleman. It's fully working except rewinding because I can't get the correct height for the pads (knowing the exact size of these would be great).

I have a few blank tapes I want to record onto and I have a few concerns about the impedance. Theses tubes based devices usually have an impedance of a few thousands ohms and my source is a computer connected to a transistor amp which outputs a 16 ohm audio signal. Does anyone knows what the input/output impedance on this recorder is and would it be safe to connect something without a transformer?

I have another question about the connectors. The top left din connector is obviously the mic, but what about the two others? The other din seems to be line in and the strange connector is probably for the amplifier function. Am I right?

Thanks, looking forward for your answers!
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Old 7th Mar 2016, 12:12 am   #2
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Smile Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Hi,
The 16 ohm output would be for connection to a loudspeaker, which would probably overload the input to the tape recorder. You would be better connecting the computer directly to the line-in DIN socket of the recorder. This is what I do with my Philips 4418, which works well, and I can monitor the input via the recorder's built-in speakers. No need for a separate amp. I don't know your machine, so can't advise further.
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 7th Mar 2016, 1:44 am   #3
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

I had one of these as my first "serious" tape machine. I used to record direct from the TV speaker connections into the input with the two banana style sockets, below the DIN socket. It was much less sensitive than the mic input and I dont recall ever overloading it with the TV running at normal volume.

The owner's manual states the inputs as:

microphone (DIN) 3mV 0.1M ohm.

Line 150mV 1 M ohm.

So typical of valve devices, nice high input impedance so no problems from transistor outputs but could be an issue the other way around. The line input may be a little insensitive though for the line out of much modern gear.

Nice machine. It had some interesting features such as a button to disable the erase function and a stereo output from the tape head (the other DIN socket), as well as mic/line mixing.
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Old 7th Mar 2016, 7:09 am   #4
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

The flat 5 pin connector is an 'IEC' pickup connector, I believe for a ceramic cartridge. There is no real need to use this.

The bottom DIN socket is called the 'diode' connector in the manual, the symbol by it is the anode of a valve. It is line level input and output, the term comes from the fact that you connected it to the detector stage of a radio.

Incidentally the threaded rod at the centre top is to connect a bowden cable going to a foot pedal to allow remote control of the pause function.
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Old 8th Mar 2016, 6:56 pm   #5
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

The EL 3541 has another button in the microphone compartment
which changes the machine into an amplifier. The compact nature
of this machine made it ideal for small rooms, and Philips sold some
small non automatic record players with crystal pickups.

My employer sold many 'Continental 200' machines, and service was easy.
At that time R/P heads were not expensive, and were replaced along
with the drive belts, for customers, i.e. schools, who put many hours
on their equipment.

Here is the specification sheet from my files.
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Old 8th Mar 2016, 7:43 pm   #6
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDuell View Post
The flat 5 pin connector is an 'IEC' pickup connector, I believe for a ceramic cartridge. There is no real need to use this.
One point with this connector though is that it is designed to accept a fairly high input level, so if you want to use it with a modern device which overloads the radio input, you could try this grammophone input.

Good luck finding the appropriate connector though.
Quote:
Incidentally the threaded rod at the centre top is to connect a bowden cable going to a foot pedal to allow remote control of the pause function.
Considering its compact size and low price point, this is a fairly capable machine in terms of features. It was also made before the 'goo' era, so belts and pinch roller tend to be still serviceable.

One thing though, there's a small push button to the left of the stop button. On some EL3541s, this is a 'trick' button to disable the erase head in order to superimpose a new recording over an existing one, whereas on others it is a 'parallel playback' button, in order to get mix both channels together to create a mono signal from the two played-back tracks from the tape (probably really intended to mix together two mono recordings really).
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Old 8th Mar 2016, 11:04 pm   #7
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Thank you everyone, I used the "diode" input to record from my PC. Turns out speaker volume and mic volume both affect the recording but after messing around I got it right. I have a 10kohms output transformer, it wouldn't hurt to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMTAPE View Post
So typical of valve devices, nice high input impedance so no problems from transistor outputs but could be an issue the other way around.
This is what I was thinking, but I needed confirmation from someone else. Do you have a digital version of the manual? The only one I found online was in Dutch. I managed to get some non-technical informations from it but that's it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricard View Post
One point with this connector though is that it is designed to accept a fairly high input level, so if you want to use it with a modern device which overloads the radio input, you could try this grammophone input.

Considering its compact size and low price point, this is a fairly capable machine in terms of features. It was also made before the 'goo' era, so belts and pinch roller tend to be still serviceable.

One thing though, there's a small push button to the left of the stop button. On some EL3541s, this is a 'trick' button to disable the erase head in order to superimpose a new recording over an existing one, whereas on others it is a 'parallel playback' button, in order to get mix both channels together to create a mono signal from the two played-back tracks from the tape (probably really intended to mix together two mono recordings really).
Wouldn't it be the opposite since a cartridge produces a very weak signal which needs to be pre-amplified? Or is it your typical "pick-up" input you find on every tube radio?

I was quite suprised by the condition of the belts, they were all perfectly fine. And the decoupling capacitor is not leaky at all, I can barely hear the AC hum.
In my case the small button is definitely a trick button, it's quite fun to record your voice a few times to simulate a crowd
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Old 9th Mar 2016, 2:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Yes, the EL3541 is designed for the same crystal or ceramic high impedance cartridge that you would connect to a valved radio in the "old days". These produce a fairly high output level, and do not require explicit RIAA equalization (as the modern day magnetic cartridges do).
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 12:00 am   #9
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

The pickup input (the horizontal socket between the two DIN sockets) is, IIRC, an older 'DIN' standard. Plugs to fit it are no doubt as rare as 'hen's teeth' these days.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 6:45 am   #10
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

Actually, it's normally termed an "IEC" connector. They started to appear on machines (only Philips and rebrands) in the late 1950s or early 1960s, thus a couple of years after the DIN connector became popular.. Somewhere I have a little brochure given as part of the documentation from a mid-60's Philips portable record player marketing it as a 'stereo penta plug'.

I could never see the point of it. It carries the same signals as a 5 pin DIN would essentially. An early example of a manufacturer trying to lock in customers to its own brand?
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 6:56 am   #11
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

One of my Philips tape recorders (an EL3534) has both DIN and IEC pickup sockets. They are simply wired in parallel.

Often at least one DIN socket on a tape recorder of this vintage will carry line level in and out, to connect to an amplifier or radio set. I have never seen the IEC connector used in this way, only as a pickup input to the recorder. In that case alternate pins (3) are grounded, the 2 channels of signal are on the other pins.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 1:38 pm   #12
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Default Re: Philips EL3541/00M: Line-in and connector questions

I think machines with only IEC for the pickup input would tend to be smaller machines like the EL3541 or EL3546 where there was limited space on the connector panel. Like your EL3534, the EL3549 and EL3547 (and most likely others too) have both.

The only record player I've seen with an IEC connector had this as the only method of external audio connection. The accompanying brochure listed several uses, including connecting a crystal microphone to it which could then be amplified using the amplifier in the record player.
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