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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 13th Oct 2011, 6:25 am   #1
camtechman
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Default History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Of all my collection items, I've spent most of my money, time & research on this machine.

However, either I'm not looking in the right place or it doesn't exist but does anyone know if anyone has ever published a full & detailed history on this machine?

The reason for asking is I'm considering writing one.
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Old 13th Oct 2011, 9:46 am   #2
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Not a complete answer, but Tape Recorder ran servicing articles on these machines in '65 and '70, where Mac Hellyer went into some detail over the modifications for 3301+.
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Old 13th Oct 2011, 10:55 am   #3
brenellic2000
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Sadly, there is no published history of Philips - or Grundig for that matter - and these histories are long overdue, so get cracking! Remarkably, even Anton Philips' biography only mentions in passing that they made tape recorders!

I've done all the British companies, but will leave the furriners to you. I wish you good luck.

Barry
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 9:34 am   #4
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Please do it! As I mentioned in another thread, I used to have quite a lot of these! There is something about these early cassette recorders ...

Apart from several EL-3302s, I had an EL-3300 (the original), an N-2203 (auto level and very pretty), an N-2204 (like a 2203 with built in PSU), an N-2205 (piano keys and completely different) as well as a Pye branded one and a Boots branded model.

I only have one EL-3302 now (I bought it new and still have the box and all the accessories) and the N-2205, which is a very attractive machine.

If you do write this history, any chance you could include some of these other models too please?

Regards

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Old 17th Oct 2011, 7:15 pm   #5
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

I have two of the early Philips cassette recorders. sadly in need of TLC.
Bit dusty as you can see in the pics.
Reason for posting is one has a white button and no record safety switch, and the other a red button which has.
I cannot remember seeing a History of the Philips cassette recorder so it may be a good idea .
I don't exactly collect them but if they turn up I will stop them going to the tip...
Regards Peter W........Reelguy.
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 7:20 pm   #6
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

And a couple more.
Pics all taken using a mobile phone !
Peter W......Reelguy
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 10:54 pm   #7
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Thanks guys for the encouragement and I shall be contacting Philips (all regions & countries) to inform them of my intention, as well as a request for as much history & assistance they can supply.

As to the original EL3300 model, I have 3 of them, one with a white record button & no anti erase mech, one with a red record button & no anti erase mech and, the last one, with a red record button but an anti erase mech - but in a very basic metal form (could be a prototype or development model). Each of these models have no electronic motor speed circuit, just the centrifugal mechanical one.

What I will be doing soon is to post a thread one here to request as much alpha-numeric data on the EL33XX models, i.e.: Model Number & Suffix Codes, Motor & Date Codes, Main PCB Colour & Production Codes, together with Motor Speed PCB Colours & Codes.

As to the N2XXX series, I've been gathering and compiling data in the same way as the EL33XX models but it's not as far forward yet. Also, in that data it will also include their Cassette "Players" too, e.g.: N2000 & car units as well, e.g.: N2607.

As an aside, I have also been collecting other manufacturer’s cassette recorders that use/utilise the Philips EL33XX unit, below are a few pics from some of my collection.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 9:12 am   #8
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

AS a matter of related interest, the mechanism used in the EL3300 series was also fitted,
mounted sideways on in a French-made Philips Car Radio-Cassette Player. Unfortunately
I can't remember the model no. and don't have any pictures of it, but remember servicing them back in the mid to late 70s.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 9:22 am   #9
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Wow, what a great thread!

Essentially, I am a Transistor radio collector but the collection has also extended to tape/cassette recorders.

I have an EL3301 plus quite a few of the others in the EL series - I'm still scouring ebay for the illusive 3300!!

Camtechman - I couldn't beleive it when I saw the Buccaneer TR100 pic. This is another I am looking for although black in colour - this was my very first tape recorder that I got from Dixons with my Mum when I was about 10. I used to record the top 30 on R1 every Sunday night (with the microphone - no line input on the recorder )- OMG did I really do that!!

Anyways Camtechman, please do it if you can. A highly significant part of technological history on my opinion.

Cheers

Pete
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 9:24 am   #10
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

This mechanism was also fitted to Philips electronic organ models where it was fitted with variable "pitch control" knob by mods to motor speed panel.

MM
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 9:40 am   #11
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Will you be including the carrier for use in a car? Fairly specific to this line of machines. I have one tucked away somewhere.

Whilst at Uni, a friend asked me to connect one of these carriers to his car radio. The instructions listed incompatible models and, no surprise really, his car radio was one of those! It was the removable portable in the carrier. Undetered, I fitted a couple of miniature jacks to the radio and their plugs to its carrier, wiring the jack NC contacts to break the volume control audio. Worked fine.

Graham
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 9:56 am   #12
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Further to my earlier post(#8 above), Radiomobile and their sister company, World Radio,
produced a portable Cassette Recorder c/w an in-car mounting tray and voltage dropper
which was essentially a Philips EL3302 or similar, mounted in a different case, and with the connections to the DIN sockets different from those in the original Philips recorders.
Philips also produced an in-car housing for the EL series. In both cases the recorders were
connected to the car radio(mono)via a 5-pin DIN socket.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 10:18 am   #13
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

I fitted one of the early Philips' cassette players into my car. It was truly awful - wow and flutter seemed to vary with engine speed. Put me off cassettes for life!

I think much of their early work was done by their Norelco works in the USA.

Good luck
Barry
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 12:55 pm   #14
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

If someone writes the story and feel himself in the need for service-documents for spec's and more on these oldies, including the EL3300 give me a yell. I have most of these doc's in pdf.

rgds,

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Old 18th Oct 2011, 1:09 pm   #15
julie_m
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

I had an EL3302 when I was young. Nice little recorder and as I remember, it had a proper energised erase head as opposed to a permanent magnet -- somebody obviously thought it was better for the machine to eat batteries than eat tapes!

I remember it actually worked OK with a ZX81, once my dad had helped me solder up some suitable leads (3-pin DIN and DIN speaker to 3.5 mm. mono jack plugs); and if anything, the manual recording level control made it slightly more reliable once I had found the right setting.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 1:32 pm   #16
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

My first recorder was a secondhand 3302. The sound quality was much better than any of the other cheap portable recorders that I came across. I even had one of my recordings played on Radio 2 just a few months after I got the machine - it was a tape request on Ed Stewart's Junior Choice.

Cheers

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Old 18th Oct 2011, 1:53 pm   #17
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
The sound quality was much better than any of the other cheap portable recorders that I came across.
I agree completely. The 3302 was very well designed with a proper erase head and adjustable bias. The claimed frequency response was 80 - 10 kHz within 6 dB - not far off hi-fi decks in the early 1970's. I even modified one of mine slightly to give a more extended frequency response to 13 kHz (measured).

Compare this with, say, a Sony TCM-939 (the only cassette recorder currently available from Argos) which has a permanent magnet for erasure and a claimed frequency response of 150 - 8 kHz (no db limits).

Paul
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 9:45 am   #18
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by tri-comp View Post
If someone writes the story and feel himself in the need for service-documents for spec's and more on these oldies, including the EL3300 give me a yell. I have most of these doc's in pdf
Many thanks, if I need doc's , I'll be in touch.

Regards,

Tony
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 9:55 am   #19
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Just to emphasise my determination for my project, what is driving me on is trying to imagine the moment when someone at Philips must have had a "Light Bulb" moment and, instead of making the established and popular reel to reel machines, for which there was an established & popular market and to conceive this radical machine.

Not just the concept but the whole "lock stock & barrel" design, engineering, a new format the whole thing would involve.

Why, if Steve Jobs of Apple and his "i" products brought him and the company so much fame, didn't the designer/s at Philips get the same industry accolade?!
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 1:53 pm   #20
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Default Re: History Of Philips EL33XX Series Cassette Recorder

Have the Philips EL 3300 (1964) which picked by default through E-Bay a few months ago as thought was getting an 3302. Fab condition with it's case and microphone but runs a wee bit slow. Also picked up the Elizabethan LZ9102T (1966?) which reckon is very similar (think Philips) but maybe a few years later. Found that at a local Bootfair in it's original cardboard box with all the bits. Can't see how to post the pics.
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