80 years ago

in 1935/36 the first magnetic reel to reel recorder saw the light of the world.
The recording quality wasn`t really overhelming until a German engineer by accident discovered and implemented the AC-bias principle to magnetic tapes in 1940.

looking at some images of these old machines not so much has changed, or did it ?   🙂


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No free lunch…?

Been pretty quiet recently and not posted anything whilst my blog partner has been busy posting his take on the audio mania.

Actually been busy and very (very…) focused doing the “metal” side of my replica western electric horns. Yes the castings models. Here for the western electric 12a. My previous moulds got damaged at the foundry! I mean crushed! So even if insurance policies work for such events making them again was the challenge I was faced with once again. Lucky I keep the drawings taken from originals….but the challenge because I actually do not like making patterns that much. Getting these done by a workshop costs an arm and a leg (of more than one of the family members!) I can spend endless days shaping and putting into form the wonderful western electric horns. I feel rewarded that I can do this every time I make one for fellow passionate individuals around the planet. Somehow the ultra detail and somewhat backward way of working gets at my nerves when doing pattern making. Not surprising that traditional pattern making is disappearing as technology creeps in at an ever increasingly fast rate just too many days or weeks of work!  It’s however wonderful to work at a slow pace in an accelerated world.  As I make the patterns for western electric parts (cast iron) it’s evident that they made no shortcuts at all! The cost of labour in the 1920’s was not such an issue as today and the resource also tremendous. Now T and B allowed me to see some original prints made of the western electric patterns and casting process. An experienced eye can see straight away how extreme there used to be. The when you read on the original plans “as close as commercially possible”….and who ever said that tolerances were the key to it all? Hummmm what are they saying? Its the inner section of the throat that counts the most as we all know. Getting that correct with molten iron is “just” a factor of craft and time. I am very fortunate to work with S and G at the foundry. They are fully involved in my endeavours to produce as close to original as feasible. We have spent countless hours going over the details just to get things right. Anyway here is a snapshot taken in the early hours. Here we are going over the last details with S and before he gets that cast iron molten to then reincarnate the western electric 12a throat, brackets and fixtures.

Thanks S and G…they had a free lunch with me!

all fun…