Despite the fact that the market for music recordings on reels was not actively developed in the USSR, the passion for rewriting branded records and reels among Hi-Fi enthusiasts was strong. True, high-quality Soviet-made Reel-to-Reel Recorders were very expensive – the price of top models exceeded 1000 rubles (about $1,600 at the 1980 exchange rate), and they were not available to everyone. In our selection – the best examples of the Soviet “reel” industry.
Volzhsky Electromechanical Plant was one of the best manufacturers of reel-to-reel tape recorders in the Soviet Union. This model has been produced since 1985, it was a two-speed device (19 and 9.5 cm / sec) with three electronically controlled motors and a direct drive of the drive shaft. It was equipped with a noise reduction system, glass-ferrite heads and a built-in amplifier with a power of 2×15 watts. The tape recorder weighed 24 kilograms, the price was 827 rubles (about 1180$ at the 1985 exchange rate).
The famous “Mayak 001” (which in Russian means – Lighthouse) has been produced by the Kiev “Mayak” plant since 1973, it was a serious machine with speeds of 19 and 9.5 cm/sec, as well as remote control of all operating modes of the tape drive mechanism. The levels of recording and playback could be tracked by dial gauges, the frequency range at a speed of 19 cm/s ranged from 31.5 to 20,000Hz. The model weighed 20 kilograms; in 1980, after modernization, the tape recorder received a quality mark.
Electronica 004 – has been produced since 1983 by the Fryazinsky plant “Reniy”. The model supported four-track recordings, had two operating speeds, and a built-in headphone amplifier. The frequency range reached indicators from 31.5 to 22000Hz, the tape recorder weighed 27 kilograms. The Kiev plant “Generator” and the Saratov Experimental Plant of Precision Equipment produced its analogues “Electronica 004” under the names “Electronica 004K” and ” Electronica 004S”.
A complicated tape recorder “Electronica 007” was developed by the Fryazinsky plant “Reniy” in 1987, the model was featured by the ability to program many functions due to the built-in processor. It allowed to include playback programming by electronic counter or order number, automatic search, the possibility of reviewing the recordings on the tape; the possibility of correcting the AFC and magnetizing current level depending on the type of magnetic tape. The set also included an infrared remote control, the AFC of the tape recorder was 20 – 25000Hz, the device weighed 24 kilograms.
Like many models of consumer electronics in USSR, “Cometa 212M” tape recorder was produced by a military plant, this is “Tochmash” enterprise in Novosibirsk. It was produced since 1982 and had two loudspeakers. The device could carry out four-track recording at speeds of 19 and 9.5 cm/s, the frequency response was limited to 18000 Hz. The built-in amplifier had a power of 2×3 watts, the tape recorder weighed 12.5 kilograms.
“Electronica TA 01-003”
This tape recorder has been produced since 1979 by the Fryazino plant “Reniy”, and later by the Kirov Electric Machine Building Production Association named after Lepse. “Electronica TA 01-003” had three motors and a high-quality tape drive with automatic master motor control. There was also an electronic braking device, plus a magnetic tape tension stabilizing system and a photoelectric auto-stop. It had a remote control and noise reduction system. The model weighed 27 kilograms.
Since 1979 this model has been produced by the Rostov plant “Pribor”. The design is classic – two speeds, three motors with a direct drive of the drive shaft. An electronic drive shaft speed stabilization system was provided. The recording and playback units had glass-ferrite heads, and the tape recorder also had a noise-dampening system. It weighed 28 kilograms with a built-in amplifier, and its price was about 1,000 rubles (about $1,600 at the 1979 exchange rate).
A complete tape recorder with a built-in amplifier with a power of 2×15 watts has been produced by the Rostov plant “Pribor” since 1985. The design was much the same as that of the previous model “Rostov 104”, with a three-motor tape drive, glass-ferrite heads, and channel-by-channel pointer indicators for recording and playback levels. Supported speeds are 19 and 9.5 cm/s, and weight is 24 kilograms.
Produced “Olymp 004” at the Kirov Electric Machine Building Production Association named after Lepse, year of manufacture – 1985. A tape drive mechanism with a direct drive and logical control of operating modes is installed in the tape recorder. The functions included auto-stop at the end of the tape on the reel, automatic stabilization of the tape tension, and automatic search by pauses in phonograms. “Olymp 004” weighed 28 kilograms.
The top of the Soviet Hi-Fi industry – “Olymp 700” was produced by the Lepse Kirov Plant in 1992. It was created on the basis of the “Olimp-005C” model and is intended for semi-professional work, as evidenced by the support of a speed of 38 cm/sec and a frequency range from 10 to 35000Hz. The tape recorder received quartz speed stabilization, automatic correction of the frequency response of the recording channel, and adjustment of the bias current. There was also a full auto-reverse, a luminescent recording level indication, and an electronic tape counter. “Olymp 700” weighed 21 kilograms.