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 Vintage Radio - 50 years from now
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 3:00:21 PM on 19 January 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

There is an interesting discussion on the US forums regarding how members might see the site 50 years from now, and what will be getting discussed.

http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=352467

This type of discussion usually includes the question of what will happen to the site once the founder heads for the pearly gates and I think we have had the same discussion here once or twice.

Either way, it's a certainty that the founders of the AU, US, GB, CA and other forums will one day be just memories but it's good to see that there is a slightly different take on discussing the future of these sites. To be honest, I haven't given much thought to what this site may look like in 50 years, but if I am still here I'll be nudging the tonne. Whether or not I can still manage to use a computer is another matter entirely.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:25:17 PM on 19 January 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

There is an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald referring to a resurgence in interest in cassette tape recordings as is happening with vinyl records. Having spent many hours recording cassettes for playback in cars, the sound quality limitations of cassette tape recordings is very real to me. This didn't matter very much for playing on the road because it is a noisy environment. But would I go back to it to replace digital recording for playback - not likely! But others are!

So if cassette tapes can make a comeback, and the gear to play them, then I think that there is hope that interest will remain in valve radios. Especially if AM broadcasting continues.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 9:18:46 PM on 19 January 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

Having spent many hours recording cassettes for playback in cars

So did I. But I also spent too much time pulling out twisted unwound tape from within the mechanism. Vinyl resurgence: fair enough. Cassette resurgence: Leave me out!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:18:25 AM on 20 January 2019.
Crackle's avatar
 Location: Basildon, UK
 Member since 11 January 2019
 Member #: 2320
 Postcount: 8

I am getting my foot in the door now ready for tomorrows vintage radios and cassette recorders.. With a growing collection of ITT radios and cassette recorders, I think I counted about 32 cassette machines the last time I counted.

http://www.kbmuseum.org.uk/itt_radios.htm

Oops I just remembered the HiFi, kitchen radio and a couple of RGD sets that have cassette recorders.
You need a good supply of belts to keep that lot going.

Mike


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 5:54:32 AM on 20 January 2019.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 656

I also can't feel any excitement for them either and the same goes for video tape machines having spent many years in the broadcast television industry.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 8:22:41 PM on 20 January 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1379

In the cassette heyday I built up a collection of 500 or more tapes, mostly containing stuff I had recorded from the radio.

But the problems inherit in the system meant I had to re-collect my music collection on more reliable (and better sounding) media, such as CD. Most of it has been done, with 98% upgraded.

The cassettes have been relegated to the shed in the 40+ degree heat, while the few players left (mostly from the 80s) are left to rot.

I really don't see a reason to return to those days - same with vinyl.

VHS video machines are another matter - I still record stuff from the TV on the odd occasion (not that there's much to watch these days). It would be sad to lose the only easy way to record video signals of that nature.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 8:45:12 PM on 20 January 2019.
Brad's avatar
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 Location: Greenwich, NSW
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Going back about 25 years, I used to record Prisoner which was on at 04:00 every morning on a JVC U-matic machine. The picture was heaps clearer than domestic machines could deliver but the problem was that the telly had to be on for it to work because U-matic machines didn't have their own tuners. I made a timer with some outputs that would bridge out the power switch on the telly and the record button on the VCR. Oddly enough, the clicking, clanging and clattering from the VCR tape loading mechanism didn't wake me up. Those things had head drums about the size of a biscuit tin.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 11:50:36 AM on 31 January 2019.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 399

I can't see the resurgence of audio cassettes lasting very long. Once people realise how inferior they are surely the interest will drop off.

I used to repair car audio cassette players, amongst many other consumer electronic devices back in the seventies and early eighties and they were a constant battle.

Varying azimuth, heat affected cassettes, dirty heads, tapes raped around pinch rollers etc etc.

The format was meant for audio dictation machines originally but took off as a means for portable music.

Many modifications to the format were required to make it barely HiFi (Dolby, Metal oxide tapes etc).

Still if I hang on to my Aaiwa 6900 SOTA (in 1978) cassette deck long enough maybe it will be worth something??


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 2:40:47 PM on 31 January 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

I have a Playmaster Series 200 amplifier which was made from a Jaycar kit in about 1985. The speaker lead connections at the back finally packed it in. they were like spring connectors except that the mechanism worked by twisting to grab the cable. These never worked really positively but well enough - but when the cables occasionally dropped out decided enough was enough and replaced them with binding posts, and decided to fix a few other faults like mute working on only one channel and remote speakers not working .

Sooo I had an excuse to set up the thing with a portable CD player, cassette tape deck and turntable which had been in storage for several years. Also had an excuse to listen to Dire Straights Brothers in Arms album in the three different formats. The LP I bought at an opportunity shop purely for the album cover and had never played before. The CD was one of the first CDs purchased and the tape was recorder from this CD using good quality normal ferric TDK tape without noise reduction. It was recorded through a compressor built from a kit in Electronics Australia to reduce the dynamic range of CDs (90db I recall) to something suitable for cassette tape.

Playing the LP reminds of why CDs took over:
-remove disk from cover and wipe with selvyt cloth, in this case a microfibre cloth
-wipe over with velvet disk cleaner (no antistatic fluid unfortunately)
-place on platter, remove the stylus protector from the head shell and brush any dirt off the stylus with a small paint brush
-set up the dust bug - omitted - lost in a couple of moves
-carefully move the tone over the edge of the record and lower it onto the disk with tone arm support lever
-carefully lower the lid
Do this again for the other side.

Listen with pleasure despite only random clicks if you are careful and lucky and no clicks if you are very careful but still lucky.

Compare this with a CD
-remove disk from case
-place in player
-press go

Listen with pleasure with no clicks or pops ever!

My favourite track on the album is Money for Nothing which has a great percussion section which is handled very well when played from CD and LP but which cassette tape just cannot handle. This was the reason why I built the compressor, but while it did reduce overall dynamic range it didn't improve this percussion section especially for heavy drumbeats where I guess the sound level changes are too large and quick.

Overall had a great time listening to this and other stuff. Music you like compensates a great deal for lack of quality for whatever reason, such as Gone Fishin' by Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby recorded on tape from a worn out 78.

Frankly I was surprised that the LPs and tapes set up and played as well as they did without any hitches after so long in storage.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 4:52:39 PM on 31 January 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

Yep, vinyl can be a pain but the most clicks and pops I have in my collection are on EMI label discs pressed locally by the Australian Record Club back in the day. Those pressings got to be so bad that I quit the Club. Some of them have divots easily visible by the naked eye. Many of my American pressings are very quiet by comparison. DG pressings are virtually silent. Static was the greatest nuisance. And stylus jumps caused by foot traffic across wooden floors.

I have a CD jukebox these days.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 6:33:23 PM on 31 January 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1379

I gathered together about 12 hours of my favourite songs as wav files onto an old win2000 computer and plugged the audio output into my stereo. On the computer I installed the free "MonkeyMedia" software, and I let it be my "jukebox". No more running out of music at inconvenient times, no having to swap CDs over or any of that stuff. It's great !

Although it's normally used for playback, I can also record things from LP or whatever if need be, and then edit out the unwanted bits. Much better than messing about with tapes.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 6:51:07 PM on 31 January 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
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I saw a brand new ghetto blaster for sale at JB HiFi yesterday. Only one tape deck and the speakers weren't detachable but there was also a CD slot in the top.

I am not sure yet if these will once again become fashionable. We have a generation of kids that have probably never seen an audio tape.

I've noticed early in the peace that an LP gives out better bass than a CD. I remember as a kid my mother used to get cranky if we deliberately made the stylus jump or slide across the tracks.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 7:56:59 PM on 31 January 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

an LP gives out better bass than a CD

Definitely. I can demonstrate that easily with albums I have on both media. It's quite a revelation to play the vinyl version after only hearing the CD version for a long time.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 5:17:44 AM on 1 February 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

"an LP gives out better bass than a CD"

I didn't take particular notice of bass performance, and the speakers I used were bookshelf speakers, two pairs one on top of the other to easily fit on my work bench, to test the local/remote changeover. One is an un-named Richter two-way bass reflex and the other a small JVC three-way. The last is rather bright.
Once the amp is back in its normal habitat in the lounge with Richter Predator Sabres will try again. I can't find a spec for these but they have two separate rear reflexed chambers, so should have good bass.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 10:45:22 AM on 1 February 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

As I'm sure you know -- but newbies to vinyl may not -- a phono input requires RIAA equalization for correct reproduction of the original signal.


 
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