Astrocom-Electronics, Inc., a manufacturer previously devoted only to industrial electronics, NASA and the military , built reel to reel tape recorders in 1969 and a quad Model 307 cassette recorder prototype as late as 1972 (never released due to licensing problems with Philips). They continue today in Oneonta, New York
"Astrocom Marlux 407 tape recorder. Designed by Astrocom-Electronics, Inc, a manufacturer previously devoted only to industrial electronics, NASA and the military. It is an automatic reversing, two-speed,three motor, four head, four track stereo record and playback deck. It plays back in both directions, records in one direction. A massive 3/16 cast plate is the backbone of the deck. The machine has excellent tape motion even with very thin tape and all motors, including the capstan are stationary at all times except when the tape is in motion. This means a standing start in all modes. The capstan uses a dynamically balanced, heavy capstan flywheel which is driven by a hysteresis-synchronous motor through a neoprene belt (the belt is in good condition). Electro-dynamic braking is applied to both reel motors. All motion control is touch solenoid operated and is quite smooth. Direction change is automatic by using a piece of sensing foil (included) at the end of the tape which travels over a sensing post. At the time, the Audio guru magazines i.e.; Audio, High Fidelity and Stereo review all gave great reviews. I was the rep then and sold a few accounts but there was no advertising of promotion to speak of and like a lot of esoteric companies in 70’s, they never really got off the ground.
The machine itself was mass produced in Japan and it's unknown how many were produced and sold. The serial number is 900783 on this machine which was our sample. A few songs were recorded on it for demo to the dealer so the heads show no wear to speak of. The machine is in a walnut case and shows a little travel wear but is in other wise good condition. All controls function beautifully as do the electronics. Prior to listing I recorded on it from a Denon CD player and also played back from a tape we made for demo at the time and the sound was excellent. The only caveat to note is on rewind, the take-up reel slowed down at the end. The machine has been in storage all this time so I feel the reel motors could use a little oil which is suggested maintenance. This shouldn’t be a problem as it comes with a 74 page all inclusive service manual in which the electronics, disassembly, adjustments to the electronics and the brakes and oiling the motors are outlined. While it is vintage, it was an engineers dream at the time and way ahead of its time. Although it checked out beautifully before listing, it has been in storage so there are no returns. Quoted freight is ball park with least expensive rate given to successful bidder. . Specs are as follows:
· Tape speeds: 7 ½ & 3 ¾
· Reel size: 7 inch
· Recording system: ¼ track stereo or mono
· Four Magnetic heads: 1 Erase, 1 Record, 1 Playback, 1 Reverse Playback
· Level Indication: 2 calibrated VU meters
· Frequency Response: 30-20,000 Hz @ 7.5 ips
40-16,000 Hz @ 3.75 ips
· Mixing: 2 line and 2 microphone – independent level controls permit mixing
· Monitoring: Tape or source, pushbutton selected
· Equalization: NAB"
Ex-Astrocom Marlux employee from an on line sale.
Ads 1969 - 1970
2011 comment in the Quadrophonic Forum
"Default Re: QCASS: Astrocom Model 307 Quadraphonic Cassette Deck
This Astrocom Marlux isn't the same as the four track studio/pro cassette decks. The pro decks record four tracks by utilizing only one side of the tape. The Astrocom Marlux, if my memory is correct, was in effect a cassette with eight tracks, four in each direction. Those quad cassettes would be compatible with stereo and mono cassette machines. A cassette recorded on the four track studio deck would play only two tracks on other cassette machines, similar to playing a Q8 on a stereo 8 deck. As JD Mack pointed out, the studio/pro decks are ideal for storing discrete quad. The tape would only be marginally compatible (did I make up a new term?) with other cassette decks. Head alignment is less of an issue on the pro decks than it would be on the quad Astrocom Marlux cassette.
40 years later and we're still talking about a piece of equipment that was never sold!
I have Quad fever and it's progressed to late stage surround sound sickness! "
Astrocom Electronics, Inc. continues to this day.
Astrocom Electronics was founded on the concept of specialized electronic design and manufacturing using the newest techniques and ideas in producing communications equipment to better service our customers. That concept continues today and enables Astrocom to provide such equipment to space programs, the military, municipal police departments, and industry in a worldwide market."
Astrocom Electronics, Inc. designs and manufactures communications equipment. It provides equipment to space programs, the military, municipal police departments, and industry in a worldwide market. The company was founded in 1961 by Derwood K. Lifgren and is headquartered in Colliersville, NY.
EXECUTIVES & EMPLOYEES
Terry D. Lifgren