Premier Electronic Labs - Tapesonic
Premier Electronic Labs.; 382 Lafayette St.; New York 3; N. Y
Sam Miller ? to 1980 and Harry Kolbeand were founders
Ads below were provided by Ken deGruchy
The following Tapesonic photos are provided courtesy of Dmitriy Shvetsov - partyny
Hi, there. Thanks for contacting me. Sure you can use the pictures. too bad i don't have the units any longer... Yes i know the guy from Tapesonic team. It was two man operation company. One of them still alive and his name is Harry Kolbeand i think his partner Sam retired long time ago and died in 1980's. Harry's phone is ___ .Say Hi from Dmitriy with Tapesonics. he will know.
good luck with your museum. Dmitriy Shvetsov - partyny
From a sales summary in 2006 - This is a truly unique deck - wearing Premier Electronics manufacturing name, it was actually a collaborative effort between machinist Adolph Miller (transport) and Harry Kolbe (electronics & transport control). The deck has been (unjustly)) referred to as "the poor man's Ampex 350 [portable]", but, having owned both 3 & 4 series Ampex (I do love them, warts and all), this deck has quite a few advantages over the 3-series:
• No silly "door" which had to be lifted for winding to lift the tape off the heads $$ made splice work next to impossible - this deck has a mechanism similar to the 4-series Ampex.
• Much lighter than 350 portable - Ampex was a tank, designed for module-level maintenance (the military origins are obvious).
• The maintenance & alignment are simpler, everything from braking adjustment & reel torque to headset & eq alignment
• Huge VU meters & huge black Bakelite knobs which wouldn't look out of place in Frankenstein's lab - I bought the thing as soon as I opened the case.
This deck was ground-up restored ~5 years ago, transport adjusted for "kind" tape handling ( fast wind torque && breaking set up for gentle tape transport, rather than maximum wind speeds & on-the-dime braking, pressure roller turned, heads (1/2 track 1/4 inch) lapped, polished, and aligned with MRL tape for playback, and subsequently aligned for Ampex 456 tape (thus clicking the "bias-check button should make the meters point to 3db - ignore the operating manual on this - it talks about Scotch tapes). There is plenty of room for higher bias currents.
The tape deck & recording/playback amp come in a tolex-covered "portable" case, standard rack size, with front & rear covers. The back cover is vented & could remain on the deck during operation, and the deck works great in a 90 degree upright position (which is how I used it, but horizontal & slightly-tilted position is, at least theoretically, should give a slight advantage (lower mechanical noise, better bearing loading etc., etc). The front cover has one broken latch, which I've never bothered replacing, since it latched down just fine with 3 remaining ones, and i never used it as a portable.
The deck sat around for years (I no longer had the luxury of running a "break-even-if-you're-lucky Lo-Fi studio), the deck was weird & interesting enough to hold on to (built a few blocks away from where I live now, though bought in Massachusetts), but i have to seriously prune my "neat but never used" collection.
I've cleaned & fired up the deck, to make sure the deck was completely operational (both reels come with the deck, including the tape, which was not recorded on this deck & was not mastered by me - just a chunk of test tape I'm including so that you can test the deck without risking your own tapes). Everything on the deck works, no mods other than the two mono headphone outputs (one for each track) were combined into one stereo jack (if you choose to use the built-in headphone amp, which is not bad. The speeds are 7.5ips on the ""slow" setting & 15ips on the fast.
The ORIGINAL OWNER'S MANUAL is included, this was given to me by a man who's also responsible for the typed writeup (see pics below).
The deck's located in NYC, and, while local pickup is a plus, I'll package & ship, double-boxed etc., etc. While the deck itself weighs ~65lbs, with packing, think 75 pounds (had one bad experience with UPS, don't want to repeat it. If you need more pics or info, don't hesitate to ask.
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