is a list of information we have gathered from a variety of sources on some of the major analog reel to reel tape recorder and related equipment manufacturers. While we have strived to provide the best information available to us, there will be corrections and additions. We include personal stories about the companies when they are provided to us. We always invite input on corrections and updates. Thank you!
One of Teac's earliest open reel tape recorders, the Teac TD-102 was the recorder featured on the Teac 25th anniversary box released around 1981. This recorder was almost identical in design to the Ampex 300 (left photo - top recorder) released in 1949. The Anniversary box and the Teac TD-102tape recorder in its original wood box are both in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection.
Teac TD-102 reel tape recorder
December 2015 Teac press release featuring photos from our Museum
Teac TD-105 reel to reel tape recorder
TEAC 1957 Pricing
UK Pirate Radio - Radio Caroline used the Teac RC-310 (see video at 3 minute 42 seconds)
Teac R-310 professional recorder used by UK's Pirate radio - research for Ian Anderson - photos by David Kindred
Our Museum was contacted by Ian Anderson, SBIC (SIBC is the radio station of the Shetland Islands Broadcasting Company Limited). "I am part of a group of broadcasters (some retired) and writers researching the "true" story of the start British offshore radio in the early 1960s." The Museum researched the recorder the were working to identify which turned out to be Teac's RC-310.
"The first, classic era for the UK was 1964-1966/8 with up to 11 stations at any one time. The next was 1970 to 1974 (my era) which slid into 1974-1980 and the sinking of the Mi Amigo. The final era was 1983-1991 when the latest laws made it virtually impossible.
What we are doing is try to trace where the early funding came from, and why (not quite as obvious as it might seem).
Tracing the source of equipment is part of this, sort of reinforcing evidence. Confirming the TEAC was evidence it was supplied from the UK or Europe, the model number was just for completeness.
That vessel was Texan backed, like others afterwards, and purpose built for Sweden 1959-60. After that it moved to off the UK in 1962-3 hoping for a sale but after that fell trough it went to Galveston and was mostly stripped. Then Bobby Kennedy earmarked it for a (failed) invasion of Cuba, but it was too small. Eventually it came back to the UK as Radio Atlanta, and the merged with Radio Caroline to become Radio Caroline South. There is a strongly possible CIA link in all this, after all this covered 1958 to 1964.
Most of the histories of offshore, pirate radio, in some 300 books and on line, are seriously inaccurate, mainly because they all start from the same assumptions that have been repeated for 50 years and have never been seriously examined. There's a bunch of us all over Europe and father afield, including Australia, with strong offshore radio experience or knowledge who are collaborating.
So far this is in the form of endless round-robin emails to everyone trying to piece bits together. We are all agreed that nothing will be published until we are 99 percent sure of accuracy.
Teac TD-102 1959
Teac TD-105D/TD-7520/Series R-110 and R-114 - 1959 with Teac AR-9C & 9D Amps Manual pdf • This recorder was donated to the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording by Penny Hendrix- "It was acquired in Japan between 1960 and 1963 by my father."
(below - Concertone model RT-507 built by Teac and released in 1962)
Teac Berlant Concertone connection
More: In the February, 1982 issue of Modern Recording and Music magazine, James Rayton with the Ascot Recording Studio in Hollywood, CA wrote:
"probably around the early '60s, the (Berlant/Concertone) assembly was moved to Japan, and around the same time, I believe, the company became known, paradoxically, as "American Concertone"; their product emphasis gradually moved into the mid-to-high-end consumer category, (and occasionally appeared under other trade names like 'Concord'). Whatever remains of the company today is perhaps better known as TEAC, who interestingly, continued making the old Concertone 90 at least through the late '60s, with only a change of nameplate (and probably solid-state electronics) and a different model number."
Also from on line comments (not verified) "Some history, Bert Berlant and his cronies founded Berlant/Concertone. Later on, Bert Berlant retired and the other partner continued the company. He elected to use Concertone electronics on the early machines but use Teac transports. Later on to the end of the company, American Concertone engineered various recorders. Berlant/Concertone decks to the early American Concertone decks with Teac transports, Semi Pro! Last American Concertones, Consumer decks".(tapeheads.net)
On line forum comments (not verified) "Most of the Berlant Concertone machines were mono. Berlant Concertone tape recorders were really semi-pro decks. Beloved of dilettantes in the day. The original ones were entirely made by Berlant in the USA. The middle period used Berlant electronics (USA made) and Teac transports made in Japan. The last of the Concertones were made in Japan by various vendors. Teac didn't officially import their decks here until 1967 (also ReVox's first year sold in the USA). All of these machines are difficult to obtain spare parts for. The early and middle period decks are usually decent performers.
Those were made by TEAC about the time Berlant sold out to TEAC and was renamed American Concertone (ironic name change). It was also sold as the TEAC 507/508. 507 is the stereo version and 508 the mono version. I have one each of the TEAC and Concertone versions". unknown source
1961/1962 Teac 505 / Concertone 505
No US Sales of Teac until 1965
Sales of Teac recorders were booming in the 1960's, however for persons in the US, they were only available to military folks through US base exchanges. There were no Teac reel to reel tape recorders released prior to 1965. The US government began requiring that offshore audio manufacturers to have US based service centers.
This gets interesting now because Teac continued to release reel to reel tape recorders and some may be branded only Teac and others may be Teac/Tascam or just Tascam
1966 Teac Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
Teac's 1966 professional R-310 reel to reel tape recorders in the Sparta catalog and the Concertone branded Teac Series 90 professional reel tape recorders in 1961
1967 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
(right) translated Teac Japan posting of information about the Teac 4010S selling 200,000 units
1968 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1969 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1970 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1971 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1972 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1973 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1974 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1975 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1976 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1977 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1978 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1979 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1980 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1981 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1982 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1983 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1984 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1985 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1986 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1987 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1988 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1989 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1990 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1991 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
1992 Teac & Tascam Open Reel Tape Recorder Ads
The Teac Tascam BR-20 was the last analogue reel to reel tape recorder manufactured by Teac Tascam