Brenell Engineering Reel to Reel Tape Recorders

Company Description

Brenell Engineering produced reel to reel tape recorders from 1956 to 1983 which were manufactured in U.K.. These tape recorders targeted the consumer and studio market. The early models of Brenell Engineering tape recorders used tube electronics and later on they transitioned to solid-state tape recorders. The company produced both 2 and 4 track machines available in 220-240v voltages.

1947– Brenell Engineering, Ltd. was founded in London England by Robert Hahn, a Czech refugee and Peter Glazer. Both men served with the RAF during the war. The company made simple optical toys and metal screw caps apparently for the photographic industry.
1953– Brenell was contracted to design and construct a tape deck for a new home-assembly tape recorder, the “Sound Master”. Brenell went on to become a leading manufacturer of custom tape decks, including multi-track studio machines.
1960’s– Brenell markets the Mark 5 Tape Recorder, their most famous model notable for its four speed, four head operation
1970s– The Brenell tape deck was updated to Mk6 status using transistors and able to be used vertically. One of the last Brenell machines was the IC2000. It looked like the Mark 6 with 10.5″ NAB reels
1984– Brenell Engineering Ltd. was dissolved

General Information

Brand: Brenell Engineering

Years in Business: 1947 To 1984

Country: U.K.

Years making R-R Tape Recorders: 1953 To 1984

Brenell was very much geared towards the serious user and semi-professional. Their legendary Mk.5 tube model soldiered on until 1970 when it was replaced by the modern looking Mk.6, complete with full mixing facilities. It was their first vertical operation recorder, a market by now dominated by Japanese models. Their short lived IC-2000 was designed for use ‘at the heart of a hi-fi system’ with phono stage, monitor speakers and studio quality 12W per channel amplifier.
By 1970, a professional studio two-speed model with solenoid operation and remote control had appeared. This Type 19 spawned the two-speed Mk.7S of 1976 aimed at the Revox (A77-B77-A700) market; and the transport was later used in the unique and highly regarded Brenell Mini-8, 1″ 8-track studio model.
Brenell excelled in producing machines to meet specific professional needs, and abandoned the domestic market after 1976 when they merged with Allen+Heath Ltd (studio mixers) to concentrate on the studio market. They ceased manufacture and development of tape decks by the early 1980s and survive now as Allen+Heath-Brenell Ltd, makers of studio mixers.