Technics Reel to Reel Tape Recorders

Company Description

Technics produced reel to reel tape recorders from 1972 to 1986 which were manufactured in Japan. These tape recorders targeted the studio, consumer and semi-pro market. Technics tape recorders used solid state electronics. The company produced both 2 and 4 track machines available in 110-120v, 100v Japan, 220-240v & Multi voltages.

1918 – Panasonic was founded in by Konosuke Matsushita first selling duplex lamp sockets.

1965 – Panasonic started to produce a variety of hi-fi products under the Technics name brand. The first product out of the gate, The Technics 1 speaker.

1969 – The Technics name came to wider prominence with sales of turntables for the professional market

1970 – Produces the worlds first Direct Drive Turntable, the SP-10,  Tonearm not included

1972 – Technics introduced the first auto reverse system in a cassette deck with the RS-277US. Introduces SL-1200 Direct Drive Turntable which sold over 3.5 million units and is still popular today.

1973 – Manufactures the first three-head cassette deck ever made, the RS-279US

1976 – The Technics RS-1500 was introduced. The 1500 2 track was heavily advertised and sold well. Technics also sold other Isolated Loop transport models, the RS-1506 4 track,  RS-1520 Semi Pro 2 Track, RS-1700 Auto-Reverse and the rare RS-1800. These models were built until 1987

1979 –   SL-10 Unique small Turntable that was the size of a LP jacket. Design awards followed and has been in the Museum of Modern Art ever since

1988 – SST-10 Sound space speakers with a twin load horn also made it to the design collection of the MOMA

2000 – DVD-A10 The world’s first DVD audio player

1989 – Continues to produce turntables where many other companies are leaving the format SL-1200MK3 , 1997 SL-1200MK4 , 2002 SL-1200MK5, 2008 SL-1200MK6

2015 – 50th Anniversary- The Technics brand was revived with new high-end turntables

2016 – SL-1200G

General Information

Manufacturer: Technics

Years in Business: 1918 To Present

Country: Japan

Years making R-R Tape Recorders: 1971 To 1987

For a Japanese company that really had not put a lot of attention to reel to reel tape recorders, the introduction of the RS-1500 in 1977 was quite a surprise as it was so far in advance of anything they had done previously and certainly getting a bit late in the game.

Technics Isolated Loop tape recorders with their unique tape handling have become the go-to consumer machines to hook up external tape head preamplifiers with. Strangely, demand and prices for them was very low in the early 2000s but that changed when they were rediscovered in 2011.

Isolated Loop

The Technics single capstan system offered advantages over double capstan as variations in the speed of two capstans and the pressure of the two pinch rollers to maintain the desired temp tape tension makes speed and tension adjustment complex and difficult often increasing the tape tension which is not desirable. The relatively long distance between the two capstans over which the which the tape must stretch contributes to higher modulation noise and scrape flutter. In contrast the Technics single capstan system maintains exactly the same speed and pinch roller pressure on both sides of the capstan. The wide contact area between the pinch rollers and the single extra-large capstan allows for lower tape tension, about 80 g and very steady because the tape path between the capstan and the reversing roller is relatively short. So modulation noise, wow & flutter and level fluctuations are dramatically reduced. Add to this the quartz locked slow speed direct capstan drive system, aided by tension controlled direct drive reel motors and air dampened tension rollers  the Technics isolated loop system achieves excellent overall performance.

Tape Heads – We have heard from a variety of sources that Technics brought their heads from Otari

A comprehensive Technics database with possibly all of the models that were produced