Brand: Commonwealth Electronics
Model:C.E.B Tape Machine
Country of Manufacture:Australia
Speeds: 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads:
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Mono - Full Track
# Motors: 1
Wow and Flutter:
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 5 / 10
This battery-operated portable tape recorder was designed for use by radio reporters.
The C.E.B. had a single tape speed of 7½ ips with 0.35% wow and flutter – impressively low for a spring-motor driven transport.
Seven tubes were utilised in the amplifier – four 1U5 and three 3V4. The C.E.B.’s heads were among the first to use ferrite material – this being primarily to help reduce the amount of power required for the bias oscillator. Battery life was further extended by the switching off of those tube filaments when they were not in use for a particular mode. Battery life was quoted as being 50 hours.
Other features included a combination recording level meter and multi-meter, azimuth adjustment, stroboscopic speed check, loudspeaker playback channel and input for studio-style moving coil microphone. The total operating weight was 25lbs (a little over 11 kgs).
It appears that this was the only recorder made by Commonwealth Electronics Pty., Ltd.
Photos are complements of the Sound Preservation Association of Tasmania who wrote the following
Greetings from Tasmania,
We are proud to have 2 of these machines in our Museum collection.
They were manufactured in 1955 for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games (1956) and were used as portable tape recorders for radio journalists of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) to record interviews of the athletes in situation for later broadcast on all the affiliated radio stations around the world.
They are a “hybrid” machine with a clockwork motor and 2 batteries for the valve electronics. Commonwealth Electronics manufactured these machines in their Derwent Park (Hobart) repurposed ex WW2 munitions factory along with their famous Turntables which are still revered by music lovers the world over.