Country of Manufacture:United Kingdom
Release dates:1959 - 1962
Speeds: 3 3/4, 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 10.5"
Number of heads: 3
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Stereo
# Motors: 3
Frequency Response:(all +-3 dB): 7½ ips: 60Hz -14kHz
Wow and Flutter:less than 0.2 % at 7½ ips
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 5 / 10
The Ferrograph Stereo 808 was officially launched at the 1960 London Audio Fair.
Based on the Wearite Series 4 deck, the 808 looked very similar to the older Series 77/88 machines, and is in fact the logical progression from those models.
Priced at a considerable £110 5s, the Stereo 808 was an all-purpose model with full monophonic and stereophonic recording and playback facilities and a high standard of performance.
The 808 was an early example of a tape deck, without power amplifier stages and internal speakers. Low-level outputs were provided to power existing hi-fi amplifiers and external loudspeaker systems.
Features included three motors, two speeds (3¾ / 7½ ips), 8¼” reel capacity and wow and flutter of less than 0.2 per cent at 7½ ips
Tape Recording & Hi-Fi Magazine December 1959
A NEW STEREO tape recorder has been introduced by Ferrograph. The Stereo 808 is designed to give both monaural and stereo recording and reproduction on conventional track tapes.
It has complete recording amplifiers but Ferrograph decided to omit power amplifiers and loudspeakers, to save both weight and space and so to keep the machine an easily portable unit.
They felt that most hi-fi enthusiasts would, in any case, possess standard stereo amplifiers.
The output of each channel, therefore, ends at low level. This is rated at 1.5 volts across 5,000 ohms. Variable tone controls, normally included in amplifier circuits, are also omitted.
The machine is equipped for operation at 3¾ or 7½ ips. At the former speed its frequency response is quoted at 60-8,000 cps + 3 dB; at 7½ ips this increases to 14,000 cps.
Used for stereo, the track separation is approximately 40 dB, and for monaural is equal to, or greater than, 60 dB at 400 cycles. The signal to noise ratio in the 200-12,000 cps range is better than 50 dB. Wow and flutter is less than 0.2 per cent at 7½ ips.
The machine is fitted with three independent motors – two driving the tape reels and the third driving the capstan. The main drive motor uses Ferrograph’s “Octoquad” synchronous principle and is resiliently mounted for quiet operation. The total power consumption of the unit is 110 watts.
The recording level meter is of unique design to bring transients into proper relativity. It can be switched into upper or lower channels for stereo work.
There is an automatic stop switch which instantly cuts off the motor drive when the spool is empty or if a tape breaks during recording or playback.
The Ferrograph Stereo 808 is supplied in a standard two-tone grey finish in a transportable cabinet with detachable lid.
The overall dimensions are 18½ x 17½ x 9¾ in. It weighs 51 lbs.
|Specifications at a glance|
Price when new (UK)
|7½ & 3¾ ips|
Frequency response (all ± 3 dB)
|7½ ips: 60Hz -14kHz, 3¾ ips: 60Hz -8kHz|
|less than 0.2 % at 7½ |
to noise ratio
|200Hz/12 KHz, better than 50 db|
|better than 0.5%|
|less than 1 minute for full 8¼” |
|0.003v peak at 1 MHz and 0.1v peak at 500KHz|
|rated at 1.5 volts across 5,000 ohms|
|18½ x 17½ x 9¾” |
( 470 x 444.5 x 248 mm)
|51 lbs (23.2 kg)|