Country of Manufacture:Germany
Release dates:1953 - 1956
Original Price: $6500
Speeds: 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads: 4
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Mono - Full Track
# Motors: 1
Frequency Response:(all 3 dB): 40-12,000Hz
Wow and Flutter:max 3%
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 5 / 10
The following information was kindly provided by ‘Get Reel’ correspondent and tape recorder aficionado Steve Tidbury, an Australian expat now living in Germany.
The Maihak company was started in 1873 and is still going strong today. The original founder was an eccentric engineer called Herbert Maihak who wanted to make precision scientific mechanisms and instruments – and he did!
Today the company mainly makes seismographs. They made audio gear for studio use during the ’50s & ’60s, sometimes it turns up on ebay – and very expensive gear too! But high quality, by all accounts.
The company survived two world wars untouched, unbombed but the family were imprisoned (and some killed) by the Nazis in WW2 because they refused to make rocket guidance systems.
I guess they don’t want that publicised though – at least, they asked me to gloss over that part if I could. There is a photo of their factory in Hamburg in 1945 – all around is devastation, buildings completely destroyed by RAF bombing – and the Maihak factory completely untouched.
Today they are partly owned by Plessey & Siemens, but it still essentially a family business.
An interesting thing – the items I thought were sub miniature valves are actually giant transistors – the best of transistorised technology from 1953, large black OC 603s – about twice the size of the OC71 series that appeared in the ’60s. Maihak was one of the first companies in the world to use transistors, apparently. Although the machine can use a 90 volt battery, there is an inbuilt current limiting resistor. so it will also work with 9 volts. Apparently in those days transistors were viewed with suspicion, as not many people really knew much about them.
|Specifications at a glance|
|Model||Reportofon MMK 6 (Two versions, with Pilot tone & without)|
when new (in Germany)
|6500 Deutschmark (with Pilot-tone) 5000 Dm (without)|
|Motors||Double spring mechanical, 14 minutes operation with fully wound motor. It is possible to wind the spring up while the machine is in operation, to allow longer operating time.|
|Track system||Single Full Track audio with pilot tone track|
|Heads||Four – erase, record, play, pilot-tone|
|13cm (5 inch)|
|19cps (7½ ips)|
|Wow & flutter||max 3%|
|Frequency response (all ±3 dB)||40-12,000Hz|
|Semiconductors||17 transistors (germanium) 4 diodes. Earliest models used OC604/605. Later models used AC series transistors|
|Audio power output||Line out only (no power amp)|
|Rewind speed||Manual rewind with handle|
|Inputs||2 x Microphone (switchable Hi/Lo imp), 1 x Pilot-tone|
|Outputs||2 x Line out (4.4 V & 1.5 V), Headphone|
|Power requirements||9 Volt battery|
|Dimensions||11 x 15 x 6 inches (280 x 385 x 155mm)|
|Weight||30.8 lbs (14Kg)|