Brand: Minivox (Challen)
Country of Manufacture:United Kingdom
Release dates:1959 - 1962
Speeds: 1 7/8
Max Reel Size("): 7"
Number of heads: 1 (PB)
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Mono - Full Track
Frequency Response:up to 8,000 cps
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 5 / 10
Minivox was the brainchild of Richard (Dickie) Stroud, and had the distinction
of being the first transistorised portable tape recorder designed and
built in the UK.
Stroud, who had previously worked for Tannoy
and later on radar during WWII, teamed up with his close friend Charles
‘Chas’ Challen who owned Challen Instrument Company (making microscopes)
and together they put the Minivox into production.
The Minivox was a 3-motor, single speed recorder
with a 3″ spool capacity and permanent magnet erase head. A miniature
magic eye displayed recording modulation and the 7-transistor amplifier
produced an output of around 250 milliwatts.
Although well built in an attractive two-tone
grey livery, these recorders still look home-made. An improved Type “C”
with a higher output and larger case appeared in mid 1960 but Challen
pulled out in 1962 leaving Stroud to carry on by himself.
Battery life: up to 100 hours / Inputs: microphone and high level (with mixing) / Outputs: extension speaker / Dimensions: 10½ x 5¼ x9″ (267 x 133 x 229mm) / Weight: 9 lbs (4.1 kg) with batteries /