Country of Manufacture:Japan
Release dates:1974 - 1978
Original Price: $£535
Speeds: 3 3/4, 7 1/2
Max Reel Size("): 7
Number of heads: 4
Head Composition: Permalloy
Head Configuration: Quad
Frequency Response:( 3dB): 7½ ips: 20Hz - 20kHz 3¾ ips: 30Hz - 12kHz
Wow and Flutter:less than 0.07% at 7½ ips. less than 0.12% at 3¾ ips
Signal-to-Noise Ratio:better than 60dB (3% THD level to weighted noise level)
Sound quality rating:5 / 10
Long-term reliability rating: 6 / 10
Four-channel (or quadraphonic) tape recorders became briefly popular in the early 1970’s and required TWO stereo amplifiers (or a specially designed 4-channel one) and two sets of speakers.
This recorder had three 4-channel heads which allowed bi-directional stereo playback.
The transport was of a three-motor design utilising a belt to link the capstan motor to the capstan/flywheel.
Sansui had been making high-quality amplifiers and receivers for several years and this was reflected in the fine electronics of the QD 5500S.
Two tape speeds (7½ and 3¾ ips) were provided and the maximum reel size was 7″ – perhaps an oversight given that quadraphonic recording utilised the entire width of the tape in the forward direction, hence halving the playing time of normal 4-track stereo recordings (in which the reels were flipped and recorded in the other direction).
Tape speed accuracy: within 0.5% / Crosstalk: better than 60dB (between adjacent tracks at 1,000Hz) / Harmonic distortion: playback amplifier: better than 0.15% at 1kHz, 0.47V output tape distortion: better than 3% at 1kHz +6VU / Erasure: better than 60dB / Separation: better than 50dB (between channels at 1,000Hz) / Semi-conductors: 38 transistors, 19 diodes / Rewind speed: approximately 90 seconds for 1200ft / Bias oscillator frequency: 100kHz / Inputs: microphone: 0.5mV (50kOhm) line: 70mV (100kOhm) DIN: 14mV (100kOhm) / Output levels: 2-channel output: 0.47V maximum (0VU=0.3V) DIN (2-channel): 0.47V maximum (0VU=0.3V) 4-channel output: 0.47V maximum (0VU=0.3V) / Dimensions: 16½ x 22 x 10¼ ” (422 x 554 x 268 mm) / Weight: 53.4 lbs (24.2 kg) / quarter-track stereo record