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 Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck

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Chas

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PostSubject: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:40 pm

I've got a Bell (TRW)? stereo reel to reel tape deck. Does anyone have any idea as to the merits of this machine?

Has separate reel drive motors and separate capstan motor with a rubber tire for speed change. It is stereo and amp is tubed with Telefunken's... This a very heavy unit

It appears to be very high quality U.S. built when compared to the Japanese gear of the era. Looks to be mid 50's.

I also have a Bell (TRW) tuner/amp, it is a binaural unit and tunes AM-FM separately, no stereo decoder. I suspect it is also late 50's, again a very heavy box.

Feedback from anyone familiar with these is welcome.

Best!

Chas
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Tube Radio



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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:05 pm

Not knowing much about these units I would suggest restoring them and seeing how they sound to you. The reel to reel deck should be good provided the heads are not worn. Now concerning the tuner if it has a MPX out jack you can use an external multiplex decoder and get stereo sound.
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N7RHU



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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:39 pm

I encountered a Bell reel-reel deck in a college dorm in around 1962. The guy was using a pair of Brush Crystal headphones with it, playing stereo tapes he had recorded live. The sound was abosolutely fantastic for the time. I didn't hear comparable quality until years later, when direct-to-disk vinyl recording came out, shortly before CD's.

--Chuck
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Reece

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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:52 am

I remember looking at these back then and comparing and they are really built. Anything with three motors means they were not looking for compromises.
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Tom Bavis



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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:37 pm

I have a Bell tuner with separate AM and FM dials - doesn't look like it's the equal of the Fisher and Stromberg units of the era. If you have model numbers, I may have the Sams folders...
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RCA Bob



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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:08 pm

Chas,
Were stereo tape decks being made for consumers in the mid 50's? I've always had the belief that they were more common in the early to mid 60's and then on into the 70's.
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Alan Douglas



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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:28 pm

I had a Bell (branded Knight, with the kit-built record-play electronics) in college. It had 3 motors and piano-key controls, and I think was the only deck Bell made. Mechanically simple, but used a regular 4-pole photograph motor for the capstan drive so the speed wasn't controlled extremely well. I don't remember what I did with it, but I must have sold it since I never had it here at home.

There will be date codes on electrolytics, pots, and perhaps other parts. I had mine around 1964. I bought the deck second-hand.
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Chas

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PostSubject: Re: Bell (TRW) reel to reel tape deck   Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:16 pm

I'll take a look on some of the parts to get an idea of the date it was built.
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