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The Elizabethan Essex

1960 Tape Recorder

Aide-Memoire

LivingDead.Software

Elizabethan Essex Tape Recorder


This is a ~1960 device made by
E.A.P. (TAPE RECORDERS) Ltd.
Bridge Close, Oldchurch Road,
Romford
Essex
It is a mono half track, bidirectional, machine with 3 speeds (15, 7 1/2, 3 3/4)
using the Collaro Transcriptor 2 motor deck. It has a valve amplifier that can act
as a 2 channel mixer for recording and a single head for playback. The valves are:
6BR7
Low noise pentode for input stage
12AX7
Microphone amplifier, Mixer and Playback equalisation
EL84
6 W ultralinear audio power output
12BH7
Dual triode for the Bias and Erase Oscillator
EM85
Magic Eye recording level monitor
EZ80
HT Rectifier (full wave)
The operations are deduced from the type of valves chosen. The control knobs are:
Main Volume control to set both record and playback levels.
Radio/Gram to set the Radio/Gram input jack record input level
(Mixer ch 1). It also carries the On/Off Switch
Tone Control is only operative on Playback. It is used to adjust
the playback equalisation curve HF turnover point to
compensate for different tape speeds. This is not so
good - there are no equalisation switches attached to
the deck speed selector.
The equalisation fudge has been used on other Elizabethan models to save
money but the lack of any selective HF boosts on record and the lack of accurate
replay characteristics are not really acceptable for a model that cost 65 Guineas
(68.25) in 1960. That said, the tone control can be adjusted to replay the tapes
recorded on this or another machine, and it sounds quite nice. They claim -3 dB at
12KHz for 7 1/2 "/s - we shall see what we actually get, later.
The wooden case is very robust, the unit is heavy at ~45 lbs. Just 4 bolts
secure the frame that contains the deck, amplifier, power supply, input/output panel
and one of the 2 tweeters. A 3 wire speaker cable from the main loud speaker and
the other tweeter, plugs into the frame next to the tweeter. The deck cover plate is
held to the deck by 7 screws and must be removed before the deck can be extracted.
The deck is held into the frame by 3 tinner-man mounting screws at the top, LHS and
RHS. Watch that the clips that engage the bolts do not get lost or displaced. The
deck is connected to the frame by 2 mains wires (red, black) from the mains
transformer, a 5 way Plessey (?) plug to the socket nearest to the bias oscillator
valve, and an International Octal plug to the main amplifier chassis. [be careful there is an identical socket next to the rectifier that is used to supply HT
heaters and bias to the main chassis]. Warning - it is quite hard to get the deck
in/out of the frame without trapping fingers!

dajuett
250659648.doc

Page 1

10 November 2014

The Elizabethan Essex


1960 Tape Recorder

Aide-Memoire

LivingDead.Software

Inter Unit Connectors


HT & Bias Oscillator
A

5 pin Plessey/Philips
View into Socket near the EZ80
This is the main HT and Heater feed, plus screened link lead
1 Blue screened core 2 Red wire
3 Black wire
4 Black twisted with
5 Red wire
The anodes are fed by CT transformer 188+188 Ohms CT gnd
O 1 Link to B5

O 2 EZ80 Cathode

O 3 Chassis Ground Point


O 4

and O 5 are 6.3V heaters CT to gnd

5 pin Plessey/Philips
O 1 red to Erase

View into Socket near the 12BH7


O 2 black to Bias

O 3 yellow to Erase
The green pin 4 is HT feed to Bias Oscillator
O 4 Grn HT2 O 5 Link to A1
IO Octal Deck to Amplifier
Connector:
1
Screen black outer, blue inner
}to MIC AMP jack
2
Blue inner
}
3
Blue inner, grey screened lead
to MIC REC jack
4
yellow wire
to HT2 high V feed
5
Blue inner, white screened lead
to P1 Tone control
6
Green un-shielded to 180K || 68pF
7
Black to Grid of triode A 560K to ground
8
Screen for white screened lead (5)
Wiring to the Transcriptor Deck:
1
Black part of White twin screened
2
Red part of White twin screened
3
Blue inner, white single screened
4
Red wire, thin
5
Red part of Grey twin screened
6
Black part of Grey twin screened
7
Black part of Grey single screened
8
Common ground for all the screened leads
At this point I replaced the deck in the frame and connected it all together. I seem to
have lost the 3 screws that held the deck in, but my Tinnerman screws work just fine.
dajuett
250659648.doc

Page 2

10 November 2014

The Elizabethan Essex


1960 Tape Recorder

Aide-Memoire

LivingDead.Software

It plays my Brennell test tape and sound quite fair - there is a noticeable hum,
the volume control is noisy and the tone control seems very gentle - but its a good
start. The deck is typical in that like the Brennel, it takes a little while to get up to
speed. The feed reel appears to have no back tension on it. The magic eye shows
level on Play as well as Record. The shielding plate near the 6BR7 input stage makes
a significant hum reduction. There is a noticeable smell of old oil or grease from the
deck and the warm air stream from the valves.
The drive belt for the turns counter is missing - need to make one from nitrile
cord. Some loud intermittent noise, in pause, possible the volume pot needs
cleaning. I have already replaced all the dreadful Hunts capacitors and the Plessey
elctrolytics. The valves checked out OK on the Avo valve characteristic meter Mk IV
and there is no response to tapping valves or components.
Worst damage, apart from the badly decayed (very leaky) Hunt's capacitors,
was the pivot on the LHS spool carrier that had completely seized. The oil had set
like glue. Stripped and cleaned - it required a pin punch to extract the pivot. The
RHS seems OK. Various mechanical joints cleaned and oiled. The motor bearings
were all stripped, thoroughly cleaned with iso and re-greased and oiled. The felts
were degreased and soaked in fresh 15 grade oil. The motors run quite hot to the
touch. At 15 "/s there is a noticeable mechanical precession (?) that resonates the
sidetable the deck is standing on - could be flywheel un-balance? The table motion is
quite impressive! IT may not improve the Wow and Flutter figures. I can't see any
motion at 7 1/2 "/s.
The wiring on the deck function switches looks rather scruffy and there is a lot
of it. Need to check if they have used the arrangement suggested by Collaro. The
Switch wafers could be sprayed with isopropyl if they need cleaning.
The lack of a circuit schematic is annoying - I have reverse engineered the
power supply, bias oscillator, audio ouput and Mic input stages, but the equalisations,
such as it is, depends on the Record / Play deck switching. It is a start and I can plug
the stages in to LTSpice for computer analysis. The ultralinear ouput stage will be
interesting if I can model the transformer correctly. It claims 6W but gives no
distortion figure. A single EL84 would be expected to give 3 W at ~3% distortion single ended stages need considerable negative feedback to get tolerable distortion
levels.
A quick check on the BT (?) resistors show that they are mostly about 20%
above the rated value but valve circuits are fairly tolerant, except for feedback loop
components, so I have not replaced any as yet. The high meg grid resistors and the
100K anode resistors may be worth changing if noise is a problem.
It may be worth adding a speed selection wafer to the deck and incorporating
the standard HF resonant boot circuits for the recording circuits. A 350 mH
Ferroxcube inductor resonant at 27KHz (100pF) 13.5 KHz (390pF) and 6KHz (2200pF)
are used in the Mullard (valve) Tape Preamplifier. Q factor is set by no Rp, 470K and
150K. A series 27K sets the below peak gain with anode to grid feedback resistors of
680K, 1.2M, 2.7M. The input feed to the virtual earth is 390K in parallel with none,
dajuett
250659648.doc

Page 3

10 November 2014

The Elizabethan Essex


1960 Tape Recorder

Aide-Memoire

LivingDead.Software

82pF or 180p from the pentode stage whose source Z is 220K. You could use Twin T
RC resonant circuits but they use too many components and are hard to trim.

dajuett
250659648.doc

Page 4

10 November 2014