UPDATED: The Very Early Magnecord SD-1 Wire Recorder

Courtesy of PS dot com reader H. Layer come these images of his Magnecord SD-1 wire recorder.  Magnecord ran a respectable second to Ampex in the development and proliferation of professional audio-tape recorders in the Unites States in the 1940s and 1950s.  You can find a tremendous amount of information regarding the various Magnecord tape machines on PreservationSound.com (you might want to start here), as well as many recent recordings that I have made with my Magnecord PT6 machines.  Anyhow, it is a small but important footnote in Magnecord history that their first attempt at a recording device was not a tape recorder but instead a wire recorder.  H. Layer relates the following:

“Years ago I acquired Magnecord’s only wire recorder, the SD-1.  After considerable research, I found out that Russ Tinkham (Ed: one of the four founders of Magnecord INC) was retired and living quite close to me …he was delighted to see the SD-1 after many decades and we became good friends. Photo of my SD-1 attached.”

SD-1 aspect fixed_B_100LAbove: helpful reader Art Scifrin provides come additional information concerning the SD-1.

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5 Responses to UPDATED: The Very Early Magnecord SD-1 Wire Recorder

  1. BAF says:

    I read years ago, I believe in Audio Magazine, that, according to a Magnecord sales rep., the “SD” in the SD-1 name stood for “Super Duper!”

  2. I just saw the picture of the Magnacord SD-1 wire recorder. Wish I had one in my vintage and antique recorder collection. I had contact with H.Layer several years ago.
    I had sent him a Brush Wire Recorder. I’ve often wondered if he still has it. I finally was able to obtain a General Electric Model 51 Wire Recorder a few years ago. I was looking for the GE wire recorder for 25-years. I currently have 5-wire recorders in my collection of vintage and antique recorders.
    Best regards, Gaylord Ewing

  3. Jim Wood says:

    I’ve undertaken the project of building a wire recorder, using the Webster Chicago mechanism and up-to-date circuitry and techniques. I am astounded at the quality one can get… and I’m not finished yet!
    Listen to the first efforts (a dub to wire from vinyl) here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbdcm7z4uewu30a/First%20Recording.mp3
    Follow the link to the dropbox site, click: Download, then elect to open, rather than to save the file.

  4. Hello all….I’m curious, does anyone have any knowledge of an SD-1 selling in recent history? These things seems to have fallen into a blackhole! I’m curious to know the approximate value seeing how rare they obviously are…thanks for any input!

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