Products covered, with text, some specs, and photos, include: Brush Magnetic tape recorders BK414, 710B, 810, and 808 Twin-trak; hi-fi tube amps from Brooks (10C3, 12A3), Meissner 9-1093 tuner amp and 9-1091C, RJ-12A tuners; tuners from Browning, Many Stephens Tru-sonic speaker systems and drivers including P-63HF, P-52A, P-52LX, P-52HF; Hi fi amps including Scott 210-A, Fisher SA-1, Altec Lansing 323B, Newcomb HLP-14A, Bogen PX-15, Thordarson 31W10AX; Bell 2122, Masco MA-12EZand Rauland 1825; FM tuners from Espey, Meissner, Craftsmen, Howard; Customode hi-fi furniture and cabinetry; Altec drivers including the 603B, 600B, 400B; Jensen drivers incl. JRP40, HNP-51, JAP-60; Cinaudagraph speakers CIN-12A, 15B, 15C; and so, so, so much more.
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As I write this I am listening to a Roger Eno record on stereo Altec 323 clone that I built earlier this year. I’ve been kinda into this early hi-fi gear lately; postwar mono tube equipment. It’s still relatively plentiful and inexpensive; the very early electrical sound gear (1920s and 30s) is/has been collectible and expensive for some time now, and the stereo tube amps that were popular in the brief period between the popularization of stereo recordings and the popularization of transistors (let’s say approx 1957 – 1967) are / have been v valuable because, well, stereo. But I still manage to find several great mono tube amps circa 1945 – 1955 every year for cheap. Easy to restore, great to look at, and then WTF to do with them?
Terminal was an interesting outfit; I wonder who bought them out? I can’t find much record of them past the early 50s, and this catalog itself was pretty tough to track down. They def seem focused on the mid-to-high end; there is none of the really cheap stuff that you will find in the ‘BIG’ catalogs of the era like Allied and Lafayette. A few themes to note: Dynamic noise suppression – many of the higher-end amplifiers on offer here feature this. A ‘downward expander’ to create near-total-silence in tacit passages, as well as to expand dynamic range that was compressed in the mastering process, was REALLY popular for a brief period in the late 40s (even the RCA receiving tube manuals offered this circuit, IIRC), and then again in the early 70s (think all those useless DBX wood-sided expanders that still litter thrift shops to-this-day).
While on the subject of noise-supressors: the above SCOTT unit is fascinating by virtue of it’s power supply (IE, lack thereof). It comes with an octal adapter that intercepts both B+ and filament voltages from an octal power tube in your power amp (presumably the ground came via the audio-jack-ground). Given that most every American amp of that era used 6V6 or 6L6 tubes, this made the unit suitable for use by most consumers. This is a great idea to potentially use in designing, for instance, an add-on tube reverb or tremolo unit for a guitar amp. Gonna put that one on file,,,
Gigantic speakers? Check. When trying to make big low-frequency sound from scant watts (most of the amps on offer here are 10-30w), there’s ‘no replacement for displacement’ and yr gonna need a big box. Man, I cannot tell you how many of these giants I’ve hacked up over the years to salvage the drivers (some of which I have been able to sell, many still line my shelves), but who has the room? I recently got a very very nice BOZAK circa 1950 three-way coaxial system that I restored and saved, but I just can’t imagine ever having enough space for a pair of these things in the house. Recording was at in interesting moment. Simultaneously on offer are: wire, disc, and tape recorders. We know which of these technologies won out in the end. You can probably still buy a new cassette tape recorder of some stripe on Amazon, but a wire recorder? Portable mini-lathe? Unlikely. This catalog features disc recorders from Presto and Rek O Cut; Presto would soon move into the magnetic tape field, and Scully would eventually poach a top Presto engineer to develop their iconic (and excellent-sounding) 280 series machines. Curiously, this catalog does not include the Magnecord PT6, which may have been just slightly outside the pricing point that Terminal was at. The PT6 was sold by most other big retailers by 1949, and would become one of the most widely-used tape recorders of the 1950s.
Astatic EA2 phono preamp/EQ. Similar to many other higher-end preamps of the era, this allowed the user to tailor playback response to the particular record; this was necessary in the era before the standardization of the RIAA encode/decode curve. Many ‘better’ integrated amps of this era had similar facilities, but not quite as extensive and versatile as this three-knob system.
Finally: Thordarson 31W10AX hi-fi amp. Many transformer companies offered amplifiers, in kit and/or assembled form, in the era 1930 – 1960. I have never encountered one of these Thordarsons, though. Anyone?