Tag Archives: fostex

Fostex “Pro Sound Reinforcement Components” Guide/Catalog 1981

Fostex_Sound_bros_1981Got a pretty odd one for y’all today… download the 1981 Fostex “Professional Sound Reinforcement Components” catalog/guide:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex_SR_1981

Featuring: Fostex speaker systems GS3001, GS3003, SV22, SV30, BS1502, G700, SP104F, SP102, SP109, SP89, SP109F, SP109, SP104, SP82S, SP84S, and many more enclosures.  I can’t recall ever having seen ANY of these; were they even sold in the US?

Fostex_Studio_Monitors_1981 Fostex_Disco_1981 Fostex_columns_monitors_1981

UPDATED: Fostex “Laboratory Series” Pro Audio Monitors c.1980

Fostex_LabDownload the 4-page catalog for the Fostex “Laboratory Series” studio monitors of 1980:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex_Lab_1980

Featuring the Fostex LS/2, LS/3, and the massive LS/4: 458lbs each, with response down to 19hz.  Good lord. BTW  I have come across several period FOSTEX speaker pieces; expect more in the next few days…

Fostex_Laboratory_Monitors_1980 Fostex_Lab_line*************



Update 12.10.13:

Michael Gillespie, designer of the Fostex Laboratory Series, got in touch with PS dot com regarding these speakers.  Here’s what he had to say:

“I designed these speakers in the late seventies. This was the inaugural Fostex product to launch in North America, setting the stage for huge success. At the time we did this, Fostex had 18 employees in Japan; today they have 67,000 worldwide.”

Click here for a better copy of the main brochure.


“Above are images of the “V” series; these were the same systems re-tuned for free-standing (full-space 4π) operation as opposed to the main brochure which shows soffit-mounted (half-space 2π) models.”

Fostex Team“Above is the the original development team, reunited in 2012: (L-R) Ted Telesky, Michael Gillespie, Bob Oliver.

Gillespie-LS4“And above is an – LS/4 is one of my personal pair  – which I have owned for almost 35 years.”

Fostex LS3 Advert

Fostex “Creative Sound Systems” 1981 full catalog

Fostex_250Download the complete 12pp Fostex “Creative Sound Systems” 1981 (???) catalog:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex_1981_Catalog

Models covered in great detail include: Fostex A-8, A-4, A-2 1/4″ tape machines; Fostex 250 cassette four-track; and the Fostex 350 8x4x2 mixer.

Fostex_350_MixerInteresting feature on the 350 – and something that’s not at all obvious from the top surface – it has 2 stereo RIAA phono preamps which are patchable on the rear of the unit, presumably to whichever inputs or external gear you like.

I’ve uploaded a ton of information on these machines before (see here, here, and here), so dig back if you want more commentary…  otherwise i’ll let the catalog speak for itself…

Fostex_A4Fostx_A8 Fostex_A2

Fostex “Regular Phase” Microphones c. 1980

Fostex_M88Download the 4pp 1980 catalog for the original Fostex “Regular Phase” microphone line:

DOWNLOAD: fostex_mics_1980

Models covered, with text, specs, and photos, include: Fostex M85RP, M88RP, M80RP, M77RP, and M55RP.

Fostex_M88_M77These mics, like the Fostex RP headphones, use a unique method of transduction that combines elements of dynamic, ribbon, and condenser-mic design.  I’m not 100% sure why they are termed ‘regular phase,’ but I suspect that it might be because the design works without any driver suspension.  You may not have realized before, but consider a generic woofer, and the acordian folds in the suspension:  at any moment of driver excursion, portions of the suspension will necessarily be moving out-of-phase with the cone.  This is a significant cause of transducer distortion.  By eliminating the suspension, that particular distortion factor is eliminated.  Here’s a cutaway of the Fostex design:


I’ve seen a few of these things on eBay from time to time, generally from ex-US sellers, and I’ve never seen one in the flesh, so I imagine that they are pretty rare in the US.  The catalog that I’ve scanned above was actually printed in Canada, so I can’t even say for sure if these were sold in the US.  I am super-curious, though, as I have always really loved the Fostex RP headphone line (I own a pair of T50, a pair of T40, and several pairs of T20s), and I’ve also had good luck with the classic Fostex full-range Banana Cone hi-fi drivers, so these mics seem like something I might dig.  Anyone?


Fostex ‘Personal’ Outboard Equipment of the 1980s

Download fourteen-pages of original product information regarding FOSTEX’ “Personal Multitrack” outboard-equipment line of the 1980s:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex_Outboard_Gear_1986

Included in this download:  “Echo Buss Vol II, Take 1,” a FOSTEX newsletter to pro-sumer users of the 80s.  Plus 2-side product sheets for the 2050 line mixer, 3030 Graphic Equalizer, 3070 Compressor/Limiter, 3180 Reverb, and 6301 powered monitor speakers.

The 3180 offers a unique feature among line-level stereo spring reverb units:  a non-adjustable 24ms pre-delay hardwired before the spring drive amp.

Interesting to note that FOSTEX makes no attempt to disguise these pieces as pro-studio equipment; they were designed and marketed specifically for use in the new ‘personal studio’ of the early 1980s, alongside such other FOSTEX offerings as the personal reel-to-reel multitrack and the FOSTEX 250 cassette four-track.  See previous posts here, here and here for information on these recording devices.

The Fostex 6301 powered monitors did enjoy wider use, though; true to the photo at top, these compact 10w powered speakers did in fact experience wide use in video-facility machine rooms as basic program monitors.  Many are still in use in this role.

The Fostex 250 and 250AV cassette four-track machine

Fostex week continues at PS dot com. Download five pages of original FOSTEX product information on the 250 and 250AV ‘four-tracks’:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex250

I’ve never used one of these machines personally.  Anyone?

The 250AV, btw, is the same as the 250, except that it runs at 1.875ips (the same as a regular consumer tape deck); the intent was to simplify multi-track bouncing in audio-visual post-production situations.  Read the product sheet and you will see what i mean.  It also boasts a 5db lower crosstalk spec than the 250;  FOSTEX claims that this allows a pulse (sync) tone can be placed on one the tracks to drive other machines without the pulse -sound  getting into your other 3 tracks.

The Fostex A-8 multitrack tape machine

Download the original 2-page product sheet for the Fostex A-8LR tape machine.


Billed as being “about the size of twenty albums stacked together,” the A-8LR differed from the more common A-8 by virtue of 8-track simultaneous recording (as opposed to 4-track simultaneous on the A-8).  We had one of these machines in the house briefly when we were kids and it did not sound very good.  The A-8 records on 1/4″ reel tape.  It is certainly very small for an 8-track machine.

The Fostex B16 tape machine

Download fourteen pages of early-80s publications regarding the Fostex B16 1/2″ sixteen-track tape recorder.


You will find in the package: a complete pricelist; a lengthy ‘test report’ as published in ‘Modern Recording and Music’ Nov 1984; plus an original 6-panel full-color product sheet.

The B16 was the flagship product-offering from FOSTEX in the 1980s; it was available in 3 models.  The base model had a belt-driven system and was capable of 7.5 ips or 15ips operation.  The B16D was direct-drive and offered a number of additional ‘professional’ features, including 30ips operation.  The B16DM was a 3-head version, which I have never seen or heard of outside of the literature that I am offering here.

Anyone using one of these things?  impressions?

Follow this link for earlier PreservationSound dot com coverage of the FOSTEX B-16, featuring Christine McVie.