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Author Topic: Lesser-known TFK equipment?  (Read 5091 times)

JGreenslade

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Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« on: January 20, 2005, 02:32:59 pm »

A few months back, Oliver identified a Telefunken Tape Echo machine for me. These machines were made in very small numbers, and it got me thinking as to just how many obscure "undiscovered" pieces of TFK equipment there might have been.

We all know about the V-series, and the M-series tape machines, but there must be a plethora of other units made by TFK that could find a use in the studio?

Would you mind making a suggestion or two for unusual pieces to keep an eye out for Oliver?

I notice that there were some TFK valve power amps. Did TFK make valve power amps (or solid-state for that matter) worth looking out for?

Maybe some of the forum users will have an unusual TFK unit that they can tell us about?

Cheers,
Justin
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 12:34:31 am »

 

Hello Justin,

there are so many unknown TFk and related products, if we include the entire range of audio products it is quite hard to keep track. Telefunken build in my opinion one of the best sounding audio amplifiers ever, several of the highly regarded Klangfilm amps are nothing else than the classic Tele designs in a different enclosure and with KL labeled tubes...

Going into the category of TFK power amplifier is way to complex for this one month long forum, but lets say that much, Telefunken developed about 80% of the relevant tubes that changed the sound of audio, as well as most of the classic audio circuits...

Best regards,

Oliver
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Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

compasspnt

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2005, 09:21:32 am »

Oliver,

I have always heard that Telefunken was more of a marketing company name than a manufacturer, and that many of the pieces were made by other companies (such as the Neumann connection), and just marketed under the TFK name.

How much R&D and actual manufacturing was actually carried out by TFK, and how much was manufactured by outside companies?  The whole story must be very interesting.

Thanks for all of your great work and information!

Terry Manning
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JGreenslade

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2005, 12:09:32 pm »

Thanks Oliver. To be honest, after I hit the "post" button, I started to wonder if I had started a nightmare thread for you, as there must be so much untold TFK equipment that you would be here all year documenting it! There is probably more variety of hi-fi / studio / musical instrument gear in the world bearing the TFK badge than any other manufacturer, so I will forgive you for not documenting it :-)

As an example of "lesser known" gear, Neve made some filter units in the ‘70s for broadcast companies to address the demand for "telephone simulation" – these had a bandpass filter, and were designed to emulate the harmonic characteristic of carbon mics etc for authenticity, they now fetch a few quid on ebay from studios looking for unusual analogue effects. I was curious as to whether TFK made similarly obscure modules that we might be surprised to know existed, that could have a purpose in the studio now.

There were some TFK experimental synthesisers as well I believe.

For those who may not know it, here is a Google search on the Telefunken Trautonium:    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=telefunken+trauto nium&meta=

Incidentally Oliver, do you have a TFK / Klangfilm etc derived home system? Associates of mine belong to the "cult" of the WE 300B + Altec 604, and I can well imagine there must be a lot of similar (maybe superior) German gear from that era.

Cheers,
Justin
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Radd 47

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2005, 08:20:28 pm »

Ollie, where did you learn all this stuff?
Have you been in electronics all your life?
How about a one paragraph summary  of your life!  Very Happy
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2005, 12:57:03 am »

Telefunken was the electronic leg of AEG, original formed as "German Edison". They build everything from full blown atomic power plants to micro chips, etc.
NASA bought all wave traveling tubes and other specialty equipment there, as well IBM was Telefunken biggest customer for micro chips, tubes, etc. up to 1975.
They were nose to nose in patents and R&D with Philips up to 1975, but than something happened that year that took the entire company and surroundings into a spiral, that ended up to the liquidation in the mid 80s...
Today there is nothing left of the original company..

Telefunken build 90% of their products in their own factories that were located all over the world. Some products were developed at the R&D lab and than sourced out.
There are several different stories about the microphones, for sure I know from talks to a former designer at Telefunken that the 250/251 was developed at Telefunken around AKGs CK12 capsule.
U47? there are several open questions, but Telefunken owned 25% of Neumann Berlin; at some points in time they also had shares in AKG...

Today not to much stuff is known by the general public, but the tape machine, the sound on film, the first condenser mic(before George Neumann), the first high vacuum tube, the first TV (and color TV), the first missile guidance system, the first picture disk (about 20 years before the standard DVD) the first fax machine, etc, etc, etc... were developed by Telefunken as well as build! Here again, to much info for such a short platform...

As far as I know ( I frequently have to rewind 50 year plus output devices)  there is a cult around the Telefunken V44 and V1xx power amps, either build with F2A11, EL112, EL150 and EL156..

I own several Telefunken made home stereo systems, both tube (several V101 power amps) and transistor as well as many other "Telefunken made in Western Germany" items.... would not trade them for the world...

From 1928 to 1939 Telefunken researched and developed many experimental electronic music instruments like the Trautonium and even build several production Theremins (not developed by Telefunken), they also developed and build the first electronic vocoder, as well as  many other psychedelic music instruments, that would showed up in popular music in the 1960s... Way to much info to digest and talk about in one month...

A paragraph about my life?
I summed it up in the "This month" post...
But as other boys my age were into "Fussball" or soccer, I was into electronics, and collecting any book, magazine etc... After I did an education in a none electronic field to please my Dad, I finally got my electronic degree with 21.....

I guess being at the right time, in the right place, doing the right thing, is the best way to point it out. While Daimler Benz was dissolving AEG-Telefunken, several volumes of Telefunken R&D data were thrown in the dumpster, after I asked my manager if I could take it home, he said, take the old crap and get happy... So I did, get happy I mean...

Since about 25 years I am  talking with retired electronic engineers, form several german electronic companies to save as much info on x-former, tubes, and related field, hunting down and collecting old books, magazines and lots of the old machinery... Once in a while I get lucky finding left over blue prints...
That is about the short version.... But this should be enough said about me...

Best regards,

Oliver



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Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

Radd 47

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2005, 03:23:05 am »

Thanks!
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compasspnt

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Re: Lesser-known TFK equipment?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2005, 01:27:00 am »

Yes, thanks indeed, in more ways than one!

TM
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