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Zum Ende 1965 bekam man jetzt das 1965er Herbst Buch

Das kleine dünne Fisher Handbuch
Der riesige SEARS Katalog

Und jetzt waren es 78 Seiten, teilweise richtig bunt, also nicht nur zweifarbig. Der Wettbewerb wurde härter, es kamen immer mehr kleine und größere Firmen wie Sherwood, Harmann, Marantz usw. auf den Markt, die sich bei Scott, Fisher, Radioshack und Heathkit ein Stück von dem offensichtlich lukrativen Kuchen sichern wollten.

Und ab jetzt waren es aufwendige "The Fisher Handbook"s mit allem Drum und Dran. Wir dürfen nicht vergessen, für einen Amerikaner gab es auch 1965 fast nur soetwas wie unsere damaligen Neckermann- und Quelle Kataloge - als Mailorder-Kataloge - wie zum Beispiel von Sears, einem der größten Versandhändler.

Beratung war da einfach nicht möglich, der nächste Shop war "meilenweit" entfernt. Wenn ich in den USA von "meilenweit" spreche, dann sind das 200 Meilen oder noch mehr, also 300 bis 400 Kilometer, um in ein Hifi-Studio zu kommen.

So gab es in jedem Magazin oder Fachzeitschrift kleine Abreißkarten
zum Anfordern von Unterlagen und darin musste alles drin sein, auch, wie zum Beispiel Stereo auf UKW (FM) funktioniert und daß es das bei AM (Mittelwelle) einfach nicht gibt.
Ach und noch etwas. Wie damals bei unserer ach so tollen Bundespost waren auch in USA Ferngespräche (sogenannte "long distance calls") richtig teuer. AT&T hatte ein quasi Monopol wie die Bundespost und das hatten sie weidlich umgesetzt (andere nannten das auch "Ausnutzen").



An entirely new, revised and enlarged edition of The Fisher Handbook, the original Fisher reference guide, idea book and component catalogue for the high fidelity stereo buyer; with special articles by John M. Conly, Ralph Freas, C. G. McProud and Emanuel Vardi.


A Word from Avery Fisher....................................................................3
What You Should Know Before Investing in a Home Music System...... 5
"What Is High Fidelity?" by John M. Conly............................................6
"The Why and How of High Fidelity Components" by C. G. McProud.....10
"How to Play Hi-Fi by Ear" by Emanuel Vardi........................................16
"How to Install a Home Music System" by Ralph Freas........................19
Decorating Your Home with Music.........................................................20
How Others Have Done It....................................................................22
High Fidelity Terms: a Technical Glossary............................................28
Fisher High Fidelity Stereo Components..............................................33
All-in-One Receivers............................................................................34
Who Owns a Fisher?.........................................................................70
Fisher Firsts.......................................................................................73

A Word from Avery Fisher (1965)

When the Fisher Radio Corporation published the first version of this Handbook several years ago, it was primarily out of a sense of obligation. We had decided that, as the world's largest producer of high fidelity components, we owed our prospective customers more than just a catalogue. The result was a lucid, down-to-earth manual on the fundamentals of stereo, which at that time was a new development much in need of clarification. The demand for such a publication proved to be overwhelming, and the original Handbook had to be reprinted many times and regularly brought up to date.

This completely new and greatly expanded edition thus bears the obligations of popularity as well as of leadership. It is offered mainly in response to the vast number of music lovers who have recently discovered the world of high fidelity stereo and would like to acquire the know-how of veteran high fidelity enthusiasts. It therefore takes up the subject on a more basic level than the old Handbook but then pursues it just as far. New articles of universal interest have been contributed by the outstanding authorities in this field.

Of course, the principal function of the Fisher Radio Corporation is still the design and manufacture of fine electronic equipment, rather than book publishing. Our first objective remains what it has been since 1937, when this firm saw its beginnings: the creation of sound reproducing equipment that satisfies the musically sensitive and educated ear. This Handbook is merely our dutiful signpost for those who seek this ultimate personal satisfaction.

Founder and President

What You Should Know
Before Investing in a Home Music System

It takes a team of dedicated and highly specialized engineers to develop outstanding high fidelity equipment, but it takes only a reasonably sophisticated amateur to select and buy a high fidelity system with outstanding skill and judgment. On the pages that follow, you will find authoritative articles that can provide you with the necessary background. Armed with this kind of knowledge, plus a love of music (without which high fidelity is mere gadgeteering), you should be able to plan your high fidelity investments and conduct your high fidelity shopping like a seasoned audiophile.

What Is High Fidelity ? (1965)

By John M. Conly - Former Music Editor of The Atlantic Monthly; former Editor in Chief of High Fidelity magazine.
This is the age of adventure in the living room - and perhaps the finest adventure you may enjoy there is the exploration of the world of sound, meaning mainly music. It involves a wonderful experience, the awakening of the ears. And the chief lure to it is something else rather wonderful, called high fidelity.

Of course, a lot of things are called high fidelity today that aren't, and that aren't very wonderful, either. I'll assume that you know this, if you are intelligent and discriminating, or at least that you suspect it. Perhaps further clarification will come naturally if I tell you a little about some of the people to whom you owe the availability of high fidelity - the real thing.

How It All Started

With all due and fond credit to the inventors and makers of audio equipment, the producers of records, and the managers of certain radio stations, all of whom were essential in bringing you this boon, I am going to focus first, instead, on a rather small coterie of people I shall call simply 'us.'

It may be helpful to know who 'we' were and are, and what we did - and still do; because, after helping the gestation and growth of high fidelity over nearly three decades, we remain its hardiest critics, its best salesmen and, on your behalf, its main guarantors of quality.

Our name was not legion; we were only thousands. We didn't, to begin with, know a blessed thing about electronics, acoustics, or even, in any scholarly sense, music. Call us, if you wish, the original amateurs, remembering that the word amateur comes from the Latin amare, to love.

We all loved music

Among the original amateurs in my personal memories, for example, there were a lawyer's wife, an editorial researcher, a student pathologist, a librarian and a police reporter (me). And what we loved was music.

I will specify - as of that time - classical music. I don't know anyone who joined the high fidelity vanguard out of a want for the Andrews Sisters, Guy Lombardo, or even Count Basie. So perhaps love isn't a strong enough word; maybe it was need.

We needed Beethoven's "Emperor" and Debussy's ocean and "Sheep May Safely Graze." And we needed them somehow alive, with us at our sudden, urgent wish, and in sound that could really speak the totality of what was in the composer's mind. (Later came the sprightlier joys of surf sounds, cannon shots, and other pure unholy racket.)

We did know, there was Stereo and High Fidelity

We had something else in common, I think, we happy few. We had inquiring minds and a certain breadth of interest, so that somehow we knew what was going on, even in technical realms. So we knew, right after World War II, that the means to our desire was at hand. It wasn't in the convenient stores in familiar wooden cabinetry.

But we knew it existed, because, for one thing, the movie industry plainly had it, and so did radio transcription studios, since delayed short-wave rebroadcasts were more sonically lifelike than their network originals (which were confined by telephone lines to very limited fidelity).

It began round about 1937

Some of this intimation had been manifest before the war, but not enough. I'd say our starting gun (beser "der Startschuss"), for the real action, was the news, not very vigorously spread, of lightweight, wide-range magnetic pickup cartridges, or 'heads,' usable in the home. For here had been our missing link. This preceded the incentives of LP records and FM broadcasting. I was already $500 into high fidelity - on $62 a week! - when microgroove made its bow.

We had then to use our brains, usually our hands, and - everlastingly - our ears. To get what the professionals had, we had to shop where they did, in the byways, at wholesale electronic parts houses. And we had to name what we were shopping for. That is when the words "high fidelity", in use for a decade as an occasional compound adjective, came to encompass and denote a whole concept and phenomenon.

The Basic Facts

Also, we had to know our stuff, since some of the wholesalers' sales people simply didn't grasp our requirements. We had to know that the human ear can (at its best) sense sound waves ranging in frequency from 16 cycles (vibrations) per second at the bass end to perhaps 16,000 at the top treble end, and that conventional radio-phonographs were giving us less than half this range (no violin over-overtones, no deep organ fundamentals).

We had to know, too, that the ear can detect, in sounds both loud and soft, distortions of the true natural tone amounting to fractions of one per cent - something that some equipment sellers {and makers) were at first loath to believe.

This meant precision: in the tracking and impulse generation of pickups; in the magnification of the impulse by the preamplifier and amplifier; in the loudspeaker and its properly sized, shaped and padded enclosure.

And in the FM tuner, when FM got going, there had to be utterly precise on-station focus and complete background silence. In the record turntable and in the tape recorder, when the latter became available in living-room size, there had to be exactly the right speed, without the slightest 'wow' or 'flutter.' Everywhere, the over-all requirement was for ample, effortless power and thrice-tested precision.

We got it. We had to.

Because, you see, you cannot invite Pablo Casals in to play - and that's what it amounts to, for five dollars - and then have his cello squeak, because of something you did wrong. The good high-fidelitarian is always partner to his performer.

And we were ourselves terribly, terribly articulate and extremely audible, as much so as our treasured devices; so that manufacturers and record makers always heard us and invariably did what we wanted.

That is why, I may say, you folk - those of you newly venturing in - have life so easy. All the big bloopers have been made, caught and corrected. In general, the corps of original amateurs is very well satisfied with what you are offered today.

That might sound false or venal, from a perfectionist clique, but the fact is, that the good high fidelity equipment manufacturers themselves are perfectionists in perfect accord with us. There is a real kinship, even as to the amateur flavor, the devotee attitude.

About my friend Avery Fisher

As a very suitable instance, here is Avery Fisher, who publishes this Handbook and is a long-time friend of mine. He has immense technical lore, but most of the best of it he learned through his own discoveries.

He trained to be a biologist. Then he became a very successful book designer. (Years after he had left this field, he was invited to design Winston Churchill's monumental "History of the English Speaking Peoples", an assignment he accepted with pleasure and acquitted with mastery.)

Radio and audio were his avocation, before they became his business. He has been a violinist since boyhood, plays whenever he can in chamber music groups, and can hold up his bow in pretty good musical company, too.

I won't say Mr. Fisher is typical, but he is not unique in this respect. I know at least a half-dozen high-ranking high fidelity executives who can read a Brahms score as easily as a schematic diagram. You can see what this does for you. It is a guarantee not only of a wide-ranging experimental mind, but of a fellowship in objectives, and of good taste.

The Listening Room

We had a taste problem in the early days that you don't. The loudspeakers we could get were mostly of theater origin and needed plenty of sealed back-space, say nine cubic feet. That's a lot of cabinet. And speakers cannot always be placed simply where they look best.

The room may have a say in that, meaning that it may disclose wild resonances or echoes of its own with the speaker in some positions. Yet furnishing a room with aural beauty ought not to make it monstrous visually.

The makers today, by cannily redesigning speaker units and enclosures, have almost obviated the size problem. And stereo has certainly eased that of placement. Stereo, in a very real sense, creates its own space - an illusion of concert chamber between and behind the twin speakers.

In effect, it can make a small room into a very large one, if not quite a concert hall. I do not think it is possible for, say, the Mahler "Resurrection" Symphony to be heard in its true, huge dimensions in a small room, stereo or no (except through earphones, if you are willing to be antisocial). It has to be cut down.

On the other hand, a Haydn symphony played in Philharmonic Hall is indignly dwarfed, a mockery. You can have much more nearly its intended concise power and lucency in your own living room.

What we shopped for and assembled

What we shopped for and assembled, in the beginning, were completely separate components - turntable motors, transcription pickup arms, cartridges, amplifiers, stripped-down tuners, separate 'woofers' and 'tweeters.' That's what there were. Being professional equipment, they came in bare metal and gray paint. We wired them up and housed them ourselves, with saw, soldering iron, sometimes blood, sweat, clutter and profanity. But the end was sublime.

A high fidelity industry has grown

I am not saying that you must, for fulfillment, start as a spiritually famished classicist and trepidant technician; that's been done for you: a whole high fidelity industry has grown from these efforts. What I am suggesting is that this industry's highly streamlined new products still embody the early craftsmanly, even artistic, approach. They have personality and are meant to fit and reflect yours, and it is really with this in mind that you should do your buying.

I shall throw in a small argument about thoughtless parsimony. You would not think it wild to spend quite a lot of money on a good baby grand piano. With the proper stereophonic high fidelity music system - and please don't call it 'a hi-fi,' it isn't a toy - you can have the very best of concert grands, with Town Hall thrown in, and with Serkin, Richter or Horowitz to play it for you.

What You Can Listen to Today

The world behind the twin speakers is almost illimitable, an endless fascination. There are of course Beethoven and Benny Goodman. But also you can have Mercutio's tragic clash with Tybalt right in front of your mantlepiece (and your mind's eye). Or an acre of South American rain forest, with its myriad tiny life sounds. Or a curve in the sports car track at Sebring. Or the prayers and deliberations of an Ecumenical Council. Or a quickstep formation of the music company of the Bersaglieri, Italy's historic mountain soldiers, each man with his brass-basin helmet and his silver trumpet. Or even the Beatles, unless, by some benign freak of fate, they are obsolete by the time you read this.

A 1964 catalog of 30.000 LP Records

At the start of 1964 William Schwann, publisher of the encyclopedic Schwann Catalog of LP Records, estimated that his average issue carried thirty thousand entries. That, friends, is about twenty thousand hours of disc listening. How many thousand entries there are in the Harrison Catalog of Stereo Tapes I do not know, but there will be more next month.

And city after city offers one or more FM Stereo (multiplex) stations broadcasting three-dimensional sound. It is fantastic.

Discover your ears. They are a main, perhaps the main, avenue of access between you and your culture; indeed, the world you live in. They deserve to be served properly. And that is - isn't it? - what I've been talking about.

The Why and How of High Fidelity Components (1965)

By C. G. McProud - Publisher and former Editor in Chief of Audio magazine; Fellow and former President of the AES (Audio Engineering Society).
If you understand the basic concept of high fidelity, you are ready to take a look at the 'hardware' necessary to provide a working system, and that is where you have to start making decisions.

Was hören Sie gerne ?

First, you must decide what you are going to listen to - radio programs, phonograph records or recorded tape. Certain elements of your system will be 'musts,' regardless of your source material, but if you are planning to listen to records exclusively, you have no need to provide facilities for receiving radio programs off the air.

On the other hand, if you happen to live in an area where there are several stations that play the music you like, you may feel that you would just as soon let someone else play the records for you, even though you have to accept that someone else's choice.

If you then listen to the radio exclusively, you save money on records, but you will never be sure that you can hear what you want to when you want to. Therefore, most high fidelity systems include facilities for playing records, even though they may not have a tuner to receive radio programs.

Musik vom Magnetband

Within the last ten years the tape recorder has become more and more important as a source of program material. You may buy tapes already recorded, or you may record your own music to suit yourself. Tape recorders are used to exchange information between people from many different countries through the medium of tape correspondence clubs; parents can make permanent recordings of their children as they are growing up, thus building an album of sound to go along with their albums of photographs.

Tape recorders seem to have almost as many uses as there are users, and new applications come to light almost daily. The three common sources of program material - radio, phonograph, and tape - all require different kinds of devices to implement their various functions, but every high fidelity system will have some form of amplifier and some form of loudspeaker. Let us look at each of these devices individually.

The Amplifier

The purpose of the amplifier is - simply enough - to amplify. All of our sources of program material provide signals which are not nearly strong enough to operate a loudspeaker. From a phonograph record, we get a signal of approximately 2/1000 of a volt via the cartridge, which is the device that translates the undulations of a tiny groove into an electrical signal.

From the radio station we pick up a signal measured in millionths of a volt, and from a reel of tape the signal is likely to be just about a thousandth of a volt. Each of these signals must be boosted in strength to drive the loudspeaker.

In addition, to provide properly balanced sound from the speakers, the proportion of bass and treble in the signal must in certain cases be changed according to a standardized formula; we call this process equalization. The common tone control is another form of 'equalizing' familiar to everyone.

Pre- and Power Amps

Amplifiers are often divided physically into two or more parts, but regardless of their physical form they all perform the same functions. For example, we may have a preamplifier as a separate small unit built into the record-playing device; or the preamplifier may be combined into a larger unit with a number of controls and still be called a preamplifier, or simply a preamp, or even a preamp-control.

Then we may have a power amplifier, which provides still more boosting of the signal and converts it into a form suitable for the loudspeaker. And just to make it more complicated, we may combine the preamplifier and the controls and the power amplifier into one package, which is then called an integrated amplifier or control-amplifier. In still another permutation, we add a radio tuner to the control-amplifier and we now have a receiver that gives us the whole amplifier and radio program source in a single unit, making for simplicity in locating the system at some suitable spot in the home.

Receiver und Control-Amplifier

The receiver and the control-amplifier are probably the most popular forms for the average system because of their compactness, but as we go to bigger and more powerful systems we may want to employ the various sections individually in order to provide the greatest flexibility in placement, even though much more space is required.

A separate preamplifier is also likely to offer a greater choice of control features than is generally obtainable in an integrated instrument. The biggest advantage of completely separate sections, however, is in heat dissipation: large amplifiers usually give off quite a large amount of heat, so it is desirable to keep other components somewhat removed from them. On the other hand, properly designed receivers can provide considerable power without a heat problem, as long as the installation has adequate ventilation. Some receivers also incorporate certain convenience features not found on separate components.

Regardless of the form, we must have some means of selecting the program source, amplifying it suitably, and controlling its volume and its tone to suit our hearing. All of these are amplifier functions.

The Loudspeaker (1965)

To use this word in the singular does not give a true picture of the modern loudspeaker system, for it is a rare system nowadays that employs only one loudspeaker unit in its overall enclosure or cabinet.

It is actually the ensemble that we mean today when we say loudspeaker.
In most cases, the loudspeaker is the only portion of a high fidelity system you will find separately enclosed in some form of 'furniture.'

Acoustically, the cabinet or enclosure is a very important part of the loudspeaker system, and it is well recognized that a loudspeaker unit of the highest possible quality can have its performance completely spoiled by being placed in a poorly designed cabinet.

Almost any loudspeaker works fairly well in the midrange frequencies - say from an octave below middle C to three octaves above middle C. It is the extremes that become difficult to radiate into the air.

Der Bass oder auch Woofer

A loudspeaker must move a lot of air to perform properly at low frequencies, and consequently the woofer - that's the unit that handles the low tones when two or three separate units are employed - is usually fairly large and with a heavy cone structure; whereas in a unit designed for the midrange only, the cone will be smaller and lighter.

For the very high tones, the tweeter unit used is sometimes of horn construction; or it may have a tiny and light radiating area, often in the form of a hemisphere. An effective combination of several separate loudspeaker units in a properly designed cabinet is usually the
Components of a Typical Monophonic System best-sounding speaker.

Aside from housing the units physically, the cabinet in many designs has the function of reinforcing low frequencies, but the cabinet itself should not resonate or vibrate at all. This is so important that some loudspeaker designers employ concrete or brick, while others make their cabinet sides out of hollow wood panels which are filled with sand.

While it is generally true that a good large loudspeaker sounds better than a good small one, many homes simply do not have adequate space to accommodate cabinets that may range up to ten or fifteen cubic feet. Consequently there has been a trend toward 'bookshelf speakers (although most of them will not quite fit into most bookshelves) in order to conserve space. The most recent trend, however, seems to be again toward larger speakers.

About the 'perfect' loudspeaker

Selecting a loudspeaker is a personal problem. Tastes differ among people - what one individual likes may not be acceptable to another. While it might seem that there could be a 'perfect' loudspeaker, we must admit that not even the finest products of different manufacturers sound alike; and since each manufacturer must theoretically be doing his best to achieve quality, the buyer has plenty of room for choice.

In addition to differences in sound, loudspeakers differ in efficiency. One may perform perfectly well and give sufficient sound with a power of only five watts from the amplifier, while another may require thirty watts. Unreasonable as it may seem, when we double the power fed to a loudspeaker, the increase in sound volume is just barely perceptible to the untrained ear on musical material.

Suppose we are listening to a piece of music at a volume level which, let us say, represents five watts. Now let's turn up the volume just a little - not much, but enough to notice that there has been an increase. Now we're using ten watts.

Turn it up a little more and we're using twenty; a little more and it's forty.

Are 20 watts sufficient ?

That's why we need power amplifiers capable of 25 to 50 or even more watts, for while we may not turn up the volume, the musical passage may contain a long crescendo, or a sharp (and loud) drum beat, or a loud and sustained trumpet passage. We must have sufficient power available from our amplifier, or else we must have efficient speakers, for wlicn wc attempt to exceed our available power the sound becomes distorted and we no longer have high fidelity.

Thus, in the selection of components for a system, it is probably the best practice to choose the loudspeaker first. Knowing the type of speaker and the power it requires, we can then choose an amplifier which will provide enough power. This is the one area where components must be matched. Don't be misled by the thought that a very large loudspeaker must necessarily require a large amount of power. In most cases the largest loudspeakers are usually the most efficient and can be driven with relatively low power, whereas many of the small 'bookshelf' types will require far more power in order to operate satisfactorily.

The Tuner

If you have elected to use radio programs as part of the source material for your high fidelity system, you will need a tuner. Everyone is familiar with a 'radio set' in one form or another. While it would be possible to connect an ordinary radio set to a high fidelity system, it is rarely done because the average set does not have an electrical output of sufficiently high quality to feed into a carefully planned system. Consequently we add a high fidelity tuner to our amplifier and loudspeaker, and we can then enjoy radio programs.

AM and FM

There are two basic types of radio broadcasting in use today: AM and FM, standing, respectively, for amplitude modulation and frequency modulation. Both have their uses, but FM offers somewhat higher quality, including a greater dynamic range, from pianissimo to fortissimo, and a wider frequency response, from the deepest bass to the highest overtones, tn addition, FM is much less susceptible than AM to atmospheric noise and 'man-made' static.

Anmerkung : Die Amerikaner kannten weitgehend nur Mittelwelle als AM, Kurzwelle und Langwelle waren nur wenigen Technikern und Weltenbummlern bekannt.

For a complete system, it is not unusual to provide both AM and FM facilities in the same tuner, the output from the tuner being fed into the amplifier control section, and thence through the power amplifier into the loudspeaker.

FM Quality extremely close to the radio station

Modern tuners are remarkable devices, and the output signal from them is an extremely close facsimile of the signal monitored in the control room of the radio station. Their sensitivity is specified in microvolts, and the numerical values are usually considerably lower than 10 - commonly in the range of two to three microvolts.

The lower the numerical figure, the more likely you will be able to receive signals from stations distant from your location an especially desirable feature fox those who do not live in urban communities But don't be mislead by the sensitivity figures; even though a tuner may be highly sensitive, it should still have a good aerial system if you wish to enjoy good, noise-free reception.

While AM stations may often be heard for hundreds, or even thousands, of miles, FM reception is usually limited to some 30 to 50 miles from the station for reliable noise-free performance. Highly directional and rotatable antennas are usually necessary for distances greater than 50 miles.

The Record Player


  • Anmerkung : Wir sind in Amerika im Herbst 1965 und die deutsche Firma DUAL hat in einem bemerkenswerten "Durchmarsch" die gesamte amerikanische (und weltweite) Plattenspieler-Industrie aufgemischt. DUAL war mit dem 1009 und 1019 das Synonym für einen Record-Player an sich.

This term is inclusive in that it encompasses a number of vastly differing devices. One is, of course, the mechanical unit which rotates the record, and this may be a turntable or a record changer. (The latter is now more often called an automatic turntable.)

The device which actually contacts the record groove is called the stylus, and it is an integral part of the pickup or cartridge. The cartridge is mounted on the arm (or tone arm). It is the cartridge that converts the mechanical motion of the stylus tip into a minute electrical signal, which is then amplified by the preamplifier. The arm guides the cartridge across the record in an arc that provides optimum stylus-to-record contact.

The cartridge and the stylus

There are many different types of cartridges, usually magnetic in operating principle; and there are many different types of arms of a myriad configurations. Here again the choice must be governed largely by personal preference as to sound quality, for pickup specifications today are uniformly good throughout.

In the realm of the record rotating device, one must look for low values of wow and flutter, which are the names given to slow and rapid variations in turntable speed; and one must look for a minimum of rumble.

The early hi-fi enthusiast generally preferred the turntable to the record changer, but in recent years the automatic turntable has been so greatly improved (Verweis auf den DUAL 1009) that today there is little difference in most cases. The automatic has the advantage of being able to play several records in sequence without attention, while the manual turntable needs attention at the end of each record.

The Tape Recorder

To the uninitiated, tape recorders all seem to look alike - that is, they invariably have two reels and a number of knobs. To a certain extent, they all do about the same things, too - but there the similarity ends.

There seems to be an almost endless variety of tape machines, and the selection demands considerable thought.

  • Anmerkung : Der große Run der Japaner hatte noch gar nicht angefangen.

If you are buying your first tape recorder, you should probably consult a really knowledgeable recorder specialist, describing the use to which the unit is to be put, the type of program material to be employed, the maximum length of time needed for a given selection (such as an opera, for example), and the sound quality desired. It might well be said that you only need to name what you want and you can have it.

Some users want a machine only to play recorded tapes, as one would play phonograph records, so their machines can be considerably simpler. Others want all sorts of flexibility in their machines, and it can be had. This is a long subject, however, and should warrant a thorough study by the potential buyer. One caution only - if a tape recorder costs less than fifty dollars, you can safely bet that it is not much better than a toy and certainly not a high fidelity component.


It will be apparent at this point that all of these individual high fidelity components can be put into one piece of furniture to provide an 'entertainment center,' but this becomes a large unit which must usually be fixed in its location in the average home.

Separate components, on the other hand, can be placed on shelves, built into music walls or any other suitable space within the home, or simply put on appropriate tables. Components have many advantages over and above the principal one of quality; they may be placed in the home most flexibly, and one individual unit may be replaced without disturbing the rest of the system whenever some new function is provided.

This was noted only recently when FM stereo broadcasting was started. Those people with component hi-fi simply added one unit and they were ready, all without disturbing any other part of their installation.

Stereo: An Important Refinement, Not a Revolution

So far, no specific mention has been made of stereo, largely because a stereo system must be judged by the same quality standards as a single-channel monophonic system as far as its individual components are concerned.

  • Anmerkung : So ist es absolut korrekt beschrieben.

Stereo is not a revolution in high fidelity, as has been sometimes claimed, but a subtle (though very real) improvement. Stereo expands the program material into an additional dimension, so that one can perceive the physical location of instruments or singers or sound effects. Now this may not be important when one considers that to a person at the back of a large hall, listening to a string quartet or even an orchestra, the sound may appear to be coming from a small point.

However, if the listener is sitting in a front row close to the orchestra, the violins may appear to come from the left and the basses from the right, with the other instruments distributed in between. Locating the instruments may not be important, but the principal advantage of stereo is in the over-all spaciousness and transparency of the sound. The advantage of following the action of an opera is really about the only plus to stereo if we think only of localizing the sound source. The clarity and transparency are the really great gains.

What is Stereo?

Stereo in a high fidelity system means that a second channel has been added all the way from the microphone to the loudspeaker.

Sound picked up by a microphone at the right of the orchestra is fed through the complete reproducing and processing chain to the loudspeaker at the right of the listening area - and the same is done on the left.

By this process, we are able to portray in the listener's ears the acoustic conditions in the studio; the over-all effect is much closer to the original, which, of course, is the ultimate aim of high fidelity.

From performer to loudspeaker, the two channels are kept separate, whether in FM stereo broadcasting, or on disc and tape recordings. The mechanics of this two-channel process are somewhat complicated, particularly in radio and on records; on tape it is relatively simple.

In FM broadcasting, the right and left signals must be 'operated on' in a fashion that results in a monophonic signal which is approximately that which would be picked up by a single microphone in the studio, and in another single-channel signal which simply represents the area where the two channels are different. If an instrument plays equally in both channels there is no difference, so the 'sum' signal is a true monophonic signal and the 'difference' signal is zero.

If an instrument plays only in one channel, both sum and difference signals are the same. When these sum and difference signals are acted upon in a stereo tuner, they come out again as separate signals just as they were in the original two microphones. This type of broadcasting is known as multiplex and is technically quite complex, but it does work and it does improve the resulting sound heard in the home.

On tape there are two tracks

With tape, the two channels are simply recorded on different tracks of the same tape, on what amounts to a divided highway, so the entire operation is simple and straightforward. Separate amplifiers are required, of course, in both record and playback operations.

Two channels in the groove

In the case of the stereo- record, the two channels are recorded on the two walls of the same groove - in the form of undulations of the flat walls of the groove. The stereo pickup is so constructed that the undulations on one wall of the groove affect only one half of the pickup and the undulations on the opposite wall affect only the other half.

Thus with two outputs from the stereo pickup, we can then feed them through our two amplifier channels to our two loudspeakers, and we have our original sound again just as it was captured at the outset by the two microphones.

The only problem in stereo is to have two matched channels all the way from microphones to loudspeakers, and high-quality high fidelity components do this with an extraordinary degree of perfection.

With all these new developments, sound in the home today is a far cry from what it used to be as recently as fifteen years ago - and it is continually coming just a little closer to an exact replica of the sound in the concert hall.

How to Play Hi-Fi by Ear (1965)

By Emanuel Vardi - Violist, conductor, composer and arranger; member of the late Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra; recording director and producer for several record companies.

The phonograph record has always been a source of wonder and amazement to me. Just think: the record is placed on a turntable, an arm is lowered and - lo and behold - out comes music. A miracle!

However, in a short space of time I discovered that there are Grade A, B, C and D miracles even in the world of high fidelity phonographs. Although all high fidelity component systems reproduce, more or less, what is on the record (or on the air, in the case of broadcasts), the quality isn't always good.

What Is Quality ? (1965)

Component manufacturers give you specifications in electronic terms. You see on paper that machine X has such and such bass response, that the treble goes up to umpteen cycles that even bats can't hear, that the distortion is a fraction of one per cent, etc. If you go by figures, it seems almost impossible to go wrong today.

All these components should sound absolutely great, yet that isn't the case at all. Why ? First of all, because the figures may be, in some cases, no more than wishful thinking. And mainly because quality can't be measured on paper alone.

When I played on various violas . . .

I've had the same experience when I played on various violas. All of them were beautifully made, but all of them didn't 'sound.' That little something - quality - was missing.

Quality in this case is synonymous with beauty. It's something that reaches you 'way down inside, transcends the mechanical and makes music beautiful. It gives you an emotional experience. It is this quality that I want when I listen to a record or an FM broadcast. Like the knights of old in quest of the Holy Grail, I've been looking for beauty of sound.

Choosing the Loudspeakers

Each of the components of a stereo system is important to the final sound, but in my experience the selection of the loudspeakers and of the pickup cartridge - in that order - will make the biggest difference.

Naturally, the amplifier and the preamp (or the integrated control-amplifier) must be of the highest quality in order to feed a clean signal to the speakers - but the speakers are the voice of the system. That's where the actual sound comes from.

I spent a lot of time listening to all sorts of speakers before I found the ones that I like. I looked mainly for that elusive beauty of sound, which I can only vaguely describe in terms like warmth, brilliance, fine texture, etc. I also found that I had to try the speakers in my listening room before I could finally make up my mind.

Die Verfärbungen bei den Lautsprechern

The one thing I don't like in any speaker is an individual coloration or 'personality.' I don't want the characteristics of the speaker to be added to those of the recording itself. I know the trouble that every producer goes through when he makes a record, trying to give the listener a true reproduction of whatever he is recording, and I also know that most modern records are very faithful to the conductor's intentions in dynamics, tone and color.

All of this can be ruined if, for example, the recorded sound is warm-toned and silky in texture, but the speakers, having some peculiar characteristic of their own, reproduce it with a hard and shrill quality. Then the playback is simply not true and the beauty is lost. Therefore the speakers must be absolutely neutral in character.

Der Büchsenklang

Another quality I look for is "spaciousness". I hate a 'canned' sound. The music must have air around it. It must breathe, be alive, and it must never seem to be boxed in.


Das Abtastsystem (the cartridge)

The cartridge is perhaps the next most important factor. (The speaker and the cartridge are the two transducers in a component system - they act as go-between for both electrical and mechanical energy - and that's not easy.)

I recall a stereo system I once heard, in which every component was of the finest possible quality, but the cartridge used, was an inferior one and the sound was terrible. Actually, it wasn't anybody's fault; the cartridge was one of the first stereo models ever made, and since then there have been great improvements. Today there are many good ones and, judging them the same way as I do speakers, I haven't had much trouble finding one that I like.

The Lows and the Highs - das Fundament

In building a house, the foundation is allimportant. The same goes for music. The foundation is everything. Without a good 'bottom,' the harmonies are lost and the music sounds thin.

Therefore the first thing I look for in a speaker, over and above its general beauty of sound, is the bass response. I listen carefully to all the bass instruments and ascertain whether they sound as they're supposed to.

Der Bass

The celli and the basses must not only produce low tones but must sound like string instruments. I want to hear the bows on the strings. The low bassoons and the bass clarinet must have a reedy sound. The tuba must sound brassy. For example, in the opening of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss, there is a very low pedal note on the organ. I must hear it clearly because I know it's there.

Die Mitten und die Höhen

After I am satisfied with the bass, I turn my attention to the high and middle range. In the strings, that means the violins and the violas. Of the two, the violins are the more difficult to reproduce.

One of the most irritating sounds is that of strident upper strings. The violin section has a thrilling, singing sound when properly reproduced. The same goes for the high wood winds and brass - they don't sound harsh or grating, even though they have bite. All the instruments involved in making music must have this degree of realism to give me the illusion of the orchestra in my living room.

Where the Amplifier Comes in

There is also the emotional content of music to be reckoned with. In technical terms this can be broken down to crescendos, diminuendos, warm tone, cold tone, percussive sounds, and many other effects involving dynamics and tone colors. Music is an emotional experience, and if it becomes limited in these respects, I won't be getting its full content.

In the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, for example, there are great climaxes - tremendous fortissimo passages. How horrible it would be if at those moments the machine were to distort the sound. It would feel like having the rug pulled out from under you. My first reaction would be to throw out the record, but normally it isn't the record's fault. Something in the system couldn't take the peaks. That something is probably the amplifier: it may not have enough power to handle all that sound.

The function of the amplifier is to take the information from the cartridge or the tuner, amplify it, and pass it on to the speakers. If the amplifier isn't adequate, something gets lost in the reproduction. An amplifier must have enough reserve power to take the biggest bumps cleanly.

And it must never put a veil or film over the sound, as if you were seeing the music through a dusty window. The amplifier can't be directly responsible for the beauty of sound, but it can affect the final sound of the system indirectly. The same goes, of course, for a separate preamp-control unit. I, for one, don't even like to fool too much with the tone controls and usually check them for flat response with a test tone. The more the sound is tampered with, the more chance of distortion.

Listen to the Music, Not the Fi

My high fidelity system is a musical instrument, not a machine; and my pleasure is in music, not in hi-fi gadgets. Some of my friends are amateur photographers who continually buy new equipment and never have a picture to show. They are gadget-happy. The same holds true in hi-fi.

I know many who spend a fortune on every new piece of equipment that comes on the market - and never really listen to music. They are only interested in sound for itself - ping-pong stereo, directional effects and so forth.

What a waste of this modern miracle! Now we can have the concert hall in our home, with great artists playing for us at our will. Who cares, then, if there is a bongo on the far right or the left? Remember: stereo is three-dimensional sound, with depth and breadth; not just left and right. It has substance and solidity. That's why it makes a monophonic system sound small and dismal by comparison. That's why it sounds like real music. And that's why I couldn't be satisfied with anything else.

How to Install a Home Music System

By Ralph Freas - High Fidelity Columnist of the American Home Magazine and Esquire.

When high fidelity was in its infancy, the notion that one had to suffer an unsightly snarl of wires in one's living room prevailed - and with good reason. Early seekers after fine sound naturally cared most about what fell upon their ears. Appearances mattered little.

Today's fidelitarian has the best of both worlds. His audio equipment sounds better than that of a decade ago. And it looks as good as it sounds. Componentry, like a set of beautifully bound books, fits - no, belongs - in well-appointed surroundings. It makes fine sound one of the natural graces of The Good Life.

Never before has music-reproducing equipment offered such a wide flexibility of use.

  • Anmerkung : Diesen Satz von 1965 hören oder lesen wir quasi jedes Jahr aufs neue.

You can hide it or display it proudly. You can show it on a bookshelf or build it into your Aunt Minnie's antique credenza. It will fit into a sleekly modern, sophisticated environment or in a room where Louis Quinze or Duncan Phyfe hold sway. And it can always be moved.

Decorating Your Home with Music

Putting a component music system together is almost as easy as adding an extension cord to a lamp. One unit is linked to another with signal-carrying or power-carrying cables. But there's a right and wrong way of doing it. Here, we'll consider the step-by-step means of proper installation. While we're about it, we'll also consider the things you can do to keep your music system operating at the positive peak of performance.

The first thing to do after unpacking your unit(s) is to put the warranty card in the mail. No, nothing's going to go wrong. The warranty card is simply a bit of free insurance. It assures you of free service - so use it.

Two Cardinal Rules

Now, to business. Where will you locate your amplifier or receiver controls? Let's establish a Rule of Two.

  1. The first rule is: Ventilate Adequately.
  2. The second: Consider Convenience.

Adequate ventilation did not precede Rule Number Two through any whim on my part. It's important. Heat is the greatest enemy of all electronic equipment. It causes the deterioration of tiny electronic parts and, while the lessening of sound quality is not a dramatic one, it speeds the aging process that leads to lower fidelity.

You certainly won't place your components on a radiator or near the kitchen stove. So we're concerned with dissipating self-generated heat. Be assured that an amplifier is designed to 'run cool' and, unless you operate it in a totally enclosed space, the heat that it creates will simply flow into the surrounding air.

High fidelity equipment has greater power-handling capacity than - let's say - a little five-tube radio. It requires greater ventilation. If you must put it in a closed door cabinet, operate it with the door open. If placed on a shallow shelf, the partition above the unit should be slotted or holes provided to permit rising warm air to escape.

And now, Rule Number Two.

One of the virtues of component high fidelity is flexibility of arrangement. You'll get more pleasure from your music system if it's placed where it's easy to use. Locate controls where they can be operated without your having to squat, squint or do a handstand.

Connecting the Speakers

Next, hook up the speakers. Don't turn on the amplifier or receiver just to see if the panel light works - until after the speakers are attached. Otherwise, the surge of amplifier power has no place to go; a hooked-up speaker accepts the surge and translates it into mechanical energy, which is to say cone movement.

Ordinary lamp cord is fine for hooking speakers to the amplifier. If you intend to string it around the baseboard, buy it with color in mind. (Lamp cord with white insulation looks better on a white baseboard, for example.)

  • Anmerkung : Ja, das war 1965 noch normal. Gewöhnliche Netzkabel für Lampen waren auch inden 110 VOlt USA nun mal 0,75 quadrat Milimeter Leitungen und das war arg dünn. Für die 15 Watt Röhrenverstärker mag das akzeptabel gewesen sein, für die 40 Watt Verstärker mit den wenig effizienten AR 3a Boxen bereits nicht mehr.

Do you prefer to run the wire beneath the carpeting? Use twin-lead antenna wire - the same as you use on your television set. It lies flat; doesn't bulge under the rug.

Die Kabel anschliessen

In attaching the leads to the terminal strip on the rear of the amplifier, be sure they are kept apart. A wire will sometimes loop around the screw to touch the terminal holding the other wire. To avoid short-circuiting, twist the strands and inspect the finished connection.

If FM radio is part of your system, you're ready to try it as soon as the speakers are attached. You can tune in nearby stations but you'll pull in more stations with greater clarity and fidelity if you attach an antenna first. The twin-lead antenna provided with your tuner or receiver is quite a performer. For proof, try operating your unit with and without it. Of course, in some difficult locations you will need a roof antenna. But that's the one installation problem which is better left to a professional serviceman.

Wohin mit den Speakern ?

Where will you place your speakers? In general, they should be placed to beam their sound to cover the greatest area of your listening room. There are no hard, fast rules about the distance between stereo speakers. All listening situations differ in dimensions and you can make your own rules. Actually, this is part of component high fidelity's fun. Try your speakers in various positions for maximum effect.

The Record Player

Locate the record-playing equipment - changer or turntable - as close as possible to the amplifier or receiver, for two reasons.

First, you can take advantage of the convenience receptacle on the back of the chassis; plug the record player into it.

Second, the leads from the turntable to the 'phono' inputs should be kept as short as possible. Extra-long leads are to be avoided; they can diminish signal strength and add to hum and noise pickup. They may also result in some loss of high frequencies.

Whether you locate your changer or turntable in a cabinet well, lift-top cabinet or sliding drawer, you'll want to keep it level and shock-free. Both precautions help prevent groove-jumping; shock-mounting insulates the unit from the normal vibration you can feel around almost every house. Every good turntable or changer is spring-mounted (if bought with a base) or provided with springs and linkages for proper mounting in a custom installation. A sponge-rubber cushion may also be used for additional insulation from vibration.

The Wiring (die Elektro-Verkabelung)

The electrical linkages - the leads and wires - connecting your music system components are of two kinds: power-carrying (those that carry the house current) and signal-carrying. Keep them apart.

Think of signal carriers as highly impressionable. If they associate for too long with a power-carrying lead, they'll pick up a 60 cycle pulse from it (or a multiple thereof). This will be amplified and heard
as an annoying hum. You will find that a music system is virtually impossible to install without having these leads cross or otherwise contact each other. Don't fret. Where they have to cross, let them do so at right angles and no hum will result.

Avoid having them run parallel for any distance, however. One exception: speaker leads should be kept apart not from the power carriers but from the other signal carriers.

A curious oversight that afflicts many fideli-tarians is adequate provision for record storage. When you locate your record playing equipment, give a thought to storing records nearby. And bear in mind that they should be stored vertically.

Don't forget about the tape deck. It is true that your music system can get along without one, but the ability to record and play back extends its versatility even further. And you don't have to buy the deck right away. It is mentioned here merely as a reminder to you to reserve the necessary space. (Meanwhile you can use the space to store records.)

Accessibility Is Important

Finally, build in your components in such a way that you can get at them, that you can take them out if need be. There are many reasons for you to do so - reasons that have nothing to do with service or repairs. Suppose, for example, that you want to add extension speakers for patio, terrace, kitchen or den. Doing so is extremely simple - if you don't have to tear apart a cabinet or even a wall to get to the back of the amplifier.

The same is true if you want to change your record changer or turntable, if you want to add that tape deck, or if you feel the need of a more high-powered FM antenna to pull in those far-distant stations. And you may someday want to get at the amplifier for service reasons. In five years, I haven't had to so much as check or replace a tube. When I do, it will be easy because the amplifier was built in to be taken out.

How Others Have (1965)

When you first uncrate your high fidelity components, you may suddenly feel a sense of inadequacy. Where, you may wonder, shall I put them for best results? How can I be sure? Where will they look nicest? What do others do? This feeling is as common as it is fleeting. On the next few pages, you'll see how others have succeeded. And you will see - as we said at the outset - that today's music-reproducing equipment offers previously unparalleled flexibility.

This modern arrangement appears to have been planned when the room itself was built. Not so. The music system was custom-installed to make it an integral part of the room. Note the Fisher XP-4A loudspeaker system built into the teakwood column (upper left hand corner of picture). Its stereo mate occupies a similar position at the opposite end. The Fisher-Lincoln automatic turntable slides out smoothly on its own base beneath the electronic heart of the system: the Fisher X-202-B stereo control-amplifier and the Fisher FM-100-B stereo tuner.
(thats on Page 22)

Done It

Space-saving compactness is the outstanding feature of this installation.

The face panel of the turntable drawer matches the veneer of the panel holding the Fisher components. The placement of the X-202-B control-amplifier above the FM-100-B FM-multiplex tuner is not arbitrary. Rising heat from the amplifier would raise the temperature of the tuner if their positions were reversed.

The versatility of component high fidelity in custom installations is dramatically illustrated here. The single-chassis simplicity of a Fisher 500-C stereo receiver and easy access to records are noteworthy features. The entire system can be hidden by the doors that match the paneled walls.

Installation Ideas That Work

Nothing could illustrate more emphatically how component high fidelity fits into "The Good Life" than the magnificent Fisher installation at right. Tape deck and record player glide out on ball-bearing slides in drawers below the 400-CX preamplifier-control and the MF-300 stereo tuner. The SA-1000 power amplifier is hidden from view. The speaker pair - Fisher XP-4A's - are unobtrusively integrated into the overhead paneling. Nestling snugly between the books just above the installation is an RK-20 Remote Control unit and a Speaker Switch for powering speaker pairs in various rooms.

An existing piece of furniture in the home can often be adapted to house components. In this case, it is a large breakfront. The lower third of the cabinet houses the entire system; the Fisher 800-C stereo receiver in the center is flanked by a pair of XP-4A speaker systems.

A little ingenuity goes a long way!

This devoted fidelitarian enjoys a complete 'music wall,' as well as a wall that plays music. The former holds his components, with television, tape deck and short-wave radio. The latter (inset) illustrates how the Fisher KS-2 loudspeaker systems can be recessed. Components built in above the waist-high cabinet provide maximum accessibility.

Further versatility in component installation is shown in the vertical configuration of this shuttered cabinet. Built out from the wall in a corner of the room, the cabinet has the straightforward simplicity of Early American provincial furniture.

Note the pull-out drawers for filing long-playing records. The third and fourth shelves, counting from the bottom, hold tape deck and record player in slide-out drawers, and both are lighted from above. And topping it all, there's the Fisher 800-C stereo receiver. Switches built into the panel on either side of the receiver enable the user to route music to different stereo speaker pairs in various rooms throughout the house - another major benefit of component high fidelity.

With the shutters closed, the installation is as unobtrusive as a door or a window of the room.


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