Telefunken M15 (magnetophon - tape machine)

Telefunken M15 is a 2-track stereo master recorder – a legendary mastering-grade tape machine from the 70s. It represents the German answer to the Studer A80.

This model was sought after in the 70s and the 80s as the go-to machine for recording mixdowns and masters. Running at 7.5 or 15IPS, it has a unique warm signature and a very interesting, lively low end. Driven just a bit hotter and consequently adding subtle harmonic distortion, it can help mixes translate better to smaller devices and achieve loudness without over-compression.

The construction of the Telefunken M15 is very simple, as it’s basic functions are all you’ll ever need. It sports transformer balanced inputs and outputs, an all-discrete transistor audio path and sought-after butterfly tape heads.

Being designed for professional use, the M15 already has an option to install a remote control panel with transport control buttons and the corresponding signaling lights. We replaced the buttons with transistor gates and wired the lights outputs to microcontroller logic inputs, to get the status feedback from the machine’s transport control circuitry. To read the tape position/end of tape, we took a photo sensor signal from one of the circuit boards and installed transparent leading tape on the beginning and the end of the reel. The whole thing is piloted by a microcomputer, connected to our internal control network via USB.

The tapemachine obviously has to be maintained more often than other available devices and its tape has to be replaced after a number of uses. That’s why the access to Telefunken M15 is a bit more costly. The nominal input level is calibrated to +6dBu and the converter inputs and outputs to +18dBu. This allows for hitting the tape hard, if so desired.

Tape width:

  • ¼ inch (6,35 mm)

Tape speeds:

  • 15 - 7.5 ips (38.1 - 19.05 cm/sec.)
  • Only 15IPS speed is available on the automated version.

Equalization:

  • CCIR

Tape Reel:

  • AEG-DIN (standard)
  • CINE (EIA) -Trident (Optional)

Reel size:

  • up to 12,5” (31,5 cm) for metal reels or plates

Input/output:

  • balanced XLR

Mechanical timer display:

  • H, Min, Sec **
  • Tape time in the app is derived from control logic’s timer and displayed digitally for convenience.

Heads:

  • original Telefunken butterfly heads

Spooling time:

  • about 110 sec. for 760 mt. of tape.

Power absorption:

  • about 230 W in Play-Rec-Rew

Recommended uses:

  • percussive material (beats, kicks, snares, …)
  • electric and bass guitars
  • whole mix thickening
  • groovy 70’ style music. Think Austin Powers.

Gear

Rack1 MasteringTelefunken Tape

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