TIARA AUDIO SYSTEMS PRESENTS THE
TELEFUNKEN MAGNETOPHON 15A
REEL TO REEL TAPE RECORDER
The TELFUNKEN M15A - in short M15A - entered the market in 1977 as the successor of the M15. It had the already-excellent transport of the M15, but with significantly improved electronics. The M15A had probably the best audio electronics of any tape machine of the solid-state era. It was sonically transparent and had a lot of headroom. The M15A had a rather minimalistic approach to everything, in contrast to almost anything else designed in Germany at that time.
There were no separate input boards and recording circuit boards, as there were also no separate repro and output boards. The repro boards also served as the output boards and the input boards also functioned as the rec boards.
There was one rec and one repro board per channel to keep things simple. The standard version of the M15A did not come with level-adjusting knobs or any form of metering. The input and output levels were calibrated by means of trim pots, adjustable with a screwdriver, in direct relation to tape levels. There were no in-between stages. Metering was considered an unnecessary expansion of the signal path, since you were meant to meter on the mixing console, or with a dedicated peak program meter designed for broadcasting use.
The audio electronics were designed to handle signal levels up to +24 dBm, which was the proper engineering practice for all professional audio equipment, yet not always seen on equipment marketed as such.
Tape levels could be pushed to huge heights, capable of complete magnetic saturation of even the hottest tape formulations ever made to this day. The M15A was simply the exact opposite of planned obsolescence. It seemed like the engineers designing it set as their design aim that no matter what was invented over the next century, the M15A had to be capable of going a few steps further.
If you want 500 nWb/m tape, the M15A will do 5000 nWb/m. There were discussions during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s where audio engineers were complaining about tape machines that were electronics-limited in terms of how hard they could drive the tape, rather than being medium-limited. Tape levels should ideally be limited by tape saturation instead of the electronics of the tape machine clipping the signal prior to the saturation limit of the tape.
Track system: 4-track, 2-channel, stereo system
Motor: 2 x reel, 1 x capstan
Equalization: NAB, CCIR
Tape speeds: 7 1⁄2 15 ips
Wow and flutter: 0.03% (15 ips)
Frequency response: 30Hz to 16kHz (15 ips)
Signal to Noise Ratio: 65dB
Total harmonic distortion: 1%
Dimensions: 308 x 645 x 525mm
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