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Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM, by Kari Taylor, senior associate editor

Do you remember?

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Around 1964 Ampex began manufacturing the Disc Spot recorder. The device used magnetic discs instead of tape for recording and reproducing sound. The disc was inserted into a slot at the front of the machine and was automatically centered and cued for recording or playback. The record/reproduce head was mounted on a carrier that moved in a straight line across the rotating disc from the outer edge toward the center, mimicking a phonograph.

Playing time of the magnetic disc was three minutes, while maximum cue time was five seconds.

That was then

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This photo accompanied an article about planning a new FM stereo station that was published in Broadcast Engineering magazine in December 1962. The picture shows the studio at KMUZ in Santa Barbara, CA. The console enclosure was a one-piece unit fabricated by a local cabinet shop. The audio console was a Collins 212-E dual channel with a full complement of preamplifiers, dual limiters and a monitor. It fed the left channel when any key was in the up position, and the right channel when any key was down.

The small control panel to the left of the console provided switching to turn the clock control on/off and to start/stop the main automation tape decks.

The reel-to-reel recorder was wired to record from the console output, the studio or control-board microphone and special interviews from the telephone.

Mounted in the rack below the tape deck is a monitor amplifier, a silence sense deck and a 25Hz generator for cuing the recorded tapes.

Sample and Hold

What consumer electronics item are you most likely to give as a gift this holiday season?

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Source: 13th Annual CEA Holiday Purchase Patterns, 2006, Consumer Electronics Association.