Monthly Archives: October 2016

AEG Magnetophon AW-2

A very good acquaintance gave me some recorders recently. Among them was this beauty: The AEG Magnetophon AW-2.


As you can see, this recorder is from 1951 and is more than 65 years old! This particular device that I have was used in cinemas for sound reproduction. It sits in a suitcase for easy carrying around. It is quite heavy though. It uses platters and pancakes.


aufname und wiedergabe switch


on/off-volume and play/rewind switch

It is in a very reasonable condition. So far nothing seems to be broken beyond repair. My goal is to try to restore it so that it plays tapes again. I have not turned it on yet, it first needs a lot of TLC.
It appears that when used with ‘modern’ tape, this unit will nowadays produce stunning results that would exceed what would have been achieved back then.

For instance, there are three very heavy duty belts in this one motor machine. And with belt I mean like belt from a car engine. They are not in a condition to be used again, so these will have to be replaced. Also some of the electronic components, like capacitors and rectifiers are way beyond their normal operating life so they will have to go too. And then everything else that I will run into. Hopefully the tubes, there are a few, still work.

I have started to open the device up and clean it.


Immense belt


fltr: erase, r/w head capstan and pinchroller

the heads:


somewhere in this shell is the head


erase head before cleaning


oil’s well!

There are of course a lot of electrical components as well that need to be replaced. The first and foremost candidates are the capacitors, as there are certain types that don’t last for so long.

The device contains some paper-oil capacitors, like this one:


This will certainly have to be replaced before I can switch it on. I am told that ones like this will probably be ok:

The device is really beautifully made. When I ventured inside I fell in love with it more and more. But there are a few ‘minor’ issues to be resolved, like: where is this supposed to be connected?

I was told that this rectifier could go up in (probably very nasty) smoke:

So I will need to figure out how to replace it.

Fortunately I have got the electrical diagram:

Philips N4522 (twice) and another N4520: new arrivals!

I recently went on a road trip and came back with:

  • a Philips N4522 2-track. This machine is in very good condition and has recently been serviced in Germany.
  • another N4522 2-track, but this one is going to need some TLC. There are some issues with it, although none of them are serious problems. But I just like to fix it as much as possible.
  • another N4520 4 track. I already have one, but this new arrival is not recording well. This has probably something to do with the levels, but I have not looked into it yet.

So now a have a total of 4 Philips N452X machines and that looks like this:

The two on the left with the white VU meters are the 2 track stereos, and the two on the right are the 4 track stereo machines.