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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Tefifon

When it came to tape machines, the German made Tefifon  was one odd duck.....

....That's because it was no ordinary tape machine.

The Tefifon (or Tefi) used perhaps the very first example of an endless loop, like an 8-Track. But no magnetic tape. Instead, it used grooves in the tape, like a vinyl record.

Unlike the 8-Track, most Tefifon tapes are still playable after all these years. The Tefi machine was invented in the 1930s and refined before becoming available in Germany (and it's US export brand, Westrex.) from 1952-1964

The thin grooved tape had the same fidelity as an Evatone sound sheet. Each Tefi tape could play for sixty minutes up to four hours.

Each recording began with 40 seconds of fanfare. This was for the listener to adjust their sound equipment for the best fidelity and insure stable tracking of the stylus and groove.

Here's a full Tefi recording. Their repertoire was mostly of unknown German acts.

More on the Tefi machine and tapes.

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