THE SCHAUB LORENZ MUSIC CENTER


  Devised, researched
 and written
  by
  Peter King Smith BSc

                                                         The mid-1960s, German-built multi-track tape recorder with FM/AM/SW radio

Hi-tech, Hi-failure


High failure rate
Failure rate never better than 90% within 3 months.
According to Mike Solomons, the failure rate of these music centers was "never better than about 90%, on or within three months of delivery".

Leading-edge technology
These music centers represented "leading-edge technology at the time", he says. Once these music centers had turned out to be a failure, Schaub-Lorenz must have regarded the sending of their engineer (Schaub engineer visits Henson's) as a "damage limitation exercise", and so the manufacturer had "no incentive to research all the defects" in their machines.

Design faults

Mike, an expert audio and hi-fi repairer, found "a number of design faults" in these Schaub-Lorenz machines whilst repairing them back in the 1970s. Slowly but surely, however, he managed to work out appropriate solutions for all the faults. Although he still has and uses the original three-language service manual [1] that was given to him by the visiting Schaub engineer, the manual did not provide any workarounds for the faults that he came across during repair work. When the manual was published, Schaub-Lorenz had "clearly not yet identified any faults", Mike says.


Well-thought-out device

Despite all its faults, and the fact that the machine is, by modern standards "very early technology", Mike Solomons still regards the Schaub-Lorenz Music Center to be "a very well-thought-out device" and "a fascinating piece of equipment", when it works!



Footnote

1. German, English and French