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« 1950s Jukebox Wall-O-Matic MP3 Player | Main | Why I provide sample clips »
Monday
May042015

Answering a few Tefifon Questions


No one asked for it...so here it is, another video about the Tefifon - that obscure vintage piece of German HiFi from the 1950s.

OK, in truth I've a couple of new items to show, some things I want to elaborate on and you'll also get to hear a sample of Tefi music recorded directly (over a cable) from the Tefifon.

If you want your own Tefi ringtone you can download my MP3s here - CHIMES   HORNS 

Previous Tefi article & video here

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Reader Comments (27)

What a strange but fasinating piece of kit.
Never seen anything like this before.
A four hour tape?! When records of the period lasted a few minutes?
It must have seemed like ground breaking stuff at the time.
Sounds quite good too, considering its age

Thanks for sharing it
Darren, Wigan

May 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDarren, Wigan

Love the Tefifon videos. One thing that has baffled me is how they could mass produce the Tefis. After a quich Google, I found this

http://www.radiomuseum.org/forum/tefi_cassettes_how_were_they_produced.html

The process is as amazing as the playback machine.

May 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCorky Mork

Fascinating ! Thanks for another great video !

May 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTimG

I have found someone selling more Tefi tapes on the supplied Ebay link, if this is of any interest to you?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/15-TEFI-tapes-/171771874154?

May 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Morton-Grant

Thanks for the link, but I think I've got enough Tefi Carts for the moment. All the things I've shown came from eBay, there's always plenty of items on offer when I do a search for "Tefi" and choose European or International.

May 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you very much for your video. It was very interesting.

I tried to download the WAV samples, but I can't open the files in any of my audio programs.

Could it be because I'm on Windows?

May 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

Perhaps try the MP3s pretty much every device on the planet can play an MP3

May 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I did download the mp3s, and they work fine, but I also wanted to listen to the lossless ones

Are you able to open the files from the archive?

Thank you anyway, if it's just my problem don't bother doing anything... I'll find a way.

May 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

The WAVs are just the MP3s converted to WAV. The original files were stripped from a MP4 video file to M4As then converted to MP3s. They were only uploaded to be used as ringtones.

May 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Ah, ok. Nevermind then.

May 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

Hi Mat,

Fantastic video, as always. Just one question though - what's the name of the track you played to end the video?

Many thanks,

Jonathan

May 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Hi there!

Long time lurker, first time poster! ;)

Could you post the name of the track you played in full from the Tefi? I know we can see the listing, but I dont think we can tell which track it was.

Many thanks for this, and the web site in general. very useful and entertaining. :)

May 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterInspector Gadget

I apologise, it's been answered a few times under the video on YouTube, but I forgot to repost the info here.
The only information I have about the track is that it is described as "Cuba Baion" on the label. No one seems able to find anything else about it. There are two good things about this, 1) I won't get the video taken down for a copyrighted content match. 2) I may have introduced a lot of people to a classic recording that would otherwise have been forgotten.

May 10, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I consistently watch your audio related videos and I really find your videos quite interesting. I'm not sure how much of a gamer you are, but the song played in full in this video is actually extremely similar and was probably repurposed as the theme in most Zelda games that starts upon entering any of the healing caves. #funfact. I really do enjoy these types of videos and can't wait for the next in the series!

June 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDoyle

Darren:

A four hour tape?! When records of the period lasted a few minutes?

Consider that at least some of the recordings were classical music, recordings of which are generally much longer than "a few minutes".

My first guess was that the Tefifon tape capacity was determined by the length of the operas of the Ring Cycle, just as apocryphally the capacity of the Compact Disc was determined by the length of a certain recording of Beethoven's 9th, but in fact only Das Rheingold is short enough to be certain to fit on a 4 hour tape!

February 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

Dear Techmoan,

I watched the follow-up video with interest. However, the Tefifon-playing sound you record with your camera microphone sounds much fuller and bass-full (eg: https://youtu.be/9tTURrAWVYE?t=4m40s) than the direct RCA→computer recording (https://youtu.be/9tTURrAWVYE?t=7m21s).

I was intrigued that a mechanical recording medium such as the Tefi cartridge didn’t use some form of equalisation akin to the RIAA (or TELEDECA, etc.) for proper playback. In all likelihood it did use some profile, even if not the RIAA one. On a hunch, I applied an RIAA equalisation profile to Cuba Baion, et voilà ! Deep, bass-rich, full sound! Even though Tefifon doesn’t seem to require a phono preamp (or has one built in), the audio outputs at least do seem to need equalisation. Please look into it!

March 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGaspard

When the copyright period expires (in a few years?), would you mind ripping those classical tefis? They seem like interesting recordings!

March 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I wouldn't worry too much about the contents of my handful of Tefi carts - when there's people with collections like this http://www.ebay.de/itm/Sammlungs-Auflosung-Tefifon-Bandern-/231852796666

March 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Dear Sir,

I watched your videos of Tefifon they were just fabulous and as a result I also got fascinated in buying one of this great piece.
Purchased one from ebay German site, alas! it arrived in a broken state, my goodness! But somehow I'm very lucky that I got it repaired by my own and now it's on the table playing oper und operette a German cartridge which came along with it.
My one doesn't sound like yours as because it's tone arm suffered quite a lot during travel from far end of Germany to India
Can the tone cartridge be replace with a new one? How do I get one ?

March 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBillie

It's a shame that your machine got damaged in transit. Unfortunately it happens quite a lot with international parcels...I had a couple of things turn up in pieces last week. I don't really know anything about replacing the Tefi cartridge. It looks like the following link is supposed to be a replacement needle/stylus though. http://ebay.co.uk/itm/380684638562

March 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey there -- just wanted to confirm that the WAV files are indeed empty. Unable to play them with multiple different players -- opening the WAV in Audacity just reveals a weird buzzing noise.

April 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Hey hey hello Mary Lou! Please send me that song. I really enjoyed learning about the Tefifon and would love to play that song whenever.

Best Regards,
Special Monkey

April 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSpecial Monkey

The WAV files don't work. I have downloaded them twice and they come out with no audio.

November 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRage Italic

They do - I've just re-downloaded them and they work fine.

November 6, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Great video and awesome piece of technology.

One thing that stuck out was (when I was reading the printed text on some of the Tefi's you showed) was that these might have come with a sort of magazine (Tefi-Illu: Illustrierte in German means magazine) that had more information about the cartridge and the music recorded. I wonder whether you can find a copy of the magazines that go along with the cartridges you own :)

March 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOnur

WAVs are broken. Won't play in any player including VLC.

May 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteral_day

OK - I've deleted the link, thanks.

May 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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