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Reflectograph manual

The original company logo used during the mid 1950s



Reflectograph logo

The later Multimusic version after the buyout in 1958


Relfectograph 100

Reflectograph RR100 series Wireless World Advert 1955 for download here




Reflectograph - Rudman Darlington

From can openers to professional tape recorders

Yes this is absolutely true, the firm was founded it is thought in the early post war years initially making tin can openers, camping equipment and bottle making machinery. The company was founded by Jack Rudman and Thomas Darlington and was based at the Clyde Works, Lichfield Road, Wednesfield Staffs. The factory is believed to have been in an old Victorian building now thought to be demolished. It is a matter for speculation as to how the firm got involved in the design and manufacture of a professional tape recorder, and could be as a result of a personal interest by one or both of the founders.

The firm set up Rudman Darlington Electronics Ltd and had by late 1952, produced their first Reflectograph model. (The early machines ran with the opposite track sense as was not un typical of the period. Later machines adopted the standard tape direction and track sense). This appears to have been co-designed with Dr James Cunningham Sands an engineer who was to feature almost throughout the history of the Reflectograph and the later buyouts by other concerns. It is possible that he was initially bought in on a consultancy basis. The unique deck that featured on all the early models was built to a very high standard and was certainly in the same league as Ferrograph in terms of quality and performance. the deck and some of the parts such as the retractable head pad arms were die cast, also known as "Mazak" which over time, could become brittle. It is thought the castings were made by a local firm.

The one feature that stood out was the Vernier speed control that was fitted to later decks allowing the user to accurately set the speed anywhere between 3 and 8 ips this facility appeared fairly early on. equalisation was to CCIR at 7.5 ips. (There does not appear to have been any high speed versions IE: 15ips). The reason given by the firm for this feature was to overcome the fluctuations in the UK mains supply at the time, although other firms seem to have got around this with feeding the deck motors from the mains transformer in auto fashion to the later use of synchronous hysterisis motors. The variable speed facility persisted until the demise of the original design of the deck in the very early 1960s. Early decks were in a cream stoved enamel or a hammered, grey paint finish. The deck does appear to have been made available to the home constructor although it does not appear to have been a popular choice. Commercially though, at least one company, Specto Ltd incorporated the deck into one of their own early tape recorder designs.



Reflectograph RR100

Reflectograph RR 102

The Reflectograph RR (Record / Reproducer) Series 100 from 1955 was a very early hybrid design featuring both valves and transistors. In this model, no power output stage was fitted just separate record (valve) and replay (transistor) channels. On playback, only the deck was powered with all the other circuits switched out. The transistorised replay amp ran on a small dry battery taking full advantage of low noise and hum. A plug in module, known as the Model "T" was available to industrial users for the recording of specialised signals. The machines' cabinet was not dissimilar in appearance to the Ferrograph although the later ones took on a completely different look. Have you ever come across one of these machines?

The Reflectograph RR 102 industrial version originally released in late 1956 was used by the BBC amongst others. These new series of machines adopted the brick system which was a modular amplifier that could be incorporated into different configurations, it also made for ease of servicing. As the BBC was a user of the RR102, particularly in the Radiophonics workshop under Daphne Oram, there were definitely some in existence. I have not personally ever seen one so if you have an RR102 that you do not want please let me know.
Reflectograph RR102 Home Model

The Domestic "Home Model" RR102 available in Olive Green or Black, Rexene covered cloth cabinet.