What is stereo?

There are now two system of high fidelity, monophonic (monaural) and stereophonic. Monophonic is a system that starts from one microphone and is fed through a single high fidelity set. Stereophonic is a double system. Two separate microphones are placed at different sides of the orchestra and two different systems are used to keep the two signals or channels separated. Two separate speakers are used, placed on different sides of you room. Stereo is much like 3-D photography, two slightly different sound reach your ears giving you a new dimension in sound.

H.H. Scott '59

Yamaha K-550

 Natural Sound Stereo Cassette Deck
Yamaha Low-Impedance Pure Sendust Rec/Play Head
Unique, High-Performance Two-Motor Transport
Metal Tape Compatibility
Direct Tape-Loading with Flip-Up Mechanism Cover
Direct Mode-to-Mode Switching and Full Auto Shutoff
Several specialized technologies in which Yamaha offers the highest degree of expertise, in combination with absolute mechanical precision attainable only through painstaking research and design.
Naturally, the K-550 also offers plently of convenience and control features to  make high-fidelity cassette recording and listening easy and enjoyable - you can even add an optional remote control unit for easy-chair transport control comfort.
With the Yamaha K-550 you're assured of unparalleled sound reproduction quality, unfaltering reliability and extended durability based on uncompromising engineering precision plus a total dedication to providing only the most natural, accurate music reproduction.

Advanced Head Design
Pure Sendust - Pure Sound
Yamaha's extensive research into the effects of various head materials on record/playback characteristics has revealed that the properities of Sendust, widely accepted as one of the most ideal materials for tape reproduction heads, improve markedly as its purity increases. Armed with this information, Yamaha engineers then went on to develop a special process for producing extremely pure Sendust.
The resulting high-vacuum centrifugal casting technique permits production of Sendust ingots that are more than 99,999999% pure, and which, after being machined into tape head cores, provide the following advantages.
 Higher permeability for increased sensitivity, improved recording and playback efficiency.
High maximum flux density for excellent linearity even with large signal current.
Reduced magnetic distortion and noise for maximum signal-to-noise ratio.
High Curle temperature for improved stability over extended periods under a wide range of temperatures.
Exceptional wear resistance and freedom from dust accumulation for minimized dropouts and modulation noise.

Unique Low-Impedance Design
The number of coil windings used in the K-550 reproduction head has been reduced to half that of conventional designs. The results of this seemingly simple design feature include dramatically reduced ringing on sharp wavefronts for improved transient response, improved linearity for reduced high-frequency distortion, wider dynamic range for more natural reproduction and improved channel separation for more precise stereo imaging - all vital factors for true high-fidelity sound.

Full Metal Tape Compatibility
High-performance metal cassette tape formulations have become widely accepted as providing sound performance rivalling that of open reel tape, and even discs.
Unless the cassette deck's heads and electronics are designed to provide precise matching with the tape's characteristics, however, the superb reproduction capabilities of metal tape will not be fully realized. The K-550's low-impedance pure Sendust head, high-current double-gap ferrite erase head and reproduction electronics are all critically balanced for ideal performance with metal, CrO₂ and normal tape formulations. Whichever tape you use, you're guaranteed to get the highest reproduction performance it can provide.
 One-Touch Recording
Unlike conventional cassette decks, the K-550 has no pause control. The pause mode is entered automatically when you push the record button. Then, pushing the Forward button initiates transport motion. You can return to the pause mode again at any time by pushing Record. This makes for simpler, miss-free transport operation.

Dolby Noise Reduction
This renowned noise reduction system from Dolby Laboratories can considerably improve the signal-to-noise ratio of your recordings. High-frequency hiss is reduced by more than 9 dB on signals 5 kHz and higher, for low noise even in low-level passages. An MPX filter is automatically switched on when the Dolby circuit is activated, to prevent interference by the 19 kHz pilot signal when making FM recordings.

Peak-Level Meters
These fast-acting meters make accurate setting of record levels easy, for perfect results every time you record. A green LED lights to show peaks =3 dB and above, while a red LED shows peaks =8 dB and above.

Full Logic Transport Control with Remote Control Option
All transport functions are fully logic controlled, ensuring sure, error-free transport operation. You can switch directly from one transport mode to another without fear of damaging the tape or transport, and response to commands is exceptionally fast, making critical record timing easy.

Other Features
Record mute function facilitates compilation of a professional-quality music library.
Hall-element auto shutoff mechanism stops the transport safely at tape end.
Independent tape selectors offer one-touch selection of normal, CrO₂ or metal tape bias/EQ.
Timer recording function permits timer activated recording.
Universal headphone output jack permits use of virtually any impedance headphones with no loss in sound quality.
Track Configuration:  4-track, 2-channel stereo
Motor:  DC servo motor (capstan); flat torque DC motor (reel)
Low impedance pure Sendust rec/playback head;
Double-gap ferrite erase head.
Tape Speed:  4,75 cm/sec ±1%
Rapid Transport (F.Fwd/Rew):  75 sec. (C-60)
Wow and Flutter:
WRMS :  0,04%
DIN 45500 :  0,15%
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Dolby Off):
CrO₂ Tape :  better than 60 dB
Frequency Response (-20 VU):
LH Tape :  40 - 16,000 Hz  ±3db
CrO₂ Tape :  40 - 18,000 Hz ±3 dB
Metal Tape :  40 - 20,000 Hz ±3 dB
Overal Distortion:
LH Tape :  less than 1,0%
CrO₂ Tape :  less than 1,5%
Metal tape :  less than 1,0%
Input Sensitivity/Impedance:
Mic :  0,3 mV/5 k Ω
Line :  60 mV/80 k Ω
Output Level:
Line :  340 mV/ 1 kohm
Phones :  0,6 mV/8 Ω; 3 mW/150 Ω
Power Supply:  120 V AC, 60 Hz
Power Consumption:  23 W
Dimensions (W x H x D):  451 x 129 x 294 mm (17-3/4" x 5" x 11-1/2")

Weight:  5,7 kg (12 lb 9 oz)

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