THE PRESTO HISTORY PAGE
PORTABLE RECORDERS

THE PRESTO 6 SERIES RECORDERS


The model E and 16X.  The E stood for "with     The "Original" PRESTO recorder, the 6D.  This
electronics", and the 16X, or model 16 was a      particular model was introduced sometime in the early
16" chassis only.  This was one of the first            years of the company, perhaps as early as 1934.
units made by PRESTO, and evolved to the         There were several modifications in it's history.  $400.
6 series.
 

The 6N recorder replaced the 6D in May of        This is a 6N mounted in a Gates console.  Many
1941.  The 6N was the most popular of the         suppliers of broadcast equipment used the 6N
PRESTO line because of it's price.  It was           as a basis for selling added modifications and
installed in more radio stations and independent    there own additional equipment, especially in
producers than any other recorder.  Many are      "turn key" radio installations.  Until the advent of
still in use, and is very sought after on the used      tape  recorders, the 6N was used extensively for
market.  Prewar price was $455.  In 1950           delayed broadcasts.
it was priced at $735.  The 6N was an important
improvement over the 6D, especially the hand
crank for lead in and run out grooves.
 

THE MODEL K SERIES

K-6     78 rpm only.                                          K-8, circa 1941.  2 speed, Pre-war price was $275.
                                                                        In 1946 it was $297.

The "K" series was a very popular unit in the PRESTO catalog.  It changed very little, especially in the basic design of the electronics, which used a pair of 45's in push pull output.  The unit had an output of 10 watts.  Major changes were from 78 only in the K6, to 2 speed, and then a 45 speed adapter for the model K10.
There was an adapter with a second turntable and shaft which would stand on top of the K turntable, and with a second playback arm on a pedestal, would enable duplicate records to be made.  This locked the turntables together, and no wow was introduced as the speed was locked together.  The K series remained in the catalog from about 1936 to the demise of the company.

 
The K10 - 2 speed, microgroove, 112 & 225    The last model, K11 - released in 1956, has 3
lpi, with advance ball.  Introduced in 1951,         speeds, and used the newest turntable.  This is the
priced at $348.                                                   first departure from the earlier "K" look.
                                                                          The price was listed at $445 in 1956.

OTHER MODELS

<>    
The J5 or "Junior" model.  This is a very early    The model D "Compact".  This was a 12" turntable
home type of recorder.  This model was 78       model, with an overhead drive mechanism.  It was
only.  It had a pair of 45's as push pull               complete with electronics, and apparently was in the
output, and the basic design was very similar     catalog for only a short period of time.  This model is
to the K model, only smaller in physical size.      circa 1936.
This was one of PRESTO's early models,
introduced in 1935 or so. This particular set
has a 1937 date.  The large "pin" sticking out
the front of the record head was for a large
weight, and when the needle is changed to an
"embossing" needle, it would "emboss" on a
soft copper blank instead of cutting a groove
in an acetate blank.


Model M (Portable??)  This is a uique model, consisting of 2 J5 turntables and an amplifier with
two mike inputs and ability to switch to either cutter for continuous recording.  There were also
versions of this model made for the Goverment and Police agencies which consisted of some
models running at 12 rpm and 16 rpm for long recording  time (as vs 78 rpm.)
These  were used mostly in recording interviews, telephone conversations, survelience, and so on.
Some models had automatic relays for starting the next record when the side was full -
the operator just had to change blanks and re-set the recording head. This was an ideal recorder for
small studios which did on location recording.  This model is dated abut 1935 or 1936.  The model M
was in the catalog for a short period of time.

     
The model 75A.  This was PRESTO's economy       A modified 8D lathe.  It has variable groove
model 16" recorder.  The pre 1941 price was          and vacuum hold down table, and swarf
listed as $424. This model was also supplied with     removal system.  A hot stylus was also added.
an 8 ohm cutter head, and offered as a unit for          The access door had been replaced, and
installation in custom home systems.                          contain the lpi indicator meter, and the hot
                                                                                stylus heat meter, along with associated
                                                                                controls.

Go to  NEXT PAGE    (Amplifier Equipment)

Go to  LARGE RECORDERS

Go to  FACTORY PICTURES AND LITEREATURE REPRINTS

Go to  TAPE RECORDERS

Goto  TOP