Roberts reel to reel decks?

TigerTEAC

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Dec 12, 2018
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Dadeville, Alabama
#1
Hey everyone,
I just bought a 1965? Roberts 997 tube reel to reel deck off eBay a few weeks back, and am loving it! I had a few questions on it. Who made these decks? If I remember correctly, they were the American subsiduary of Akai, a Japanese company. Akai has had some bad reputation for poor quality, simply built machines, but this one I really like. No problems with it. I also have an Akai 1720L solid state deck I really like, it's a good home stereo deck. I use it for listening to prerecorded tapes on my home stereo, and I have a Roberts 1725 (my first tape deck,) which was an absolute nightmare. This one has really great sounding heads and tube amps in it, etc. The cross field heads really made a difference. Here's a live video of me playing a song on the machine on Facebook: Thanks.
Ryan
 

orange

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#2
Roberts was the distributor for Akai for some time IIRC and as such their decks were much the same except for the badging. Roberts was also related to Rheem and Califone of I'm not mistaken as well.

Yes, Rheem, the furnace maker and Califone who made the audiovisual gear for your elementary school (i.e. the record players you heard the discs for filmstrips BEEP on) and those banks of headphones and mono cassette players as well. My Califone phonograph was STEREO with the other speaker in the lid and the speed could be adjusted like home gear as well IIRC again.
 

TigerTEAC

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#5
Roberts was the distributor for Akai for some time IIRC and as such their decks were much the same except for the badging. Roberts was also related to Rheem and Califone of I'm not mistaken as well.

Yes, Rheem, the furnace maker and Califone who made the audiovisual gear for your elementary school (i.e. the record players you heard the discs for filmstrips BEEP on) and those banks of headphones and mono cassette players as well. My Califone phonograph was STEREO with the other speaker in the lid and the speed could be adjusted like home gear as well IIRC again.
Huh! Rheem was (and still is) an air conditioning maker. My Roberts 1725 has a Rheem logo on it, interesting.
 

orange

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#7
Huh! Rheem was (and still is) an air conditioning maker. My Roberts 1725 has a Rheem logo on it, interesting.
That's because they were co-owned, and they started out making steel drums for the petroleum industry (one of the founders came from Standard Oil). branched out into water heaters (they introduced glass lining that greatly impoved the life of water heaters), bought Ruud in 1959 and innovated in AC units and in the 1970s heat pumps etc.

Rheem Califone is the name of the former division that produced Califone and Roberts products (Roberts are rebadged Akais).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheem
 

TigerTEAC

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#8
That's because they were co-owned, and they started out making steel drums for the petroleum industry (one of the founders came from Standard Oil). branched out into water heaters (they introduced glass lining that greatly impoved the life of water heaters), bought Ruud in 1959 and innovated in AC units and in the 1970s heat pumps etc.

Rheem Califone is the name of the former division that produced Califone and Roberts products (Roberts are rebadged Akais).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheem
My goodness! Rheem has had quite the history!
 

Bradrock

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#9
I had friends who worked at a Rheem barrel plant just a couple miles from my folks house at Belleville Mi.
Late sixties/early seventies. 20-30 miles from Detroit ( I forget).
 
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