The acquisition of my Technics 1506 is a bit unusual. Originally, I purchased a Technics 1500, which had the capability of recording in 2-track mode but playing in 2- and 4-track modes. I purchased the unit from a renowned gentleman, Ken Fritz, living in the Richmond area who had built a stunning sound room in his home, which had been carefully planned and executed over a number of years. The end result was breathtaking. The sonics of the room, and the equipment that produced it were the stuff of legends. Written up in multiple audio magazines, and studied by audio professionals and enthusiasts the world over, this fellow had recently been dealt a severe blow. He was diagnosed with ALS, which he knew would eventually render him unable to live the life he was accustomed to. He made the decision to begin thinning out his years of equipment acquisitions. One of those items was a Technics 1500 – a deck I had lusted for, for quite some time.
I made the call and set up time to ride to Richmond (about 2 hours from me), and meet this famous engineer and look at the deck he was offering for sale. I spent a good amount of time with him, looking at and listening to his masterpiece and enjoying the story of how this amazing room came to be. The purchase of the deck was only a small part of a much longer and enjoyable afternoon. For more detail on this gentleman’s work, a news story from 2021 can be seen here.
When I got the deck home, I could tell it had not seen any care in a while and had some issues. I made a call to a buddy on a FaceBook group I belong to, who was well known for his work on these decks. The reel-to-reel world deemed him the “King of the Technics” repair and restoration. After multiple conversations, we decided to actually do something a bit unusual. I would send him my 1500, which is a deck he prefers over a 1506, and he would keep my 1500 and send me a 1506 he had recapped and restored. My deck, along with a small bit of cash, and I would have the actual deck that suited my purposes better, and he would have the deck he most preferred. So, while I purchased a 1500, I ended up with a 1506 in the end – a deck that would play/record 4-track and play 2-track tapes.
Here’s a video shot in January, 2023 of the 1506 in operation. The music selection is Burt Bacharach’s “Paper Mache” performed by Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra.