ScuzzBlog: Diaries May 2021

Entry 12th May 2021: Post 1: ITT SL 59 - What a DIN.

ITT SL 59 - What a DIN.

Set out on a challenge to see if I could find a 5 pin DIN for my
ITT SL 59 for use with my Toshiba MSX but failed. Just out of
interest DIN stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung [DIN].

I had already cleaned and checked the ITT fully before searching
for the connector so I decided to take a few pics.

OK time to grab some popcorn as I reminisce about my Birmingham
blues and recall the era of the cassette and tape deck ....

It was 1976 and I spent a good time playing my guitar and making
music, much to the annoyance of most that lived in proximity of
be bedroom. I decided to buy a new cassette recorder as my 1972
PrinzSound was slowly falling apart. Enter the ITT SL 54. This
was not the one featured. When I left home in 1984 to travel
south from the Midlands I left all my kit in my bedroom including
the ITT and my SONY Reel-to-Reel. All of this was moved to my
sisters house where it sits in store awaiting my collection.

The ITT SL 54, SL 58 and SL 59 are pretty much identical with
only cosmetic changes to button features and cassette ejection.

During this time I was training as an architectural technician
at Walsall Architects. I befriended a very attractive young
architect named Jackie Wall who became a close colleague and who
was instrumental in guiding me to Birmingham School of Architecture
to train as a fully qualified architect.

Jackie was pals and drinking friends with Jeff Lynne of ELO and
Justin Haywood of the Moody Blues. As a favour to me she recorded
her vinyl albums of ELO, Blue Jays and Street Legal by Bob Dylan
to chrome SONY tapes which I tested today. You can listen to the
DIN from the link below. It really is amazing that tape machines
like these were used for playing music with no tone or bass control,
with built in speakers and no stereo. It really never bothered me.

ELO composed a track called Birmingham Blues which refers to my
home city in the Midlands ' Industrial Revolution put it on its
feet '. You can see Jeff unite with Bob Dylan with the Traveling
Wilburys. Sadly three members are now dead, Tom Petty, George
Harrison and Roy Orbison. I also taped over Street Legal with a
copy of the Radio 1 Robbie Vincent show in the day which was also
further erased by Paul Gambaccini. As you do.

I did see Moody Blues in concert at the NEC in Birmingham in the
mid seventies and can say it was a truly dreary night. Back in
1972 I purchased the 45 record.. I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and
Roll Band, which was the only Moody Blues record I have ever got.
In the day you would stick your name on records as they often
travelled with you to disco's and the DJ would play them.

Whilst the original ITT and Reel-to-Reel are stored at my sisters,
the Realistic amp from Tandy sits lurking in the Workshop under
an Amiga 4000. She does work very well and is bloody powerful.

I gotta say I was buying cassette tape albums for a good part of
the 1990s and still have a plethora of devices that can play tapes.
I find that CD players have some quite dreadful issues with the
skipping of disks and dust to heads. Tapes on the other hand
just keep on ploughing through the music. The tape I demonstrate
is from 1976 and you can actually hear the click of the vinyl
record on the tape. I can play vinyl albums but have no player
that can handle 45s, so I have no way of playing the single.

As ever I advise everyone to look after their kit and it will
last a lifetime. Listening to the Traveling Wilburys it is sad
to reflect on the poignant words from the song .. 'End of the line'.

Click for End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys

Click for some Birmingham Blues

ITT SL 59 - What a DIN.

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Last updated 12th May 2021

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