Step back in history: the Telefunken M15A

Yesterday another dream of mine became true when I picked up this wonderful piece of german engineering history. The Telefunken M15A is one of the most popular reel-2-reel tape recorders that was built in the mid 70s for the german radio broadcasting stations. Still used today by many recording engineers and well known for it´s great sound and reliability, I will use this beauty for my recording purposes and hopefully will capture a little bit of the spirit of the last 30 years of recording technology in my tunes.

As there is already quite some information on the web about these recording “tanks”, I don´t think I need to put down all of the technical informations and specifications. Nevertheless if you need some hints or tips don´t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to share my experiences.

Here are some more pictures of my new Telefunken M15 A:

Author: Mark

Hell Yeah!

9 thoughts on “Step back in history: the Telefunken M15A”

  1. What’s the difference between a m-15 and m15a? What is a better option to choose?

  2. Hi Parker, yes there are some differences: the m15 is the previous version, without a digital time display, and also with different motors inside. But the main difference is probably the fact that the m15 is built completely without ICs, it has discrete circuits. The m15a is newer (it was built from 1975 on as far as I know), and has more modern amps and electricity… some say they sound different, both really great. but different….

  3. I also have a Telefunken M15. This one winds and rewinds tapes but won’t play them when hitting the playbutton. Of course the local /remote setting is in the local position.
    Can you give me a clue?

  4. hard to tell from that point of view… it might have something to do with these several transport wheels, there are various inside for play / rec / ffwd / rewind… have you cleaned it all up already? might be just something tiny..

    you should maybe contact someone in the tapemaschine-forum: there is also a telefunken-section, and if you ask kindly they also try to help in english, even though its a german forum;
    and there’s always the chief technican (also on the forum): Erich Schleicher. he knows all about these maschines…

  5. the handbook in Germany that I can’t read, do you know how to switch CCIR and NAB? it mark MONO and STEREO with CCIR and NAB in the same switching and when calibrate what is the meaning of P and T and HI and HII also color of those letter in red and blue ?
    regard tony ma

  6. Hi Parker,
    I own a M15A and have a remote control for this machine (Or M15, I am not sure about that) but no schematics how to connect this remote to the machine. Can anyone out there help me out. De remote has the Tuchel multiconnector but the machine has a DIN 3 row flat connector.
    Thanks for your response!

  7. Hi Simon,
    as far as I can tell the remote is not connected to the tuchel or XLR connectors, there should be another connector for it. but as I dont own the remote I cant tell for sure… maybe you ask here:
    although its a studer revox portal, there are quite some telefunken-geeks around who know a lot about the M15(a)…
    hope this helps,

  8. Hi, your M15A is nice; interesting to know is its serial number? Mine is sn. 5755, AEG Magnetophon M15A, counter shows near 16500 and it runs and sounds great to me. Calibrated to SM468 tape. Interesting is to know how do you clean heads and the pinch roller; do you use pure isopropyl alcohol for the heads, but a non alcohol cleaning for the roller?
    And do you demagnetize? How often, and which demagnetizer model with?
    Thank you;
    With kind regards,

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