Tracker

1975

Reel-To-Reel

Their next venture led to a long-lasting relationship with the BBC. Terry had used his experiences from working on the Decca cassette tape winding machines, which had very sophisticated motor control, to build a small number of bespoke ¼ inch reel-to-reel tape machines.

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The Teknik SM2 Reel-To-Reel Tape Machine

A production version called the Teknik SM2 followed which allowed them to successfully compete against established names such as Studer and Leevers-Rich due to its advanced DC-controlled capstan motors, selling thirty machines to the BBC and a further ten to UK independent television broadcaster Thames Television.

This success however proved to be a distraction from the rapidly growing graphic equaliser business, and the Clarke brothers decided to sell the design and manufacturing rights for the SM2 to Leevers-Rich, who had lost out on the BBC order and were only too keen to pick up the work of building the thirty machines that that been ordered, with Terry working at their factory in south London to help them fulfill the order. Leevers-Rich went on to sell their version of the SM2 under the name Proline 2000.

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The Teknik SM2 Reel-To-Reel Tape Machine

This early success with the Teknik SM2 is commemorated to this day in the brand’s logo as a stylised tape reel.

In October 1975, a new company was formed, acquiring the audio side of “Klark-Teknik Limited”, and the garage forecourt business changed its name to Kidderminster Garage Equipment Limited and later in 1982 was sold to its then manager.

In 1976 a further development in signal processing was launched; the Teknik-27s, a 27-band graphic equaliser. The very first batches were almost totally handmade (like their predecessors) including a chassis made from aluminium sheet and a rotary level control which was milled and turned on a lathe by hand. The internal wiring looms to the faders were complex and testing involved an interactive adjustment of every filter making the product very expensive to produce.