Hidden behind these almost unknown names are stereo-amplifiers that are attractive to all design collectors, like CSV 13 and CSV 60, the record players of the PCS-5 series, the CET 15 and CE 16 tuner and the loudspeaker boxes L 46, L 60, L 80 and LE 1.
The first HiFi systems were produced in 1961; at that time they belonged in the rare category of music systems on the German market, which met high fidelity demands. Braun was the most important forerunner for HiFi. Good prospectusses and exclusive brochures explained high fidelity and the high technical display of Braun studio system to the persons interested.
The brochures were entitled 'Stereo High Fidelity, Einführung und Anleitung' (introduction and instruction). Six issues were published which gave a good picture of the development of Braun HiFi systems. The first issue was published in 1962, the last in 1966. Every collector knows that they are much-wanted rarities. In issue No. 1 of these publications on page 24 a good idea of the system groups is given:
Music system 'Studio 46' PCS 5, existing radio-set with diode-exit, CSV 13, 2 XL 46 Music system 'Studio 60' PCS 5, CET 15, CSV 13, 2 x L 60 Music system, 'Studio 80' PCS 5, CET 15, CSV 60, 2 x L 80 Music system, 'Studio E' PCS 52, CET 15, CSV 60, 2 x LE 1.
Naturally, together with further development of HiFi systems there were changes within the music-system range. This may easily be recognised from the a.m. brochures.
Simple casing-construction made of single metal sheets and aluminium front parts. The parts are held together by visible screws, which are integrated in the design. All controls are arranged on one level according to valency. The buttons are cylindric. The region-switch and the frequency-switch are in the form of an arrow. The ventilator-slits are arranged in a line.
The set-frontside consists of eloxated aluminium plates. The metal-sheet system body has a light grey matt lacquer covering. The buttons in a medium grey tone have been carefully checked against the casing-colour, and the wooden body of the PCS 5 as well as the wooden loudspeaker casing are covered by the light grey matt lacquer. Their tone of colour varies slightly. All construction materials, whether metal or wood, obtain a neutral appearance by equal lacquering.
All sets have equal resp. basic measurements, which add to equal dimensions. Width 40 cm, height 10 cm, depth 32 cm, and width 20 cm, height 10 cm, depth 32 cm plus plexiglass lid for the PCS 5: height 20.5 cm.
By the very simple, sharp rectangular construction of the casing and the emphasised cool colouring the viewer experiences the effect and charm of abstraction in the design of a technical product which is in accordance with the former Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm.
HiFi Stereo Record Players
For smooth operation, the PCS 5 record player is provided with a high and heavy turntable, a detailed, well-styled, technically well-solved sound-arm construction as well as lever and switches which are arranged in a clear functional order. All is covered by a light, almost 'levitating' plexiglass lid, because it is open to both sides. The corpus is light grey or graphite-coloured. The PCS 5 with the Shure-System M 33 formerly cost DM 596.-.
lt was also possible to fit sound arms of higher capacity; Braun offered three different versions for selection. The Shure Stereo Dynetic pick-up arm M 222/226, the Shure-Professional pick-up arm M 232/236 and the Shure pick-up arm 3009, 3012/series II - an optical and acoustical delight.
Former (seperate) price: DM 328.-.
CET 15, CE 16
HiFi Radio Receiver Parts
Both tuners were at that time fitted with transistors - in comparison to the amplifiers they did not warm up. The differences of both models: The CET 15 has a white scale, the CE 16 a black one. For the AM-fine adjustment the CE 16 is provided with a push-button switch and comes with a stereo decoder. Both tuners could be switched on by the range-switch. The tuner is half as wide as the amplifier, otherwise it is designed like the CSV 13 and the CSV 60. The CET 15 then cost DM 568.-, the CE 16 DM 745,-.
CSV 13/CSV 60
The operational functions of the amplifiers are clearly emphasized by the design. The typography of the system (caption) corresponds to the style of the HfG Ulm is realized in small letters. The green light on the front plate and the light of the end pipes under the cooling metal sheet enlivens the abstract design. The metal sheet corpus is light grey and identical in its format with the PCS 5. The latest to come out, approx. in 1967, was the CSV 60-1. lt had a fourth tilting switch for the rear band control and was offered in black crinkle-lacquer. The CSV 13 was priced at DM 775,-, the CSV 60 cost DM 1,195,-. Both amplifiers do not differ optically. The output capacity of the CSV 13 was 2 x 12 watt, that of the CSV 60 was 2 x 30 watt sinus capacity (mono 60 W).
HiFi-Flat Loudspeaker Unit L 46
The box is almost as flat as a picture. lt is astounding how full and powerful the deep bass sounds come across despite the low volume.
Technical description: Dynamic loudspeakers in totally closed and muffled casing. Transmission of 40 to 20,000 Hz. Capacity 10 (18) Watt. Adaptability 4 - 6 Ohm. Equipment: One deep-sound wave loudspeaker 20 cm diameter, one high - sound wave loudspeaker 8 cm diameter, casing wood with white or graphite-coloured plastics surface; front-side eloxated alu-lattice. Backwards devices for horizontal or vertical hanging.
Measurements: Width 65 cm, height 36 cm, depth 11 cm. 1963 price: DM 167.-.
HiFi Loudspeaker Unit L 60
The loudspeaker has an unscrewable foot which, according to the former prospectus enables easy re-arrangement of the loudspeaker should the number of listeners change. Technical description: Transmission of 50 to 20,000 Hz, adjustable presence increase. Capacity 15 (25) Watt. Adaptability 15 Ohm. Equipment: One deep-sound wave loudspeaker 30 cm diameter, two medium-sound wave loudspeaker 11,5 cm diameter, high-sound wave loudspeaker 8 cm diameter. Casing totally closed. Wood with white plastics surface; front-side eloxated alu-lattice. Base: nickelled steel pipe. In this form other loudspeaker units had been constructed: L 50. Transmission of 50 to 18.000 Hz. Capacity 8 (14) Watt. lt was then called the 'Bass Reflex Box'. L 60-4. Transmission of 40 to 20,000 Hz. Capacity 12 (30) Watt. L 61. Transmission of 30 to 20.000 Hz. Capacity 20 (60) W. High-sound level regulator. Measurements: Width 65 cm, height without foot 36 cm (foot 25 cm), depth 28 cm. 1963 price: L 50 DM 295,-, L 60 DM 390,-, L 60-4 DM 340,-, L 61 DM 588,-.
HiFi - and Studio Loudspeaker Unit L 80
"The L 80 is one of the few loud speakers in the world which spontaneously appeal to every listener greatly. Their powerful depths which meet the demands of every organ bass, their musical heights, open and clear even in fortissimo and never shrill, their balanced medium range, are impressive both to expert and laymans' ears." That was how Braun described in 1961 the L 80 in a loudspeaker prospectus.
Technical description: Dynamic and band loudspeakers in closed, ruffled and resonance -free casing. Transmission of 25 to 25,000 Hz. Capacity 10 (30) Watt. Adaptability 15 Ohm. Equipment: One deep - so and wave loud speaker 'Leak Sandwich' 33 cm diameter, one medium-sound wave loudspeaker 10 cm diameter (special development), one high-sound wave loudspeaker 'Kelly Rib bon'. Casing wood with white plastics surface or matt walnut. Frontside cloth covering or drilled alu-metal sheet. Foot with supporting posts in which the box is swivel-mounted.
Measurements w/o foot: Height 85 cm, width 42 cm, depth 33 cm. Price 1963: DM 1,295.- with foot, DM 1,095.- w/o foot.
HiFi Loudspeaker Unit LE 1
In the electrostatic push-pull loudspeaker LE 1 large-spaced, very light membranes are driven by the sound-change voltage on their entire surface. They can follow the impulses 'quickly' and less sluggishly than the dynamic-loudspeaker conus membranes which are put in motion from the middle. Mostly, swing-in procedures and distortions remain below level of perception. Reproduction is unusually realistic and natural. In those days it was difficult to construct electrostatic loudspeakers with a good deep-sound reproduction.
With the LE 1 the bass reproduction could be expanded, with minor falling off, down to 45 Hertz. The LE 1 was manufactured on a Quad licence and was only to be distributed in West Germany.
Technical description: Transmission of 45 to 18,000 Hz. Capacity 15 Watt. Adaptability 15 Ohm. Circuit connection for alternating current 220 or 110 volt. Equipment: 2 deep-sound wave loudspeakers, one medium-sound wave loudspeaker, one high-sound wave loudspeaker. Casing metal frame light grey. Frontside perforated metal plate, graphite. Foot nickelled steel pipe. Connecting cable 10 m, with special plug for amplifier CSV 11, CSV 13 and CSV 60. Measurements with foot: Width 83 cm, height 77 cm, depth 32 cm. 1959-price: DM 750,-.
The Braun HiFi music systems Studio 46, 60, 80 and E are a must for each Braun collection. Their formal and technical value has made them 'High-tech classics', even though this term was unknown at the time of their construction.
Klatt, J.: Braun Hi-Fi Systems Studio 46, 60, 80 und E. In: Braun+Design 9, Hamburg December 1987, 4-16