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JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331, Made 1977

Updated on September 7, 2016

The Amazing JC Penney 8 Track Player & Recorder

This is the state of the arts JC Penny model MCS 3331 which was made in 1977 in Japan ant the Fisher Electronics Plant in Japan.
This is the state of the arts JC Penny model MCS 3331 which was made in 1977 in Japan ant the Fisher Electronics Plant in Japan.

It all Started a Long Time Ago with Magnetic Recording

It all started a long time ago with magnetic recording. Historically, magnetic recording dates back to 1898 when a Danish wire recorder called the telegrahone was developed by Valdemar Poulsen. This machine was seriously handicapped in performance by lack of proper amplifiers and wire for that purpose. Present day magnetic recording in the United States is strongly influenced by the subsequent German design philosophy, since German designs in use during World War I, and discovered by Americans when Germany was occupied, were highly advanced in nature and produced true high fidelity recordings. Magnetic recording theory is relatively simple: electrical current are amplified as in disk recording, and the signal is fed into an iron-core electromagnet, the recording head. A magnetic wire or tape is drawn over the iron core, or over the poles, of the recording head and varying electric current passing through the coil produces proportionately varying degrees of magnetism in the tape or wire.

Vintage J C Penny 3331 Stereo 8 Track Play Record Tape Deck

Playing for the fist time In the Video Below is the J C Penny 3331

Playing for the first time the Stereo 8 Track Play Record Tape Deck By J C Penny model 3331 new in its box. Never was taken out since it was bought back in 1978. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen Sound recording ... This 8 track player in its box was in my fathers office at his home on Otter Creek in Nashville. Rescued right before the wrecking balls took the old home down to build a new age two million dollar McMansion.

1977 J C Penny Stereo 8 Track Player, Playing for the first time

The Playback of a Magnetized Recording or the 8 Track Tape

Playback of a magnetized recording or the 8 track tape for example is exactly the reverse of recording a tape. The magnetized wire or tape is passed over the recording head (now the playback head) or over a separate playback head, with the coil in the head connecting to an amplifier and loudspeaker. The magnetization on the wire or tape induces electrical currents in the coil which are then amplified and reproduced, re-creating the original sound.

1977 JC Penney MCS 3331, playing The Best of Alfred Apaka

In the 1960s & 1970s Wire and Tape recordings both being Used

The the J C Penney 8 Track Tape Player was made Wire recording and tape recording were the two predominant types of magnetic recording in use: tape, however is a decidedly superior technique and has all but supplanted wire by 1979 with this machine was made. In the particularly uses of the 8 track tape this model was the best player of it day for professional applications. The wire that was used for recording during this era was very fine, about he diameter of a human hair. Consequently, it breaks easily and upon breaking often became irretrievably tangled. In addition, tendency of the wire to rotate as it passes over the head caused variations in quality of the ultimate sound not acceptable in high quality work.

Made 1977 JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331

JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331, Made 1977
JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331, Made 1977

Highly Developed 8 Track Tapes became so popular in the 1970s

The 8 track tapes became so popular in the 1970s is because magnetic tape had been highly developed by the 1970s and the tapes would produce recordings of the highest caliber. The tape itself was usually made of plastic material, either cellulose acetate or polyester, and almost as wide as the one quarter inch wide reel to reel table. The tape is coated on one side with iron oxide particles so fine that a linear inch of tape contains about one trillion particles. This coating is the actual magnetic medium on which the recording is made.

Pearly Shells, & Beyond the Reef, on the J C Penny 8 Track Player

The Iron Oxide Particles coating is the actual Magnetic Medium

The iron oxide particles coating is the actual magnetic medium on which the recording is made. Although the thickness of the coated tape is three thousandths of an inch or less, it is quite strong and, of course, can be made to pass smoothly over the recording head. The electrical portion of a tape recorder consists of the recording head which I described above, plus an amplifier and a bias oscillator which generates a constant supersonic current. This current, called bias, is applied to the head together with the regular signal, producing a recording of much better fidelity than one made without the bias.

The Back, JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331

The back of a JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331
The back of a JC Penney 8 Track Player Recorder, Model MCS 3331

Electric Motors pull the tape over the Heads at a Constant Speed

Bias current is also fed into an initial head over which the tape passes before coming to the recording head; this removes any magnetism which might already be present on the tape from a previous recording. Consequently, the 8 track tape may be re-recorded many times, and because of the erasing feature, the tape is "cleaned" automatically before the new recording is made. The mechanical part of the tape recorder has no direct bearing on the recording process itself: one or more electric motors are used to pull the tape over the heads at a constant rate of speed and transfer it smoothly form the 8 track tape canister.

Played on a 1977 J C Penny 8 Track Player the Lettermen

Magnetic Recording Tape open up a New World of Editing

Standard tape recording speeds are 1 7/8 inches per second and multiplies thereof, that is 3 3/4, 7 1/2, 15, and 30ips. As the high frequency response of tape recording varies directly with the speed of the tape, the two lowest speeds listed are suitable only for limited quality applications: 7 1/2 and 15 ips, are most widely used in broadcasting and commercial recordings. One of the most valuable characteristics of tape recording is the ease with which it may be edited. Tape can be cut and splice in the manner of motion picture film, using only a simple cutting edge, such as a razor blade or scissors, and cellulose adhesive splicing tape.

This is the JC Penney Stereo Eight deluxe Track Deck 3331

This is the JC Penney Stereo Eight deluxe Track Deck 3331, She measures 14 inches  across, and is  6 inches tall, and 9 inches deep this is including the knobs ...
This is the JC Penney Stereo Eight deluxe Track Deck 3331, She measures 14 inches across, and is 6 inches tall, and 9 inches deep this is including the knobs ...

Editing is possible, however, only with Single-track Recordings

Editing is possible, however, only with single-track recordings, that is, where the entire with of the tape contains only one recording. With dual track recording, two or more separate recordings are made on parallel longitudinal portions of the tape: obviously, if one program is edited, the other program is also cut along with it, precluding editing of 8 track tapes and dual track recordings.

JC Penny 8 Track Tape Player, Hawaiian Paradise with Billy Mure,

The recording of sound, the great achievements of last Century

The recording of sound is one of the great achievements of the past century. Sound recording can be defined as the preservation of sound in a permanent form by electrical, mechanical, or optical means, or a combination thereof, so that the original sound may be reproduced from the recording medium at will. The three basic types of sound recording form the era in which the JC Penny 8 track tape player and recorder was made are disk, magnetic and optical.

Tokyo, Japan was where the JC Penny 8 Track Player was Made at the Fisher Electronic Plant in in 1977

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