“Telefunken” – life after death


Created on 02/12/2000 17:22.

Updated 09.16.

Author: S. Shabad.

If we look at Germany in the 1930s-1940s not only through the prism of the horrors of World War II, then we can see a tremendous surge of German scientific and technical thought. Then the Germans were ahead of the British and Americans in many areas of technology, and by a huge margin.

The explanation of this phenomenon, in my opinion, lies not only in the meticulous nature of the German nation, in the perfection of technical knowledge, in a special methodology of thinking, punctuality, but also in their introduction to the secrets of esoteric sciences. However, this is just my guess. Let’s try to reflect on this topic.

Of interest are the two largest companies producing electronic components, electronic communications, radio transmitters, radio receivers and amplifiers – Telefunken and Siemens.

The history of the Telefunken company began on May 27, 1903. At that time the company was called Telefunken Systemtechnik GmbH and started out as a subsidiary of Siemens & Halske (S&H) and AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft). These companies are still in many respects direct relatives. The company owned over 20,000 patents, was a leader in radar technology and invented PAL-based color television.

Having started active in the field of wireless telephony, Telefunken soon dazzled the world with revolutionary inventions in the field of vacuum tubes. Later Telefunken intensified its activities in the production of radio receivers and gramophone records. Among the connoisseurs, Telefunken radios from World War II are still considered the best.

In these receivers, the lamps of the EF, EBH, ECH series developed by the company were used (experts call them “turtles”). These lamps were famous for their exceptional reliability (having worked for 60 years or more, they even today demonstrate the parameters and characteristics that they should have met at the time of release).

Even H-End specialists know about the amazing sound of Telefunken loudspeakers of those times.

The founder of the KEF company, Raymond Cook, being in Moscow in the 70s, at one of the International exhibitions of audio equipment, said that in his youth he designed an audio system in which he used 300-mm loudspeakers (with magnetization) of the Telefunken company. He described these loudspeakers as the outstanding achievement of the Germans in electroacoustics. These are the loudspeakers I use in my audio system now. But more on that below.

Recently, I often have to test capacitors from the Second World War, and every time I am convinced that old German capacitors “outplay” modern ones, even the most respected “high-end” firms. How can you explain the fact that the tinned brass leads of old Siemens capacitors do not spoil the sound? I do not know.

Audiophiles know that ECC83 and ECC82 lamps, manufactured by Telefunken in the 50s, that is, already at the end of its existence, convey more nuances of music than lamps of other companies of the same design. If the design of the lamps is the same and the materials are at a first approximation the same, then how did Telefunken do it? Now we can only speculate.

In order not to throw out the baby with the water, consider the somewhat crazy hypotheses I put forward to explain the phenomenal sound quality of electrical elements manufactured by Siemens and Telefunken in the period before and during World War II.

First version

The materials used in the manufacture of radio components “self-clean” over time. Therefore, equipment that uses old parts sounds better than those assembled from modern elements. There are a lot of examples of this, but, unfortunately, this hypothesis conflicts with a number of observations.

For example, most of the electrical elements manufactured in the USSR in the 40s were produced on captured German equipment and according to German drawings. For example, OKBG-type capacitors are an exact copy of Siemens capacitors produced in the 40s.

I compared OKBG capacitors in sounding with capacitors of similar design from Siemens and made sure that the version about self-cleaning of materials is not confirmed. It turned out that Soviet-made capacitors for some reason do not improve age.

Second version

Radio components and devices assembled from them have a soul, and therefore they should be considered not only as physical objects, but also as “living entities”. These entities, like the Pinocchio made by Pope Carlo, are able to learn from the master who gave birth to them, as well as from other parts of the apparatus in which they settled. As a result of such training, the mentioned entities not only convey what little remains of the music after its recording, but, more importantly, restore what was lost.

Only through such training (this happens very rarely) can audio equipment restore music that was completely lost during the recording process. And the fact that this often happens during recording is an obvious fact.

Confirmation of the second version is that when playing such a recording, the music can sound in full force. One of my know-how, which I have already declassified (see “AM” No. 2 (25) 98, p. 143), is the implantation into a modern apparatus of some detail or conductor produced by the “Telefunken” company during the Second world war.

This operation significantly ennobles the sound of modern devices. I explain this by the fact that a small piece of highly organized material of German production is capable of re-educating many low-organized elements of domestic production.

Having become acquainted with this version, many audio engineers will take my statements for too sophisticated humor, in the manner of sharpening diamond needles in pyramids. In fact, I am writing about this quite seriously, as you can see by reading, for example, an article by S. Sakuma in the Japanese magazine “Musento Jikken” for October 1989, from which you will learn that the entities that organize the sound of the amplifier are concentrated in the chassis of the designed apparatus.

Telefunken also knew that it was in the chassis that the organizing principle of sound was concentrated. Such a conclusion can be made by looking inside their radios produced in the 30s and 40s: the chassis of some models is not made of steel, as is usually done, but of expensive wood species. A wooden chassis appears to be more attractive to entities than a steel chassis.

A crazy theory, you say, but don’t jump to conclusions, because many audiophiles have repeatedly encountered phenomena that were often inexplicable. Try, for example, using only physics and electrical engineering to explain why digital cables sound different.

The third version. The specialists of the firms “Telefunken” and “Siemens”, not too much trusting the objective parameters of the designed equipment, paid the main attention to research related to the sound quality of the devices. Research into the esoteric essence of sound, kept in deep secrecy, played a special role in their work. The specialists of these firms drew the necessary knowledge from the ancient …