Beocenter 1400

(1973-1976) FM stereo/MW/LW/cassette music centre, 2x20W

Type number: 2604


Picture by Martin Olsen


The Beocenter 1400 was the first Beocenter to include a tape recorder. Previously, tape recorders had been too large to easily integrate into other units, and previous attempts by B&O had clearly shown this. The space required for the tape recorder in the Beomaster 900RG Compact radiogram effectively doubled the size of the unit, and the tape recorder included with Beosystem 1200 was so large as to be quite out of scale with the other units. The cost of tape recorders was also prohibitive, a Beocord 2400 for use with the Beolab 5000 system cost nearly as much as the Beomaster 5000 tuner and Beolab 5000 amplifier combined. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The Compact Cassette changed much of this: it became possible to construct compact and inexpensive tape mechanisms that could be easily fitted into other equipment. The Beocenter 1400 was an excellent example of what was possible, the addition of a special cassette section to a Beomaster resulted in an unusual but very attractive piece of equipment. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The receiver that formed the basis of the Beocenter 1400 was the very sucessful Beomaster 901. This was a nicely styled model with a reasonable output of 20W and a quality tuner section covering the MW, LW and FM wavebands. Only minimal modifications were required to add the tape recorder, and were restricted to extending the front and top panels and fitting a mains transformer with an extra winding for the cassette motor. The bottom cover was not even changed, the cassette section had its own which fitted snugly against that of the receiver. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The cassette deck was based on the Beocord 900. This was a fairly basic machine that was, nevertheless, capable of reasonable results when used with the appropriate tapes. There was far less space available in the Beocenter 1400 cabinet for the cassette deck than in the Beocord 900, so certain items had to be removed to make it all fit. There was certainly no room for the Beocord 900’s two large recording level meters or their two sliding level controls, so the level controls were combined into one slider and the meters were replaced with a clever system of lights. The level was correct when the green light flashed and the red one blinked only occaisionally during musical peaks, a simple system that was easy to understand. The recording slider, which also controlled a switch that turned the whole cassette section off, took up more-or-less all the available front panel space, so the tape type selector was relegated to being a pushbutton on the rear of the unit. Other things that were removed from the Beocord 900 were the microphone amplifier (which was only mono anyway) and the power unit, which was not needed as power came from the Beomaster. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The completed cassette section was barely wider than the mechanism itself, which was carried over largely unchanged from the Beocord 900. The effect on the overall appearance of the unit was very pleasing, the extra width gave an even greater impact to the slim, sleek lines of the Beomaster. Certainly from a visual point of view the Beocenter 1400 was more sucessful than the Beomaster 901 and Beocord 900, which when used together revealed that they were of slightly different heights. In the form in which it was offered, the Beocenter 1400 was complete, capable of radio reception, replay of pre-recorded material and making recordings from the radio, all very easily and without fuss. It is interesting to note that in the current B&O range there is no single piece of equipment capable of all these functions. Loudspeakers were needed to complete the system, with Beovox 1702 being a good choice. A turntable could also be added, with Beogram 1202 being a suitable machine. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Beocenter 1400 was replaced by Beocenter 1500 and 1600. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.


  • Rosewood
  • Teak



Further Reading