Beomaster 900K

(1965-1971) MW/LW/SW/FM radio – optional FM stereo decoder, 2X 6W DIN

Type number: 2202

 

Picture by Nick Jarman

Description

The Beomaster 900 is publicised by B&O as “the first mains transistor radio”, and while this is not strictly true (portable sets with the option of mains powering had been on sale in the UK for some years by the time the 900 was launched), it still remains a landmark model. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The Beomaster 900 range was the latest in a line of long and low table sets, but by using transistors instead of valves the designers freed themselves of some important constraints. Firstly, the transistors allowed the chassis to be made smaller all-round, and secondly their low heat output meant that prominent vent grilles and large spaces around hot running components were not necessary. These two factors allowed the set to be styled in a manner that was less dictated by engineering necessity than it was by aesthetic requirements. B&O’s designers chose to use this new freedom to make a set that was long and slim, a form that has been a B&O trademark ever since. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Another advantage of the transistor circuitry was that it allowed the amplifiers to be unusually powerful. 2x6W may not seem a lot now but in the mid 60s this sort of output was the preserve of specialist Hi-Fi gear, often mounted in large cabinets. Through its efficient loudspeakers the Beomaster 900K was more than loud enough for any domestic situation. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The set was fully featured. It included a four band radio that not only covered short wave but also offered the full FM band right up to 108MHz, something that was not universal even 20 years later. The radio also had a tuning meter, AFC for FM and the facility to switch in an external AM antenna in favour of the internal ferrite rod. A decoder for FM stereo broadcasts could be fitted as an accessory. The amplifier section included bass and treble controls, loudness compensation for the volume control and connections for a record player and tape recorder, though oddly the record player input was not sensitive enough for use with B&O’s magnetic pickup, so the record player had to be fitted with an equalising preamplifier if this was to be used. A balance control for left and right was provided, though this was mounted at the rear of the chassis and had to be adjusted with a screwdriver. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The loudspeakers were a clever design in which internal porting in the cabinet meant that both used the volume of the cabinet section that housed the radio chassis, meaning that together the loudspeakers were effectively larger than the radio as a whole. External loudspeakers could be connected if required. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The Beomaster 900K was an instant success and sold in large numbers right up until the end of the 60s. It received a restyle mid-way through its life, where the dial was made more prominent and the graphics simpler. At the same time a buffer stage was fitted to the record player input, though this still did not have enough gain for a record player with a B&O magnetic pickup. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

At the end of the Beomaster 900’s life a profusion of small transistor receivers had appeared in the Beomaster range and the last valve models had gone. The model which most directly replaced the 900K was the Beomaster 1400K. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Finishes/colours

  • Rosewood
  • Teak

Prices

 StandardTeak
1968£87.15.0 
 
1970 £79.16.0 
1971 £79.10.0 

Further Reading

In print:

On the web: