Beolit 1000

(1967-1972) Portable FM/MW/LW/2xSW radio, 2.5W (battery) or 7.5W (external)

Type number: 1401

Picture by Peter McEvedy


This complex and expensive model was the top of the portable range. Using some novel techniques, it packed every feature available into a surprisingly compact cabinet. Amongst these were full four waveband coverage, 3 pre-set stations for FM, short wave fine tuner, switchable AFC for FM, treble and bass controls, tape recorder/record player connector and a high power amplifier. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The amplifier was perhaps the most novel feature. When the set was used with batteries and its internal loudspeaker 2.5W of output was available, a good figure for the period and over twice as much as one would expect, even from a quality set. However, if an external power supply and loudspeaker were connected, the available power rose to 7.5W, a very substantial figure indeed. It was suggested that this made the Beolit 1000 suitable as the centrepiece of a home audio system, though with the obvious limitation of mono reproduction. More usefully, the larger output was available if the set was fitted in a car, using a special mounting bracket that could be bought separately. The design of vehicles in use in Europe at the time was quite diverse, so the car bracket (confusingly referred to a “autocassette” by B&O) was designed to work using either 6V or 12V, positive or negative earth. To avoid the metal parts of the set being at a different potential to the surrounding metalwork of the car, all the external metal parts of the Beolit were insulated. In the case of the control knobs this was done by making the inside of each one from plastic. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The pre-set FM stations worked in a similar way to those of the previous Beolit 500, though unlike the Beolit 500 a special battery was not necessary for the tuning. The use of this extra battery was avoided by using a circuit called a “DC-DC converter”, which employed transistors and a special transformer to step the battery voltage up to the 22V required. Such arrangements are commonplace today in all types of portable equipment, but in the late 60s they were unheard of for consumer products, making the Beolit 1000 a truly ground-breaking design. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The tuning mechanisms took the form of two completely separate systems, one for FM and one for the AM bands. The previous “duplex drive” clutches used in models such as the Beolit 700 had been abandoned in favour of two separate tuning knobs. This allowed the FM dial to be also used as a “fine tuner” for the K2 shortwave band. Given the length of the dial, shortwave tuning could thus be achieved with great precision. A logging scale was provided so that once found, the positions of stations could be noted. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The styling of the Beolit 1000 was new too, and elements of it were carried over into later Beolit models. A choice of finishes was available to suit the customer’s taste. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Finishes/ colours

Black goatskin


 Black goatskinRosewoodTeak

Type number


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