|Product :||Beosystem 5000||
|Produced from :||1983 - May 1986|
|Designed by :||Jacob Jensen|
|Finish :||Aluminium / Dark Grey|
Comprising the following products, the Beosystem 5000 was Bang & Olufsen’s answer to the many stacking systems which were appearing on the world’s sound stage in the early 1980s:
BANG & OLUFSEN have always taken a pride in designing their equipment both visually and functionally to be as acceptable in the modern home as possible. Since they are based in Denmark, and they try out their designs on a local user panel before finalising the styling, the results tend perhaps to have a uniquely Scandinavian clean look— unlike the products from nearly everywhere else. And functionally we find a preference for high-technology which conceals more than it reveals, on the assumption that the typical B&O user wants quick access to his musical entertainment without too many engineering problems to solve on the way.
This new computer-controlled Beosystem 5000 carries this philosophy to novel lengths. Basically it consists of a tuner/amplifier (receiver), a record-player and a cassette deck—with a matching Compact Disc player to come along next year. But all the units are of almost identical dimensions and appearance, have all their controls hidden and are intended to be placed in some inconspicuous part of the room. Except when changing the record or cassette, the user need never go near the system, because all functions are controlled by the most elaborate Master Control Panel I have ever come across.
This is V-shaped and cordless (battery-operated) so that it can be placed on any convenient surface— or even carried into another room (of which more later). It has twin transmitter/receivers at the two ends so that almost any room position (up to 20 metres distant) will permit two-way communication between it and the system units. Its numerous control buttons are divided into primary and secondary functions. The primary controls are laid out logically on the top panel, along with the LED displays, and cover such facilities as source selection, volume up/down, muting, radio, cassette and CD search and programming, and off.
Source selection is interlinked with the main system so that the selection and start functions follow each other automatically. For example, a tap on the Phono button selects the record player input on the tuner/amplifier and also switches on the turntable motor and causes the pickup to move over to the run-in grooves and start playing. The same goes for the cassette deck, but note that if no record or cassette is inserted, the system relays back the message ‘No Disc’ or ‘No Tape’ as appropriate on the display panel. Buttons P1 to P9 switch on the tuner to the selected preset station, while Return and Advance buttons allow manual tuning up or down the band to the next station at receivable signal strength. (In the tape mode, the same buttons search out recorded items back or forward by counting tape spaces according to how many taps on the button have been made.) Fast wind or rewind are also remotely controlled, as are various record and cue facilities such as disc repeat (up to seven times).
The secondary control buttons are revealed by lifting a flap on the Master Control Panel, as is a helpful graphics aide memoire to the main operating sequences. They include balance left/right, bass and treble up/ down, and buttons to set the master clock on the Beomaster 5000 and programme the timer for unattended tape recording or playback. Oddly enough, the Beomaster 5000 itself does not have balance or tone controls—only a Neutral button to restore these circuits to their ‘central’ setting. Unusually too, it is necessary to store a preferred volume setting in the system’s memory if this volume is desired when the system is next switched on (rather than that in use when the equipment was switched off).
An optional Master Control Link unit can extend the remote control facility to one or more distant rooms. A single-wire DataLink cable is necessary and then the unit will give control of the remote loudspeakers, or of the entire system if a Master Control Panel is available in the distant room.
Prices at time of release in the UK was £1,150 for the three units plus Master Control Link; S55 loudspeakers £199 per pair.
Taken from Gramophone’ magazine - Sept 1984 (page 112)