Uher's range of portable audio recorders were for perhaps over 30 years, the simple and reliable 'work
horses' of the professional radio interviewer. German made and of 'sensible' and real world construction,
these robust machines cost a fraction of an equivalent Nagra or Stellavox recorder.

While the film maker might need Pilot Tone synchronization, 48 Volt 'phantom' condenser microphone
powering, or even time code, the hack radio reporter just needed a good quality, strong, simple and
reliable tape machine with a dynamic microphone input. And while there were a few alternatives to these
machines from the likes of Tanberg, Ficord (with the later 101 series) or even Grundig, the long lived
Uher Report series became the de facto portable tape recorder for radio reporting.

Actually these machines were not all that cheap, and cost perhaps the equivalent of a serious domestic
'Hi-Fi' tape-deck of the time. (The Nagras and Stallavoxes were many times this though.)
This half track stereo recorder is a late (ish) version of the 'genre', and has improved metering and
internal electrical switchery. It has four speeds, though for serious work only the highest (7.5 inches
per second) speed should be used. The lower speeds decrease the audio quality progressively, but
speech recording at 3.75 I.P.S. remains perfectly OK for most broadcaster's use. While of a
comparatively elementary mechanical design, these machines can make surprisingly good recordings
at 7.5, seemingly just as good as a Nagra or a Stellavox at this speed (the wow and flutter figures are
less good though). The Uher also records rather well at 3 and 3/4 inches per second, but speed
stability and 'wow and flutter' (how arcane in theses digital days) is nowhere near as good as with the
Swiss exotics. Remarkably, one can set the bias up on these machines 'by ear' for indistinguishable
record / replay results (yes I know this is cheating - but it works), which you cannot do as easily on
the Swiss recorders, though for probably very good reasons. As a reel to reel audio recorder the only,
though fairly significant drawback, is a limited recording time of 20 minutes at the highest speed. But
for radio interviews that were to be edited into short sound bites anyway, this was not a problem.

Over the years Uher made a whole range of semi-professional tape machines, domestic audio and
even Hi-Fi equipment, though much of which was for domestic (German) consumption only. They
even made a couple of versions of a high quality (if there ever was such a thing in the context of
serious audio) portable Compact Cassette recorder. But while Uher are still involved with dictation
equipment, they will probably be remembered in the history books for these robust portable reel to
reel workhorses.
(Click on the above pictures for further images and information.)
(The previous owners of the above example of the stereo version have fitted a plastic collar around the
master level control so that it could only be adjusted by means of a screwdriver - this seemed a sensible
idea, so I kept it there.)
The Uher Portable Audio Tape Recorder