B&O Beocord 2200

B&O Beocord 2200When launched in 1973, this was the top Bang & Olufsen cassette deck on sale. Costing £169.50, it was an extremely expensive design by the standards of that time. A typically slick Jacob Jensen creation, it looks crisp even by today’s standards – and from an early seventies eye is strikingly bereft of fripperies. You only need to look at rivals such as the ergonomic dog’s breakfast that is the Akai GXC-310D to see what the Japanese competition was doing!

A top-loading design – normal for that period – its fascia is finished in exquisite brushed aluminium, and the controls work with a lovely precision. As you’d expect from such a high end product, it had Dolby B noise reduction – and unusually for B&O, the company boasted about the fact on the front of the unit! Beautifully engineered, it was built to last with a Ferrite record/replay head, which wasn’t usual at the time – most cassette players had soft permalloy heads that wore out within a few years.

The 2200 hailed from an era before both Metal and Ferrichrome tapes – Chromium Dioxide (CrO2) was the state-of-the-art formulation and this deck was equipped for it. This gave a respectable quoted frequency response of 30-14,500Hz, and 52dB signal-to-noise ratio (Dolby out). A quoted wow and flutter figure of 0.12% gave good – by the standards of the day – speed stability, and the well engineered mechanicals and decent electronics made for a fine sounding machine…

Sonically nothing spectacular by modern standards, it is still enjoyably musical to listen to. It delivers decent treble extension if you choose Chrome tape, and there’s a nice warm but slightly soft bass. Indeed, you might call it a classically analogue sound – and there’s nothing wrong with that. These curios are now few and far between, but still turn up from time to time, often well preserved (B&O owners are known for their tidiness!) from £100 to £200 depending on condition and whether the deck comes with its original box. One for the collector…

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