A Welcome Return For Lost Tape Machine

12th April 2017

In an incredible story of lost and found, a very rare and famous BTR-3 Abbey Road tape machine from the 1940s has been found by Surge Radio, the student run radio station of Southampton University.

Often seen as the workhorse of 1960s recordings at the studios, only half a dozen BTR (British Tape Recorder) machines were created by EMI, and used exclusively at Abbey Road.

“When we first found the BTR-3 we had no idea what we had stumbled across, only after an online search did we realise it was a piece of recording history from Abbey Road Studios! It's amazing to think that it had been sitting there undisturbed for such a long time. It's been great fun uncovering the mystery of it,” Toby Leveson, Surge Radio station manager.

“This is an important discovery for the history of recorded music and finds like this are few and far between. When Toby from Surge Radio told me he had discovered a BTR-3 I had to contain my excitement, just in case it wasn’t the genuine article. Upon visiting Surge Radio not only was the machine indeed a BTR-3 but also in very good condition. You can’t underestimate how rare these early examples of tape machines are. Until now only three BTR-3 units have been known to exist, none in full working order. This discovery means four are now accounted for and hopefully the talented technical team at Abbey Road Studios can restore the machine to its former glory,” Mirek Stiles, Head of Audio Products at Abbey Road.

The newly discovered BTR-3 has now been donated to Abbey Road Studios and Surge Radio will host a broadcast live from the brand new Front Room studio at Abbey Road Studios to celebrate.

Artists set to play live for the special broadcast include Jerry Williams, a Portsmouth-based singer-songwriter and Will Joseph Cook, an indie solo artist with several million streams on Spotify.

Listen live this Thursday April 13th from 12pm to 4pm, surgeradio.co.uk