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Saba Freiburg Studio freiburg studio - en

Saba Freiburg Studio – en

Saba Freiburg Studio

 

SABA FREIBURG STUDIO

The Saba Freiburg Studio is almost identical to the Freiburg 14 and Freiburg Studio A.
The latter has a different design of the dialglass and the stereo decoder mounted standard, with its indicator on front.
The Saba Freiburg Studio is however ready for mounting a stereo decoder, so just insert it in the special socket after removing the plug.
The description is therefore the same as the Freiburg 14 model that has been previously reviewed.
The Saba Freiburg Studio are the highest expression of German production with regard to tube receivers equipped with automatic search.
No German receiver can give more, and none contains all the features and performances that Freiburg Studio have.

Electronically, it is the same machine used in the Saba Freiburg 14 or Saba STudio A, so refer to this page for the technical description, but the flexibility is very different.
In this description I will focus precisely on this versatility.

- The first advantage is that being without speakers the cabinet is much more compact, and this allows you to position it in the environment with much more ease.
- The second advantage is that is possible to pair the device with the most suitable speakers and position the speakers in the most appropriate way for ideal listening.

These possibilities offered by receivers, including the Saba Freiburg Studio, are extremely important. If well used they can radically change the sound of a system.

Saba Freiburg Studio

 

BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION

Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

ELABORAZIONI TUBESOUND

- Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1963-64
10 AM Circuits
13 FM Circuits
Wavebands: Medium Waves (OM), Long Waves (OL), Short waves (OC), FM (UKW)
5 Greencone loudspeakers:
2 x 10" Alnico woofers
2 x 8" Alnico mid/woofers
1 Elliptical tweeter
Dimensions (LHD):: 27,6 x 17.9 x 12.2 inch
Net weight: 53.6 lb
14 Tubes: EC92 EC92 ECH81 EF89 EM87 EBF89 EF86 EF86 ECC83 ELL80 ELL80 EM84 EABC80 ECL80
Ferrite rotating aerial
Automatic tuning research
Optional remote control
FM stereo decoder arrangement

Saba Freiburg Studio

TONE CONTROL WITH LEVEL INDICATION

The tone control system is really efficient. Above the tone control knob you can find a small window that progressively lights up indicating the emphasis given to the band.

BANDBREITE SCHALTBAR

The correction system of the frequency response is composed of one button, MUSIK/SPRACHE.
They allow the emphasis of high and low tones while listening to music and of medium tones while listening to spoken programs.
A light indicates the selected choice

Saba Freiburg 14

AERIALS

Rotating ferrite curve with lightened window indicating its position.
The ferrite curve can be rotated through a big knob which is coaxial to the volume knob. Inside the piece of furniture there is a dipole for the FM reception and a directable ferrite curve for the AM reception.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The device is equipped with separated tuning mechanisms for AM and FM bands and for each of the FM bands.
There is only one tuning knob but the selector changes on a cable and pulley system that are separated according to the band.
Worth noticing is the accuracy and the complexity of the motorized FM group.

Saba Freiburg 14

Saba Freiburg Stdio 02

TUNING INDICATOR

The magic eye indicating the tuning of each station is new.

AUTOMATIC MOTORIZED TUNING

The tuning system is a masterwork.
It is a motor with windings supplied in a phase shifted by some capacitors. It permit to change the motor rotation direction of according to whether the search is in one sense or another.
The tuning is centered by drawing part of the signal from the CAC circuit and by using a relais controlled by a tube.
As already mentioned, calibration is rather complex and it cannot be put into practice without referring to SABA’s original manuals.
Below a detail of the engine and the scheme section to control the automatism.

Saba Freiburg 14
Saba Freiburg 14

VOLUME CONTROL

Another interesting feature is the volume control.
The knob does not automatically control the volume potentiometer. It controls through an unknot push-back.
The motorized remote control has a slight friction effect which strengthens the resistance when you turn the knob.

REMOTE CONTROL

Another exclusive feature is the possibility to insert the plug (see picture) in the designated back socket and remotely control the volume and tuning.

Stock Photography

MONO/STEREO SWITCH

Mono/stereo commutator does have its lightened indicators as well.
Usually the stereo position work only when you are listening to CDs or IPODs, but this model can be equipped with a stereo decoder allowing an accurate stereophony FM reception.

CONTROL PANEL

Saba Freiburg Stdio 02

The first small window that can be seen on the left side indicates whether the ferrite curve is inserted and its position.
On the left side you can also find the volume control (with incorporated loudness) and the ferrite curve rotation control.
Right above the volume control there is a magic eye indicating the perfect tuning of each station.
Below you can see the Mono/Stereo indicator and further below the bass control knob.
The AM bands with Short, Medium and Long Waves and the FM displays.
Starting from the lefthand corner you can see the Musik/Sprache, Stereo/Mono, AUX input buttons, the band switch buttons, the Long, medium, short waves and FM switch buttons and the motorized tuning system (Automatik) button.

Lastly the ON/OFF button.
Next to it the acutes control knob is to be found.
The Musik/Sprache equalizer indicator.
On the right, the tuning knob, which is supported by a big fly-wheel that renders its movement really pleasant.
The automatic tuning functioning indicator is to be found on the right as well.
Below two buttons for the automatic tuning functioning. Each button activates the automatic tuning mechanism in one or the other direction. By pushing one of those buttons the engine constantly activates the tuning indicator for a fast reposition.

Saba Freiburg Studio A

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.
Remote control inputs

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
Saba Freiburg Studio
Saba Studio I Automatic german radios - en

Saba Studio I Automatic – en

SABA STUDIO I AUTOMATIC

SABA STUDIO I AUTOMATIC

Saba Studio I is the latest Saba receiver built entirely with tubes, apart from the multiplexer. The next devices will have tube tuner section but solid state amplifier stage. A few years later the devices will be completely solid state.
This receiver constitutes an element of break in Saba's production. It sanctions the transition from a design that had remained unaltered from 1953 to a modern, essential and functional idea of industrial design.
The classic canons in the front panels of the German receivers are abandoned, like the windows with the tone controls indication, the tone knobs placed on the keyboard, the knobs symmetrically arranged on the sides of the dial glass etc.
The commands are grouped in the right side of the front panel. They are essential and simple to understand and use. They are also simple to build, which leads to a reduction in the risk of failure.
All the following devices will adopt this rationalization of the front, whose design philosophy will remain valid until the introduction of touch-control displays.

A second break with the past is the engineering oriented to the compaction of the elements.

Everything on this machine has been designed to reduce its size. This is a result that is difficult to obtain on a top range device.
Unfortunately, the restoration of this device was particularly complex due to the need to dismantle many components and entire schede in order to access the circuit sections in question.

The final stage uses excellent ECC808 double triode  as preamplifiers and ECLL800 double pentode and triode  as final tubes.
Also the radio section uses all multiple tubes, in order to contain the overall dimensions.

The Automatic Frequency Control is very efficient, in fact the frequency stability of this device is well known.
The sound is sweet and well defined, especially thanks to the large output transformators that do not saturate even at high levels of listening.
But the most important advantage is the use of separate loudspeaker boxes. First the cabinet is much more compact, and this makes it easier to place it in the room, second because it is possible to pair the device with the most suitable loudspeakers and place them in the most appropriate way for ideal listening.

These possibilities that the receivers offer, including the Saba Studio I, are very important. If well used they can radically change the sound of a system.
I quote the indication I gave in the description of Saba Freiburg Studio A, as I consider it very important.

Do not place the electronics between the two loudspeakers.

In the pictures the receiver is in the middle of the two loudspeakers, are exclusively for photographic needs.
In a real configuration it must be placed on one side.
Listening to music is a total experience and captivates other senses beyond hearing. Try to listen to a track in the dark and then listen to the same track in the light in your home. Also, listen to the same track used as a soundtrack watching a film. Lastly, try to listen to the same track once more watching the video of the concert.
In all these cases, and in many other situations, the brain will detect and develop sound in different ways. It will create different feelings even though we are listening to the same track.
Placing the electronics in the middle of the loudspeakers distorts our perception of the sound.

Saba Studio I Automatic
BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION

Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Bluetooth receiver embed - The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1964-65

Operating voltages: 115; 127; 220; 240 Volt.

8 AM Circuits
11 FM Circuits

Wavebands: Medium Waves (OM), Long Waves (OL), Short waves (OC), FM (UKW)

Output power: 2 x 11W
Stereo-Decoder: Saba E1

Dimensions (LHD): 390 x 180 x 315 mm / 15.4 x 7.1 x 12.4 inch
Net weight:14 kg / 30 lb 13.4 oz
9 Tubes:: ECC85 ECH81 EF89 EBF89 EMM803 2xECC808 2xECLL800

Saba Studio I Automatic

Saba Studio I Automatic

BANDBREITE SCHALTBAR

The correction system of the frequency response is made of one button, SPRACHE/VOICE.
They allow the emphasis of high and low tones while listening to music and of medium tones while listening to spoken programs.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The device is equipped with separated tuning mechanisms for AM and FM bands and for each of the FM bands.
There is only one tuning knob but the selector changes on a cable and pulley system that are separated according to the band.

Saba Studio I Automatic
Saba Studio I Automatic

TUNING AND STEREO INDICATOR

The tuning indicator is an EMM803. A tube that is rarely used and rather expensive. It is, in fact, a tuning indicator with a double display.
A section of the EMM803 is used to indicate the correct tuning of the stations.
The other section, the smaller one, is used to indicate that you are listening to a stereo station broadcasting.

MONO/STEREO SWITCH

Most of the radios and receivers do not have a stereo decoder, so listen in stereo is only possible when the phono input is selected.
Saba Studio I Automatic, instead, is equipped with the Saba E1 stereo decoder, so actual stereo listening is also possible in FM.

When pushed, the stereo button allows the listening and reception of FM stations in stereo.
If you are listening to an FM station that is broadcasting in stereo, this button inserts the stereo decoder, and the left and right channels work separately.
If the button is not pushed (mono) the input of the two channels is shorted, then the left and right channels process the same signal.

Saba Studio I Automatic

LOUDSPEAKERS

This unit is equipped with its original speakers and original packaging.
Here a list with the characteristics declared by the manufacturer:

SABA HI-FI Lautsprecherbox I

2 way Infinite Baffle Speaker
1 Tweeter 8x15 cm
1 Mid-Woofer 18x24 cm
Frequency response: da 65Hz a 16 kHz
Average Power: 15W
Max Power: 20W
Impedance 5 Ohm
Internal Box Volume 12 l
Measurements: 36 x 22 x 20,5 cm/14.2 x 8.7 x 8.1 inch

CONTROL PANEL

Saba Studio I Automatic

The keys have an indication of their function in German (line above) and in English (line below).
They have respectively the following functions:

FA - Ferrite Antenna insertion for Medium and Long Waves
KW - Shortwave
MW - Medium Waves
LW - Long Waves
UKW - FM
EIN-AUS - On / Off
Phono - Turntable / Aux Input
Stereo - Stereo / Mono switch
Autom.Aus - AFC insertion in FM (Automatic Frequency Control)
Sprache - Music / Voice switch

On the right side all the controls are placed

The first knob at the top (Hohen / Treble) is the treble one
Below we find the big tuning knob (Abstimmung / Tuning)
At the side you can see the volume knob (Lautstarke / Volume)
Coaxial with the volume knob you can see the left and right channel balance lever (Balance)
Below we find the low tone control knob (Tiefen / Bass)

SIDE VIEW

Output for external speakers (Zusatzlautsprecher)
Output for additional external speakers (Zweitlautsprecher)
In/Out Tape Recorder (Tonbandgerat)
Turntable In (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket

RESTORING WORKS

THE USUAL LAST IMAGE

Saba Studio I Automatic
Saba Freiburg W3 freiburg w3 - en

Saba Freiburg WIII – en

SABA FREIBURG WIII

Saba Freiburg WIII

Saba Freiburg WIII is the company's flagship model in 1953. In that year, only Grundig 5050 could compete with  Saba Freiburg in terms of sound quality.
No other device was provided with concentric loudspeakers and, at the same time, with the 2 x EL84 (6BQ8) push-pull power amplifier.
The sound performance is very satisfying in both devices. The tweeter aligned with the woofer plays voices and solo instruments with unsuspecting brightness and presence.
With the second reinforcing woofer, the depth of the bass is inspiring and the holding power is also remarkable.
We are talking about actual 7W which, with such powerful loudspeakers, enough for large places.
The solution of concentric loudspeakers, unfortunately, was not adopted for the devices subsequently created both by Saba and Grunding, but it was later taken up by  Graetz for some of its top-of-the-rang models.
Now, it is one of the most adopted solutions in Hi-End speakers.

In the radio section, three peculiarities can be underlined:

  • the Muting button
    By pushing this button, the FM stations search becomes very quiet. The noise and interferences that are normally heard while moving from one station to another in the research phase are quietened. The Tuning Indicator decreases its sensitivity in the interval between two stations, regaining automatically the maximum sensitivity as soon as it gets closer to the station. A pleasant and exclusive refinement.
  • KW-Lupe
    When listening to broadcasts in the short wave band, tuning is often difficult because of the small bandwidth. It only takes a slight movement of the knob to lose the station. In order to solve this problem, Saba drew up the tuning precision control in Short Waves (KW-Lupe). This is how it works: press button K to select the Short Wave band. Tune to a radio station through the big knob of AM bands. Finally, refine the tuning by turning the small knob of the FM band, which in this case works as precision tuning for Short Waves.
  • ORT-S.
    It is possible to store a radio station in Medium Waves and rename it simply by pushing the ORT-S button. The storing mechanism is very simple. Press button ORT-S. Under the radio there is a hole with a screw. By turning that screw with a screwdriver, it is possible to tune to the favourite station. From this moment, every time the button ORT-S will be pushed it will tune to the preset station. In order to listen to other broadcasts in Medium Waves, it will be necessary to just push the button M and use normally the big tuning knob.

As usual for German companies, the series name, Freiburg in this case, is maintained throughout the years, even if the models produced are very different from each other. Among the devices of the Freiburg series, the  WIII model has unique features. The previous models do not have the same tone controls, the next models lack the concentric loudspeakers. They have other features, equally interesting... but not these.

 


Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

 

BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION

Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 19523
Superheterodyne IF: 472/10700
12 AM Circuits 11 FM Circuits/5

Wavebands: LW, MW, SW, FM
Loudspeakers:
1 Woofer with assial Tweeter
1 Woofer

Dimensions (LHD):: 660 x 435 x 314 mm / 26 x 17.1 x 12.4 inch
Net weight: 19.8 kg / 43 lb 9.8 oz (43.612 lb)
10  Tubes: EF80 EC92 ECH81 EF41 EM71 EAF42 EABC80 EF40 EL84 EL84

Saba Meersburg W4 Enhanced

LOUDSPEAKERS

The loudspeaker polar diagram.

This is an example of polar diagram of a coaxial loudspeaker. The different lines show the sound intensity at the angle and frequency change. It's evident the minor directionality of low frequencies respect to those high.
We studied the positioning of the two loudspeaker to obtain the best response at a distance of  3 up to 6 meters.

To avoid pointless words, you have to listen to the result.

TONE CONTROLS

The tone control system is peculiar. It is a Baxandall configuration system with a particular feature, it interacts with the feedback system. This ensures an effective control of the band providing at the same time a reduction of distortion. The use, anyway, is very simple, as we can find the usual tone control knobs at the sides of the display. The colour of windows on the display progressively changes with the rotation of each knob. In this way, it is possible to get an impression of how much tones have been enhanced.

Saba Freiburg W3
Saba Freiburg W3

AERIALS

The device is provided with two internal aerials. A fixed dipole for the FM and UK bands and a rotary ferrite for MW and LW bands.
Clearly, the device is provided with sockets for external aerials on the back.
The ferrite aerial can be rotated with the big knob behind the volume knob.
Around the Magical Eye there is a seal with an indicator which reveals the position of the aerial.

 

Saba Freiburg W3

Saba Freiburg W3

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The tuning system is another gem.
The unit is equipped with mechanisms for keeping separate the AM and FM bands.
The movement is transferred to both mechanisms with a system of pulleys and separated gears.anica.

Saba Freiburg W3

TUNING INDICATOR

The magic eye has of course been replaced.

CONTROL PANEL

Saba Freiburg W3

The Volume is controlled by the big knob on the left, the physiologic compensation is integrated.
The front knob, smaller, enables to rotate the ferrite aerial.
Moving right, on the tuning dial we can first find the tuning indicator (Magical Eye).
Around the Magical Eye we can see a crown with the indicator of the position of the ferrite aerial.
Just below, we can see the window of the bass tones indicator, and further below the bass tones knob.
Moving further right, we find the dial glass with the different bands, Long Waves, Medium Waves and Short Waves.
The UK section is the scale of the FM band.
Below it, we can see also the scale of the TV channels, which could be listened to installing an additional module.

Further under is the keyboard, the buttons of which have the following functions:
AUS - Turn Off
UK - FM band
Ϙ - Turntable
UK/M - (FM) Tuning Mute  - (AM) - Ferrit Antenna (otherwise Off)
L - Long Wave
M - Medium Wave
K - Short Wave 
ORTS-S - OM preselected station

Moving left we can see the window of the treble indicator, and below the treble knob.
Finally, on the left remain the two concentric knobs of the tuning.
The one on the back, bigger, regulates the tuning of AM bands (OC, OM, OL).
The front one, smaller, regulates the tuning of the FM band (when the UK button is pushed).
When it is the K button to be pushed, instead, the same knob regulates the fine tuning of the Short Waves.
Under the radio we can find the two pre-selection screws of the OM station, which can be listened to by pushing the ORTS-S button.

Saba Freiburg W3

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.

Saba Freiburg W3

LOWER SIDE

Pre-selection screws to set the OM station

RESTORATION STEPS

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
Saba Freiburg W3
Saba Freiburg Studio A freiburg studio a - en

Saba Freiburg Studio A – en

SABA FREIBURG STUDIO A

SABA FREIBURG STUDIO A

Saba Freiburg Studio A is the utmost expression of German production concerning the tube receivers equipped with automatic search.
None of the German receivers can give more and none have all of the features and performance of the Saba Frieburg Studio A.

Electronically, it is the same machine’s body used in the Saba Frieburg 14. Regarding this technical description you can refer to their page, but the possibilities of usage are different.

The first advantage – without loudspeakers, the furniture is more compact and is more easily arranged in any given space.
The second advantage – it is possible to join the device with compatible loudspeakers and place them in the most appropriate position for ideal listening.

The range of possibilities that receivers offer, as for example, the Saba Frieburg Studio A are very important. If used well, they can radically change the sound of a system.
As part of this particular review, I would strongly recommend consideration is given to the following advice to enhance the listening experience:

1- Do not place the electronics between the two loudspeakers.

In the pictures the receiver is in the middle of the two loudspeakers, are exclusively for photographic needs.
In a real configuration it must be placed on one side.
Listening to music is a total experience and captivates other senses beyond hearing. Try to listen to a track in the dark and then listen to the same track in the light in your home. Also, listen to the same track used as a soundtrack watching a film. Lastly, try to listen to the same track once more watching the video of the concert.
In all these cases, and in many other situations, the brain will detect and develop sound in different ways. It will create different feelings even though we are listening to the same track.
Placing the electronics in the middle of the loudspeakers distorts our perception of the sound.
Also pay attention to the mechanical resonance of the equipment placed in the centre of the loudspeakers.

None of the tube receivers, produced in Germany, could give more.

Saba Freiburg Studio A

Saba Freiburg Studio A

BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION

Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1963-64
10 AM Circuits
13 FM Circuits
Wavebands: Medium Waves (OM), Long Waves (OL), Short waves (OC), FM (UKW)

Dimensions (LHD): 680 x 310 x 310 mm / 26.8 x 12.2 x 12.2 inch
Net weight: 20.5 kg / 45 lb 2.5 oz
14 Tubes: EC92 EC92 ECH81 EF89 EM87 EBF89 EF86 EF86 ECC83 ELL80 ELL80 EM84 EABC80 ECL80
Ferrite rotating aerial
Automatic tuning research
Optional remote control
FM stereo decoder

Saba Freiburg 14

TONE CONTROL WITH LEVEL INDICATION

The tone control system is really efficient. Above the tone control knob you can find a small window that progressively lights up indicating the emphasis given to the band.

BANDBREITE SCHALTBAR

The correction system of the frequency response is composed of one button, MUSIK/SPRACHE.
They allow the emphasis of high and low tones while listening to music and of medium tones while listening to spoken programs.
A light indicates the selected choice

Saba Freiburg 14

AERIALS

Rotating ferrite curve with lightened window indicating its position.
The ferrite curve can be rotated through a big knob which is coaxial to the volume knob. Inside the piece of furniture there is a dipole for the FM reception and a directable ferrite curve for the AM reception.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The device is equipped with separated tuning mechanisms for AM and FM bands and for each of the FM bands.
There is only one tuning knob but the selector changes on a cable and pulley system that are separated according to the band.
Worth noticing is the accuracy and the complexity of the motorized FM group.

Saba Freiburg 14

TUNING INDICATOR

Both the magnetic eye indicating the tuning and the one indicating the reception of a stereo station are new.

AUTOMATIC MOTORIZED TUNING

The tuning system is a masterwork.
It is a motor with windings supplied in a phase shifted by some capacitors. It permit to change the motor rotation direction of according to whether the search is in one sense or another.
The tuning is centered by drawing part of the signal from the CAC circuit and by using a relais controlled by a tube.
As already mentioned, calibration is rather complex and it cannot be put into practice without referring to SABA’s original manuals.
Below a detail of the engine and the scheme section to control the automatism.

Saba Freiburg 14
Saba Freiburg 14

VOLUME CONTROL

Another interesting feature is the volume control.
The knob does not automatically control the volume potentiometer. It controls through an unknot push-back.
The motorized remote control has a slight friction effect which strengthens the resistance when you turn the knob.

REMOTE CONTROL

Another exclusive feature is the possibility to insert the plug (see picture) in the designated back socket and remotely control the volume and tuning.

Stock Photography

LIGHTENED KEYBOARD

Another remarkable feature is the lightened keyboard.
The selected button lightens up.
The small Light bulbs are very rare and hard to be found.

MONO/STEREO SWITCH

Mono/stereo commutator does have its lightened indicators as well.
Usuallu the stereo position work only when you are listening to CDs or IPODs, but this model is equipped with a stereo decoder allowing an accurate stereophony FM reception.

The magic eye on the right side works as a modulation intensity indicator of the stations that have been received in stereophony.
The picture above shows the reception of a stereo station.

Trio-Kenwood KL333

LOUDSPEAKERS

This receiver could be coupled with any loudspeaker, equipped with a high efficiency.
If there is insufficient space for the Open Baffle, or horn loudspeaker, this can be remedied by coupling this Saba to two other favourite loudspeakers of mine.
One is the KL333, a two way Bass Reflux with horn tweeter, manufactured from the Trio-Kenwood in 1972. These loudspeakers are excellent, very pleasant and defined.
They have an efficiency of 98dB and answer infrequency nearly linear from 45 to 20.000Hz.
These loudspeakers have been designed with great care.
The Bass Reflux duct, completely eliminates the tails on the bass, the weakest point of this type of speaker.
The most interesting feature is the slant of frequency to 6400 Hz.
This slant is very high and the resulting effect is almost like that of full-range loudspeakers.
There is a great presence and precision in the localization of instruments and the voices.
Compared to the classic, full-range loudspeakers, there is a bass reinforcement thanks to the duct system and reinforcement for acute sound thanks to a horn tweeter.
With some care in the arrangement of the speakers, the resulting sound will surprise you for its freshness and depth.

CONTROL PANEL

Trio Kenwood KL-333

The first small window that can be seen on the left side indicates whether the ferrite curve is inserted and its position.
On the left side you can also find the volume control (with incorporated loudness) and the ferrite curve rotation control.
Right above the volume control there is a magic eye indicating the perfect tuning of each station.
Below you can see the Mono/Stereo indicator and further below the bass control knob.
The AM bands with Short, Medium and Long Waves and the FM displays.
Starting from the lefthand corner you can see the Musik/Sprache, Stereo/Mono, AUX input buttons, the band switch buttons, the Long, medium, short waves and FM switch buttons and the motorized tuning system (Automatik) button.

Lastly the ON button.
Next to it the acutes control knob is to be found.
The Musik/Sprache equalizer indicator.
On the right, the tuning knob, which is supported by a big fly-wheel that renders its movement really pleasant.
The automatic tuning functioning indicator is to be found on the right as well.
Above the stereo modulation indicator and below two buttons for the automatic tuning functioning. Each button activates the automatic tuning mechanism in one or the other direction. By pushing one of those buttons the engine constantly activates the tuning indicator for a fast reposition.

Saba Freiburg Studio A

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.
Remote control inputs

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
Saba Freiburg Studio A
Saba Freiburg 14 german radios - en

Saba Freiburg Vollautomatic 14 Stereo – en

SABA FREIBURG VOLLAUTOMATIC 14 STEREO

SABA FREIBURG VOLLAUTOMATIC 14 STEREO

I started the description of the Saba Freiburg 100 with this sentence: going beyond one’s self is the destiny of the greatest. And the story goes on. The Saba Freiburg 14 is the evolution of Freiburg 100, 125,11 and 12. The Freiburg 14 is the ultimate model. It was followed only by the Freiburg 18 (having an elliptical tweeter instead of two round tweeters and wooden band instead of canvas – this aesthetic choice was not appreciated by everyone).
Saba, following the German tradition, continued to use the name Freiburg for its top models, even though the latter did not have anything in common with the original masterwork.
I want to highlight the fact that this was the top model of the most prestigious german brand in the golden age of german technology and production.
As I have mentioned before, the first visual impact is shocking and exciting. This is a huge device successfully showing off its majesty.
The sound impact is even stronger and more exciting. But before that, I would like to present a brief description of one of the most distinguishing feature of this device: the loudspeaker system.

BLUETOOTH
Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION
Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1963-64
10 AM Circuits
13 FM Circuits
Wavebands: Medium Waves (OM), Long Waves (OL), Short waves (OC), FM (UKW)
5 Greencone loudspeakers:
2 x 10" Alnico woofers
2 x 8" Alnico mid/woofers
1 Elliptical tweeter
Dimensions (LHD):: 27,6 x 17.9 x 12.2 inch
Net weight: 53.6 lb
14 Tubes: EC92 EC92 ECH81 EF89 EM87 EBF89 EF86 EF86 ECC83 ELL80 ELL80 EM84 EABC80 ECL80
Ferrite rotating aerial
Automatic tuning research
Optional remote control
FM stereo decoder

Saba Freiburg 14

TONE CONTROL WITH LEVEL INDICATION

The tone control system is really efficient. Above the tone control knob you can find a small window that progressively lights up indicating the emphasis given to the band.

BANDBREITE SCHALTBAR

The correction system of the frequency response is composed of one button, MUSIK/SPRACHE.
They allow the emphasis of high and low tones while listening to music and of medium tones while listening to spoken programs.
A light indicates the selected choice

Saba Freiburg 14

AERIALS

Rotating ferrite curve with lightened window indicating its position.
The ferrite curve can be rotated through a big knob which is coaxial to the volume knob. Inside the piece of furniture there is a dipole for the FM reception and a directable ferrite curve for the AM reception.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The device is equipped with separated tuning mechanisms for AM and FM bands and for each of the FM bands.
There is only one tuning knob but the selector changes on a cable and pulley system that are separated according to the band.
Worth noticing is the accuracy and the complexity of the motorized FM group.

Saba Freiburg 14

TUNING INDICATOR

Both the magnetic eye indicating the tuning and the one indicating the reception of a stereo station are new.

AUTOMATIC MOTORIZED TUNING

The tuning system is a masterwork.
It is a motor with windings supplied in a phase shifted by some capacitors. It permit to change the motor rotation direction of according to whether the search is in one sense or another.
The tuning is centered by drawing part of the signal from the CAC circuit and by using a relais controlled by a tube.
As already mentioned, calibration is rather complex and it cannot be put into practice without referring to SABA’s original manuals.
Below a detail of the engine and the scheme section to control the automatism.

Saba Freiburg 14
Saba Freiburg 14

VOLUME CONTROL

Another interesting feature is the volume control.
The knob does not automatically control the volume potentiometer. It controls through an unknot push-back.
The motorized remote control has a slight friction effect which strengthens the resistance when you turn the knob.

REMOTE CONTROL

Another exclusive feature is the possibility to insert the plug (see picture) in the designated back socket and remotely control the volume and tuning.

Stock Photography

LIGHTENED KEYBOARD

Another remarkable feature is the lightened keyboard.
The selected button lightens up.
The small Light bulbs are very rare and hard to be found.

MONO/STEREO SWITCH

Mono/stereo commutator does have its lightened indicators as well.
Usuallu the stereo position work only when you are listening to CDs or IPODs, but this model is equipped with a stereo decoder allowing an accurate stereophony FM reception.

The magic eye on the right side works as a modulation intensity indicator of the stations that have been received in stereophony.
The picture above shows the reception of a stereo station.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Loudspeakers are another remarkable feature of this device: the well-know Alnico Greencone.
Its side wideband create a three-dimensional effect.
The topic has been largely researched before the advent of stereophonics and quadrophonics.
The sound is amazing

CONTROL PANEL

Saba Freiburg 14

The first small window that can be seen on the left side indicates whether the ferrite curve is inserted and its position.
On the left side you can also find the volume control (with incorporated loudness) and the ferrite curve rotation control.
Right above the volume control there is a magic eye indicating the perfect tuning of each station.
Below you can see the Mono/Stereo indicator and further below the bass control knob.
The AM bands with Short, Medium and Long Waves and the FM displays.
Starting from the lefthand corner you can see the Musik/Sprache, Stereo/Mono, AUX input buttons, the band switch buttons, the Long, medium, short waves and FM switch buttons and the motorized tuning system (Automatik) button.

Lastly the ON button.
Next to it the acutes control knob is to be found.
The Musik/Sprache equalizer indicator.
On the right, the tuning knob, which is supported by a big fly-wheel that renders its movement really pleasant.
The automatic tuning functioning indicator is to be found on the right as well.
Above the stereo modulation indicator and below two buttons for the automatic tuning functioning. Each button activates the automatic tuning mechanism in one or the other direction. By pushing one of those buttons the engine constantly activates the tuning indicator for a fast reposition.

Saba Freiburg 14

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.
Remote control inputs

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
Saba Freiburg 14
SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18 german radios - en

Saba Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18 – en

SABA STEREO I SRI-16 – SRI 18

SABA STEREO I SRI-16 – SRI 18

The translation for Steuergerät is Control Electronic Unity. It encloses the tuner and the speaker, both stereophonic and you can connect a record player as well as a CD/DVD player along with any other kind of acoustic source. What interested me of this device was the great SABA experience on Steuergerat. Before getting to the SRI-16 SABA produces the Freiburg Studio in 1962, the Freiburg Studio A in 1963 and the Stereo Studio 1 in 1964 to finally produce this new and wonderful device in 1965.
SABA quality is really visible and audible.
Its line is different from any other device of that time. a big single serigraphed glass screen with a big stylized indicator of the ferrite curve’s position on the right. Small knobs, all looking the same with different serigraphies according to their function, a single keyboard gathering all functions.
A design that puts functionality first. Elegant and not tiring.
Its musical features deserve a detailed description, which will be given further on.
I coupled this device with a pair of wonderful Celestion 120, the popular boxes built in the Ditton factory. The following boxes will be sold as Celestion Ditton. They represent the utmost expression of English musicality of that time among affordable devices.
These boxes’efficiency is enough to make the SABA sound out loud. Even in this case I tried to couple it with another pair of boxes among my favorites, some 600 Grundig boxes, but the result was not satisfactory. A bass sound excess was immediately noticeable. Acute sounds were precise but the Celestions give a clearer sound image.

SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18

BLUETOOTH
Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION
Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1965
Superheterodyne IF: 460/10700
6 AM Circuits
11 FM Circuits
Wavebands: Medium Waves (OM), Long Waves (OL), Short waves (OC), FM (UKW)
Operating voltage (CA):
110; 125; 160; 220 Volts
External loudspeakers
Dimensions (LHD):: 645 x 235 x 220 mm; 25.39 x 9.25 x 8.66 in
Net weight: 15 kg; 529 oz
7 Tubes: ECC85 ECH81 EAF801 ECC83 EMM803 ECLL800 ECLL800
Rotating ferrite antenna for MW

SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18
SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18

EXTERNAL LOUDSPEAKERS

This device is not equipped with speakers placed inside the cabinet as any modern tuner-amplifier

STEREO MPX DECODER

The radio is equipped with a tube Stereo-Decoder, that means it is a real stereo, not like most other vintage radio that used to be mono in the radio FM and stereo sections only because of the double final section. To be clear, the record player could be played in stereo, but the radio only in mono.

SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18
SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18

AERIALS

Inside the cabinet there is a dipole for FM reception and a ferrite rotating aerial for AM reception.
Ferrite aerial can be rotated from the outside to achieve a perfect tuning of the device in the AM.
In this picture see the rotation mechanism and the position indicator of the aerial.
The reception sensitivity with internal aerials is very good. This unit was in fact produced in a period when there were not many radio stations and those available fairly apart from each others.
Using an external aerial sensitivity is further increased.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The FM section is built with a very reliable ECC85 amplifier / mixer-oscillator.
The FM and the MW sections are controlled by separate knobs.
The mechanical complexity of this solution is minimal, greatly increasing the reliability of the system.

SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18
SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18

TUNING INDICATOR

The magic eye has of course been replaced.

CONTROL PANEL

SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18

At the top on the left we find the magic eye divided in two sections, the first indicated whether the station is in stereo, the second indicates the perfect tuning of each station. Next to it we find the Short, Medium and Long Wave AM bands scale.
The lower scale is the FM bands scale.
The buttons starting from the left:
On/Off- Long Wave – Medium Wave – Short Wave – FM – Phono – Mono/Stereo
The first knob on the left is the acute sounds control. Then the bass sounds control and the volume control (with incorporated loudness) knob.

On the same axis we find the knob of the balancing between the right and left channel.
There are then two separate knobs for the tuning control in the AM and FM bands. On the same axis of the tuning knob there is the rotating switch inserting the AFC (frequency automatic control- preventing the tuning slipping once the station is centered)
Note that on the tuning knobs there is a point of the same color of the index where the knob operates.
The last knob on the right is the one that allows the rotation of the ferrite curve for the AM bands. Above this one we find a big stylized indicator of the curve’s position with the automatic switch in the zero position.

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.

LISTENING IMPRESSIONS

Important disclaimer: I am not an expert audiophile and my impressions have the value of mere personal impressions.
The radio section is perfect, stable and with a perfect selectivity still today and with an easy tuning thanks to a long scale.
Other competitor devices (as far as the Graetz Stereo Unit 250 or the Grundig Stereomeister 3000 are concerned) had 5/6 pre-selectable and memorizable stations, but on this one, the Stereomeister, this gem became the source of many problems.
My testbeds have been Hosianna Mantra, the masterpiece of Popol Vuh and The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites by Bach played, or better, interpreted by Yo-Yo Ma.The CD player is a Grundig CD35, the best machine I ever had the pleasure to work with. Even on this device the roundness, the smoothness and the richness of bass sounds and the never worn out high sounds are its main features.
The listening struggle with the couple Saba/Celestion never comes.
Compared to other machines using the same counterphase you have the feeling to have more power, but this is only a feeling: power is around 9 W RMS per channel. Too loud and efficient loudspeakers could modify the features of the final stage.
I am trying to figure out whether I should include Allevilive by Giovanni Allevi among the reference CDs that I use to test the devices.
With the Saba/Celestion couple Allevi’s piano is always very lively and rich of harmonicas. It requires the volume to be high, the piano is a very difficult instrument to reproduce. I do not have the listening reference with other devices.

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
SABA Stereo I SRI-16 – SRI 18
Saba Meersburg W2 german radios - en

Saba meersburg w2 enhanced – en

SABA MEERSBURG W2 ENHANCED

SABA MEERSBURG W2 ENHANCED

The Meersburg W2 Radio was built during 1952 by the company SABA.
The company gave the models of its radios the names of German cities.
This model has been the best amongst all the devices with the output stage in A-class.
The Meersburg's model is unique and outstanding around the world because it uses a powerful EL34 as a power output.
I've never heard of another radio as special as this one.

On demand, we can offer this unit with some changes, highlighting its extraordinary performance.
Any changes made are completely reversible.
Below are the most important changes we propose:-
- Replacement of EL34 with a KT88 including the changes of the polarization.
- In order to keep the deep scenographic of the original to change the disposal of the speakers.

The most interesting features about the Meersburg W2 are:-
- Output stage in A Class with EL34 pentode as modern amplifiers Hi- End.-
- Alloy speakers to completely muffle the vibrations.
- Checks the loudness with five prearranged equalization curves selected from a switch.

- The amplifier FM is a pentode. This architectural choice guarantees more sensibility than following tiodano amplifiers. Unfortunately, the high sound is dependant on this type of tube and for this reason it is necessary to be careful to select the correct tube.
- The medium frequencies are equipped with a coupling adjustment. This feature allows  calibration with high precision the slope and extension of the medium frequency curve. Usually, there is not this control and has been predetermined by the manufacturer at an average value.

This radio looks wonderful with its well proportioned form.
It is possible to put the loudspeakers in a library or in a corner in side the wall.
The quality and the power of the sound is beyond imagination.
Furthermore, it is possible to listen to music by streaming because the receiver Bluetooth has been integrated inside the device.
In my opinion this is particularly beneficial.

 

- Output stage in A - Class with EL34. No other radio in the world has this powerful vacuum tube.

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

IMPROVED LOUDSPEAKERS
The position and the kind of the loudspeakers is changed.

READ MORE >

BOOSTED OUTPUT STAGE
The original EL34 was replaced by a powerful KT88.

CONTINUA >

BLUETOOTH
Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION
Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Improved Loudspekers - The two loudspeaker are changed and have now the central axle aligned. A new crossover filter is installed to have the best response curve possible. The results is that the soundstage is incredibly realistic for a mono device. And the listening in mono it may hold some surprises. Seeing is believing.

- EL34 replaced by KT88. - The original power tube of this radio is an EL34. This is an unusual engineering choice and makes this radio one of the most unique in the world. I have wanted to experiment the employment of the KT88 instead of the EL34. The polarization has been changed and the KT88 works in suitable conditions. It is intentional that all its power is not used to the maximum benefit instead could be used on other external speakers. This elaboration has transformed the radio into something similar to a Juke Box. The sound of the KT88 is more dry than the EL34, this last one ( EL34) is more well rounded. It is possible to make a preferential choice as the base is different between the two tubes. The power discharged by the strong KT88 tubes is magnified. The risk is the physical limit will be reached by the frontal loudspeaker at wideband.
This makes the devise suitable for tolerant neighbours!
- Bluetooth receiver embed – The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

 

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

 

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production.

hey also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.

We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

Year of production: 19523
Superheterodyne IF: 472/10700
9 AM Circuits 9 FM Circuits/5

Wavebands: LW, MW, SW, FM
Loudspeakers:
1 wideband
1 Tweeter
Dimensions (LHD):: 630 x 400 x 310 mm / 24.8 x 15.7 x 12.2 inch
Net weight: 17.8 kg / 39 lb 3.3 oz (39.207 lb)
7  Tubes: EF80 EC92 ECH81 EF85 EM71 EABC80 EL34

Saba Meersburg W4 Enhanced

LOUDSPEAKERS

The loudspeaker polar diagram.

This is an example of polar diagram of a coaxial loudspeaker. The different lines show the sound intensity at the angle and frequency change. It's evident the minor directionality of low frequencies respect to those high.
We studied the positioning of the two loudspeaker to obtain the best response at a distance of  3 up to 6 meters.

To avoid pointless words, you have to listen to the result.

TONE CONTROL

The Tone Control system is completely different from the majority of other devices.
The manufacturer has installed a prearranged switch system with five equalization curves.

The selected curve is visible on three vertical and small windows emphasizing a low, medium and acute tone.

The advantages of this system are clarity and stability but its limitation is that it is possible to make a slight adjustment choosing one of the five prearranged equalizations curves.
However the five prearranged equalization curves cover all listening needs.

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

AERIALS

The device has an integrated aerial able to receive FM band.

To receive the AM band there is a connection in the FM's aerial coil.

Behind this device it is possible to find sockets for external aerials.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The tuning system is another gem.
The unit is equipped with mechanisms for keeping separate the AM and FM bands.
The movement is transferred to both mechanisms with a system of pulleys and separated gears.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

TUNING INDICATOR

The magic eye has of course been replaced.

CONTROL PANEL

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

The volume is controlled from the tuning knob placed on the left. The loudness is integrated.
In line with the axis it is possible to find a knob to choose the prearranged equalization curve.
On the right you can find the tuning's indicator.

Below is shown the dialglass with different bands: Long, Medium and Short waves.
At the bottom of the dialglass two sections are visible: K-Lupe and UK
The K-Lupe section, convenient to listen to short waves (KW).
The UK section, that is the FM band's scale.

At the end you can find :
- a series of buttons : OFF, normal tuning (AM), closed tuning (AM), Record Player, Bands (Long, Medium and Short), FM.
- three bars indicating the selected equalization curve.
- two knobs on the right. The biggest one for the three AM Band on the and the smallest for the FM Band and fine tuning in short waves.
The tuning of the short waves is carried out in two phases:
1. Press the button KW and tuning use the biggest tuning's knob.
2.Use the the smallest knob (the same than FM tuning) and watch the K-Lupe scale to refine tuning the preselected station.

Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.

RESTORATION STEPS

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
Saba Meersburg w2 Enhanced
saba meersburg W4 enhanced german radios - en

Saba meersburg w4 enhanced – en

SABA MEERSBURG W4 ENHANCED

SABA MEERSBURG W4 ENHANCED

The MEERSBURG W4 model was built in 1953 by SABA.
Saba singled various models of their equipment giving the name of German's cities.
With Push-Pull power stage the Freiburg has always been the top model.
With Single Ended A Class power stage the top model has always been the Meersburg.
However the Meersburg W2 (the subject of a future review) and the Meersburg W4, for various reasons, have characteristics which, from some points of view, make them even more interesting models of Freiburg.

This review is also a little bit special.
In fact, this unit some changes to exalt to the maximum the already remarkable performance have been made.
This equipment will be exposed to the public, in Rome in October 2016 and in Taipei in December, and other future exposures. A copy can be ordered of course.
As our practice these changes are completely reversible.

But we come to the most interesting native features of this device.

Audio section:
- Final stage in pure A Class. Like the best modern Hi-End amplifiers. A true Religion.
- Speakers concentric. As the prestigosi and refined Hi-End, Goodmans, Altec, Jensen speakers etc. The only way to get a realistic and detailed sound image at the same time.
- Baxandall circuit on Tone Controls. As in the best Hi-Fi amplifiers of the following years. The other manufacturers were using the most simple and cost control configurations.

Radio section:
- FM Amplifier pentode. This constructive choice ensures greater sensitivity than later triode amplifiers. Unfortunately it accompanied by a higher intrinsic noise to the type of tube, for which is required a careful selection of the tube itself.
- Media converters with variable frequency coupling. This peculiaroità to calibrate very accurately the slope and the extension of the Medium Frequency bell. Normally, this control is not present, and is secured from the factory to a mean value.
- Double medium frequency stage. This expensive option guarantees a high sensitivity and selectivity.

Conclusions:
The furniture is beautiful, the proportionate and rounded shapes sizes. Flaming (the design of the wood grain) is chosen with wisdom and taste. The mirror finish with which the device is proposed it further enhances its beauty.
For the speaker layout it is suitable to be positioned in a library or in a niche in the wall.
The sound quality is really unimaginable for this type of equipment.
Since the device is equipped with built-in Bluetooth, it is particularly suited to listening to streaming music.
The best use I can do, in my opinion.

- Dual concentric loudspeakers for a perfect sound image reproduction.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

- New illumination system for a perfect simmetry in the dialglass retroillumination.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

- Bluetooth receiver embed.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

IMPROVED LOUDSPEAKERS
The position and the kind of the loudspeakers is changed.

READ MORE >

IMPROVED ILLUMINATION
We changed also the illumination system.

READ MORE >

BLUETOOTH
Bluetooth receiver embed

READ MORE >

MULTI PLATFORM CONNECTION
Each radio is equipped with a cable for connection to any digital device.

READ MORE >

TUBESOUND IMPROVEMENT

- Improved Loudspekers - The two loudspeaker are changed and have now the central axle aligned. A new crossover filter is installed to have the best response curve possible. The results is that the soundstage is incredibly realistic for a mono device. And the listening in mono it may hold some surprises. Seeing is believing.

- Improved Illumination - Illumination system is changed for a perfect simmetric illumination of the dialglass. On the original device the illumination was not perfectly simmetric on the left respect the right side of the dialglass. It's not acceptable. Look at all other Saba Meersburg W series do you see on the net to understand the difference.

- Bluetooth receiver embed - The unit is equipped with a BLUETOOTH receiver powered directly by the receiver power supply. This makes it possible to control the amplifier from any external digital device as an IPAD, a Smartphone, or a sophisticated multimedia station. So you can hear your preferred web station or your lossesless file without cables on the room. Wireless Receiver can be equipped upon requests.

Multi Platform Connection – A customized adaptation cable to connect any digital device as Iphone, Smartphone, Laptop, CD Player etc. will be provided with this radio. This special cable suits the different impedances between the modern equipment and the receiver. Furthermore the two stereo channels flow into one without increasing the load to the input unit.

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

Saba Factory - Villingen - 1960

HISTORY

SABA is the acronym for Schawarzwälder-Apparate-Bau-Anstalt meaning engineering institute of Technological appliances of the Black Forest.

The company was founded back in 1835 by Joseph Benedikt with the initial name of Jockele-Uhren, but only in 1923 the production of radio devices began and the company went under the name of SABA.
Toward the end of the 20s SABA became famous with the well-known S35 and in the following years it became the second German producer after Telefunken. During the war SABA produced military equipment and in 1945 the company was completely destroyed by a bombing.
In 1947 the production of radio devices began again and SABA distinguished itself immediately for ist avant-garde and high- quality production

They also began to produce TVs (the first PAL color TV is a SABA), house appliances and medical equipment. Many Italians used to work there. The Alnico Greencone loudspeakers became popular for their linearity, power handling, constant impendence that would be employed in each Hi-Fi devices of that time.

The radio devices with motorized tuning became popular as well and SABA became the representative German brand meaning quality, reliability and detailed precision. In the 1970s the decline began. According to specialized magazines of that time not having a Japanese device at that time meant not having Hi-Fi. In the 80s Thompson took over SABA. In the 90s the other way around, having a Japanese device of the 70s meant not having Hi-Fi. They found out that they functioned with a 96% counterreaction and that a device with 0.001 db from 1 to 100 KHz extension did not necessarily sound good.
We do not trust our ears and we do trust what other people say not necessarily with a good purpose.
2007: due to insolvency SABA disappeared from the TLC (Chinese) and Thompson (French) joint venture, and SABA ceased to exist.

MAIN FEATURES

Year of production: 1953/54
Superheterodyne IF 472/10700
8 AM Circuits 11 FM Circuits
Wavebands: LW, MW, SW, FM
Operating voltage (CA) 110; 125; 160; 220 Volts
Dimensions (LHD): 600 x 385 x 276 mm / 23.6 x 15.2 x 10.9 inch
Net weight: 14.7 kg / 32 lb 6.1 oz (32.379 lb)
11 Tubes: EF80 EC92 ECH81 EF41 EM71 EAF42 EABC80 EL84
Rotating ferrite aerial for AM bands

Saba Meersburg W4 Enhanced

LOUDSPEAKERS

The loudspeaker polar diagram.

This is an example of polar diagram of a coaxial loudspeaker. The different lines show the sound intensity at the angle and frequency change. It's evident the minor directionality of low frequencies respect to those high.
We studied the positioning of the two loudspeaker to obtain the best response at a distance of  3 up to 6 meters.

To avoid pointless words, you have to listen to the result.

TONE CONTROL

The tone control system is very efficient. Above the large tone control knobs there is a band that lights up gradually indicating the emphasis on the band on which it acts.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

AERIALS

Inside the cabinet there is a dipole for FM reception and a ferrite rotating aerial for AM reception.
Ferrite aerial can be rotated from the outside to achieve a perfect tuning of the device in the AM.
In this picture see the rotation mechanism and the position indicator of the aerial.
The reception sensitivity with internal aerials is very good. This unit was in fact produced in a period when there were not many radio stations and those available fairly apart from each others.
Using an external aerial sensitivity is further increased.

SEPARATE CONTROL TUNING BETWEEN AM AND FM

The tuning system is another gem.
The unit is equipped with mechanisms for keeping separate the AM and FM bands.
The movement is transferred to both mechanisms with a system of pulleys and separated gears.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

TUNING INDICATOR

The magic eye has of course been replaced.

CONTROL PANEL

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

The volume control is the big knob on the left (with built-in loudness).
Axially the front knob controls the ferrite aerial orientation.
Toward the right side you meet a little window with the Bass Indicator and the Tuning indicator.
Below you see the Bass Control knob.

Following you meet the Band Spread Dial with the FM, Short, Medium, and Long Wave bands.
Below you meet the control buttons. Respectively: Off, Aux, LW, MW, SW, FM.
Following you meet the Treble Control knob with above its Treble Indicator.
Lastly, on the woodcase you see the Tuning knobs. The biggest for the FM band, the smallest for the AM Bands.

saba meersburg W4 enhanced

REAR SIDE

Output for external speakers.
Socket for recorder (tonbandgerat).
Turntable input (Tonabnehmer)
AM and FM aerial inputs and ground socket.

RESTORATION STEPS

THE USUAL AMAZING LAST IMAGE
saba meersburg W4 enhanced