Audio Reflex

Audio Reflex were a Canadian audio company, who were taken over (I think) by the Korean company Inkel in the early 1980’s – Inkel also bought Sherwood at around the same time. Their equipment was usually made for them in Japan, and was good quality, and at excellent prices – it was usually branded as “Audio Reflex by AGS”, so AGS may have been the parent company. In Australia their products had a 3 year warranty, which was fairly rare. The DD-1979 was their second most expensive model, a semi-automatic direct drive and cost AUD$259 in 1979. Semi automatic means you have to move the tonearm over the record to start it, but at the end of the record, the tonearm returns automatically to its rest, and the platter stops revolving. The DD-1979 weighed 6kg, and had wow and flutter of either 0.05% WRMS, or 0.06% (those figures were given in different issues of Stereo Buyer’s Guide – I’m not sure which is correct), and rumble of -50dB unweighted, or -61dB weighted. It was later (1982) sold as the Inkel DD-1979.

It was made in Japan, possibly by JVC, as the tonearm was identical to that used on the JVC VL-5, which itself was almost identical to the Audio Reflex belt drive MR-110, MR-120B and MR-125B. Another possibility is that the same OEM manufacturer (CEC?) made them for both JVC (early 1970’s) and later Audio Reflex/Inkel (mid-1970’s to early 1980’s). The tonearm frequently suffered manufacturing faults where a screw was left undone, causing the tonearm to bind at the pivot. The same fault affected both the Audio Reflex and JVC turntables that used that tonearm, but they should all be fixed by now – it was just a simple fix of raising the tonearm slightly at the pivot, and doing up the grub screw that supported the horizontal bearing (from my hazy memory – I fixed many when I worked part time as a hi-fi tech more than 30 years ago). Probably someone on the production line forgot to tighten that screw when they were being put together!:nono:

IIRC Audio Reflex was sold through Sears, decent if not remarkable gear.
On the counterweight is a dial with numbers. There should be a line on the top of the stub it rides on.
Set anti-skating to 0.
By turning the entire counterweight, balance the arm so that the stylus hovers just above the record surface.
Without moving the counterweight, turn the dial to 0.
Turn the entire counterweight to where the dial reads the required tracking force.
Set anti-skate to match tracking force.
You can also download an alignment protractor to optimize the position of the cartridge in the headshell. They are under Tools, at the top.

I used to own an Audio Reflex (MR-109) turntable back in the 1970’s – first turntable I owned, and one of the cheapest available then. It was OK after an initial fault with the tonearm was fixed. Almost all of them that had that tonearm had the same fault, caused by a screw in the horizontal bearing not being tightened properly on the construction line, causing the pivot to drop and drag on the arm base during horizontal movement. The MR-109 and MR-110 were almost identical to the JVC VL-5, which also had the same tonearm, and the same fault, according to someone who repaired and sold JVC equipment in the early ’70’s.
Audio Reflex were a Canadian audio company, owned by AGS, American General Supply of Toronto. I believe the company was taken over by the Korean manufacturer Inkel in about 1981 or 1982, which is why it’s now hard to find info out about them. Inkel also bought Sherwood around the same time, and use that as their export hi-fi brand today, so the Audio Reflex brand was obviously phased out. The Audio Reflex turntables in my copy of Australian Hi-Fi’s Stereo Buyer’s Guide Turntables No. 10 (1981) became Inkel model numbers in Turntables No. 11 (1982). They sold a range of mainly Japanese OEM-made turntables from cheap entry level belt drives like my old MR-109, through to mid-range direct drives, in the mid-70’s to early 80’s. They usually came packaged with cheap (but quite reasonable) AT cartridges tracking at 1.5-3g, which were quite a good compliance match for the medium effective mass of the s-shaped tonearm used on them.
Turntable models I know they sold were the belt drive MR-109 and MR-110, which were similar (but not identical) to the JVC VL-5, the MR-120B and MR-125B, MR-130/140 (not sure if that was two different models – it was listed like that in the 1980 Stereo Buyer’s Guide Directory) as well as two direct drives, DD1979 and SM2000. The MR-130/140 (which may have been one model superseding the other that year) sold in 1980 for $139 including cartridge, and had wow and flutter of 0.12% WRMS, rumble not stated, dimensions 390 x 305 x 135mm, and weight 7.5kg (they were good and solid). This page also shows a user manual for the MR-130/140 , so maybe those models are almost the same, with the same manual, if you want one. Coincidentally the 1980 Stereo Buyer's Guide Directory has a complete Audio Reflex system – DD tt, amp, tuner, cassette deck, graphic equaliser and speakers – pictured on the cover.


Login or Register to post a comment