The Super Shadow range of Copicats in order of merit.
For most of the information below the credit goes to Allan Bradford who was a Watkins w-e-m consultant engineer for the period 1991 - 2002.
The first of the series was an all valve unit with three playback heads mounted in a common clamp.
To the left is the Record Head and to the right the Erase head, both of which in this first image are mounted in
the traditional Copicat saddle type top hat style of bracket.
First series Super Shadow pictured below.
The version above was first known just as "The Watkins Copicat" from 1991 which Charlie later referred to as the
Copicat Gold. (prior to the Copicat Gold of 2011-12) The name 'Super Shadow' was yet to be added.
This was an all valve Copicat with a variable speed tape drive system using a belt driven capstan, powered by a DC motor regulated by a single op-amp IC closed loop comparator circuit to maintain speed stability. The speed setting was optional and could be dialled in via the knob you can see within the tape loop to the right of the jockey arm. The motor could be switched on or off by pulling or pushing the speed knob, operating a pull-switched potentiometer (pull pot).
The head layout, fitment and adjustment seen here is much the same as the popular IC-400 Varispeed Copicat.
With the exception of the erase head in this image, the heads were of the ¼ inch type used on earlier machines but were of limited supply, and were difficult to set up. This erase head is a cassette type, and its clamping method differs to the saddle bracket shown in the top of page image.
These issues prompted the design of a new head clamp capable of containing five replay heads plus the record and erase heads. This new head clamp was designed for the next Super Shadow version, but was used on the last few of this first version, fitted with cassette heads, still with 3 replay heads, but leaving every other space empty.
This Copicat design uses four valves, unlike the early valve units which used three.
The first image shows three of them, the fourth being to the right of the oscillator coil as seen in the second image. They are numbered right to left V4 V3 V2 & V1. All except V2 being ECC83/ 12AX7 whilst V2, the record amp and oscillator valve, is an ECC81/ 12AT7. All four are double triodes.
The full board shown here with valves removed.
According to Allan Bradford, some fifty-five units of this model were made, of which twenty of them went to Japan.
Below is the second version five replay head Super Shadow with newly designed head clamp.
This page is still 'under construction'. More details will be added soon. 02/11/2018
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