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UHER 5000
Open reel tape recorder

Universal 5000 (German: Universalgerät 5000) was an open-reel two-track mono tape recorder, introduced in 1963 by UHER in München (Germany). It was the successor to the 4000-series and was used by law enforcement agencies for recording interrogations and tapped conversations.

The device is housed in a strong grey die-cast aluminium enclosure. All controls are at the recessed control panel at the front, whilst all connections (with the exception of the power cord) are located at the right side of the device.

Although it has a handle at the front, it is not intended for portable use and must be powered from the mains. The device accepts 6" reels and records a single channel (mono) onto one half of a 2-track tape at one of three speeds: 2.9, 4.7 or 9.5 cm/s. At the highest tape speed of 9.5 cm/s, the frequency response is 40 Hz to 16,000 Hz.
UHR 5000 with lid removed

The UHER 5000 was first introduced in 1963 and remained in production for more than 10 years. It was last listed in the catalogue of 1974/75. Over the years, the design was slightly improved and the name changed from Universal 5000 to Universalgerät 5000 (universal device 5000). The device was succeeded in 1985 by the modernised UHER 6000 which had similar specifications.

UHER 5000 with lid closed
UHER 5000 with open lid
UHR 5000 with lid removed
1 / 3
UHER 5000 with lid closed
2 / 3
UHER 5000 with open lid
3 / 3
UHR 5000 with lid removed

  1. Universal 5000 — 1963-1970
    First shown in CDRG handbook 1963/64. Grey enclosure with silver control panel and 3-digit tape counter. All push-buttons are bright (cream). The model was unaltered until 1969/70.

  2. Universal 5000 — 1970-1972
    The second version was first shown in the 1970/71 catalogue, and was available at a price of DM 635. The control panel was still silver coloured, but the middle push-button (STOP) was darker than the others. Initially the tape counter still had 3-digits, but in 1971/72 a 4-digit one was introduced. At the same time, the name of the machine was changed to Universalgerät 5000 and the price was raised to DM 669.

  3. Universalgerät 5000 — 1972-1975
    The third version appeared in the 1972/73 catalogue and is clearly different from the previous ones. The case now has a uniform bright grey colour and the control panel is black. All devices now have a 4-digit tape counter. This model is last listed in the 1974/75 catalogue. The device featured here is of this type.
Law enforcement
Because of its robustness, the UHER 5000 was a popular recorder with law enforcement agencies, in particular for use during interrogations and in wire­tapping operations (telephone taps).

The device shown here was used for many years in one of the tapping rooms of the Dutch Police, as part of the analogue ATR tapping system.

 More about ATR
Police tapping room

  • Tracks
    2, single channel (mono)
  • Reel size
    6" max.
  • Speeds
    2.9 / 4.7 / 9.5 cm/s
  • Wow and flutter
  • Frequency
    40 Hz to 16 kHz (at 9.5 cm/s)
  • Output
  • Transistors
    8 × AC151, 2 × AC124
  • Diodes
    2 × RL34
  • Dimensions
    335 × 322 × 150 mm
  • Weight
    8.5 kg
  1. Via website HiFi Engine

  1. HiFi Engine, Uher Universal 5000
    Retrieved June 2019.

  2. Radio Museum, Universal (Universalgerät) 5000
    Retrieved June 2019.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 10 June 2019. Last changed: Tuesday, 30 November 2021 - 16:51 CET.
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