BeoSystem 5500

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Manufactured: 1986 - 1989
Designer: Jacob Jensen
Colours: Aluminium, White

Beosystem 5500 - raw power, civilised manners

At first sight Beosystem 5500 looked almost too refined to be a musical powerhouse.

The clean, streamlined design, devoid of buttons and dials, gave no indication of the massive potential beneath. Looks are deceptive, however. Below those polished surfaces was a technologically-advanced record player, tape recorder, radio and compact disc player, plus an amplifier that could more than hold its own among the heavyweights.

Intelligent remote control

Beosystem 5500 was technologically at its best - extremely powerful in design, wonderfully easy to use. The Master Control Panel gave you access to every function - and kept you informed as well.

Each time you gave the system an order, the light display would tell you what was going on. You could also programme ahead, just as easily. For example, if you want to be woken at a certain time in the morning with your favourite music or news, it was all there at your fingertips. The same applied if you wanted to tape a programme when you were out. Naturally, Beosystem 5500 was designed to form part of Bang & Olufsen's round-the-house system, so it could also be operated through the Beolink 1000 remote control.

Where you want - and when you like

The modular design of Beosystem 5500 gave you complete flexibility in where you placed the different units. Stack them, range them side by side, or disperse them around the room. You could also acquire the system gradually - start perhaps with the radio/amplifier and tape recorder. Then treat yourself to the record player and CD player when you couldn't wait any longer.

Beosystem 5500 was made up of the following individual units:

Beomaster 5500

This was the brains of the system. Connected by Datalink to the record player, tape recorder and CD player it allowed you to remote-control the whole system via the Master Control Panel. The 2 x 60 watt/8 ohm tuner/amplifier gave you true hi-fi quality. Bang & Olufsen's Automatic Power Handling Control system prevented overloading and distortion, regardless of how many speakers were connected. You could preset up to 20 stations on the tuner, and the frequency synthesizer would take care of automatic search and fine tuning of stations. The result - superb reception of LW, MW and FM wavebands, and impressive ease of use.

Beogram CD5500

The quality of this CD player took time to fully appreciate. Take, for example, the elegant disc tray with its completely smooth and silent drive. Or the way that the disc drive system was mounted to isolate it from vibrations. Perhaps you were most impressed by the way that a built-in circuit in the player compensated for the tiniest faults on the disc itself (contrary to popular belief they're not always perfect!) Finding tracks was fast and easy - just ask the Master Control Panel for the track number you wanted to hear. You could programme tracks to be played in any order, or sample each track briefly. There was a light display which shows you the length of the track you were playing, and the remaining time on the disc - invaluable for recording.

Beocord 5500

This advanced tape recorder was close to professional standard, bristling with features you would love to use., There was Auto Reverse, letting you play or record both sides of a cassette as one continuous tape. And automatic adjustment of sound levels avoided annoying volume changes from one recording to the next. Then there was B&O's famous HX-Pro recording system which gave a vastly superior sound quality on the higher frequencies, creating a richer, more detailed sound image.

Beocord 5500 automatically adjusted itself to match standard, chrome or metal tapes. There was also the option of Dolby B or C during recording. During playback, the recorder automatically switched itself to the noise reduction system you needed. There was also of course, the refinement of automatic track search - just key in the track number and the recorder did the rest.

[H][A=/prod_details.asp?pid=299]Beogram 5500[[/A]/H]

You couldn't do better than Beogram 5500 to look after your valuable record collection. The electronically-controlled tangential arm played the record at the exact angle that the original master was cut. This allowed the ultra-sensitive MMC 4 pick-up to give the most precise possible reading of the signals in the groove. And with a stylus pressure of only 1,2g, this extraordinarily gentle touch added years to the life of your precious records.

Beogram 5500 was a tough customer though; dancing feet wouldn't shake it up, courtesy of the special chassis suspension and short, rigid tone arm. There were also extra features such as the automatic registration of record size and speed; plus full track search and record repeat facilities, via the Master Control Panel.

Master Control Panel 5500 was designed for Beosystem 5500.

However, if you treated yourself to B&O's round-the-house TV, video and hi-fi system, you'd find the panel very useful.

For example, if you were in one of the linked rooms, you could look at the control panel to see what the music system in the main room was doing. Right down to checking details such as recording level.

Beosystem 5500 was Bang & Olufsen's most advanced music systems up to the time of its introduction. With a minimum of operating procedures, you could enjoy musical experiences that were considered impossible a few years' earlier. It controlled tapes cassettes, records, radio and compact discs and could be operated via Master Control Link.

Master Control Panel MCP 5500 - the key to the whole system

The operating panel MCP 5500 gave you access to the whole of Beosystem 5500.

With this at hand, you could remote control all the units of the system and all of its functions. The infra-red two-way communications system ensured that you only had to look at the Master Control Panel to see what was happening and if your commands were being actioned upon. In other words, you were always in close contact with the system - no matter how far away it was... simple and logical.

All the elements in Beosystem 5500 were connected by Bang & Olufsen data link which meant in effect that each unit had a built-in microcomputer that controlled all functions. When they were connected they became a system that communicated collectively with the Master Control Panel.

In practise this meant that you could operate the system units from one location rather than operating each on its own. By enabling the units to communicate in this way, Bang & Olufsen devised very simple but effective operating procedure.

The Master Control Panel had buttons for controlling all the day-to-day functions of the record player, tape recorder, radio and compact disc player. And because each unit spoke the same language, each button controlled several functions. You could for example, use the FORWARD button to move the record player tone arm further inwards, go to the next track on a compact disc, fast-forward a tape cassette or move from one radio station to another. When you operated one unit in the system, you could operate them all!

Under the flap of MCP 5500 you found the operating panel for all the special functions like programming, which enabled you to order the system to wake you with music or record a concert even though you were not at home.


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BeoSystem 5500 Product Specifications

Beomaster 5500

BeoCord 5500

Related Products

Created: 13th January 2007
Modified: 3rd March 2019

Author Notes:

My BeoWorld

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