BELL & HOWELL SoundStar XJ Super 8/Single 8 Sound Film Projector

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This is what you get!


f/1.6 17-30mm Zoom Lens

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Bell & Howell SoundStar XJ SUPER 8/SINGLE 8 SOUND FILM PROJECTOR with Variable Speed Control



This is an easy-to-use quality autoload projector for Super 8 silent or sound movies. It works well.

Playback and record sound: Magnetic playback and recording for Super 8 and Single 8 sound film. Film capacity is up to 600 ft with a special reel. This machine is equipped will a standard 400 foot take-up reel.

Variable Speed Control: To add interest and variety to your movies, your projector is equipped with a VARIABLE SPEED CONTROL. Your movies are running at normal speed when the Variable Speed Control is set in the center. If you want to make your movies run slower, turn this knob to the left (counter-clockwise). If you want to speed up the action, turn the knob to the right (clock- wise). To resume normal motion, set the knob back to the center. NOTE: Always have the Variable Speed Control set for normal motion (in the center) when loading film through the projector.

Movie Transfers: I used this projector to transfer some home movie film to video using certain techniques. This is not a "telecine projector", but it worked ok for my purposes. As the frame rate is variable, I could tweak the speed some to minimize or eliminate bands going across the video monitor. The projector plays back normally at either 18 silent or 24 fps sound, depending on your selection. The earphone jack can be used to transfer the sound track.

To reverse the action of your movies for special effects or to review an earlier scene, turn the Function Control Switch counter-clockwise to REVERSE and further to LAMP. NOTE: When a sound movie is projected in reverse, the sound is automatically disconnected and no sound will be heard from the speaker.

Manual Included: The original instruction manual is included. I scanned one page that points out many of the physical features. Click here to see it.


Click this link to go to:

Go to: "Capturing The Past" Movie Making Page to learn more about Super 8 equipment.

See: My current Multisensory Projects and Inventions, the reason I must sell my equipment.

A note about Sound on Sound Recording:

Note: At the time Super 8 was in fashion, pre home video, the idea of any sound on home filmed movies was very cool. "Sound-on-Sound" means that you can edit a movie with its original sound, then add another layer of sound on top of the first, mixed right into it, so both will be heard as one. This would often be a narration or music track, for instance. This projector allows you to adjust the level of sound added in relation to original sound.

In modern times, most Super-8 movies are transferred to video first, and then edited with sound tracks mixed using newer digital technologies. This may not be the case for some film students, whom are learning the process of filmmaking in a more purist form. Not much room for mistakes with this system though, as the original soundtrack is modified permanently when second one is added; "No-Way-Back!" Someone attempting this might be wise to backup the original soundtrack on some kind of audio recorder first. Early home video machines had this sound-on-sound option too.

Important Note: Please be aware that if you are looking for a standard 8 projector (Standard 8 film is different, usually shot on pre-middle-1960's cameras). This projector model was designed for Super-8 Silent and Super-8 Sound, as well as Single-8 playback only. It does not play Standard-8 movies.


  • Sound System: Magnetic reproduction and recording Film
    Type: Super 8 and Single 8
  • Film Capacity: Up to 600 ft. (180 m.) with special reel
  • Picture/Sound distance: 18 frames
  • Film loading: Fully automatic reel to reel Projection
  • Speed: 18 and 24 fps
  • Projection Lens: f/1.5 18-30 mm Zoom lens
  • Motor: DC commutator motor. with electric self-
    controlling governer
  • Frequency: 50/60 Hz
  • Amplifier: 2W solid-state IC amplifier
  • Continuous power output: 2W 8 ohms 3.5W 4 ohms max.
  • Speaker: Built-in 10 cm 2W 8 ohms dynamic speaker
  • Automatic recording level control: Built-in
  • Sound on Sound System: Built-in
  • Control: Tone, volume and speed control knobs Input
  • Jacks: AC main supply Microphone, Monitor for earphone, Auxiliary extension speaker jack
  • Auxiliary input Dimension: 205 mm H x 290 mm W x 160 mm
  • D Weight (Net) : 6.5 kgs.

Included with the Projector were:

1) f/1.5 18-30 mm Zoom lens

2) Power Cable

3) 400' Take-up Reel

4) Foam Packing Container - Lower Half and Box

5) The original instruction manual


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