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Author Topic: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.  (Read 8419 times)

eligit

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Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« on: September 05, 2006, 05:01:04 pm »

usually just lurk but....

anyone have some favorites here?

from all perspectives (SOUND, maintenance, parts, etc etc etc)

so what is the magic 1"8 track?

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Barry Hufker

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 05:53:50 pm »

A serious question -- Is there a magic to 1" 8 track?

If so, I would think it's because this was the first real "large format" recorder (double the previous number of tracks).  So there is some nostalgia as those machines made a huge difference in recording technique and mixing possibilities.

But we quickly went to 16 and 24 so there must not be too much magic...  Sixteen still had essentially the same track width, S/N and crosstalk.  Twenty-four tracks is where we took a hit in quality.

I once owned a Scully 280 four track because that is what I could afford.  I would have loved to have an 8 track, which I probably would have sold for a 16.

Barry
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compasspnt

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006, 05:58:18 pm »


There is no "Magic" machine.

You provide the magic.

Or not.

But I did a lot of things on the Scully.
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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006, 05:59:05 pm »

yeah, i hear ya...but i really cannot use (or really fit) a 16 or 25 track machine. this is a little home studio.  also, i am under the impression that financially 1" 8 track is very good bang for the buck and (theoretically anyway) better resolution per track than 2" 24 track.

the tape is cheaper....and the machines are a good bargain...all that stuff.

anyway...last machine i was thinking of was the otari mx-70...but did not take the plunge.

edit: oh, yeah forget the word "magic". let's just leave it at "recommended 1" 8 track tape recorders"....

edit #2: the scully machine is just too old and parts/repair issues would just be too much.
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gevermil

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2006, 06:07:58 pm »

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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2006, 06:17:05 pm »

gevermil wrote on Tue, 05 September 2006 23:07

heres a thread that may help you

 http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/9774/0/16/ 0/


was just reading that.....some interesting opinions...
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maxdimario

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 07:28:45 am »

the real magic is a 4 track 1" machine.. or 8 track 2"

if you can make records with it...

you can only record super musicians with it because you can't really overdub (although you can do destructive bounces) unless you have two of them..

anyway that's twice the tape width and probably the best sounding recorder.
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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2006, 10:32:02 am »

maxdimario wrote on Wed, 06 September 2006 12:28

the real magic is a 4 track 1" machine.. or 8 track 2"

if you can make records with it...

you can only record super musicians with it because you can't really overdub (although you can do destructive bounces) unless you have two of them..

anyway that's twice the tape width and probably the best sounding recorder.


yeah, i've heard about em....not practical for me at all.  i'm sure they sound completely astounding with no NR needed.

anyone else got some opionions on the 1" 8?
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scottoliphant

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 11:32:30 am »

i think jack white has been making white stripes records on 1" 8, and the record he did with loretta lynn was 1" 8, although the brand escapes me, somewhere buried in the forum (possible a Studer A-80?)

eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 11:47:49 am »

scottoliphant wrote on Wed, 06 September 2006 16:32

i think jack white has been making white stripes records on 1" 8, and the record he did with loretta lynn was 1" 8, although the brand escapes me, somewhere buried in the forum (possible a Studer A-80?)


the stripes records are a bit rough for my taste...but i'm sure that's not the machine...the lynn stuff is really nice.

you are right about it being an A-80 1" 8 track on the elephant album.
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Dominick

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2006, 10:05:24 am »

I truly love my 3M M56.
Spent lots of time in the trenches with a Scully 284
and a few days with Ampex 440 and Studer A80.
Unless you're handy and have a budget to keep those beasts alive,
you may be better off with an Otari MX70 or MCI JH110.
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Dominick Costanzo

eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2006, 10:20:46 am »

Dominick wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 15:05

I truly love my 3M M56.
Spent lots of time in the trenches with a Scully 284
and a few days with Ampex 440 and Studer A80.
Unless you're handy and have a budget to keep those beasts alive,
you may be better off with an Otari MX70 or MCI JH110.



thanks for the advice.

i am in NYC as well.  what is the tech situation for tape machines in NYC?  any good guys who can come to the studio?
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Jeff Goodman

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2006, 03:26:53 pm »

Dom, check you pm's.

Jeff
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Larrchild

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2006, 03:33:44 pm »

http://www.globalnetvillage.com/images/mx70.jpg
I love my Otari MX-70 1" 8tk for recording at the cribb.
My other car's an A-800, tho=)
That lives elsewhere for obvious reasons!
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Larry Janus
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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2006, 04:31:00 pm »

Larrchild wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 20:33

http://www.globalnetvillage.com/images/mx70.jpg
I love my Otari MX-70 1" 8tk for recording at the cribb.
My other car's an A-800, tho=)
That lives elsewhere for obvious reasons!


and what would you say is the sonic difference btw the studer and otari?  just laying down a stereo miced track and listening back.

does the studer make the otari sound bad by comparison?

or is it hard to say considering the different mics, sources, pre amps, and monitors?
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Larrchild

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2006, 08:28:58 pm »

I dunno, elgit. I have a PT 002R at home, so as you can imagine, the mere addition of an analog recorder changed the character of the home recordings a great amount.

I did spend many years using the A800 before I owned it, and came to my own personal conclusion that hyperbolic heads ..shaped like this: >|  ... which the Otari has, have a different low-end character than curved heads  )   like the Studer has.

The Otari actually sweeps flatter on the low end tho.
It's the "flavor" of the Studer I dig. Specs be damned.
No good or bad..just different, and both good!

Lar'

EDIT: the A800 is 24 track 2" which is a skinnier track than 1" 8tk
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Larry Janus
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bushwick

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2006, 08:58:45 pm »

Go here eligit...

http://cgi.ebay.com/AMPEX-AG-350-Custom-1-8-track-1960s-A-Cl assic_W0QQitemZ110030913354QQihZ001QQcategoryZ15199QQrdZ1QQc mdZViewItem
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Joshua Kessler
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www.bushwickstudio.com

eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2006, 09:20:01 pm »

bushwick wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 01:58

Go here eligit...

 http://cgi.ebay.com/AMPEX-AG-350-Custom-1-8-track-1960s-A-Cl  assic_W0QQitemZ110030913354QQihZ001QQcategoryZ15199QQrdZ1QQc mdZViewItem



hehe..i totally was looking at this today...i just chickened out because of all the work that needed to be done on the machine.  

i'm all for maintaining an already nicely functional machine....but i'm just not sure about a fixer upper situation on a 40+ year old machine.

does look nice tho....
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2006, 09:29:24 pm »

That machine has had some mods - it looks as if it has auto input switching which in those days Ampex did not have.

It would not be a machine to buy unless you liked to tinker more than record and you had more money to fix it than it cost to buy.

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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2006, 09:32:23 pm »

rnicklaus wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 02:29

That machine has had some mods - it looks as if it has auto input switching which in those days Ampex did not have.

It would not be a machine to buy unless you liked to tinker more than record and you had more money to fix it than it cost to buy.





that was why i didn't go for it....i really cannot spend ALL (some but not all) of my time messing around with the machine.
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2006, 09:38:53 pm »

If you want to get music on tape, you need a machine that fires up and runs everyday outside of normal wear and tear and maintenance.

Anything outside of that is a boat anchor. IMHO
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Larrchild

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2006, 09:39:41 pm »

Yeah for that kinda cabbage, something like I have. But relays and noisy FET ic's can plague those Otari MX's.

So yeah, punching in on the Ampex was like firing a torpedo in a sub, took 3 people. Even if it has autoswitching added, its not a good starter piece.
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Larry Janus
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2006, 09:44:01 pm »

Think of trying to figure out how to repair the auto input mod if it had issues, which you can bet it does.
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2006, 09:47:10 pm »

Larrchild wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 18:39


So yeah, punching in on the Ampex was like firing a torpedo in a sub, took 3 people.


Good way to put it.  With the right console set up in the day, monitoring the output of the console during record and pushing up another fader for playback, you could reduce the work force to two people for a punch.
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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2006, 09:52:53 pm »

an obvious fixer-upper situation is just not for me....even if a good deal emerges by the end it would not be a deal in terms of time or money.  i have enough to do without a whole other seriously time and money consuming hobby.....

just to have to bide my time on the right used deck.
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2006, 10:08:13 pm »

My friend sold his nice 827 24 trk for 3500.00 with remote, MRL tapes, everything.  Low hours

If I was looking for a 1" 8 track, I wouldn't spend much and it better be "mint".







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compasspnt

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2006, 01:17:16 am »


Or just buy a brand new one with a warranty.
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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2006, 10:09:28 am »

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 06:17


Or just buy a brand new one with a warranty.



are any professional quality 1" 8 track machines even in production anymore?

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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2006, 01:23:38 pm »

If you buy this 1" 8 track, what are you going to use as a console?
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Justin from Queens

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2006, 04:16:35 pm »

Hi there,

I bought an MCI JH110C about a year and a half ago.  

It's a fine machine.  The main problem with the JH 110s (and I think this is mentioned above) is that the connections on some of the machines were poorly done.  It's not a problem with my machine, but I recall seeing somewhere that the machines with real problems have a certain color on the connections (blue or red).  If you can avoid getting such a machine, you'll be sitting pretty.

The biggest advantage to these machines is that maintenance on them is pretty easy that there's several active resources (Blevins in Nashville, ladewd on this forum and former MCI tech Glenn Coleman) to help you deal with parts and maintenance issues.  I knew nothing about analaog machines a few months ago, but after some study and talking to the folks mentioned above, I can troubleshoot signal problems and do a pretty comprehensive alignment.  And I think it sounds fine.  In addition, the prevelance of these machines and the fact that they share parts with the 2 and 4 track models means that you won't be stuck looking for a critical part.  I bought the 8 track, a 1/2" 2 track and a 1/4" 2 track (for parts), spending about $3000 for all three machines.  

I'm in NYC as well and am running a home studio with the 110 as my main machine.   PM me if you'd like to come by and take a look at it.

= Justin

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eligit

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2006, 12:54:38 am »

rnicklaus wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 18:23

If you buy this 1" 8 track, what are you going to use as a console?


i was thinking a Speck X-sum.  really minimalist and clean.  use my little bit of outboard during tracking and then maybe a couple inserts with the x-sum during mix down (patchbay?)

mix to the 2 channels of lavry A/D D/A....done.
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rnicklaus

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2006, 02:53:05 pm »

You may really want to consider an MCI.  In terms of parts and service, that's a huge plus.
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stevieeastend

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Re: Favorite 1" 8 track machines.
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2006, 04:26:26 pm »

rnicklaus wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 18:23

If you buy this 1" 8 track, what are you going to use as a console?


Spectrasonic?
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