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Author Topic: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?  (Read 6603 times)

ALLEN WRENCH

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2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« on: June 21, 2005, 07:42:32 pm »

Which 2" machine would you suggest?


With prices dropping like crazy on 2" tape machines, people like myself are finding that these pricey devices are now within the home studio budget.  But for someone with no tech ability... the wrong choice could end up becoming dangerous!

Last year I bought a 1978 MCI JH-16 and have recently run into repair issues that have totally fucked over my deadline for a project I'm working on.  I live in Riverside and it seems as though it's impossible to get people out here to work on this thing.

One of the options I'm considering is buying another tape machine.

I could get one of Randy Blevins super kick-ass rebuilt MCI machines, but then if I have problems in the future I'm stuck in the same 'no tech available' position.

Just for bullet-proof / run forever type of a rep...  a lot of people like the Otari machines.

If you were going to suggest a 2" analog tape machine for someone with zero tech ability... which would it be?



... here's me before DISASTER STRUCK!!!!


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djui5

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGERSTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2005, 08:24:12 pm »

Otari MTR-90's are pretty reliable.
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thedoc

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2005, 09:31:41 pm »

I will be honest and say that in my opinion, you must have access to a tech
if you are going to have a 24 track machine.  Issues of blown MDA's, bad pucks,
bad channel cards, reel tension issues, audio alignment, bias problems, tape
path problems, etc.

I wish I could say otherwise...

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Jolly Ted

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2005, 09:53:43 pm »

Hey Allen,

I can sympathize about your dilemma. What is happening with your JH-16 ?

I travel a lot into Riverside from Orange County. Maybe I can offer some helpful advice or lend a hand.

I've been maintaining and rebuilding pro analog decks since the 70's. It might be worth taking a look see to see about what the real problem is you're having and see about sorting it out...since you already have it.

Most used analog decks you purchase are all going to have some issues when you buy them. And ALL decks will need regular  standard 'upkeep' maintenance for as long as you own them.

Let us know what the issues are. Would love to see another 'analog brother' get up and runnin!

Regards,

Ted

vernier

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2005, 11:21:14 pm »

Yeah, Riverside is close enough to L.A (where the best analog recordings in the universe were made, and where the best analog techs still are) so basically, you're set. Link up with someone and go from there.
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ALLEN WRENCH

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2005, 11:28:45 pm »

Hey Ted,  I've got a tech friend of mine helping me a bit...  first it was the capstan motor that I fucked up with 409 ( MDI Precision Motor Works gave me great service ), coincidentally one of the brushes went out on one of my take up reels and once again MDI Precision Motor Works got me rocking with the 661 brushes.

Now after the motor was put back in it seems as though there's some trouble in the analog torque board.  My friend Terry says there are some suspicious chip and cap change outs that might be causing some problems.

The big point is that I'm lucky he has the time to come by and help me out.

As of right now I'm preparing PLAN B... and that could possibly include buying another tape machine, dropping cash on a rack of Mytek converters... or if I'm lucky, my MCI might work out just fine.

The reason I was mentioning the Otari machines is because everyone says they're work hoarses.  And probably an equal number of people say that the MCI's are temper mental pains in the ass!  I like my MCI, I just wish I could use it to record... instead of a place to stack screwdrivers and porno mags.
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ALLEN WRENCH

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2005, 11:32:32 pm »

Well, the FIRST thing I did was to get ahold of every tech I could, but to no avail.  But great for all the LA techs... they've got more work than they can handle.

I really do have to admit that Charlie Bolis is really a cool guy, but he's slammed on work right now.
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Brian Roth

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2005, 11:58:17 pm »

Wish I was out there, Allen, since things have been slow for me here!  That's changing a bit as I've been getting some rackup and other custom work from out of town.

Anyway, if you're going after an MTR-90, be SURE it's a Mark III.  The two that I care for here have been excellent once they got Athan rubber pucks on them.  There's a Mark I here that has been a bit of a problem child, but it's chugging along OK with very light usage.  By the MK III, Otari sorted many problems out.

I've been impressed by a Studer A-80 MK IV and an A-800 MK III that are in studios in my area.  Not too many problems, with the most irritating being the tension sensor pots on the A-80.

Ampex MM-1200 is a possibility, especially later mdoels with the constant tension kit.  The 1200 was basically a "bug fix" for the MM-1100!

The Ampex MM-1000 was a good machine, but 24 track versions are very rare.  Most sold were 16 track in that era.

Other possibilities I've worked with is the 3M M-79 and the Stephens.

Bri

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Brian Roth Technical Services
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vernier

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2005, 12:46:41 am »

Wait a minute (doing the math here) ..there should be lots of techs in the L.A area twiddling their thumbs ..I'd look harder.
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Brian Roth

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2005, 01:43:44 am »

Vernier...well, maybe I should stay here then <g>.  Cost of living is a lot less, and slow workload would be the same, I guess!

Bri

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Brian Roth Technical Services
Oklahoma City, OK
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Cerumen

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2005, 03:04:25 pm »

i got the same machine.
here's my tech's number.

ken rains
714 208 3475 pgr
323 270 8560 cell
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Jorge Hernandez

arconaut

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2005, 06:09:07 pm »

Brian... a Stephens? Aren't those machines really difficult to maintain?

noah
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Markus Fischer

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2005, 06:46:01 pm »

ALLEN WRENCH wrote on Wed, 22 June 2005 01:42


If you were going to suggest a 2" analog tape machine for someone with zero tech ability... which would it be?


none  Confused
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thedoc

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2005, 09:56:36 pm »

I will also say that I agree with Brian that if you buy an Ampex MM1200, be SURE that it has the constant tension board (many do not).  Otherwise you will spend your
life normalizing reel servos and adjusting holdback tension.  A Tentelometer will be your friend.

I have had very good luck with many Otari MTR90 Mark II's but I am sure the III's are good.

Smile
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Jolly Ted

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2005, 12:06:21 am »

Quote:

Hey Ted, I've got a tech friend of mine helping me a bit...

The big point is that I'm lucky he has the time to come by and help me out.


Good deal, Alex!  Having a good tech to help is very important, no matter if you go plan A or B.

I'll be in the Corona / Riverside area next week if you need an additional hand. Just PM me.


Ted

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