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Author Topic: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?  (Read 6351 times)

Brian Roth

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2005, 01:30:40 am »

arconaut wrote on Wed, 22 June 2005 17:09

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

noah


There was a Stephens here in OKC for maybe 15 years and it gave very little trouble.  However, it was sold/retired probably 10 years ago, so no telling how well one would be holding up these days.

John is still around, apparently in SoCal as I recall.

http://www.stephenselectronics.com/home.htm

Bri


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Brian Roth Technical Services
Oklahoma City, OK
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arconaut

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2005, 08:20:58 am »


>John is still around, apparently in SoCal as I recall.
>
>http://www.stephenselectronics.com/home.htm

I was excited to see this website, until I discovered that nothing works on it! I had no idea he was still at it, amazing the things you learn on this board.
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Brian Roth

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2005, 08:48:25 am »

arconaut wrote on Thu, 23 June 2005 07:20


>John is still around, apparently in SoCal as I recall.
>
>http://www.stephenselectronics.com/home.htm

I was excited to see this website, until I discovered that nothing works on it! I had no idea he was still at it, amazing the things you learn on this board.


Yeah, it's pretty bare-bones, including the "contact" page:  "Send me YOUR contact info and I might get back with you."  <g>

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 #18 on: June 23, 2005, 02:50:38 pm »

Stephens are great. Weirdly, theres hardly any electronics  ..where's the electronics?!
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lucey

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2005, 12:59:34 am »

All machines take work, get a new Radar system, sounds better than Otari and many things by far.

A good tech in Hollywood is Rob Harvey at World Audio, maybe he can help you find someone in Riverside.

MM1200 here ... lots of little things go wrong, but it sounds amazing.  Stephens are HOT to tape, neat head design, hard to find.

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vernier

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2005, 01:36:13 am »

Radar is digital right?
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ALLEN WRENCH

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2005, 09:20:47 am »

Every time I listen to digital recordings I just get pissed off at the crappy sound.  For my workstation set up I'll probably be ending up with a LynxAES16 card and the Mytek converters...  but I still only use the workstation for writing.  

Even if I ever decide to go all digital at some point, I'm still planning on recording on tape and then hitting the ADC's (on my Manley SLAM) off the REPRO head of my tape machine.
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Ronny

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2005, 02:57:57 pm »

vernier wrote on Sat, 25 June 2005 01:36

Radar is digital right?



Yes, I wouldn't say it sounds better than Otari 2", but a lower noise floor and there isn't any reason that you can't get great results with 24 bit digital these days, after all 99% of the music is going to wind up on digital cd's and dvd's anyway and the annie recordings and mixes are eventually going to go through several digital processes before they reach the consumer. I still work with both, I have to say that some instruments track better to tape, such as drums, especially cymbals, but the benefits of digital in the mixing stage often outweigh the slight improvement that I hear tracking overheads to annie.
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vernier

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2005, 03:20:25 pm »

Doesn't matter that it ends up on CD ..analog recordings still sound much different (as proven by outstanding reissues of late). Digital has some specs (low noise floor, whatever), but still sounds weird, I think it's the dynamics, the way the sound comes at you ..much different than with analog.
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Ronny

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2005, 06:58:51 pm »

vernier wrote on Sat, 25 June 2005 15:20

Doesn't matter that it ends up on CD ..analog recordings still sound much different (as proven by outstanding reissues of late). Digital has some specs (low noise floor, whatever), but still sounds weird, I think it's the dynamics, the way the sound comes at you ..much different than with analog.



Yes analog recording and mixing sounds different than digital recording and mixing, but to diss digital while listening to analog recordings on cd's like some people do, is a bit weird methinks. Savvy engineers utilize both mediums for what they offer, it's just not a one is better at all things than the other, each has it's drawbacks and benefits. The key is to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
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vernier

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2005, 07:51:12 pm »

I can't help but to diss it ..digital just doesn't have holding power, I play 'em once or twice and thats it, but all-analog recordings get played over and over (and over). Hybrid really doesn't do it either.
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acorec

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2005, 09:45:53 am »

There is no such thing as a 2" machine that will not have problems. Every machine brand has different problems and hassles. I have a 1983 MCI JH 24 2" 24 track and I don't see how a machine could be made any easier to fix. The Studers are a level above these and require more tech savvy to keep running.
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Han S.

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2005, 10:11:48 am »

I bought an Otari MX80 24 in 1998 and so far it has only had a small problem with a broken capacitor.

Even aligning isn't needed very often for the machine is quite steady.

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Les Ismore

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2005, 02:23:21 pm »

thedoc wrote on Wed, 22 June 2005 18:56

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.
Smile


Actually the MM1100 and mm1200 Ampex will run at correct speed without the constant tension kit. You just need to know how.
With a 1k tone on a fully packed 10" reel, get it to just slightly overspeed into correct speed at the head of the reel, and at the very tail have it come slower up to speed.
This will have it running at speed to spec throughout the reel, but is not covered in the manual. I do this without a Tentelometer.
Then put a note on the controls "DO NOT TOUCH".
What happens is the optical light on the tension arm burns out and the first thing people do is start wanking on the tension controls. Of course without a lightbulb all the tweaking in the world won't fix it. And then it's so far out you need to do a complete tension alignment.
cheers, Les
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Brian Roth

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Re: 2" TAPE MACHINE SUGGESTION ... FOR HOME STUDIO IDIOTS ?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2005, 04:23:11 pm »

Indeed, all (?) of the 1100's and most of the 1200's didn;t have the constant tension kit, but it does make it more "solid".

In any case, pinch roller maintenance is important...keeping it unglazed and at the proper pressure.

Bri

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Brian Roth Technical Services
Oklahoma City, OK
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