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Studer A820 24-Track vs. A80/A827
Old 12th August 2015 | Show parent
  #31
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

you know I thought mine was a mark 2... I bought it from 20 century fox... but it does have transformers on the audio cards and it has had to replace a tension arm..... hmmmm. its been a great deck tho

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
Very much so... LEDS/PPM bar graphs instead of VU.

Think it stored 3 tape settings.

If your after another tape deck that can do the same and more look for a SONY APR 24.


Otari had the MTR 100 which was it's flag shi machine but i get the feeling that not many were made.

DO NOT get a MTR90 mk 1... as much as they sounds lightly better as they had transformers the transport had issues and was known to snap tension arms.

Not sure on the sonics side of things but they are cheap and do all that the 820 can do and more.

I'm sure if you search you can read all about it.
Old 13th August 2015
  #32
Here for the gear
 

I Have a Studer A820 24 track tape recorder recently removed from a working environment. Located in London, UK ยฃ7500GBP

Thanks

Mark
Old 15th August 2015
  #33
First of all tape rules!!!!!(I just had 2)

Studer 827 is a cool azz tape deck!
Tracked a lot of stuff on them.

Studer 800 just sounds better,2" 16 is so very rock.

The advice to get an MTR 90 Mk2 is ignored at the peril
of your bank account.Sounds as good as the 827!
Go ahead and cry little Studer tears,it's true.

Otari were the Maytag of Tape decks,good if you like to get paid.
I looved my MTR90mk2

I'm using(or it's using me) a Stephens machine.
When working it mocks the machines mentioned
like a fly weight Mike Tyson.

Snag a clean MTR90mk2,send the cards to Jim Williams,
He will clean them up and you will have something special.
This will not be a tape compression transformer warm fest.(That is Ampex,yum)

Did i mention tape ROooooles?
Old 15th August 2015 | Show parent
  #34
Gear Nut
 

I had an A827 for a short while (long story) which I sold quite a few years ago with verified 90% on the heads for about the number you are talking about spending. 2 years later the going price for these machines plummeted to half that, and it hasn't changed much since. The A820s always go for a little less. So I'd say your machine is waaay overpriced.

I've never used an A820, so I can't comment on the sound.

Here's what I would say in general though:

* If I had to criticize the sound of the A827 I would say it was on the clinical side compared to the A800 and the Ampex MM-1200, both of which I own and regularly use for transfers. It certainly didn't sound bad though...

* One reason for selling mine was that although I am reasonably handy with fixing things, the A827 was out of my league. I maintain the MM-1200 myself. The A800 I can maintain myself "to a degree".

* If you want to run a tape machine nowadays you need to have a spare machine for parts and for troubleshooting. I have that for both of the aforementioned machines.

* If you can't maintain the machine yourself make sure there is a local technician you can rely on. You are lucky in Portland because you have Allan Garren. Get him to check out this machine, and comment on the different Studer models in general. It will be well worth the cost of his time to do this.

* Don't overthink this!

Cheers

David Ollard
Thin Brown Line
Old 15th August 2015 | Show parent
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidollard View Post
If you can't maintain the machine yourself make sure there is a local technician you can rely on. You are lucky in Portland because you have Allan Garren. Get him to check out this machine, and comment on the different Studer models in general. It will be well worth the cost of his time to do this.


+1

Also 2" 24 track owner and fan.

R.
Old 15th August 2015 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 

mci jh16-24 2" cerca 1978

once the machine is all sorted out it can be very stable

I run mine with 16 track heads and it sounds great

I also have a studer a80 half inch which originally was an 8 track

the machine is a tank and when aligned with proper tape sounds huge and wide.
Old 11th September 2015 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

Agreed all the way around

I love my MTR90.... me no likey the 827


Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflag View Post
First of all tape rules!!!!!(I just had 2)

Studer 827 is a cool azz tape deck!
Tracked a lot of stuff on them.

Studer 800 just sounds better,2" 16 is so very rock.

The advice to get an MTR 90 Mk2 is ignored at the peril
of your bank account.Sounds as good as the 827!
Go ahead and cry little Studer tears,it's true.

Otari were the Maytag of Tape decks,good if you like to get paid.
I looved my MTR90mk2

I'm using(or it's using me) a Stephens machine.
When working it mocks the machines mentioned
like a fly weight Mike Tyson.

Snag a clean MTR90mk2,send the cards to Jim Williams,
He will clean them up and you will have something special.
This will not be a tape compression transformer warm fest.(That is Ampex,yum)

Did i mention tape ROooooles?
Old 11th September 2015 | Show parent
  #38
I have 2 APR24s here - never so much as turned them on. Every tech I've met has told me they're finicky unstable things, the auto-align is dubious and they don't sound that great anyway.

I could be wrong, and to be fair I've got more pressing things to spend renovation budget on, but if I thought they were comparable with the studer I might be tempted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
Very much so... LEDS/PPM bar graphs instead of VU.

Think it stored 3 tape settings.

If your after another tape deck that can do the same and more look for a SONY APR 24.


Otari had the MTR 100 which was it's flag shi machine but i get the feeling that not many were made.

DO NOT get a MTR90 mk 1... as much as they sounds lightly better as they had transformers the transport had issues and was known to snap tension arms.

Not sure on the sonics side of things but they are cheap and do all that the 820 can do and more.

I'm sure if you search you can read all about it.
Old 11th September 2015
  #39
Here for the gear
 

All the machines mentioned here would be a fine choice in proper operating condition. I think the steal at present is an MCI JH24 or on Otari MTR90MKII. Perhaps the Studer machine will sound a fraction of a fraction better maybe, but the money you can save on it to put towards other gear will make a bigger difference in my opinion. Imagine if you can score a 2 inch machine for 4 grand, spend a grand getting it running perfectly, and the other 7.5 grand on mics like another member suggested.....that will surely make a bigger difference. Mics always seem to make the biggest difference anyway in my opinion. That said you still can't go wrong buying a Studer that you know is in great operating condition and has so few hours on it. It's your money.....go with your gut.
Old 12th September 2015
  #40
Got tape?

Got tech?

Got test gear?

Got clients?
Old 12th September 2015
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Marcocet's Avatar
We have a A820 MCH (and a A820 2 track for that matter). It's a great machine. Definitely more clinical sounding than the Ampex and MCI machine's I've used before, as well as A80s. But it definitely still sounds like you're recording to tape. Personally I think anyone who compares a clean tape machine to clean digital can't be listening too closely.

And more importantly, it works every time I turn it on. Like everybody else in this industry, my clients can't afford to use tape all that often. The thing gets used maybe a couple days per month, which I imagine is significantly more than most studios. I can't think of many machines that can sit for a month or two and then be turned on and run rock solid.

I did replace the pinch roller.

Good luck with your decision!
Old 7th June 2017 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

"Why does one want a tape machine ?
For me , it's the 1970's sound not 1986 "

LOL hardly....
Old 21st November 2017
  #43
I've been running an Otari MTR-90III for about 1.5 years now and it's been a wise purchase. I got the channel cards rebuilt by Alan Garren in Portland and the transient detail is considerably better now. Also, if you bounce to a second tape generation, it sounds essentially no different than the first generation...that was NOT the case with the stock channel cards!

I love how fast this thing (auto)punches at 30 IPS! (I comp vocals on tape.)
Old 16th March 2018 | Show parent
  #44
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
"Why does one want a tape machine ?
For me , it's the 1970's sound not 1986 "

LOL hardly....
yes I record analog for that new age tone
Lol Hardly
Old 16th March 2018 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
I've been running an Otari MTR-90III for about 1.5 years now and it's been a wise purchase. I got the channel cards rebuilt by Alan Garren in Portland and the transient detail is considerably better now. Also, if you bounce to a second tape generation, it sounds essentially no different than the first generation...that was NOT the case with the stock channel cards!

I love how fast this thing (auto)punches at 30 IPS! (I comp vocals on tape.)
Had the same machine after the MCI kept breaking every week. Was very reliable.
But, just did not have the mojo of the older machines.
I have a nitch in the San Diego studio recording market, I mainly do 1970 sounding rock bands.
Old 16th March 2018 | Show parent
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1975api2488 View Post
Had the same machine after the MCI kept breaking every week. Was very reliable.
But, just did not have the mojo of the older machines.
I have a nitch in the San Diego studio recording market, I mainly do 1970 sounding rock bands.
But did you have the channel cards rebuilt? (There are a few techs that do it.) When I first listened to a recording after having the channel cards rebuilt, I thought to myself, "Wow, now it sounds like a classic tape machine, only with reliability and autopunching."

Indeed the "stock" version sounds a bit wooly, especially if you haven't recapped in 30 years.
Old 18th March 2018
  #47
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Does the MTR 90 have a fan?
Old 18th March 2018 | Show parent
  #48
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
I've been running an Otari MTR-90III for about 1.5 years now and it's been a wise purchase. I got the channel cards rebuilt by Alan Garren in Portland and the transient detail is considerably better now. Also, if you bounce to a second tape generation, it sounds essentially no different than the first generation...that was NOT the case with the stock channel cards!

I love how fast this thing (auto)punches at 30 IPS! (I comp vocals on tape.)
Rock on, would love to hear some recordings you've made on it.
Old 18th March 2018 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Does the MTR 90 have a fan?
Not sure about the Otari, but you just brought back some memories for me. My Scully had no fan and run hotter than Death Valley in August. I put a fan in it.

Since I was recording nearby, I would turn the fan off during a take and then right back on again.
Old 20th March 2018
  #50
Here for the gear
 

827 vs 820

I've owned both at the same time but admit we never did a direct AB as they were in different rooms. On paper the 820 should sound a bit better, 5534 single channel chips vs 5532 stereo chips on the 827. I would update either to a newer chip that doesn't require as much power and does not give off as much heat. Years ago we used the Analog Devices OP275 on the 827.

No doubt the world's top engineers prefer the 827 but the 820 has its place and makes beautiful recordings too. If you are lucky enough to get the SR cards that fit inside the unit you'll have the quietest analog tape machine out there. True, drums are not usually recorded with SR but the rest can be and the results are fabulous for certain types of music. If it's just rock and pop, the 827 is fine. I also have the SR 24 outboard unit and it works well but required tons more wiring and separate calibrating. The auto calibration on the 820 makes it an easy machine to use and love.

However, if you want to be popular and on the inside, the 827 is the way to go. Personally, I feel either are great and I do like the internal SR on the 820.

I did away with the Studer pinch roller and got the one, damn, I forget the name but from San Fran I believe. Starts with an A. Athan, that's it. However, with only 1000 hours on the machine, you don't need to exchange yours yet.

The 827 may be easier to repair, especially the meters. It's a tough call but not really. Both are fine and will give you great sound and prestige for years to come.
Old 20th March 2018 | Show parent
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Does the MTR 90 have a fan?
Yes, and a pretty noisy one. Ideal to have a machine room, though not necessary. You certainly can't record anything in the control room without one, though...
Old 20th March 2018 | Show parent
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Rock on, would love to hear some recordings you've made on it.
For sure...should be done with a new record in a few months...just about to finish tracking. Have you heard the difference between unmodded channel cards and modded channel cards on the Otari that I posted?

https://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/n19eus
Old 5th June 2019 | Show parent
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflag View Post
First of all tape rules!!!!!(I just had 2)

Studer 827 is a cool azz tape deck!
Tracked a lot of stuff on them.

Studer 800 just sounds better,2" 16 is so very rock.

The advice to get an MTR 90 Mk2 is ignored at the peril
of your bank account.Sounds as good as the 827!
Go ahead and cry little Studer tears,it's true.

Otari were the Maytag of Tape decks,good if you like to get paid.
I looved my MTR90mk2

I'm using(or it's using me) a Stephens machine.
When working it mocks the machines mentioned
like a fly weight Mike Tyson.

Snag a clean MTR90mk2,send the cards to Jim Williams,
He will clean them up and you will have something special.
This will not be a tape compression transformer warm fest.(That is Ampex,yum)

Did i mention tape ROooooles?
I have an MTR 90 16 track. Considering getting an A800. Any thoughts?
Old 5th June 2019 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
I have an MTR 90 16 track. Considering getting an A800. Any thoughts?
People love the A800 sound versus the A820 or A827, but consider that, at this point in time, the deck needs to be recapped - the Frakko and Rifa caps are done or damn near close to it, so if you do the math at 3 cards per channel, that's 72 cards and a ****load of caps.

I recently had an A820 1/2" 2-track completely recapped - about 20 hours of labor by Roger Ginsley, a respected Studer-certified tech in Toronto. He measured every cap he removed and about 40% were no longer in spec. A worthwhile endeavor to have a (pretty much) bulletproof machine... 20 hours for a 2-track deck.

The A800 started production in '78, so if you do consider purchasing, go for a mkIII as that was latest production (not sure when it ended).
Old 5th June 2019 | Show parent
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by srs148 View Post
People love the A800 sound versus the A820 or A827, but consider that, at this point in time, the deck needs to be recapped - the Frakko and Rifa caps are done or damn near close to it, so if you do the math at 3 cards per channel, that's 72 cards and a ****load of caps.

I recently had an A820 1/2" 2-track completely recapped - about 20 hours of labor by Roger Ginsley, a respected Studer-certified tech in Toronto. He measured every cap he removed and about 40% were no longer in spec. A worthwhile endeavor to have a (pretty much) bulletproof machine... 20 hours for a 2-track deck.

The A800 started production in '78, so if you do consider purchasing, go for a mkIII as that was latest production (not sure when it ended).
It is a mkIII.
Old 6th June 2019 | Show parent
  #56
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
It is a mkIII.
Do you know the service history of it? Has it been recapped at any point?
Old 6th June 2019 | Show parent
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by srs148 View Post
Do you know the service history of it? Has it been recapped at any point?
I don't...I can inquire more. I'm going to check it out this Saturday. Comes with a parts machine.
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