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Best "not Studer" 16 Track Tape Machine Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 14th October 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
Best "not Studer" 16 Track Tape Machine

I'm using a Otari MX70 at the moment, but she has some serious problems and it's impossible to get spares.
So,
i might get another tape machine. 16 tracks, maybe 24.
Any recommendations?
Studer is too expensive for me. Should be about the same price and quality as the Otari MX70.
And getting spares shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks guys.
Old 14th October 2015
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I would have to say an MCI JH24 (16 track), probably not far off the cost of a decent Studer if its in good nick but worth it.. in terms of sound for me its that or a 3M79 but theyre getting hard to deal with for spares, an MM1200 also very nice but not a good idea for stress either. I would save and get a Studer or a JH24.
Old 14th October 2015
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
My vote is probably a Mara Machines JH24, or JH16 if you want the transformers. Chris Mara and his team go over the machines, rebuild what needs rebuilding, re-caps etc. There's even a Warranty. It's the closest you can get to a new 2" machine.
Old 14th October 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Showcase's Avatar
 

I prefer 16 tracks on 2" MM1200 over studer, love it, still use it now and then
Old 14th October 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
I totally agree with the above!
Save some $ and get a mara machine or a well maintained studer (even if in the US are even more expensive to mantain).. it's 2015 and if you want a tape machine these are your best bet.
I own a Mara MCI 16 tracks 2".. simply stunning.

On the cheap you might want to check some otari mtr90 mkIII..but buy from a reputable seller with some head report and warranty. (And eventually buy a spare machine to cannibalize).

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 14th October 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
Thanks guys.
I'm sure that Studer and Mara MCI are fantastic, but unfortunately too expensive for me.
The MTR90 is interesting, seems to be easy to get spares and i also might get one with warranty.
Old 14th October 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 
burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cracki View Post
Thanks guys.
I'm sure that Studer and Mara MCI are fantastic, but unfortunately too expensive for me.
The MTR90 is interesting, seems to be easy to get spares and i also might get one with warranty.
I just picked up an MTR-90III for $4,600 with a bunch of extras. Great condition. However, they weigh 200 kg, so don't plan on moving one up a flight of stairs. John French builds new headstacks for these machines for a decent price!
Old 14th October 2015
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
I just picked up an MTR-90III for $4,600 with a bunch of extras. Great condition. However, they weigh 200 kg, so don't plan on moving one up a flight of stairs. John French builds new headstacks for these machines for a decent price!
Yeah, heavy beasts. Fortunately we have a goods lift.
Good to know about John French.
How do you like the MTR90 soundwise?
Old 14th October 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
My vote is probably a Mara Machines JH24, or JH16 if you want the transformers. Chris Mara and his team go over the machines, rebuild what needs rebuilding, re-caps etc. There's even a Warranty. It's the closest you can get to a new 2" machine.
I disagree with this suggestion. Shipping fees of a Mara MCI from Tennessee to Germany would be astronomical and anything could happen along the way.
Old 14th October 2015
  #10
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burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cracki View Post
Yeah, heavy beasts. Fortunately we have a goods lift.
Good to know about John French.
How do you like the MTR90 soundwise?
Wish I could tell you...I just got it.
Old 14th October 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cracki View Post
I'm using a Otari MX70 at the moment, but she has some serious problems and it's impossible to get spares.

Just out of curiosity, have you tried sending an email direct to Otari Japan to ask about spare parts? I usually get the impression they have a lot of stuff they don't really advertise. I know they still manufacture runs of heads, but have no idea of their distribution where you are. In any case, I've spoken via email several times with Otari Japan and it may be worth a shot.
Old 14th October 2015
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Just out of curiosity, have you tried sending an email direct to Otari Japan to ask about spare parts? I usually get the impression they have a lot of stuff they don't really advertise. I know they still manufacture runs of heads, but have no idea of their distribution where you are. In any case, I've spoken via email several times with Otari Japan and it may be worth a shot.
Yes, i mailed them, no spares.
Old 14th October 2015
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Telefunken M 15 a !
Maybe a 1000 Euro more than an Otari but still cheaper than Studer and maybe the best multitrack you can buy at all - Super reliable and beyond rock solid, beautiful german engineering and design ; ) - sounds at least as good as an A 80, sounds better than any A 800 series, tape transport is nearly as good as Studer A 800s, keeps calibration perfectly for months, nearly flat freq. response, etc. etc. - for me the queen of multitrack tape machines ... If you are from Hamburg you have Telefunken Service with Kai Hilpert at your town (and maybe he has a serviced, fresh set up 16-track for you for reasonable money, bought my 24-track there...)
in my opinion: forget about every other machine mentioned above...

PS.: and try Telcom C4 noise reduction if it comes along with the machine - the only good nr for tape at all....
Old 15th October 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
deuc647's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I disagree with this suggestion. Shipping fees of a Mara MCI from Tennessee to Germany would be astronomical and anything could happen along the way.
Im getting a ADT console frame shipped from Germany to Texas and its gonna be 1500 plus customs fees
Old 15th October 2015
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Avast!'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I disagree with this suggestion. Shipping fees of a Mara MCI from Tennessee to Germany would be astronomical and anything could happen along the way.
How do you think Studers got to the US?
Old 15th October 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I disagree with this suggestion. Shipping fees of a Mara MCI from Tennessee to Germany would be astronomical and anything could happen along the way.
I got mine shipped by sea.. was pretty quick.. arrived perfectly in Switzerland..
Was 1200$.. for a big crate weighting 340kg was not bad..
Swiss fees is a different story..

Telefunken are also great indeed..
I also do own a Studer C37, perfectly restored.



Cheu
Old 15th October 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
Thanks guys.
Well, well, well...
Mara MCI or Studer are so very tempting, but i just can't afford it.
I'm sure the M15a is fantastic, but very rare. Or do you know a dealer?
Old 16th October 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
tekis's Avatar
3M M-56!

This is my all-time favorite 16-track. And I've owned/used most of them. I just worked on one last night, and I haven't used one for several years before that. But, I was still impressed. I love 3M machines. MM1200's are a close second but the 3M punches much better.
Old 16th October 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Hamburg58's Avatar
 

Best ever? Stephens 16 track 2 inch.
Old 16th October 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cracki View Post
I'm using a Otari MX70 at the moment, but she has some serious problems and it's impossible to get spares.
So,
i might get another tape machine. 16 tracks, maybe 24.
Any recommendations?
Studer is too expensive for me. Should be about the same price and quality as the Otari MX70.
And getting spares shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks guys.
What's wrong with it? I have one, I might be able to help. You should consider getting it repaired. it's a very good machine.
Old 16th October 2015
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
What's wrong with it? I have one, I might be able to help. You should consider getting it repaired. it's a very good machine.
He mentioned he can't get parts.
Old 16th October 2015
  #22
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
What's wrong with it? I have one, I might be able to help. You should consider getting it repaired. it's a very good machine.
Some Audio Cards have problems. Issues with Record or Sync or PB Path. But i have no extender card. This one my tech could build, but Otari is using so many components that they built themselves. So getting spares is an issue. Which you just can't get.
Old 16th October 2015
  #23
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
My vote is probably a Mara Machines JH24, or JH16 if you want the transformers. Chris Mara and his team go over the machines, rebuild what needs rebuilding, re-caps etc. There's even a Warranty. It's the closest you can get to a new 2" machine.
oh crikey yes.
Old 16th October 2015
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekis View Post
This is my all-time favorite 16-track. And I've owned/used most of them. I just worked on one last night, and I haven't used one for several years before that. But, I was still impressed. I love 3M machines. MM1200's are a close second but the 3M punches much better.
Absolutely!! I always found the 3M's to have a kind of transient snappyness that Studers and even the 1200's lack, very in yer face, I sometimes wonder if the isoloop has anything to do with this.. having said that the 1200's sound huge with chunky low end, but always seem a little soft on transients
Old 16th October 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cracki View Post
Some Audio Cards have problems. Issues with Record or Sync or PB Path. But i have no extender card. This one my tech could build, but Otari is using so many components that they built themselves. So getting spares is an issue. Which you just can't get.
I have seen a couple of parts decks here in california, and one guy is parting his mx70 out on ebay right now. The MX-80 cards are the same as well, at least the audio cards are compatible.
Old 16th October 2015
  #26
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
I have seen a couple of parts decks here in california, and one guy is parting his mx70 out on ebay right now. The MX-80 cards are the same as well, at least the audio cards are compatible.
Please let me know and send me a link if you find somebody who is selling audio cards for the MX70. The MX80 uses different cards. Sure that they are compatible?
The ebay guy doesn't have any audio cards, all in all just 4 items (Meter, tape head shield, etc.)
Old 16th October 2015
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekis View Post
This is my all-time favorite 16-track. And I've owned/used most of them. I just worked on one last night, and I haven't used one for several years before that. But, I was still impressed. I love 3M machines. MM1200's are a close second but the 3M punches much better.
You could get fast drop cards for MM1200's

They worked pretty well.. but no dice compared to an 827 or my studios JH-24 with its unknown black box mod

Wiggy
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