The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
MCI JH24 or Studer A827?
Old 31st May 2019
  #121
Here for the gear
 

Wolke made the erase heads, AMB in the Netherlands made the rest of the heads, Studer made the headstack

AMB is still in business, although they don't necessarily make audio heads as a stock item, they still have all the designs and can make them. They made a run last year for Studer 2 track machines, don't remember which ones, that a bunch of archivist wanted.

Flux Magnetics is the other source of heads today, in California. excellent heads, Greg used to be with this company called Ampex.

In the "old days" we regarded heads as an expendable item and replaced them with regularity, that is generally cost prohibitive today.

Cheers
Alan
Old 31st May 2019
  #122
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
When I used to master my own work, I FREAKED OUT the first time I did an analog record. I thought the tape his was going to take over everything. Then I listed on a couple consumer systems, realized that it was me sitting in a quite room on monitors that made it so obvious.
Out of the 3 machines I’m familiar with a JH-16, JH-24, and a studer A 800, the Jh-16 seems to have the biggest hiss out of the 3 even at 30ips it’s considerably more noticeable, for a busy rock track not as big of a deal but for a song with space adding compression really brings it out.

I Remember a friend saying if you track with compression and eq it’s not as bad as adding it after the fact. Either way I don’t always want to track with comps or eq.

If you dump into PT it’s not a big deal to some clean up and edit out idle tracks.
Old 31st May 2019
  #123
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
If you like a machine that is a maintenance headache, and punches like crap, then the JH24 is the machine for you. Lousy transport. The term "Molexia" was coined because of the JH24.

If you want tape for color, then maybe you should change your front end or your recording techniques. I say it over and over, if you need tape to make great recordings, then you're doing something wrong. It should sound great before it even hits the tape. I've always been annoyed that tape changes the sound that is going in, but the 827 less so than any other machine. Really great engineers don't rely on tape to get great sound. If they did, you wouldn't hear so many of them say how they don't miss tape.

The 827 is the finest analog machine ever made. If for some reason I have a client who wants analog, we will use an 827 at 15 ips CCIR. The transport is super stable, and it punches better than any tape machine ever made. The alignment never drifts, and I can even store it on the tape and reload it at a later date. Much quieter than the MCI at 15, also. 827 is basically a maintenance free Swiss clock, with bullet proof headstacks, and a couple in machine storable alignments, and will switch from NAB to CCIR at the push of a button. Awesome remote that's programmable. Its everything the MCI isn't. Before ProTools took over, LA engineers were never excited about having to work on MCIs. I remember how we were so happy when Grandmaster replaced their MCI with an 827.
Old 1st June 2019
  #124
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
The cork sniffers would argue A800 mk3 vs. 827. JH24 was never part of a serious conversation. They were relegated to budget and project studios by the '90s. If people wanted old school, it was M79, ATR124 or A800. Nobody wanted 1200's because of the punching. People put up with the punching on the124s, because they thought they sounded so good, but the assistants had to know the punch gap, and do it for you. A few places had M79s, and never too many complaints about them. I always remember people bitching about JH24s, though.
Old 1st June 2019
  #125
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
I still have the mental offset in my brain for punching on the JH. I was freaking good at it. In and out and around single words on lead vocals all day every day. But it definitely took a mental pre offset burnt into my brain after years of punching on the JH. You get used to it if that's your main machine.
Old 1st June 2019
  #126
Lives for gear
 

I used to take a lot of pride in my ninja punching abilities on 2"
A80 and JH-16/24
cut my teeth on an Ampex 1100!!!
Good clean fun!
Old 2nd June 2019
  #127
One difference between the 827 and JH-24 III are the opamps used in the audio path. MCI used 5534 and 5532 opamps at 5 nv/hz/sq. Slew rate is 6 volts per microsecond.

The 827 used 4559 opamps at 10 nv/hz/sq noise and a 2 volt slew rate. Yes, there are better replacements available. The JH-24 transport is not as smooth. That can be rectified by the use of grade 9 aerospace bearings. Wow and flutter then drops by 1/2. 10k tones look stable on the meters.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #128
I'd stop screwing around and get the Studer, it's kind of the Porsche of tape decks.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #129
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
I'd stop screwing around and get the Studer, it's kind of the Porsche of tape decks.
I agree that the studer is an overall smoother running machine. Does it sound better?

Does a lespaul sound better then a strat?
Does a Neve sound better then an api?
Does an Akg C12 sound better then a U47?
Does Rap sound better then Rock?

Both have been used to make many classic records as well as other machines, which has made more? I have no idea.

I have a JH-24 in great condition and I have no issues with punching in or out. It gets the job done every time and it’s great.

Also the Mci does alter the sound, I consider this a good thing as the reason I’m using it is because I like what it does. I can always track digital and mix ITB if I want to and I do sometimes. Not most.

Above it was mentioned that if you depend on tape you’re not a good engineer. Or something along those lines. Well that could be said about anything and I guarantee every engineer has a piece of gear they use to get a desired sound wether it be a Mic, Comp, Pre, Eq, Effect, Etc.. they use specific gear that they choose because they like the outcome.

I use my tape machine & console because it gets me closer to where I want to be faster with less effort and more enjoyment. If that makes me a bad engineer in someone’s mind, I really don’t GAF. Hahaha.

Every piece is just one part of a big puzzle and the only thing that matters is you and your bands are happy with what’s coming out of the speakers.

JH-24’s sound Fat! Sorry.
Old 4th June 2019
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
I agree that the studer is an overall smoother running machine. Does it sound better?

Does a lespaul sound better then a strat?
Does a Neve sound better then an api?
Does an Akg C12 sound better then a U47?
Does Rap sound better then Rock?

Both have been used to make many classic records as well as other machines, which has made more? I have no idea.

I have a JH-24 in great condition and I have no issues with punching in or out. It gets the job done every time and it’s great.

Also the Mci does alter the sound, I consider this a good thing as the reason I’m using it is because I like what it does. I can always track digital and mix ITB if I want to and I do sometimes. Not most.

Above it was mentioned that if you depend on tape you’re not a good engineer. Or something along those lines. Well that could be said about anything and I guarantee every engineer has a piece of gear they use to get a desired sound wether it be a Mic, Comp, Pre, Eq, Effect, Etc.. they use specific gear that they choose because they like the outcome.

I use my tape machine & console because it gets me closer to where I want to be faster with less effort and more enjoyment. If that makes me a bad engineer in someone’s mind, I really don’t GAF. Hahaha.

Every piece is just one part of a big puzzle and the only thing that matters is you and your bands are happy with what’s coming out of the speakers.

JH-24’s sound Fat! Sorry.
If you're going to buy a 2" machine and the price difference is small between and MCI and all of the issues that come with it and a Studer 827 which besides everything else is a newer machine, in my opinion it's a no brainer, probably quite a bit easier to get parts, sound is an opinion based thing but in terms transport reliability , being easier to align and for me I'm not interested in a 2" deck as an fx box. The last 827's I think were made in 2004, when was the last MCI 1984? I want a machine that sounds great and is reliable. I wish I had an 827.
Old 4th June 2019
  #131
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
The last MCI were '87. Pretty close.
Old 4th June 2019
  #132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
The last MCI were '87. Pretty close.
17 years pretty close? not in the life of motors, heads, relays.
Old 4th June 2019
  #133
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
17 years pretty close? not in the life of motors, heads, relays.
I meant you were close by guessing '84 and it was '87. I get what you meant about the 827 vs JH24 age difference.
Old 4th June 2019
  #134
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
If you're going to buy a 2" machine and the price difference is small between and MCI and all of the issues that come with it and a Studer 827 which besides everything else is a newer machine, in my opinion it's a no brainer, probably quite a bit easier to get parts, sound is an opinion based thing but in terms transport reliability , being easier to align and for me I'm not interested in a 2" deck as an fx box. The last 827's I think were made in 2004, when was the last MCI 1984? I want a machine that sounds great and is reliable. I wish I had an 827.
I see what your saying and understand. I think it all comes down to the condition of the specific machine and what your looking for, you can buy an 827 or JH-24 that can be a train wreck. Parts for a studer are more expensive. A lot of the JH-24 electronics are generic parts that are really cheap. Also I think “could be totally wrong” that a jh-24 would be easier to learn how to repair then a studer as the design of the studer is more technically advanced German schematics vs American.

I’m no tape expert and know the JH-24 well because I own one and before I pay a tech to do anything I will learn how to do it myself.

If you want a clean polished recording that’s a very fair representation of the source why not just stick with digital at hi rates and great conversion. It works great.

I don’t consider the Mci an Fx box, I would say it’s a colorful recorder. That has a sound. Rock n Roll! I track bands all the time and everyone of them on initial playback has that sense of amazement hearing their music on tape spread across a console before any altering just faders up and panning. It’s immediate gratification.

I don’t know the 827 or should say have not used or heard one in person but have an a800 and agree that the studer in good condition runs smooth and just seems like really well made machine. I’ve gotten very good at tweaking my transport to run very smooth as well. I’ve had different 3 engineers say “that’s the smoothest JH-24 transport I’ve ever seen” and these are older guys that have lived Tape their entire life.

So again I really think it depends on the actual specific machine. Mine is a 1983 this is the year they added 4:1 step up transformers to the cue circuit to improve signal to noise ratio. It also has the JH114 transport with QUIOR (Quiet Initiation of Record) resulting in smoother seamless punching in and out.

Like I said in my previous post tracking to tape is a small part of the equation and I don’t make a big deal about it, I just do it. It’s part of my work flow. I like it, it’s easy and fun.

If I didn’t refurbish it and it was breaking down all the time and I had to pay a tech all the time. Trust me I’d get rid of it too but that’s not what’s happening.

I believe it when people say back whenever they went through hell with all kinds of tape machines. I’m not solely depending on this recorder to to do everything like they did back when they used to track and mix off tape. That would suck. Especially editing. I track drums, bass, and rythem guitars to it 2 to 12 songs depending on the session then I dump it into Pro Tools at whatever sample rate I choose usually 88.2 or 96.k and do all my overdubbing digitally via my Burls while monitoring on my console. It’s one part of the process. Sometimes I skip that part most times I don’t.
Old 4th June 2019
  #135
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
the studer is more technically advanced German schematics vs American.
ehmmm.. you meant Swiss, not German..



Cheu
Old 4th June 2019
  #136
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
ehmmm.. you meant Swiss, not German..



Cheu
Oof damn!!!

Swiss!?
Yea I’d definitely stay away from all studers they suck!
Old 4th June 2019
  #137
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
Oof damn!!!

Swiss!?
Yea I’d definitely stay away from all studers they suck!
Joke^^^ for those that are dense.

Last edited by 127Riot; 4th June 2019 at 12:51 PM..
Old 4th June 2019
  #138
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
Oof damn!!!

Swiss!?
Yea I’d definitely stay away from all studers they suck!






Cheu
Old 4th June 2019
  #139
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
Above it was mentioned that if you depend on tape you’re not a good engineer. Or something along those lines.
No. I said that if you need tape to get good sounds, "then you're doing something wrong." Big difference.

Plenty of ways to get stuff to sound "fat."
Old 4th June 2019
  #140
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post

Plenty of ways to get stuff to sound "fat."
Indeed. With the gear and experience / knowledge I have now (and didn't have when I had the JH24), overall, my mixes sound Phat-er than they did back in my tape days. To the point where things are getting too fat at times.
Old 4th June 2019
  #141
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
No. I said that if you need tape to get good sounds, "then you're doing something wrong." Big difference.

Plenty of ways to get stuff to sound "fat."
It’s not needed, it’s wanted.

Big difference.
Old 10th June 2019
  #142
Here for the gear
Hi
I need to buy a Studer A820 recorder or Studer C37
Would you please tell me how the price and transaction buy
respect
Old 10th June 2019
  #143
Here for the gear
studer

Hi
I need to buy a Studer A820 recorder or Studer C37
Would you please tell me how the price and transaction buy
respect
Old 11th June 2019
  #144
Lives for gear
 
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
General question:

How many hours on a 24 track machine would be considered "low"?

And how many hours would you consider medium or high?

Thanks!
Old 19th June 2019
  #145
Lives for gear
 
Darius van H's Avatar
 

Great thread, and very interesting for me as i just bought a minty Studer A827!

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
General question:

How many hours on a 24 track machine would be considered "low"?

And how many hours would you consider medium or high?

Thanks!
The one i just bought has 880 hours on it, and apparently that is quite low. Or to quote someone who knows about these things: "I’ve done records that took more reel time!"

I couldn't tell you what would be considered high hours. But the counter can go up to 999999 hours, if that might be any indication.

Another clue would be the 3 photos on google of A827 counters reading 8076, 11015 and 13750 hours.

Anyone know what one of these would have cost when brand spanking new back in the early 90's?
Old 19th June 2019
  #146
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 

for what you are intending to do, I would not get either.

I grew up with two MCI's and they are great machines. I don't get the comments about reliability as they were as rock solid as a machine like that can get if properly maintained. And yes, you can have them in the control room if you can deal with the noise but a gobo of some sort can make them even more tolerable.

That being said, you are intending to use this just as an effect so why in the world would you take up the space, expense, electricity, and maintenance on a 16/24 track machine? Just get a 1/4" 2-track and pass the signals through that you want to effect. Cheaper tape, way more practical, the DAW doesn't care that you made multiple passes to get all of your desired tracks in and out, and it is useful as a 2-track mixdown tool.

Not to mention that tape will be available forever with the existing stock that is out there in the world.

It might not be as impressive looking or as fun to talk about, but it sure makes more sense. Quieter, less crosstalk, more tape options, easier to maintain. I dunno' man.

Cheers,
Brock
Old 19th June 2019
  #147
Lives for gear
 
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
for what you are intending to do, I would not get either..........................

You're absolutely right!

But i'd add this caveat: what happens when you want to quickly track drums to tape and move on. Using your method, you need to first track to digital, then dump each drum track individually to the stereo tape machine (adding an extra D/A, A/D step by the way), in real time...............so it's much more time consuming and could be a vibe / momentum killer.

So if you're working on your own and have time to burn, why not? But the multitrack method has it's advantages. The main one being you can capture the tape drums to your DAW in real time, albeit with a fraction of a second delay.
Old 19th June 2019
  #148
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
You're absolutely right!

But i'd add this caveat: what happens when you want to quickly track drums to tape and move on. Using your method, you need to first track to digital, then dump each drum track individually to the stereo tape machine (adding an extra D/A, A/D step by the way), in real time...............so it's much more time consuming and could be a vibe / momentum killer.

So if you're working on your own and have time to burn, why not? But the multitrack method has it's advantages. The main one being you can capture the tape drums to your DAW in real time, albeit with a fraction of a second delay.
Totally agree. That is making the assumption that the musicians need to hear the tape magic instead of saving that for the mix process. And the luxury is nice, no doubt about it.

Personally (and likely due to space, budget and practicality) I would take the route that the musicians aren't gonna care during the tracking stage and that it would simply be an added service to cover the time during the mixing stage.

But not all folks have my limitations so perfectly understandable that this methodology might not be applicable for everyone... ;~)
Old 20th June 2019
  #149
Lives for gear
 
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Yeah, i think if it is just for mixing then the 2 track method would work fine, if you don't mind spending the time on real-time bouncing!
Old 8th December 2019
  #150
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
the studer is more technically advanced German schematics vs American.

ehmmm.. you meant Swiss, not German..



Cheu
Swiss vs. Florida. I vote Miami.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump