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Ampex MM 1200
Old 1st February 2010
  #31
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enth View Post
Analog pleasure

It's no way around it, analog recording still gives us something we can't
get from the digital media. One day in the future, I'm sure the digital will
catch up with the analog, but not yet, we are probably still years apart.
That is the reality that I have found for myself. The days of me chasing the sound I want with only digital are over. I have been a big proponent of digital for years but I have grown to hate the sound. Just got a 2" machine and most likely moving to some sort of console or summing unit as soon as funds permit. Some great stuff in this thread guys. I hope tape has a resurgence, I know a lot of my friends in LA are sick of the sound of digital recording, some don't have the funds to make any transition, others are just to lazy from computers but some of are making the jump back in time! I just picked up a 16 track Studer A800 this morning. We'll see where it all goes.
Old 1st February 2010
  #32
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Knox's Avatar
 

. . not to beat a dead horse or jump around in separate threads . . . but since I am a big supporter of analog I read the analog threads . . . James, one other cool thing about the console (when you get the funds) . . . is obviously, being able to NOT integrate digital at all, if you so choose. You will have a great tape machine at your disposal . . . and there will most likely be times when you just want to shut the computers off entirely and track 'music'. Hell I never turn computers on unless I HAVE to (I am no fan of digital I admit). The console will allow you to make a decision to not have a 'visual' (computer monitor) in an audio world (studio). THAT is a wonderful thing! All you do at that point is lock down on the music, lean and mean. No visual senses pulling at you. Just the music. 16 track 2 inch is a beautiful / honest thing. Many great rock records we all love were done just that way (as you know). You certainly have the outboard and mics to get stuff to tape properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
That is the reality that I have found for myself. The days of me chasing the sound I want with only digital are over. I have been a big proponent of digital for years but I have grown to hate the sound. Just got a 2" machine and most likely moving to some sort of console or summing unit as soon as funds permit. Some great stuff in this thread guys. I hope tape has a resurgence, I know a lot of my friends in LA are sick of the sound of digital recording, some don't have the funds to make any transition, others are just to lazy from computers but some of are making the jump back in time! I just picked up a 16 track Studer A800 this morning. We'll see where it all goes.
Old 1st February 2010
  #33
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox View Post
. . not to beat a dead horse or jump around in separate threads . . . but since I am a big supporter of analog I read the analog threads . . . James, one other cool thing about the console (when you get the funds) . . . is obviously, being able to NOT integrate digital at all, if you so choose. You will have a great tape machine at your disposal . . . and there will most likely be times when you just want to shut the computers off entirely and track 'music'. Hell I never turn computers on unless I HAVE to (I am no fan of digital I admit). The console will allow you to make a decision to not have a 'visual' (computer monitor) in an audio world (studio). THAT is a wonderful thing! All you do at that point is lock down on the music, lean and mean. No visual senses pulling at you. Just the music. 16 track 2 inch is a beautiful / honest thing. Many great rock records we all love were done just that way (as you know). You certainly have the outboard and mics to get stuff to tape properly.
I think a console is next.
Old 1st February 2010
  #34
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volodia View Post
I've located a 24 tracks for sale . How good is this machine . Can you convert it to 16 tracks "easily" . Any info appreciated . (there's also a Scully 8 tracks for sale) .
Dear Lododia,
I have everything to convert an Ampex MM1200 to 16 Track, it is only a matter of a 16 track Headb-block, either without heads or with secondhand heads or even new Flux heads. 13 or 16 track.
Sorry just noted the date you posted, stil, l I wonder if you did buy it. Looks like you did, funny but a lot of my Ampex work is in Paris, I live near Montargis.

Best Regards

Tony
Old 1st February 2010
  #35
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

There's a cool 16 track MM1200 for sale on TapeOp.com.
Old 1st February 2010
  #36
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Oh, one more thing. Regarding the Purc cards. My machine has some channels with and some without. I could swear I like the channels with the older (simpler) bias cards. Maybe there are other factors at work so I don't want to make this some official pronouncement, but has anyone ever compared and noticed this? Technically there isn't any audio passing through these, but still...
Dear Zep,
When you say the older (simpler) bias cards. are you refering to the standard Card in other words the None Purc card.

Best Regards

Tony
Old 2nd February 2010
  #37
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arny View Post
Dear Zep,
When you say the older (simpler) bias cards. are you refering to the standard Card in other words the None Purc card.

Best Regards

Tony
Hi Tony, yes.

I Still haven't gotten around to doing a real A/B test of this but at some point I will.

By the way, I got 24 channels of Dolby SR for around $500. I'll have it as an option on 8 of the tracks for when I really need no hiss at all.
Old 2nd February 2010
  #38
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Hi Tony, yes.

I Still haven't gotten around to doing a real A/B test of this but at some point I will.

By the way, I got 24 channels of Dolby SR for around $500. I'll have it as an option on 8 of the tracks for when I really need no hiss at all.
Dear Zep,
I am inclined to agree with you, except there were three versions of the PURC card, and the first series one was noisier as well as the sound was not quite as good, there was a big improvement on the Type-2 then the next version, which was a much simpler in its design, that PURC kept all of the MM1200 magic.

Later I will post some pictures of all three versions over at the Ampex Forum.

It does depend on the version of SR, I preferred the stability of the First Cat 280 series that went into the Blue Rack Unit, they were solidly built and very stable.
Depending on the type of music, I used to run my MM1200 X 16 Track at 30ips locked to the ATR124 X 24 track with Dolby SR at 15ips.
You obviously know that SR prefers 15ips

Thanks for your Post and thanks for reading mine

Best Regards

Tony
Old 3rd February 2010
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
I think a console is next.
we have a Studer 963 for sale if you are interested..

cheers
G
Old 13th February 2010
  #40
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

A few members have written to me about the Ampex MM1200 relays, I have written above a certain amount of advice,
but even the Standard "National", I have not been able to find a source of supply yet,
even after speaking with Panasonic who claim that they should be available.

I am waiting to speak with someone at Omron Relays, Ill let you know how I got on.
In the meantime I got out my old Ampex Microfiche out to make sure I have the Full Specification
which is not always written in the Ampex Manuals but is written on all their Microfiche Sheets.

I took a JPG, of the Microfiche Relay Sheet, which saves a me a lot time of writing.
The Ghost in the picture is of “Arny” who haunts me all the time.

I have also attached a picture showing the original MM1200 Arrow 4PDT – Form-D Relay compared to the National 4PDT – Form-C Relay.

Best Regards

Tony


Old 15th February 2010
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Relay Group Buy!

These relays are the biggest Achilles heal of the mm1200's. I've asked several people and the answer is there is nothing you can do other than use the originals. Retrofitting new ones won't physically fit, and once the originals go bad they can't be fixed.

Tony, is it possible to have a bunch of these re manufactured and to see if we can get a group buy together?

Even for people with working cards, this is something they will eventually need so "preventative" maintenance would be a good idea.

Any interest in this?
Old 16th February 2010
  #42
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
I've asked several people and the answer is there is nothing you can do other than use the originals. Retrofitting new ones won't physically fit, and once the originals go bad they can't be fixed.

Tony, is it possible to have a bunch of these re manufactured and to see if we can get a group buy together?

Even for people with working cards, this is something they will eventually need so "preventative" maintenance would be a good idea.

Any interest in this?
Dear Zep,
I have not given up yet, as I still need to check the Omron Range.
Apart from what you have been told, two of the MM1200 relays K3 & K4, can be replaced by a Standard 4PDT Form-C relay, and regarding cleaning,
as long as the original relays to be cleaned are the Arrow make as described in my Microfiche picture, they will stand almost any amount of successful cleaning,
as long as Jewellers Jewellery Cleaning Solution is used and only the Gold Relay Contacts are submerged into this solution.


Have you read my Post regards to cleaning the original relays in an ultrasonic cleaning tank.
Ampex MM 1200
4 Posts up from the bottom.

To test a relay after cleaning, you need an Oscilator as well as a very fast Lo-Ohm meter as seen here in the Picture. Fig-1
I made up a special box with a 24V DC Supply and a switch that I could switch the Relay in and out while the contacts were tested when selected via a Rotary Switch,
the Lo-Ohm meter followed via the Analogue Meter built into my Box. Fig-2
*I use frequencies as well as continuity tests
I do carry out an exchange relay service here in Europe, but clients further away have looked in Yellow pages for an Electronics Company who are offering an Ultrasonic cleaning service,
you can then use a 24V DC Supply via a switch, with the contacts being tested by the Fast Lo-Ohm meter, followed by a Standard Analogue meter to read the results.
Ultrasonic cleaning tanks are so cheap most clients buy their own.


ebay ultrasonic cleaner - Google Product Search

Best Regards

Tony

Fig-1

Fig-2
Old 19th February 2010
  #43
Lives for gear
 

I've got one for sale here.....
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gears...ml#post5123806

Thanks,
Sean
Old 16th December 2011
  #44
Here for the gear
 

Looking for an MDA Card (motor driver amplifier card) for my
Ampex MM1200.

Anyone have parts or ideas?
Old 17th December 2011
  #45
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volodia View Post
I've located a 24 tracks for sale . How good is this machine . Can you convert it to 16 tracks "easily" . Any info appreciated . (there's also a Scully 8 tracks for sale) .

I never did hear from Volodia since, so I guess he changed his mind or purchased a perfect machine, any one having a problem with an MDA let me have your telephone number so we can see how far the updates are, or send me a couple of pictures of your MDA Heat Sink and your
Printed Circuit PCB showing the components as we can supply a Kit that will make your MDA 100% more reliable.

You can also ship your MDA to us, and we will fully update it, price is between £300 to £500 depending on how advanced your MDA is.

Best Regards

Tony.
Ampex Audio & Recording equipment sales support spares parts and repairs including the ATR100 ATR124 & Ampex valve,Ampex spares,Ampex sales,Ampex servicing,Ampex audio equipment,Vintage audio,vintage studio recording equipment, secondhand studio reco
Old 17th December 2011
  #46
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwen View Post
Looking for an MDA Card (motor driver amplifier card) for my
Ampex MM1200.

Anyone have parts or ideas?
Dear Gwen,
Yes we have these in stock we are in the UK & France

Best Regards

Tony
[email protected]
Ampex Audio & Recording equipment sales support spares parts and repairs including the ATR100 ATR124 & Ampex valve,Ampex spares,Ampex sales,Ampex servicing,Ampex audio equipment,Vintage audio,vintage studio recording equipment, secondhand studio reco
Old 11th January 2012
  #47
Here for the gear
 

Hi everybody, I would like to buy a mm 1200, I found one wich the heads are 6500 hrs. Is that too much for heads or not ?
Thanks a lot.
Old 12th January 2012
  #48
Gear Nut
 

1. You can't base it purely on the hours, you need to have the heads evaluated. And how does the seller know the hours anyway when the MM-1200 has no hours counter?
2. You can always replace the heads. 16 or 24 track?
3. What price is the machine anyway, out of interest?

Regards

David
Thin Brown Line
Multitrack Analog to Digital Transfers - Reel to Reel Tape Transfer - Audio Tape Transfer to Wave Files for Pro Tools and other DAW - Digitize Open Reel Tapes - Thin Brown Line
Old 12th January 2012
  #49
Here for the gear
 

Thanks David,

The seller (a big french seller of audiogears) told me 6500 hrs for rec and repro heads, 400 hrs for erase head (I will ask them how they know that).

The price is 3500 Euros, with varyspeed and remote, suppose to be ready to use.

It is a 24 tracks.

Do you know the price of 24 tracks Ampex heads ?

Thanks.
Old 12th January 2012
  #50
Gear Nut
 

Well new heads are $2,000 each. Erase heads rarely need replacing because they are made from harder material, so figure on $4,000 to replace the rec and repro heads with new ones, if that proves necessary.

However, check with Arny if he has some good used heads, and also I have two 24T head assemblies available for private sale, one with 85% head life remaining (with JRF Magnetics head report) and one with less life.

I will sell either of these for much less than the cost of new heads. Please PM me with your email address if you want more info.

Regards


David
Old 12th January 2012
  #51
Here for the gear
 

Thanks.
Old 14th January 2012
  #52
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studioRAF View Post
Thanks David,

The seller (a big french seller of audiogears) told me 6500 hrs for rec and repro heads, 400 hrs for erase head (I will ask them how they know that).

The price is 3500 Euros, with varyspeed and remote, suppose to be ready to use.

It is a 24 tracks.

Do you know the price of 24 tracks Ampex heads ?

Thanks.
Dear studioRAF,
The seller might be Funky Junk (Paris) used to be run by John Pierre who has now retired.
The first thing I would check is the erase head, as they have a habit of going open circuit, there are two types, one has a pin connection = a Nortronics Head, the other (Later) has fixed Orange/Black twisted cables, both are prone to go open.

The record and play heads can also go open circuit and some bad engineers by-pass part of the winding as it is centre tapped, this changes the impedance of the head and upsets the Frequency Response by a huge amount.

The Record and the Replay heads are identical, hence you enjoy almost perfect sync, and chances are they are fine, besides new heads are very reasonable, as are second user heads, the heads on the Paris machine might only require re-lapping if that.

The price is about right for a 24 track that has not been serviced by an appointed Ampex Engineer although if its a Mk-1 then the price is a little high.

There are many updates from 1976 until 1983 and this machine could be missing many of these which could make the machine far less reliable than a fully updated machine.
There are too many to list here but here are a couple of Important updates
1 Constant Tape Tension Control System.
2 Extended MDA Heat Sinks to allow for one extra TO3 Transistor.
3 20 Turn Pre-sets on the Transport Control PWA.
4 Could have the wrong relays on Audio Switching PWA causes pops and cracks when entering record, these will go to tape as well as take out your tweeters in your monitors.

The good news is, I have every part on the Shelf for this machine, I'm English but my European Ampex Workshop is in Montargis. France.

I have to say unless this MM1200 has been with only one owner who kept a constant watch on the use of this machine or it had a mains monitering added to the On/Off switch there is no way anyone can tell the life of these heads, I can give you a report, or Greg Orton and of course John French is more than capable.

Now I have stated all the worst cases but these are far outweighed by the many pluses this machine has.
1 Total Discrete "A" class record amd replay amplifiers.
2 One of the least expensive machines to run (Lookup the price for heads for another make. if they are available that is.
3 A machine that is going up in price as it is very sought after.
4 You have an Appointed Ampex Workshop and parts dept near you.
5 All parts are available from stock.
6 This machine is so basic & simple to repair that your average TV repair engineer will find their way round it, although they may not be capable to give it a full refurb due to lack of parts.
7 When an Ampex MM1200 has all its updates it can be a very reliable machine.
8 Most of all, this machine sounds great.

Best Regards

Tony
Tony Arnold (Director),
Ampex-UK
Ampex Audio & Recording equipment sales support spares parts and repairs including the ATR100 ATR124 & Ampex valve,Ampex spares,Ampex sales,Ampex servicing,Ampex audio equipment,Vintage audio,vintage studio recording equipment, secondhand studio reco
[email protected]
Old 16th January 2012
  #53
Here for the gear
 

Hi, Mr Arnold,
First, I would like to thank you for your work with King Crimson tapes (I'm a huge fan).
Then, yes, the Ampex I'm talking about is the one Funkyjunk is selling.
I realy appriciate your advices, and, if one of these days, you go to Funkyjunk and can take a closer look to that mm1200 and give me a report of its real shape and what it needs to be totaly reliable, it could be usefull for me.
Thanks.
Raphael.
Old 16th January 2012
  #54
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studioRAF View Post
Hi, Mr Arnold,
First, I would like to thank you for your work with King Crimson tapes (I'm a huge fan).
Then, yes, the Ampex I'm talking about is the one Funkyjunk is selling.
I realy appriciate your advices, and, if one of these days, you go to Funkyjunk and can take a closer look to that mm1200 and give me a report of its real shape and what it needs to be totaly reliable, it could be usefull for me.
Thanks.
Raphael.
Dear Raphalel,
I havn't been to Funky Junk (Paris), for many years one time Pierre would bring his Ampexes to me to get a full report, but I have never spoken with the new owners, if they want me to make out a report for this MM1200, they would have to answer a FAQ Survey and also send me a certain amount of pictures.

I'm more than happy to quote them a price for a full report. either here in Montargis, or I can visit the machine, or via email.
(The email way is not full-proof)

Best Regards

Tony
Tony Arnold (Director),
Ampex-UK
[email protected]
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