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Best Tape Machine and why? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 2nd November 2018
  #331
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Hey Guys, I’m based in the UK and would like my Ampex 2 track serviced, does anyone have a contact that I can approach to do such a job?
Thanks
Old 3rd November 2018
  #332
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T_R_S's Avatar
the fully automatic alignment of the STUDER A827 is the bomb...
Old 3rd November 2018
  #333
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bcgood's Avatar
 

"Your father's tape recorder. This is the recorder of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a computer daw. An elegant recorder... for a more civilized age."

Old 3rd November 2018
  #334
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
i have used many 2 inch machines over the years, but the one i like best and kept is my Studer A800mk-1

the Mk1 has transformers on every input and every output.
thats why they sound so serious.

if you are after that Fat Analog Tape sound, then the trannies are part of it.

i also ran a Studer A800mk3 for a number of years and it was good too.

Buddha
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #335
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
the fully automatic alignment of the STUDER A827 is the bomb...
I think its the A820 that has cutomated alignment, not the 827,
Old 22nd January 2019
  #336
Informative thread, but also interesting one from this aspect:

even the very best decks (like MCI, Studer 800 series) are discarded by some people, who prefer other decks. Yet those "worse" decks delivered some of the best albums in history...
Consequently, lower brands are hated by most/all of commenters on this thread, and even those decks (like Soundcraft or Fostex) again delivered well respected or even legendary albums.

Realistically, lower-end decks are pain to maintain today. However, possible conclusion to this thread could be that today we are spoilt by multiple choices.
Recordist on a budget in, say 1985, had to use certain lower deck to get job done, there was no alternative, so that hypothetic guy had to give his best. Today we don't have to, therefore we can afford to hate those machines...
Old 22nd January 2019
  #337
Ok, but what is the best of the worst in 2019?
(to slightly hijack the thread)


If someone would care to advise me: I have chance to get either one from 2 "bad" decks, Soundcraft 760 (brown), or Tascam MRS16.

I'm fully aware of downsides of both. But they are offered locally (some hours of drive from my place), appear to be in a good shape, and they cost around 4 times less than Otari.
I too have good source of sealed tapes locally for both 1/2" & 2" (latter way more expensive of course, but still available).

760 is serviced and calibrated, heads look good in photos. But it's overkill for me, it would mean more spending for a large serious desk. I'd be just fine with 16 tracks. And I have previous experience with recording to narrow tape format.

The reason I'm interested in these low-end decks is cause I have a day job, and I wouldn't be recording bands daily. I would use it lightly, for personal studio, and once serviced it could go long way.
So which one is wiser choice (or less evil choice), given they are in very similar condition?
Old 22nd January 2019
  #338
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg View Post
Ok, but what is the best of the worst in 2019?
(to slightly hijack the thread)


If someone would care to advise me: I have chance to get either one from 2 "bad" decks, Soundcraft 760 (brown), or Tascam MRS16.
If it is a standard MSR16 with DBX, don't do it. Only get the Tascam with the Dolby S.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #339
Lives for gear
in the digital age, a wide track format like 1" 8 of 2" 16 is the way to go. Ampex 44o at deptones is sick. I have an otari mx-70 1" 8, does 30 ips, but I am happy with 15, it sounds incredible. When i record minimoog or clavinet through it, it's just a like a straight wire. Whereas digitally, something is amiss. Sounds more polished but doesn't have that raw energy to it that you get from playing through an amp. analog electronic/eletric instruments (especially my '67 hofner beatle bass, hearing that through the studer 827 was what got me into tape in the first place) and drums are where tape really shines IMO. grand piano, classical guitar, or other such instruments not so much. Horns are also good on tape.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
If it is a standard MSR16 with DBX, don't do it. Only get the Tascam with the Dolby S.

Thanks, that's a good point, unfortunately this one is dbx version. :-(
Old 23rd January 2019
  #341
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #342
Noise reduction is music reduction. BTW, anyone want a Dolby SR-24 rack loaded with all Dolby "A" cards? I'll sell it cheap.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #343
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EvilRoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
I always liked how audio came back from my Tascam 80-8/DX-8 with more weight. never had a problem with lack of bass or clarity. Did have a problem with pumping, had to record kicks super low. Picked up a Dolby XP SR rack I want to recap/restore. Never liked consumer Dolby but heard SR is the way to go. Some prefer Dolby A, less audio artifacts. From what I've read about the two processes, I would still use DBX on something like a choir or orchestra. Seeing as how I do rock n roll, gonna try SR. No NR has always been too hissy for my taste but if someone can pull off quiet without it, more power to ya. Did prefer recording to cassette onto metal tape without NR. Hated type 1 tape, which is all one can get now.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #344
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Sigma's Avatar
If perfectly kept iso loop m79 ..if not mtr 90..yes it specs better than a studer and 1/2 the price at the time
Old 25th January 2019
  #345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
If perfectly kept iso loop m79 ..if not mtr 90..yes it specs better than a studer and 1/2 the price at the time
Analog tape is a terrible spec
Old 25th January 2019
  #346
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
vintage DBX NR is all the rage now in the hip circles. It has dethroned the tascam 388 for those in the cool.
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