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Good Tape 8 Track?
Old 5th February 2003
  #1
Gear Head
 

Good Tape 8 Track?

What is a solid Analogue 8 track to get that wont break the bank? I want to have some sessions where I track to that, than bounce into my RME ADI-8. Thanks




John
Old 5th February 2003
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Well, first you need to define "not breaking the bank". Since you posted this in high end I'll assume your looking for a 1" or 2" 8-track rather then something like a Tascam.
Old 5th February 2003
  #3
Gear Head
 

I dont know, Help me out

Well, I want something decent. Most likely 1 inch for 8 tracks.

I mean, if tascam's are good, than I guess I would want one. I dont know anything about them. Tell me a few great models, and a few good ones, and which ones would be the most cost effective and whatnot. Thanks a million for the help.



John
Old 6th February 2003
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'll repeat myself. First you need to define "not breaking the bank". Translated that means... what's your budget.
Old 6th February 2003
  #5
Gear Head
 

Under 2 grand

Under 2 grand for the 8 track. Thanks, tell me a few




john
Old 6th February 2003
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
3M, MCI, Ampex, Otari and Studer have all made 1" eights. I would assume they could be had in your price range. Make sure you know a tech that knows tape machines. They haven't been made in a while and will most likely need some service. Or you might find a tech that also does some brokering. He may have a machine that has been gone over and has a good bill of health. That would cost more, but would be worth it!
Old 6th February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
oh man you WANT an old ampex 1" i dont remember the model number..amx1000????....nothing like em.....the first two led zep albums were recorded on em...they're out there....find a good tech...but theres nothing like hitting tape with all the red lights on......can you say headroom and tone???
Old 6th February 2003
  #8
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Led Zeppelin II was recorded at a bazillion different studios while the band was touring to support the first Led Zeppelin album... who the fuck knows how many different studios were used, or what machines may have been in those studios.

As far a 1" 8-track under $2k... you might be able to find a Studer A-80-VU in that range. If you do... when it's time to replace the heads, give me a shout... I have a set of 1" 8 track A-800 heads [in damn good shape!!].

When you put A-800 heads on an A-80-VU, you can pull the head coupling transformers which will increase the headroom of the machine like 3 fold.

Other than that... try and find yourself an Otari... unless you're a fairly skilled technician, in which case an Ampex or 3M will indeed give you a hard on [and you'll often spend almost as much time fixing it as you will using it].

Best of luck with your search.
Old 6th February 2003
  #9
Gear Head
 

Also

Yeah, i want the most dependable machine. Where can I find one in good shape? I am no tech nor do I even have one. I just want a machine that is in good shape, was recently serviced (if needed) and I wont have to mess around with. Thanks



John
Old 7th February 2003
  #10
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
You could also look for an MCI, I'd probably get one of those before I bought a 3M. If your going to buy a 20-30 tape deck you'll need to figure out how to do at least some of the basic maintaince. If your not willing to do that I'd highly suggest buying a DAW and giving up on the option of using tape. Either that or become really good friends with your tech and budget about $500 to $1K per year to keep it running right. Fletchers right, maybe an Otari would be a good idea for you. They're pretty reliable but when they do crash they're a bit harder to fix.
Old 7th February 2003
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 

Find out who services them in your area, maybe they'll have a good suggestion or lead on a reliable deck for you. You'll probably need to have a good local tech in any event.
Old 12th February 2003
  #12
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Otari 1/2" or Studer made an A 827 8trk 2", in Which it would probably be better to find an A827 16trk 2" as the difference in quality is negligeble by any reproducable consumer format.
Old 13th February 2003
  #13
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Studer doesn't make the 2" 8 heads. You gotta talk to JRF about that. There's a studio near me that has an A800 2" 8 track and I'm not too impressed with what I've heard come out of that room but I think it's mostly the engineer or the console. It's not bad, but it ain't quite as amazing as you'd expect it to be.
Old 15th February 2003
  #14
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Have 1" and 2" 8 or 16 track machines come down in price that much?

I had an Otari MX5050 MKIII 1/2" about 8 years ago and it was $1300. I sold that and stupidly overpaid $3200 (!!!!) for a Tascam MS-16 1" about 4 years later.

Seems like you're all talking about machines that are way over his $2k budget, but I may be wrong.
Old 18th February 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

good 8 trk

Have 1" and 2" 8 or 16 track machines come down in price that much?

<--cut-->

Seems like you're all talking about machines that are way over his $2k budget, but I may be wrong.
**************************************************

Times have changed, tape decks are stupidly cheap. Other than a few specific models like a mint condition 820/827 or a "vintage" C37, its a complete buyer's market for tape decks.

That Studer A80 1" 8 track that cost $4K to $5K just a couple of years ago, is now a $1999 special. The Ampex 440s are gonna slide under $1k, even for decent ones. I've seen late model Otaris sit unsold for $1200.

steve
[email protected]
Old 18th February 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
And you still can't touch a 2" 8 track for anywhere under $12 large. But, you can find a 1" 8 track for about $2000 or so.
Old 18th February 2003
  #17
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

A827 8 TRKs were for sale over here not too long ago, they were cheap, and I haven't been to Amsterdam yet.
Old 18th February 2003
  #18
Here for the gear
 
The Specialist's Avatar
 

My vote is for the MX5050 1/2 inch machine from Otari. The first demo I cut for my band on one blew them away. They immediately forbade me from using ADATs ever again and got a suspicious look when I mentioned Alsihad.

I think the big thing against 1" machines is that most pro shops are shying away from stocking 1" (I know mine is, and also our competition). There were never as many of those machines around to begin with. Everybody is getting rid of their analog decks and the demand for 1" is almost nonexistant. 1/2" and 2" are still viable for audio stores (as well as 1/4", but who the hell wants to sound like a cassette?).

The Otari rocks when set up properly, if you buy one, try and get the MRL and a manual. Also some seem to have speed issues.
They can be found CHEAP! They are easy to work on and are only pretty heavy, not really, really heavy.

I use mine for drums and bass, then transfer to Alsihad for guitar and vox and stuff. Sounds great for demos, and I would not be embarrased to see them released.

If you think about it:

2" = .083" per track
1/2" = .0625 per track

pretty close

of course 1" 8 track or 2" analog 16 (my fav) is .125" per track
WooHoo fat tone!

but, I digress...
Old 18th February 2003
  #19
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Hey Specialist, where did you get your Otari and how long ago? I miss my little 1/2" MX5050 MKIII, and sold it at Audio Images several years ago. They do rock. I liked the sounds I was getting from it more than my Tascam MS-16 1".
Old 18th February 2003
  #20
Here for the gear
 
The Specialist's Avatar
 

I got it from a client of mine. My store gets them sometimes.

Haven't seen them in a while though. Drop me an email and
I'll let you know if we run across one.

[email protected]
Old 18th February 2003
  #21
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Your email looks like you work at Bananas at Large. Is that the case? If so, I'm about 8 blocks from the shop.

I'd love to pick up a good 8 track, but I'm broke as a joke right now.
Old 19th February 2003
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
A827 8 TRKs were for sale over here not too long ago, they were cheap, and I haven't been to Amsterdam yet.
Heh. They couldn't have been 2" 8-tracks then. Probably 1" decks. AFAIK, the only people making 2" 8 heads are John French and Mike Spitz. And the decks are insanely expensive to build. When I looked into it I was told to buy a 1" or 2" deck and gut it. The only thing they could keep were the frame, power supplys and reel motors, everything else was new and custom built. We're talking $15K or better without the deck.
Old 19th February 2003
  #23
Here for the gear
 
rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

I picked up my (almost unused) Otari 5050 mk III 8-track on Ebay for $800. It has run without a hitch for three years straight. There is no other machine in that format that comes close, sonically or mechanically.

Charles
Old 8th April 2003
  #24
Here for the gear
 

MX5050 Mk111-8 manual

I recently picked up a Mx5050 off ebay, but didn't get the manual, has anyone got one handy they could copy or sell to me?
Old 8th April 2003
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Ampex or Scully 1" 8 tracks come to mind...
they sound very good at the right price point. Under 1k is about the price for them.
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