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3M M79 Analog Multitrack Recorder Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 1st September 2009
  #91
Gear Maniac
 
mattallen's Avatar
 

The machine looks great Otto!

Can't wait until you have more to report.

With help on the dating, all I have to go on is the 3M M23 8 track I sold was from 1968.
Not sure of the serial number on that off hand.
Old 1st September 2009
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazeka View Post
Huh. I didn't think 3M was making the M23 until the early 60s at the earliest (which I thought was the era of Dynatrack, and I thought the Dynatracks preceded the M23):

Restoration Tips & Notes » 3M DynaTrack

But unless someone else knows, Dale recollection is it.

Thanks.
Well, reading Dale's papers on Richard's site, I got it wrong, and my machine must be from about 1965. Somehow, I got the sequence confused in my discussions with Dale. I got the impression they made audio recorders prior to the Dynatrack machines, and when they introduced Dynatrack, the tape division accidentally undermined the potential DynaTrack recorder market by also introducing the 203 tape formulation, so people could get a little better noise performance by changing tapes, rather than a lot better noise response by doubling tape width. He must have meant that Scotch inadvertently undermined their attempt to take market share from Ampex and Studer with their brand new lineup of DynaTrack machines. My bad. So, it's actually closing in on 45 years old. Still time for some recapping!

Cheers,

Otto
Old 1st September 2009
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattallen View Post
The machine looks great Otto!

Can't wait until you have more to report.
Thanks for the new idler! Couldn't have gotten a decent performance out of it without a perfectly aligned idler. I had JRF test, relap and align the heads, but it would have been a waste if the transport was still acting out.

I now have a few other little projects that have priority over further refinement to the M-23 electronics, but I will be back to it soon, at least to tweak the #6 cards. In the mean time, I will just push record and enjoy.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 1st September 2009
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazeka View Post
I thought the M79s used the Dixon meters like those on the M56 but with the overbridge concealing most of the VU allowing only the scale to peer through?
I believe there were M-79s with Dixson meters and others with Modutec meters. The three M-79 transports I used to have all had Modutec meters.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 1st September 2009
  #95
Gear Nut
 
fazeka's Avatar
 

Hi Otto,

My intent with questioning is to learn all there is to know about 3Ms, I hope I wasn't irritating or annoying or coming across in some negative way. I guess I was rather shocked when I first saw your post because I wasn't aware Mincom made professional audio recorders in '59. 45 years, 50 years, as you say it's all pretty amazing whatever it is!

Thanks for the info and from one 3M owner to another, enjoy your baby!

I myself am trying to get in on a M64 2-track another 3M freak has in their possession... heh

I swear, all the other 3M freaks hit this page more than the 3M group that's out there... it's kinda weird, but very cool.
Old 1st September 2009
  #96
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazeka View Post
Hi Otto,

My intent with questioning is to learn all there is to know about 3Ms, I hope I wasn't irritating or annoying or coming across in some negative way. I guess I was rather shocked when I first saw your post because I wasn't aware Mincom made professional audio recorders in '59. 45 years, 50 years, as you say it's all pretty amazing whatever it is!

Thanks for the info and from one 3M owner to another, enjoy your baby!

I myself am trying to get in on a M64 2-track another 3M freak has in their possession... heh

I swear, all the other 3M freaks hit this page more than the 3M group that's out there... it's kinda weird, but very cool.
No problem, Chris! I'm still puzzled as to how I got confused about the timeline. I originally thought the M-23s started up mid-60s, but then I got the impression from chatting with Dale that there had been earlier machines. I thought we had discussed that issue by email, but I don't see anything about it in my archives. Probably just a symptom of advancing age and the mental lapses induced by having so many small children around the house!

Good luck on the M-64! I think the belt drive system is better and I have the parts to make the changeover. Honestly, I don't hear any particularly negative effects of the M-23 rim drive on real music, but there is a bit of a waver to the phase when aligning heads at 16K, and now that I think of it, it is at about the rate of rotation of the flywheel (like a little flat spot on the flywheel tire). As I said, I don't hear any real hint of it in the audio, but then I can barely hear 16K any more! I probably should install my unused flywheel and then fully tweak the adjustment of the capstan motor as it contacts the flywheel per the manual.

BTW, I miss having a 1" 8 track, so I think one will be coming my way, soon. It seems I will also become an MCI guy: a friend has offered to give me his older MCI JH-110 1" 8 track. I just have to go pick it up.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 14th January 2010
  #97
Gear Maniac
 
glava's Avatar
 

M23

I bought a M23 1" 8T a couple of years ago havn´t had time yet to fix it up
but now I have started.

I´m having some problems with flutter
when recording a 1khz sinus it´s waves about 1db up and down
in approx 2-3cps

I have exchanged incoming and outgoing rollers and bearings.
Ultrasonic cleaned the bearings in Capstan motor and flywheel bearings
also changed the belt-drive(yes this one has belt intead of direct rubber)
Changed the idler.

A wierd things is when recording 10khz and up it doesnt have that flutter.

Anyone have any idea what to look for,do you think the flywheel is detect
or the reel motors needs to be cleaned?
Old 8th May 2010
  #98
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glava View Post
I bought a M23 1" 8T a couple of years ago havn´t had time yet to fix it up
but now I have started.

I´m having some problems with flutter
when recording a 1khz sinus it´s waves about 1db up and down
in approx 2-3cps

I have exchanged incoming and outgoing rollers and bearings.
Ultrasonic cleaned the bearings in Capstan motor and flywheel bearings
also changed the belt-drive(yes this one has belt intead of direct rubber)
Changed the idler.

A wierd things is when recording 10khz and up it doesnt have that flutter.

Anyone have any idea what to look for,do you think the flywheel is detect
or the reel motors needs to be cleaned?
You might try bypassing the flywheel to see if the symptoms get worse or better without. Note: As I have access to M79 machines, I do not know whether the M23 will behave sufficiently well without the flywheel in the tape path. Anyway, if the the symptoms go away when the tape is threaded only through the isoloop and not using the flywheel in the path, then perhaps the flywheel needs to be bypassed permanently, perhaps necessitating a mod as discussed in earlier posts by others.

If the reel motors have bad bearings...in fact if there are bad bearings anywhere in the motors (capstan, belt mechanism, or reversing idler, and/or one or more reel motors), then that would be enough to produce the effect you are noticing. The other problem could be sticky shed syndrome if you are using Ampex Grand Master 456 tape, you need to bake it before using the tape. If you have used this kind of tape without first baking it, you need to thoroughly clean the machine. Take care to use a special cleaner for the rollers and reversing idler. (available through ATHAN.)

If you are unsure of the procedures or the correct course of action, please consult with an experienced 3M repair technician. Good hunting for the problem whether alone or with a qualified technician. I hope you soon have a working machine.

Please note: If you follow any or all of my directions above, you do so at your own risk. I specifically disclaim any liability arising from the words I have written in this message and recommend and warn you to check my advice out with other qualified professionals, if unsure how to proceed. You should be aware that by following my advice, certain parts of your 3M M23 recorder could fail or be destroyed using a cleaning procedure similar to or identical with the procedure(s) outlined in this message. If any such circumstance(s) happen(s), you agree to hold me harmless and indemnify me from any and all liability in whole or in part arising therefrom.
Old 14th July 2010
  #99
Gear Maniac
 
glava's Avatar
 

Believe or not but my tape was faulty!!!!
A brand new 911 RMGI..

Never thought of that,but Matt Allen put me on the right track.
Thanks a million super 3M man.
These service guys getting harder and harder to find today..

Borrowed a quantegy tape from a friend
rock stable recording.
One good thing that came of that ****ty rmgi tape
is that now I know my m23 inside out and
everything is up to spec.
Old 14th July 2010
  #100
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by glava View Post
Believe or not but my tape was faulty!!!!
A brand new 911 RMGI..

What a shock ... not.

ATR Magnetics.
Old 15th July 2010
  #101
Gear Maniac
 
glava's Avatar
 

Yeh I know I´ve been having a lot of other problems with them
like "uncentered reel flanges"(sorry for my english)
shedding e.t.c
but this.....should sue them.

Which there were an european distributor for ATR.
Old 15th July 2010
  #102
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by glava View Post
Which there were an european distributor for ATR.
Did you email or call them? No direct shipping ??
Old 19th March 2013
  #103
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glava View Post
Believe or not but my tape was faulty!!!!
A brand new 911 RMGI..

Never thought of that,but Matt Allen put me on the right track.
Thanks a million super 3M man.
These service guys getting harder and harder to find today..

Borrowed a quantegy tape from a friend
rock stable recording.
One good thing that came of that ****ty rmgi tape
is that now I know my m23 inside out and
everything is up to spec.
I've spent a couple of days now figuring out what is wrong with my 3M 79 16-track recorder. We did some stuff on the tape and there is some wow/flutter there, but at the end of the tape - it gets really awful. I measured it yesterday with "Lindos" audio oscillator/meter - after thorough cleaning and new bearings, but no change. Then I tried another tape - IT'S OK!! And the tape that wobbles is an RMGI. If something good came from the problem - I found this site.
Old 20th December 2013
  #104
Here for the gear
 

Hello,

From last ten years I had an 16 track M79 machine not in use. Nowadays I started it again and noticed the motors becomed very noisy. Maybe three years ago I've seen on 3M homepage (3m79.com or solpedica ... something) the detailed describtion (with photos) how to clean and maintain M79 motors, but unfortunately this website is no longer visible and I didn't make a copy of that motor maintainence page. If anyone of you had copied this page and could share with me, would be great. Very best regards to all analogers.
Old 21st December 2013
  #105
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotrzurawski View Post
Hello,

From last ten years I had an 16 track M79 machine not in use. Nowadays I started it again and noticed the motors becomed very noisy. Maybe three years ago I've seen on 3M homepage (3m79.com or solpedica ... something) the detailed describtion (with photos) how to clean and maintain M79 motors, but unfortunately this website is no longer visible and I didn't make a copy of that motor maintainence page. If anyone of you had copied this page and could share with me, would be great. Very best regards to all analogers.
You should just have the motors rebuilt. IT was amazing how quiet mine got after motor rebuild. Matt Allen in Nashville has become the defacto M79 guy.

http://www.allen-sound.com/home/A.S._Main.html
Old 28th December 2013
  #106
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
You should just have the motors rebuilt. IT was amazing how quiet mine got after motor rebuild. Matt Allen in Nashville has become the defacto M79 guy.

A.S. Main
Thanks for information about Matt, unfortunatelly nowadays I can't effort to ship the motors to US, I have to relay on myown resources here in Poland. I've got two descent 8trk machines, but thanks to Gwyn Mathias from UK, I rebuild them to one working 16trk system, solving a lot of minor problems in audio boards and controll board (even discovered one factory wrongly soldered zener, causing overloading and blowing the rewind breaking transistor). So I have some technical background to do the job but I hesitate much to start digging in motors without instruction. De facto I have two TakeUp, two supply and two capstan motors

All the best to all in futurcominng year of 2014!
Piotr.
Old 29th December 2013
  #107
Gear Nut
 
BradL8068's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Baron View Post
We have a 3m at our studio (Edison, NYC) and it sounds amazing. Henry Hirsch, my partner, prefers the 3m over the Studer, at least for audio quality. Studers have amazing transports and are very durable workhorses. I think the 3m may be a bit more fragile.

Make sure it's in decent shape.

My father, Aaron Baron, owned a remote recording truck (under the name Location Recorders) in the 70's and he had two 3m M79's - they recorded a lot of great albums including "Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East", "BB King at Cook County Jail", "Dave Brubeck Last Set at Newport" etc...
David
Nice to meet you. I had the pleasure of working with your dad a couple times.
We first met at A&R back in the late 70's. He and Larry Dalstrom were setting up a mag- link system (locking pre smpte) for Bruce Swedien recording The Wiz soundtrack for Quincy and Michael Jackson. Later I worked in that truck recording a Jazz concert at the Smithsonian. Great guy, and as I worked in that truck with Aaron it wasn't lost on me that " Live at the Filmore" was recorded in it, one of the records that made me want to become a recording engineer.
Here is a blog post I wrote a couple years ago that mentioned your dad and that truck.
NY Recording Studio Blog: What I think Makes A Great Sounding Recording
On a side note before my first studio job I roadied one or twice for Henry Hirsch.
Great musician, producer and engineer. Tell him I said Hi.
As far as 3m's go yes they are fine sounding machines..I used one in the early Power Station Days. I see debate here about the punching speed. The heads were configured for a tight punch, tighter then the Studers of the time, but I do remember having some issues. I believe that as the engineer I had the full remote with the track arming buttons and had no problems. But my assistant had a small locator, for some reason he had more problems punching with that remote. It was an assistant I had worked with before, and he had no issues on Studer. We attributed to the remote but who knows.
Brad Leigh
Old 25th September 2017
  #108
Lives for gear
 

Almighty thread with so many interesting contributions..

And Pete Townsend dropped by with his one and only post.

Old 25th September 2017
  #109
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack P View Post
Almighty thread with so many interesting contributions..

And Pete Townsend dropped by with his one and only post.

I do wonder if that was him.

I really need to sell my M79, I could use the space.
Old 26th September 2017
  #110
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I do wonder if that was him.

I really need to sell my M79, I could use the space.
Pretty sure it was.

I sold my M56, for the same reason. Got used so infrequently, and space is at a premium.
Old 26th September 2017
  #111
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Pretty sure it was.

I sold my M56, for the same reason. Got used so infrequently, and space is at a premium.
The post make sense that it was him. Too bad he didn't stick around.

Yeo, space is finite in my place, at least for now. Does Brian K need another M79...?
Old 26th September 2017
  #112
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
The post make sense that it was him. Too bad he didn't stick around.

Yeo, space is finite in my place, at least for now. Does Brian K need another M79...?
He and I have had several communications about his 3M machines, and it sounds consistent with all of those.

As far as Brian goes, send him an e-mail. Probably not. I think he has two right now. Buster Allen might know somebody who's looking.

I'm building a new room, and I'll barely have space for the 827 and the 102, not to mention all the rack stuff. I'm partnering up with somebody who wants to bring their MCI in, and I'm really trying to talk him out of it. Just sell it and get a 16" stack for the 827.
Old 26th September 2017
  #113
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
He and I have had several communications about his 3M machines, and it sounds consistent with all of those.

As far as Brian goes, send him an e-mail. Probably not. I think he has two right now. Buster Allen might know somebody who's looking.

I'm building a new room, and I'll barely have space for the 827 and the 102, not to mention all the rack stuff. I'm partnering up with somebody who wants to bring their MCI in, and I'm really trying to talk him out of it. Just sell it and get a 16" stack for the 827.
Yeah, I figured you had. I'll email those guys. Buster knows I have it.
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