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My Analog Adventure
Old 7th May 2006
  #1
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
My Analog Adventure

I posted a while back inquiring if anyone out there still used tape and was quite pleased to hear that many answered with a resounding yes.

Nonetheless, I thought I would share my experience thus far with my journey back to the future.

I scored a Studer A80 Vu MkII 2" 24 Track for $2500 that looks to be in phenomenal condition. The machine was guaranteed not 'DOA', but I later found out that it has never been tested since it was inherited 9 years ago. The current owner was incapable of testing it so, $200 bucks later, I managed to get somebody to take a look at it for me who could confirm that it was indeed in phenomenal condition for the most part, but would probably need $500-$1000 worth of tech work to get it back up to full speed. Still not a bad deal...yet.

Unfortunately, I couldn't exactly tell from the pics that the machine is six feet by four feet and weighs as much as a car...and has to be moved upright. As the machine is in LA and I am in Denver, this has proved to be a logistical nightmare. After two weeks, I finally managed to find a shipping company in LA that specializes in moving pro audio equipment that could move it for $550 door to door to my tech here. Thinking I'm back on track, I get a frantic call from the shipping company saying that the pallet is packed and ready to go, but that it weighs over 1000 lbs and is likely going to cost more like a grand to ship.

So, I've now gone from $2500 to upwards of $4700...actually better make it an even $5k for tape costs.

This is, of course, assuming that the machine needs only minor repairs, cleaning, calibration, etc...

Again, I beg of you...please tell me this will all be worth it in the end!

-Chris
Old 7th May 2006
  #2
Lek
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Lek's Avatar
 

Moneywise, I have put in almost twice the money I spent on my ATR102 - shipping, new heads, capstan motor, random parts, alignment tapes, tape, cleaning and demagnetizing, trips from a technician. Was it worth it, holy **** YES.
Old 7th May 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore
Again, I beg of you...please tell me this will all be worth it in the end!

there is no question the joy and rewards will ring out long after the $5000 has become a distant memory. that's what, less than the price of two sweet comps?

having that tape sound on every single track... there is nothing on the planet like it. and the improvement will be so big, you'll be able to put the checkbook down for a long, long time.

wait, you DO have a console to mix into, yes?




gregoire
del ubik
Old 7th May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

wow

sounds like quite an adventure....the only concern I have is ....do you get a lot of business? cause if you don't then why not just rent a studio with a tape machine?
Old 7th May 2006
  #5
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyphony
sounds like quite an adventure....the only concern I have is ....do you get a lot of business? cause if you don't then why not just rent a studio with a tape machine?
He probably enjoys it. Plus, the pride of ownership perhaps.
Old 7th May 2006
  #6
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
No, I don't do studios, nor do I run a commercial studio at this juncture. Doubtless, for me it is all about recording and making/creating great music. To go into a studio and walk out with an amazing sounding record that I didn't create would mean nothing to me, personally, even if it were my music.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but recording is what I enjoy most in life...I'm not a professional, but I work all day so I can come home and record. I'm only 26 and do hope to eventually run a studio full time, so I'm considering this an investment for the long haul.

Now, about that console...
Old 8th May 2006
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Count Dz's Avatar
 

Uh oh!! U thought shipping costs were high on the tape machine.
Old 8th May 2006
  #8
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GYang's Avatar
Well my adventure with tape recorder finished that tape is out of studio, as it seems forever.
Dunno, it is some particular magic in tape recording, but I wouldn't call it generally better sounding over the best digital. Not in my world.
Processing and summing is different, but I agree that for some kind of music and if that particular character of sound is requested, tape could be only way to go.

Good luck.
Old 8th May 2006
  #9
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midnightsun's Avatar
 

For the Love of Tape

I love tracking to tape... it is a wholesome experience.. There in lies the irony.. I have a good multitrack machine in my studio that I seldom use but I can't bring myself to be rid of it. I feel guilty like when I don't spend enough time my dogs, cats, kids, wife, etc. Life is too short. I still have a case of sealed BASF tape that I plan to pull out on a very special occasion.
Old 8th May 2006
  #10
If that deck is indeed in great shape you still scored. To put it into proportion for you that deck originally cost at least 10 times what you paid for it.
Old 9th May 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

5K Seems To Be The Magic Number

This seems to be the cost to get it going. It's well worth it.
Old 9th May 2006
  #12
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vernier's Avatar
If you're not running a commercial studio (lucky you), then I'd go for an eight-track ...for alot of reasons.
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