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Studer B30 tube tape recorder
Old 24th February 2012
  #1
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Studer B30 tube tape recorder

Hi guys,

Should anybody know about mono tube tape recorder Studer B30 ? It's been released in 1957, 4 years before the C-37. It was the first portable recorder built by Studer.

I've got one shortly, it's going to be checked by my friend/tech Mazz in Germany. I'm searching for schematics, operation manual, or any other info about. Thanx
Old 24th February 2012
  #2
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If I can find the manual of my own B30 I will try to scan this.
<<< You may like my avatar...
Old 24th February 2012
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hi Studerfreak,

Nice to talk to a B30 brother I think I'll end up with finding some documentation one day and I'll tell you about too.

One thing I'm wondering about the machine : there's a remote connector on rear panel. The question is, should the remote protocol be the same than the C37/J37 one ? I'm working with a J-37 and The Clasp machine and I'm expecting for connecting the B30 to the Claps too... Well, the answer should be on schematics I guess !

Is your B30 in quite working condition ? If it is, what do you think about the machine and its sound ?
Old 24th February 2012
  #4
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I may find my documentation one day sooner...
My Studer is still in mint condition and in spite of being a mono machine the quality is absolutely great.
These machines I started to know when I worked at Dutch Television and used these intensively in the period 1961 - 1969.
I know that this machine was very popular at broadcast studios in Europe.
I will try to find my manual and maybe other information.
Old 26th February 2012
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Hi,
Sorry, I'm a bit slow with english language sometimes ,I just thought you were searching for manual too...

I really didn't know about the B30 before, mine was originally used by Radio Bern in Switzerland. It looks like these machine have been mostly used in Switzerland, indeed, but also in Germany and Netherlands, I don't think it was used here in France, whatever it seems few know about. I don't know how many were built.

What was the main common use of the B30 at Dutch TV ?
Old 1st March 2012
  #6
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Because it was a portable machine the B30's were used everywhere at Dutch Television.
Outside broadcast vans, studios, post productions studios for news etc.
The B30's were quite light compared to the good old Telefunken M5's.......
Old 31st March 2012
  #7
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indeed, telefunken M5 are very heavy (I dropped one once).
Old 31st March 2012
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevdb View Post
indeed, telefunken M5 are very heavy (I dropped one once).
The M5 probably was not harmed, but how about your feet ???
Old 31st March 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevdb View Post
indeed, telefunken M5 are very heavy (I dropped one once).
Ouch... I would 't fight against you :-)))
My J-37 is 150kg heavy, I'll have a rolling plate built for it to replace the current rack basement and I still don't know how to carry it on the new plate, there's not any handle...
Old 14th April 2012
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
My Studer is still in mint condition and in spite of being a mono machine the quality is absolutely great.
Hi,
I'll drive to Germany in 2 weeks to pick up the B30 checked by my friend/tech. I'm wondering about tapes and test tape. I'm using hi fluxivity RMG900 on my J-37 but I fear flux should be too high for the B30 maybe... Do you have any idea about ?

In what concerns test tapes, I've read I should need 1000 Hz, 333 Hz, 10kHz & 8 kHz freq on tape to align the machine. Following, it's said frequencies should be @-10dB, so it should be some custom test tape I guess. What do you think about ? I've been unable to fully understand the alignment procedure described in manual, maybe I'll ask you for some infos ;-)

Thanx !
Old 15th April 2012
  #11
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I would suggest aligning the machine to 250 nW as this Studer is an older tube machine.
For aligning you will need a test tape meeting this
You can use the test tape made for 320nW/m and calculate the difference (3dB) when setting the playback level.
And you will need another test tape for the other tape speed if you are going to use that because there will be a difference in playback equalisatin settings between two tape speeds.
The test tape will have a 1 KHz tone for level setting and then tones at -10 for alignment, starting with 10KHz for mechanical adjustment of the playback head and followed by a range of -10 tones for alignment of the playback equalisation.
Once you have set the playback electronics of the machine you go to the recording side.
The procedure is like setting the playback: start with 1KHz for setting the recording level, then 10KHz at -10 for adjusting the recording head azimuth, then using the same tone and level for bias settings, followed by a range of tones for adjusting the recording equalisation.
For alignment of the recording electronics you will need an external oscillator or the oscillator of a recording console that can provide these tones and levels.

The tape you want to use is no problem when setting for 250nW/m flux.

Test tapes are still available at MRL or in Europe at Canford Audio in England.

Have fun !
Old 16th April 2012
  #12
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The MRL tapes have both an 8K and a 16K tone @ -10db (on their 7 1/2 ips tape, 0db on their 15 ips tape) for azimuth adjustment. You really need the higher frequency tones for this crucial adjustment. In fact I use the 20K tone for the fine adjustment on most decks. Also, if you are adjusting the azimuth using an AC voltmeter or console meter, there are various peaks that you'll encounter, only the highest peak reading is the correct one. The best way to do this adjustment is with an oscilloscope. You'll still see the various peaks, but it will be easier to define the perfect azimuth phase from the top right quadrant to the lower left on the scope. This should show as a straight line or as close to it as possible. If it's the other way around, top left to lower right, you're 180 degrees out of phase. There's a lot to watch out for.

Dennis
Old 16th April 2012
  #13
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I know...
I always used BASF test tapes which had the right levels and series of tones to do a proper alignment.
Unfortunately BASF test tapes are no longer available.
Maybe JRF in the USA has something similar to the BASF test tapes.
And I also used an NTP phase oscilloscope for azimuth setting.
Indeed: Using an oscilloscope is the most precise method.
Old 16th April 2012
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Hi Studerfreak & Audiotech,

Thank you for the infos :-)

I ended up with setting up my J-37 by myself some months ago, I spent some hours... and some sweat ! Head height and azimuth were the most boring as I feared to do something wrong. Well, I did, PB head wasn't straight, I went one sinusoid wave too far... Just had to set it up backwards. I think it has been properly set up then as I got a quite linear and equal alignment on all 4 tracks while sweeping frequencies. A bit less straight @7.5ips but I guess it's usual (?) BTW I

Sorry but I'm not that used to, I understand about azimuth on a stereo or multitrack machine, as phase between tracks has to be accurate. But for a mono machine? If I don't miss anything, a wrong azimuth line up will cause a gain loss as head playback won't be optimized, am I right ? That's why one has to go to the highest peak, that's what I understand with your explanations. And highest freq will give more accurate azimuth set up, that's it?

I remember I've been using my 1"/15ips (non fringed) MRL test tape to align the J-37 @7.5ips. Should it be wrong ? I see you're talking about specific test tape for the B30 @7.5ips...
Old 17th April 2012
  #15
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Not only for the B30 you need different test tapes: You will need different test tapes for different tapeSPEEDS, as the recording/playback equalisation are different.
And that goes for all tape recorders.

If you use a 15" test tape for aligning a 7,5" speed you do something wrong.
If you send your recorder tapes to another studioit will sound different.
Same if you play back tapes recorded on a properly aligned machine.
Old 17th April 2012
  #16
Gear Nut
 

So I made a search as I think I shouldn't have done this without any recommandation, thinking that was some wrong method too... I finally found the relevant MRL document...

It looks like CCIR (IEC1) equalization (and this one only) allows to align the recorder at any speed from 7.5 to 30 ips at nominal level with any 7.5 to 30 ips CCIR test tape... I don't know if 5kHz @0Vu could be too much for the B30 (?) but as far as I can see, it seemed to work on the Jay. BTW there's a speed table at MRL for level compensation. Not bad and fair as it can spare some money...
Old 17th April 2012
  #17
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Just back from installling a studio, I have read the posts and have only one conclusion:
There are only two ways to align a professional tape machine and these are the right way and the wrong way.
The right way is to use the proper tapes and tools.
In my own technical career in studio maintenance I always have used the right test tapes for the right tape speed and eq (CCIR/IEC, NAB, AES).
The same as SP2016 I have used BASF test tapes for 1/4" and 1/2" formats.
For 1" and 2" recorders I used the Ampex alignment tapes, simply because most of the recorders I aligned were Ampexes...

Of course there are various ways to come to a result, but I preferred the fastest and most secure way and never regretted that.
Apart from that it also took less time to come to professional results.

Last edited by Studerfreak; 18th April 2012 at 07:22 AM.. Reason: correction
Old 17th April 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Sure, Studerfreak, you're right, nothing's better than have accurate test tape per speed and equalization....

BTW, main use is 15 ips for me but being able to align the machine @7.5 ips with the same test tape is quite cool... Maybe 15/30 ips should be different as both speeds can be equally used, 7.5 is only a minor use here and this is just a turnaround... My Jay is a CCIR/NAB but I left NAB aside...
Old 26th June 2012
  #19
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Were all of the B30s mono? I bought one and the seller claims it is stereo.
-Chris
Old 26th June 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmagnetophon View Post
Were all of the B30s mono? I bought one and the seller claims it is stereo.
-Chris
As far as I know Studer never made a stereo version of the B30.
Let the seller make a photograph of the back panel and you will see if there are connectors for left and right channel in- and outputs.
Again: I very much doubt that it will be a stereo version.
Old 27th June 2012
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Like said by Studerfreak, have a look to the back panel, here's the truth... BTW I don't think there's room enough to have 2xPB/Rec amps in the box! So if ever the device had been modified to stereo recorder, this couldn't be achieved without modifying all the inside stuff IMO... But who knows, do you have some pictures?
Old 27th June 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artmanjam View Post
Like said by Studerfreak, have a look to the back panel, here's the truth... BTW I don't think there's room enough to have 2xPB/Rec amps in the box! So if ever the device had been modified to stereo recorder, this couldn't be achieved without modifying all the inside stuff IMO... But who knows, do you have some pictures?
There never was a stereo version. I asked around...
Artmanjam is right: there is no room enough for the extra electronis, tubes and connectors.
Old 9th August 2012
  #23
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....since we hold the Key to every former (analog) STUDER legacy/heritage product I can confirm there was never a Stereo version of the STUDER A or B30 Series!

Schematic / Manual are all present in our Archives....

Hope this helps

analog-audio kuhn
STUDER HERITAGE SERVICES
Seestrasse 41; CH-3700 Spiez ( Switzerland)
Tel/Fax: ++41 (0) 33 654 93 22

E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.analog-audio.ch
Old 19th August 2012
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
I would suggest aligning the machine to 250 nW as this Studer is an older tube machine.
For aligning you will need a test tape meeting this
You can use the test tape made for 320nW/m and calculate the difference (3dB) when setting the playback level.
And you will need another test tape for the other tape speed if you are going to use that because there will be a difference in playback equalisatin settings between two tape speeds.
The test tape will have a 1 KHz tone for level setting and then tones at -10 for alignment, starting with 10KHz for mechanical adjustment of the playback head and followed by a range of -10 tones for alignment of the playback equalisation.
Once you have set the playback electronics of the machine you go to the recording side.
The procedure is like setting the playback: start with 1KHz for setting the recording level, then 10KHz at -10 for adjusting the recording head azimuth, then using the same tone and level for bias settings, followed by a range of tones for adjusting the recording equalisation.

Have fun !
Hi,
The machine has finally been fully serviced, full recapped, tubes, bearings changed, new pinch roller etc. I'm just currently waiting for a 6AS7GA tube as the one I got is a coke bottle one and doesn't fit to put the recorder in its box

As far as I can see, -just had some tests, waiting to test it in the studio-, the device has a great linear PB frequency response. Rec has some nice emphasis in the high freqs. Should it be caused to some usual curve in the 50's? Machine has been aligned @250nWb

One last thing, you're talking about bias. But is there any bias set up on this machine? I didn't found any, did I miss something?

Can't stand using it !
Old 19th August 2012
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artmanjam View Post
One last thing, you're talking about bias. But is there any bias set up on this machine? I didn't found any, did I miss something?

Can't stand using it !
You did not find it, because Studer has very cleverly hidden that control.
If you take the head cover plate off, you will notice a adjustable capacitor C61 (trimmer) which controls the amount of HF bias.
It is behind and in the middle between the erase head and record head.

And the rise at high frequency at record side may very well be caused by the bias setting that has not yet been adjusted.
Note that practically each brand of tape has its own over-bias level.
Mostly it would be 2,5 to 3 dB over the peak value of the -20 dB / 10KHz tone you send to the input and then measure at the playback output (15 ips).
Sometimes I send a 30 or 40 Hz tone at full level and then adjust the bias control to get maximum output (you hear the cleanest tone then).
Old 19th August 2012
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
You did not find it, because Studer has very cleverly hidden that control.

Sometimes I send a 30 or 40 Hz tone at full level and then adjust the bias control to get maximum output (you hear the cleanest tone then).
Waow, thank you so much for the info! Wouldn't have found it by myself :-)) Is it this kind of ceramic thing with a large centered screw? Overbias is theorically 4dB for SM900/15ips. I should receive the missing tube in the very next days, I'll check the bias and align the machine then.

BTW, I have similar hi freq alignment problems with my J-37. It has been shortly serviced, full recap, all critical electronic components changed, new x4 matched tubes, new bearings, new pinch... Like before, I can't properly adjust rec hi freq. With Rec amps Entzerrung potis fully counterclockwise, 10kHz is still @+6 to +7dBu while global level is +4dBu. It's a global issue, It occured before all the work to be done on the machine, it's still there now. As the J-37 is aligned with 500nWb flux, I tried do a full alignment with the same flux than my test tape (355nWb) but it didn't changed anything, so the cause is not the high fluxivity I guess. Should the SM900 be inappropriate for these old machines?

About the 30Hz to set up the bias, I tried Michael Blackmer's tip. I like it as you can listen to the result instead of just applying tape recommandation, I guess it's the same with your method :-)
Old 19th August 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artmanjam View Post
Waow, thank you so much for the info! Wouldn't have found it by myself :-)) Is it this kind of ceramic thing with a large centered screw? Overbias is theorically 4dB for SM900/15ips. I should receive the missing tube in the very next days, I'll check the bias and align the machine then.

Should the SM900 be inappropriate for these old machines?

About the 30Hz to set up the bias, I tried Michael Blackmer's tip. I like it as you can listen to the result instead of just applying tape recommandation, I guess it's the same with your method :-)
Yes it is the ceramic thing. It is a trimmable capacitor. Turn it slowly and gently !!!

SM900 would be no problem for this machine.

My (and Michael's) method proves to be not too far off from the overbias at -20db/10KHz method.
I used it quite a lot in my recording engineer's time in the early seventies when I had to overdub on tapes my machine was not really aligned for and producer/musicians did not allow me the time for the proper method.
They always left my studio quite happy.
Just a simple low frequency tone (50 Hz or preferable lower) at full level and listen to the after tape output for the cleanest tone is what in any studio can be done.
However it is OK for 15 ips, but may be a bit more off at lower speeds.
In theory indeed the tone should be approx 10 Hz or lower, but these are frequencies that are quite hard to find on a recording console...

The 6AS7G tube (V8 dual power triode) is the tube that controls the brakes.
The V7 (E80CC used in parallel) is controlling the V8.
Old 19th August 2012
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
Yes it is the ceramic thing. It is a trimmable capacitor. Turn it slowly and gently !!!
Ok, I'll care about, thank you! The only remaining thing to do is to change the bearings of the flywheel roller. They're press mounted so I have to go to some competent guy to take them off and put new ones...

Quote:
SM900 would be no problem for this machine.
I really don't now why I encounter such a problem for the rec hi alignment. I was thinking about hi flux. The only turnaround I have is to compensate PB eq. Sure that's not a proper alignment but it's just the only way to get right hi freq level for now... That drives me crazy !

Quote:
My (and Michael's) method proves to be not too far off from the overbias at -20db/10KHz method.
That's a great method, working with the ears... And you can directly compare all tracks and get a coherent bias set up then.
Old 23rd August 2012
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
I know...
I always used BASF test tapes which had the right levels and series of tones to do a proper alignment.
Unfortunately BASF test tapes are no longer available.
Maybe JRF in the USA has something similar to the BASF test tapes.
And I also used an NTP phase oscilloscope for azimuth setting.
Indeed: Using an oscilloscope is the most precise method.
BASF tapes ARE AVAILABLE!! All company know-how and machines were sold to Netherland company RMG! You can simply get emtec type tapes from thomann or order test tapes from web.

God bless!
Old 23rd August 2012
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anghello View Post
BASF tapes ARE AVAILABLE!! All company know-how and machines were sold to Netherland company RMG! You can simply get those tapes from thomann
Hi Anghello, some misunderstanding here, Studerfreak was talking about test tapes I guess, not tapes...

BTW RMG tapes are produced by Pyral in France now. I would like to think it's a good news...
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