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advice- would you get this studer A80?
Old 14th August 2012
  #1
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Rea's Avatar
 

advice- would you get this studer A80?

would you buy this or is it bad news?
Its a MkII 24 track from, supposedly 1990. was at abbey road and moved to israel. came out of service a year ago. has 15,600 hours on it, not sure yet if on the heads aswell, they may have been replaced... waiting to hear from the tech that used to work on it.
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Old 14th August 2012
  #2
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Pretty hard for anyone to advise. You should get a tech report and a head report- then decide based on price. There's a guy selling two MKIVs I think on Ebay; one machine is complete with the other for parts.

Outside of that- you need to decide based on the reality of your shop. Do your clients want tape? Does it make sense in your room? Do you have the means & resources to maintain it?

These days, you don't necessarily need 24 tracks of tape at once to achieve results. Just my .02

Hope that helps- and good luck
Old 15th August 2012
  #3
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What is the asking price?

It could use a new Athan pinch roller.
The heads look decent in the pic.

I was setting-up an A80 mkII last night.
Nice machine.
It had been used in the same studio since new with little maintenance.
It lined right up.

After years of MCI and Ampexes I really liked the Studer's transport.
It was easy to service, too.
Very well constructed.
Old 15th August 2012
  #4
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Im a producer/musician who is making records the way i like, so its not really about clients. Im comissiond to come up with a product. Not so much studio for hire so its more labor of love and a need to salvage these old beautiful machines from rotting somewhere.

The price is 2.5k. Does that make sense?
Old 16th August 2012
  #5
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If you don't buy it let me know because I will.
In a heartbeat!

In the next few days I am setting up a A80 mkII from the ground up for a client.
I have mainly owned MCIs (three different JH-24s, many JH-110s and lots of Ampex AG-440s, AG-350s, etc...) so that is my perspective.
Still, I really like the Studer's transport.

The machine I am setting up has been used, but not abused.
It has been in the same studio since the mid '80s, but I don't think the guy has ever even owned a calibration tape.
The electronics are set all over the place and are WAY out of calibration.
Still, with all of this lack of attention the transport handles tape better than any tape machine I have ever used!

2.5K.... hell, yeah!
(That is providing the heads are not shot and they look pretty good in the pics.)

In fact, if that machine was down here where I live I'd seriously thinkabout selling my JH-24 and buy it.
That is saying a lot because my Jh-24 is clean, clean, clean and runs nperfectly.

Seriously though... take several REALLY clear and detailed pics of the heads, send them to John French at JRF and tell him that you would like his opinion.
Offer to pay him something for this, too.
He will say that he really needs to see them in person, but tell him that you can't send them until you own it and that is too late.

Does the seller have any kind of head report?
It needs to somewhat recent obviously.
That is ultimately what should be the deciding factor assuming that you actually want the machine.

Good luck.
PM me if you have more questions.
He'll probably let you know more than you know now.
Old 16th August 2012
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
Is the machine sill in Israel? That, for me would be a deal breaker, unless the NY you have listed is no longer true.

I have an A80 1/4 machine and it sounds great. John French told me that A80 heads are the hardest and most durable heads ever made, so I would guess they have a relap or two in them.

There aren't pictures of the locator, is it included? Without one your life will be a bit of a pain, or impossible (I'm not sure if you can arm tracks without it).

Be glad its a narrow body, the wide bodies are REALLY W-I-D-E.
Old 16th August 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
There aren't pictures of the locator, is it included? Without one your life will be a bit of a pain, or impossible (I'm not sure if you can arm tracks without it).

Be glad its a narrow body, the wide bodies are REALLY W-I-D-E.
You can arm the tracks and operate it without the remote, but it'd be a fight to do serious over-dubbing and punch-in work.
There is a lever switch on the right side of each channel's electronics module that switches between REMOTE and local control.
Studer doesn't call it "local control," but that is what it is.

The wide bodies are wide and HEAVY!
The narrow body weighs in at 564 pounds and the wide body machines top SIX HUNDRED POUNDS!
Old 16th August 2012
  #8
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it's not a mk 2 it's a mk 3. you can tell because it doesn't have a split erase head and the red led between the 0 and loc buttons. the mk 2 is just a 0 button, there is no led or locate.
I don't know whether or not that means transformers in the cards, but either way it will sound great, may be rockin' or clean. either of those is a good thing.
Old 16th August 2012
  #9
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also, unless you get REALLY lucky, you should start budgeting to spend another 2000 on cabling and repairs.

when you hear it, it will be worth it.
just don't expect to be recording to it the day you get it. analog takes time.
Old 16th August 2012
  #10
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for those reading this thread that are kinda new to analog.
let me breakdown why I said 2000.

(6) 50 ft db25 to xlr - $500
1 day of tech time - 500
pinch roller - 400
mrl - 400?
han d mag - 75
jrf head report - ?
new atr 2" tape - 350
omg channel 14 isn't working, caps from mouser - 30
another day of tech time to fix miscellaneous, align, bias, - 300
what? I only get 18 minutes recording time at 30ips - new reel 350

i'm restoring a a80 myself.

sure you're not gonna want a 16 track headstack to go along with all that?

This is high end

yeah... don't sell your pt rig
Old 16th August 2012
  #11
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Hey guys thanks for all of your input!

I split my time bet NY and Israel so the machine stays in Israel.

Ill follow all of your advice and ill get the local studer guy to run a full check up on tjis beast.

Speaking of 16 track head- that was really my dream but where do you find one...?
Old 17th August 2012
  #12
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rea View Post
Hey guys thanks for all of your input!

I split my time bet NY and Israel so the machine stays in Israel.

Ill follow all of your advice and ill get the local studer guy to run a full check up on tjis beast.

Speaking of 16 track head- that was really my dream but where do you find one...?
For all things recording heads John French at JRF is always the first call.
Old 17th August 2012
  #13
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I've owned a Studer A89 mk 4 for 22 years. Owner MCIs and used Otari's. Each has its own charm and strength.

But none has the overall engineering excellence of the Studer. The attention to detail is staggering.

Anyway, I have a lot of stuff for sail as I bought a parts machine from Brude Seifried of Evil Twin fame a while back.

A have various cards, blocks, supplies, transport parts if you should need.

I also have some 24 track to Elco 96 multicores from the 48 track days.

If you need anything let me know.

And enjoy that machine. Its a work of art.
Old 25th August 2012
  #14
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Space Station's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danly View Post
it's not a mk 2 it's a mk 3. you can tell because it doesn't have a split erase head and the red led between the 0 and loc buttons. the mk 2 is just a 0 button, there is no led or locate.
I don't know whether or not that means transformers in the cards, but either way it will sound great, may be rockin' or clean. either of those is a good thing.
It's probably a MKII.

Not many MKII's had a split head..and a lot got updated in the field. Also my A80 MKII has a locate button and an LED.

MKII had both input and output xformers like the MKI but with re-designed audio amps..different meters too.

MKIII lost the input transformers.

MKIV lost the output transformers too.

Personally I'd be wary of a 15,000 hour machine..I'd want it checked out very thoroughly first..mine has done less than 2000 hours and has signs of wear. Just depends on the level of maintenance done.

To properly set up Studer mechanics/transport you need the proper Studer tools..or an engineer with them.
Old 1st September 2012
  #15
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Tomorrow morning ill be heading with the local machine tech to run tests on this machine.
Any further advice and tips would be greatly appreciated. You can save a life!! Just kidding, but seriously. Any thing to look for in particular.
Remember it had 15,000 hours on the meter!!! That seems like a lot.
How many hours are these motors meant to run for? Not the heads.

Thanks again all!
Old 1st April 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
I've owned a Studer A89 mk 4 for 22 years. Owner MCIs and used Otari's. Each has its own charm and strength.

But none has the overall engineering excellence of the Studer. The attention to detail is staggering.

Anyway, I have a lot of stuff for sail as I bought a parts machine from Brude Seifried of Evil Twin fame a while back.

A have various cards, blocks, supplies, transport parts if you should need.

I also have some 24 track to Elco 96 multicores from the 48 track days.

If you need anything let me know.

And enjoy that machine. Its a work of art.
HELLO Steffmo!
I have a Studer A80 mk IV (8 TRACKS I 1"), and I need a help! Channel 7 don't work good, and I have problems for alignment (calibration) the machine by myself. I need some professional help around here (in Catalunya, Barcelona, ​​it is very difficult to get help).
Someone expert gives me your e-mail for more private sport detail?
THANKS A LOT!
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