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Master tape recorder Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 19th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Master tape recorder

I've been thinking about mastering my music with a master tape recorder. Buying a 500-600 dollar recorder is what I had in mind. The question is, do you have any idea which tape recorder I should buy?
Old 19th August 2007
  #2
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At that price, check out the Telefunken M15!
Its convertable to 1/2" and you can new heads and pretty much all spares at Hilpert - Tonstudiotechnik, AEG/TELEFUNKEN MAGNETOPHON
But i would start with german ebay.
Old 19th August 2007
  #3
Studer A80, both 1/2 and 1/4 inch or maybe the newer A807. Bought mine for 500 Euro but you've qot to be a bit lucky/patient with that kind of price tag...

Peter.
Old 24th August 2007
  #4
Be careful with the Studer, is hard to find the electronics components this days.
The JH110C it will do a great job on 1/2 or 1/4 inch easy to swap head stacks look on
Analog Recording,Head Relapping,Motor Rebuilding,Reel to Reel Parts & Services,Sony BVH,MCI,Electrosound,Gauss ask for Tom he’ll strip it down and built it from the ground.
Old 24th August 2007
  #5
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The Sony/MCI JH110B's and C's also are good options to consider if you can find one for cheap.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th August 2007
  #6
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A friend of mine, John McCaig has a Tascam ATR60 for sale. It's a 1/4" 2-track machine that's just been calibrated. You can PM username jdg.

Regards,
Bruce
Old 24th August 2007
  #7
jdg
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thx bruce :D
Old 3rd April 2010
  #8
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i am willing to buy the a807 of a friend of mine, he said he bought the machine for 2200 eur 1,5 years ago on ebay in amerika, but what i see are machines for 800-1200 eur on ebay... does he tell me the real price what its worth?. his machine is in good condition, everything is working on it..., i am willing to pay 1000 eur, what do u think? can u suggest me or explain me why his machine is so expensive?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #9
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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Two other machines

The Otari MTR-10 or MTR-12 are GREAT master recorders. OTARI MTR-12 TWO TRACK MASTER RECORDER | Los Angeles | eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) | 584630

The Tascam Model 52 and the model BR 20T were both very good sounding machines

One of the BR-20s is for sale here 2.TASCAM BR-20

I think the price point you are looking to spend is a bit low for a tape recorder in excellent condition. I have found a few at the price point you are looking to spend but they are in less than good condition and may have some major problems that need to be addressed. Since any good technician is going to charge you $65.00 to $80.00 per hour for their time it could add up very quickly. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to look at is the heads, if they are badly worn you may not have the option of having them re-lapped and to purchase new heads can get expensive very quickly. FWIW
Old 3rd April 2010
  #10
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my friend writes that this a807 he is selling has "butterfly" head(s) in very good condition, tried to translate, dunno if good translation, and those head(s) is/are worth 700-1000 eur, is that true?

so what shall i pay for a master recorder which is in good condition? is 2200 eur a good price? or what would be a normal price?















i just added some pictures
Old 3rd April 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ant0nwax View Post
i am willing to buy the a807 of a friend of mine, he said he bought the machine for 2200 eur 1,5 years ago on ebay in amerika, but what i see are machines for 800-1200 eur on ebay... does he tell me the real price what its worth?. his machine is in good condition, everything is working on it..., i am willing to pay 1000 eur, what do u think? can u suggest me or explain me why his machine is so expensive?
He might be trying to recoup his shipping and import cost plus the price he paid for the machine.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant0nwax View Post
i am willing to buy the a807 of a friend of mine, he said he bought the machine for 2200 eur 1,5 years ago on ebay in amerika, but what i see are machines for 800-1200 eur on ebay... does he tell me the real price what its worth?. his machine is in good condition, everything is working on it..., i am willing to pay 1000 eur, what do u think? can u suggest me or explain me why his machine is so expensive?
There are a few variables to take into account.
First is the condition of the unit. While i answered earlier that i bought a 807 mkII for only €500 , i failed to mention that i had it overhauled for more than that. Still i was very lucky.
Another thing are options. Some are sold with a meterbridge and a trolley while others are merely basic units.
There's also the mark II version, which has a slightly wider reel center base and larger pancakes. One might ask a bit more for those as well.

[edit] after seeing the pictures, this seems like a basic unit (could be mkII though) and scratched which could tell something about rough use. I agree with Tom Waltz.

Last edited by finetuner; 3rd April 2010 at 12:53 PM.. Reason: saw the pictures
Old 3rd April 2010
  #13
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thanks so far, if you would need a a807 and you would see these pictures and know that the device is in very good condition, i tested it myself but i dont know much about reel ii reels...

what would be the fair price what you would pay to a friend/collegue...
he is in need of money at the moment

is that question hard to answer?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #14
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ant0nwax View Post
thanks so far, if you would need a a807 and you would see these pictures and know that the device is in very good condition, i tested it myself but i dont know much about reel ii reels...

what would be the fair price what you would pay to a friend/collegue...
he is in need of money at the moment

is that question hard to answer?
If you don't know much about tape recorders in general you should find someone in your area that does and have them take a look at the machine and make sure the heads are in good condition. Ebay is a good place to see what things are selling for.

Look here Vintagerecorders.co.uk

and

STUDER A807 MkII TC 4 TRACK/4Ch 1/2" 4Speed DolbyHX PRO - eBay (item 250605343463 end time Apr-06-10 20:30:10 PDT) -PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A 4 CHANNEL MACHINE
Old 3rd April 2010
  #15
I'd say between €800 and €1200

Mastermaschinen / Mastering : Schmitronic, Studio Equipment

Triple Audio Website:
No machine available currently, but they usually sell refurbished/checked ones for around €1200

For (re-)mastering you'd want the full track butterfly head.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #16
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studiochap's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ant0nwax View Post
i am willing to buy the a807 of a friend of mine, he said he bought the machine for 2200 eur 1,5 years ago on ebay in amerika, but what i see are machines for 800-1200 eur on ebay... does he tell me the real price what its worth?. his machine is in good condition, everything is working on it..., i am willing to pay 1000 eur, what do u think? can u suggest me or explain me why his machine is so expensive?
In this day and age something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it...!

This is often far less than sellers consider their gear is worth - because they are basing their estimates only on what THEY paid....not current market value.

1000 euros is extremely expensive for an A807 ....and if you're going to pay that sort of money the machine better be in just wonderful cosmetic conditon, and for that price you must INSIST on a an engineer's report on the electrical and mechanical condition of the machine ( and the condition of the heads...).
But really it's far too much money....

That report should come from a studio tech with good experience of Studer A807 machines, and you should try and get a valuation built into it. It's worth you paying for that report actually...with a deal made with your friend that if stuff is found that money needs to be spent on, then HE pays for the report.

Many guys have bought machines they THINK are in excellent condition, only to find later that serious money has to be spent!

250 euros should probably buy you a Studer A80, which is much cheaper to service ( because it's easier...).

Personally I wouldn't buy a Telefunken M15 - they are great machines but the spare parts position is going to be more difficult than with Studer.

4 x ex BBC A807 machines have been sold on ebay.uk this week. Prices ranged from 330 GBP to 510 GBP ( approx 371 euros to 575 euros). One of those machines was described as "outstanding" and sold for 370 GBP ( ebay item number 260571574481). So that is what they are actually being sold for at the present time.

The BBC , being the UK national broadcaster, maintained their machines properly, too.

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 

okay, yes ive seen ebay auctions but the machine from the link has not much in common with the stuff i want to buy, its 4 track, has meterbridge, dolby ...., but when i look in the past usually the price on ebay for a a807 are between 800 and 5000 eur, or are those machines usually not in working order?

so maybe the cheap ones are players only?
i also found a repro and rec head set which was sold for 600 eur, so the guy is not lying concerning the heads...

cant you please just state what you would bu it for? this machine from the pictures?, i shall make him an offer, if you dont want to write down what you would pay for it, then please just send me a message, i wont put it public...

thanks adam
Old 3rd April 2010
  #18
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studiochap's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by finetuner View Post
I'd say between €800 and €1200

Mastermaschinen / Mastering : Schmitronic, Studio Equipment

Triple Audio Website:
No machine available currently, but they usually sell refurbished/checked ones for around €1200
Hi Peter,

Schmitronic are very long-established professional dealers, and their prices sometimes tend to reflect what gear used to be worth...not what it's actual value is now. They may be selling on commission for an owner who has dictated the price required...- Hence some items are in their list over a long period of time!

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #19
granted, Gwyn

I've been there a while ago and the stock is not all that 'mint' condition.

The BBC machines you mentioned, sound like a real bargain.

As said before, finding one of these machines for a good deal one has to be patient .. and a bit lucky
Old 3rd April 2010
  #20
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studiochap's Avatar
 

No, the ebay machines are recorders...you can see the record heads!!

Those UK prices are absolutely the prices I've known A807's to sell for in the UK over the past 3 years.

I myself have bought 3 x Studer B67 from eBay for 150 GBP for the three!!!!

...and sold an MCI JH110 in working order for 40 GBP on eBay, as I needed the space and that was the top price bid! I've bought lots of Studer Revox PR99 machines on ebay uk for 75-100 pounds.

I agree with other posters comments about heads - but remember that you can usually get heads relapped ( refaced ) several times. (Buying an ex-broadcast machine gives you a good chance that heads are in good condition)

Post high-res closeup pics of the heads on your friend's machine, showing the flats made on the heads by the tape wear , and guys here will give you a guesstimation as to condition. Measure the flats with a Mitutoyo or similar gauge if you can.

Your friends machine doesn't look to be in super cosmetic condition from the wear marks and the general condition of the top plate ( sorry I didnt spot the pics before..) and if it is found to be in good working order I personally would have said 500 euros top price.

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #21
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studiochap's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by finetuner View Post
granted, Gwyn

I've been there a while ago and the stock is not all that 'mint' condition.

The BBC machines you mentioned, sound like a real bargain.

As said before, finding one of these machines for a good deal one has to be patient .. and a bit lucky
Hi Peter,

Happy Easter from England! What I will say about them is that I've known those guys since the early 1980's , and no dealer I know knows more about tape machines ( not to mention mics and consoles etc.) than they do. I did feel a little guilty posting that comment , but I think it's true.

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #22
Gear Head
 

wow, thanks to all of you... i might set a search on ebay now, since my friend will not go down to 1000 eur... and even not to 500 EUR, that stuff with the BBC machines is really interesting, guess ill get a mastertape someday later then... and for the rest of the money i finally can get myself a terrace in the garden...
Old 3rd April 2010
  #23
Gear Head
 

dont want to spam this thread, but actually he has a nearly unused a812 also in the studio for sale (he has 2 of them) which he is selling, i dont wanted to ask him what he wants for the 812 but maybe you can help me what i can bid him for the 812...




here are many more pictures:

Index of /studer

and yes, he has more studer tapes, and other tapes
he got a a820 too and some crazy 48 track digital studer and ... the guy is a gearslut yes ....
Old 3rd April 2010
  #24
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studiochap's Avatar
 

Hey Adam,

just for reference , the "butterfly heads" ( it was perfect translation..) were fitted to Studer stereo machines - as opposed to 2-track machines....

They give better signal-to-noise ratio than the 2-track heads.

Here's my honest advice.

If you haven't owned a quarter-inch machine before , buy a Studer Revox PR99 and definitely look for one which has meters, and heads in good condition.

Reason.... they are pro-level +4 machines with XLR in and out. Easy to find and cheap to buy (and also to have serviced) and you'll be able to find spares cheaply on eBay, or get a second spares machine just to keep for parts. They became a very standard recorder in radio stations.

Some PR99's were bought by hi-fi enthusiasts - and one of those would be likely to have had only a tiny fraction of the use that a machine would have had in a studio or a broadcast environment.

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #25
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studiochap's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ant0nwax View Post
dont want to spam this thread, but actually he has a nearly unused a812 also in the studio for sale (he has 2 of them) which he is selling, i dont wanted to ask him what he wants for the 812 but maybe you can help me what i can bid him for the 812...




here are many more pictures:

Index of /studer

and yes, he has more studer tapes, and other tapes
he got a a820 too and some crazy 48 track digital studer and ... the guy is a gearslut yes ....
If you get a transport fault on one of the Studer microprocessor-controlled quarter-inch machines, things can get very expensive!

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

hi gwyn,

so the people having sold the a807´s of bbc are selling now this goodie:

REVOX PR-99 MKIII STEREO TAPE REEL TO REEL RECORDER bei eBay.de: Audio (endet 04.04.10 16:15:16 MESZ)

23hours to go...

what do u think, shall i go for it? how much difference is in the sound of this machine and the a807? not much?

i was overwhelmed what a reel 2 reel can do to a digitally "destroyed" recording when testing the 807 on two of my recordings (which were digitally "mastered")

[edit]
actually now i found a different one, even closer to me:
Revox PR 99 MK II mit Schmetterlingsköpfen bei eBay.de: Bandmaschinen (endet 04.04.10 20:03:07 MESZ)

this has butterfly heads and even was refurbished in 2009 ... hmm how expensive can a machine get ?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #27
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The German one is the best bet! Serviced...and has meters. Heads "look" OK.

Notice that it's being sold without the pretty NAB adapters and spools that are in the picture ( this is quite normal...)

Ordinary NAB adapters go for 40 euros or so on eBay. You can buy repro ( non-Studer) pretty aluminium collars for them for 100 euros or so, but not necessary, as they don't help the sound in any way. But they look way cool...

A machine must be used only with the tape it's been aligned for ( in the '70s we would align all studio 24 track and quarter inch machines EVERY day...) so as there are only two companies making tape nowadays ( Emtec and the USA company whose name I forget..) probably best to get any machine you buy aligned for Emtec...

OK, now I have work to do, good luck if you go for it. Remember Hammersnipe snipe-bidding rules in these eBay situations...

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 3rd April 2010
  #28
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Finally, just to let you know , all the service and user manuals for Studer recorders in English, German, and sometimes French, are now legally downloadable for nothing from the Studer FTP site!

ftp://ftp.studer.ch/Public/Products

Cheers

Gwyn
Old 6th April 2010
  #29
ORC
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The PR-99 is a nice machine for very little $$$ It would be an easy way for you to get used to working with tape. I personally use an Otari MTR-10 mk 2 1/2 inch highly modified: Electronics by Jim Williams of audio upgrades, and heads converted to custom extended range "mastering"
type by John French of JRF magnetics. The mods actually cost more than the tape deck did, but quite honestly this little machine will lay waste to stock Studers and ATR's

the Otari machines are easily obtainable at very reasonal prices. Wheter you go 1/4 inch or 1/2, there are plenty of mods and upgrades that can be done on these machines.

I also think the MCI JH-110's are fine recorders too!
Old 6th April 2010
  #30
Gear Head
 

The english machine finished at 350 EUR

The german with butterflies finished at 600 EUR (but no NAB, and no thing to put the tape on dunno the name)
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