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Old 15th August 2009
  #8
Here for the gear
 

For what it's worth, I've had both an ATS-1 (w/ 351 card) and a Studer A80 in the studio for the past few months. The ATS-1 is indeed quite a gorgeous mastering tool. But don't buy it expecting an effects unit, that's not where its strengths lie.
Truth be told, when I use tape whilst mixing, it is generally as an effect - to squash/saturate/distort - and the A80, the actual tape machine, does this in a more pleasing way. To be fair, this isn't apples to apples - there is no A80 or Emtec 911 card in the ATS-1. All the same, for my purposes (which are blunt and heavy-handed), I haven't used the ATS-1 as much as I'd hoped. I feel like I get the width I want from my summing amp and as far as the nuances of mastering go - I don't really have the ears for that and don't do it in-house.
If anyone's interested, however, my ATS-1 is listed on ebay.co.uk, as we speak