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Decent 2-track reel to reel
Old 21st January 2007
  #1
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soupking's Avatar
 

Decent 2-track reel to reel

Hi everybody,

I'm currently researching 2-track reel to reel tape recorders for mixing and was wondering what is a good product to purchase.

I'm looking for something that is 15 ips, 30 ips is even better.

As for tape size, 1/2" is the minimum I could use. I prefer 1" if I can find it.

If anybody knows of any brands/models that work well, I'd be delighted to know which ones are quality machines.

Thanks in advance!
-soupking
Old 21st January 2007
  #2
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Hi everybody,

I'm currently researching 2-track reel to reel tape recorders for mixing and was wondering what is a good product to purchase.

I'm looking for something that is 15 ips, 30 ips is even better.

As for tape size, 1/2" is the minimum I could use. I prefer 1" if I can find it.

If anybody knows of any brands/models that work well, I'd be delighted to know which ones are quality machines.

Thanks in advance!
-soupking

If you've got the budget---the ATR-100's 1/2" and I believe 1". There are two companies offering these units. I know one is in Florida. Price somewhere between 9,000 and 15,000 depending on heads and electronics. I'll try to find a URL if your interested. They will also mod your Ampex ATR 100 if you can find one or already own one.
Old 21st January 2007
  #3
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emkay's Avatar
 

this should get you going.....

http://www.atrservice.com/products/d....php?dept_id=3
Old 21st January 2007
  #4
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carival's Avatar
Hey soupking. Haven't you been inquiring about and acquiring lots of "vintage" gear for an upcoming "vintage 1960s" project? Forgive me if I'm out of line or wrong about the nature of your post, but 1/4" 15 i.p.s. shouldn't be overlooked. If you haven't tried it, you may be surprised. Otherwise, as has been stated, Ampex or Studer 1/2" or 1" can be good. ATR Services could help you out.
Old 21st January 2007
  #5
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soupking's Avatar
 

Hey Carival, that's me baby.

It's an impressionistic project so I'm trying to hit the mark as best I can. I've even been learning about how journalism's done on 2-track systems to learn how they had to build a "presentation" on 2 tracks.

I just don't want too much gain and hiss. The compression is good but I've got to make as clean as possible. It's a fine line, but being so I have to be optimistic.

1/4" sounds cool but it feels like a gamble. What more is there to learn about 1/4" tape?

Thanks C.
Old 21st January 2007
  #6
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What CARIVAL is saying is that during the '60s 1/4" @ 15 ips was way more prevelent than 1/2" @ either 15 ips or 30 ips. The 1" 2 track concept is really new and is used fairly rarely.

A properly set up 1/4" half track running at either 15 ips or 30 ips shouldn't really give you any hiss/noise issues.

A 1" 2 track is going to cost you A LOT!

A listener going to have to have VERY "experienced" ears to hear the difference between 1/4" half-track and 1/2" without really knowing how something was recorded.
In an A/B comparison with the two formats side by side the 1/2" would win out, but 1/4" half-track @ 30 ips can sound pretty good!

The big advantage to 1/2" @ 30 ips is that you get the benefits of the high tape speed, but you don't loose your low end like with 1/4" half track @ 30 ips.
Still, the low end roll off with 1/4" half-track @ 30 can be easily compensated for in mastering.

I am sitting on an Ampex ATR 102 and a ATR 104 right now, but both decks would need a re-furb.
I am also sitting on several more "budget" level TEAC and TASCAMs. I don't know the head condition of these decks.
Old 21st January 2007
  #7
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dlmorley's Avatar
I think 1/4" is fine TBH. I had a Studer B67 that sounded nice but now use an MCI JH110. Again, sounds great to my ears.
Old 21st January 2007
  #8
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magnet's Avatar
 

I have this one for sale: Otari 5050BII2 Quater inch 2track
http://tradingpost.sweetwater.com/de...php?TP_ID=9096

please let me know if you are interested.

best
magnet
Old 21st January 2007
  #9
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RusRant's Avatar
 

I'm a huge fan of 1/4" tape machines. I have several(consumer and pro). Mainly used for tape delays and mojo for certain things nowadays, but occasionally for tracking also. I personnaly like 1/4 better for softer music, which is what I use it for. As far as noise and hiss, a well setup and working 1/4 machine while will have hiss and noise, shouldn't be overbearing for mixing. I track to mine for special sessions, drums, etc. Very rarely mix to them anymore though, but I did a rough mix recently just to compare and was really blown away. Unfortunatly we went with the ITB mix, but the 1/4 was a lot warmer and bigger sounding mix. Wish I could afford to still track to tape all the time, but it's a digital world.
Old 21st January 2007
  #10
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vernier's Avatar
Just find a Revox that does 15ips. 30ips is Celine Dion. 15ips is Jim Morrison, Beatles, CSN&Y, Byrds, Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Nat Cole ...you know, the big sound.
Old 21st January 2007
  #11
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Just find a Revox that does 15ips. 30ips is Celine Dion. 15ips is Jim Morrison, Beatles, CSN&Y, Byrds, Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Nat Cole ...you know, the big sound.

I agree. I've been "eyeballing' some Studer Revoxes on Ebay. Too bad you lumped in Celine Dion with all those great artists........peace
Old 21st January 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 

Soupking,

For sure 1/4" machines have a more tape like sound. 1/2" is way more hifi with a lot less character. If you are looking for a more 60's-70's type of sound, then 1/4" @15ips would be the easier and cheaper way to go. I prefer the sound of IEC 1 eq curve over NAB.

audible
Old 21st January 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
AMPEX AG-440B or if you are strong and have room, AG-300. Simple, reliable, serviceable. In North America, no contest. In Europe, Studers too.

kk.
Old 21st January 2007
  #14
Gear Head
 

I just bought a Scully 1/4 2 track,as well as a scully 1" 8 track a few days ago.Both look wonderfull,but the last service dates are from 1974.They have been sitting for years.I am interested to see what its going to take to get them up and going.
Harry
Old 21st January 2007
  #15
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryH View Post
I just bought a Scully 1/4 2 track,as well as a scully 1" 8 track a few days ago.Both look wonderfull,but the last service dates are from 1974.They have been sitting for years.I am interested to see what its going to take to get them up and going.
Harry


So am I. Keep us posted.....
Old 21st January 2007
  #16
Hey i have a 1/2" inch a80.

I used to use a 1/4" .

honestly both are "tapey" both have mojo.

no worries you'll find a tone in either.

456 or sm 911 a little more tapey sounding then gp9
Old 21st January 2007
  #17
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quarter-inch 2-trk can be "tape-vibe-y" but it can also be very clean and hi-fi. The most transparent analog 2-trk I've heard was a custom mod job by Prof. Keith O. Johnson for Reference Records, and it was 1/4". Very clean and accurate with a huge dynamic range.

DP
Old 21st January 2007
  #18
p.s. an a80 will do 30 ips @ 1/2" but i would agree for tape sound 15ips is more.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryH View Post
I just bought a Scully 1/4 2 track,as well as a scully 1" 8 track a few days ago.Both look wonderfull,but the last service dates are from 1974.They have been sitting for years.I am interested to see what its going to take to get them up and going.
Harry
I have the same set up . Ive fixed a few things and am dealing with others
All you scully folk should check out
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/scully_recorder/

harry , let me know how things go
Old 22nd January 2007
  #20
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soupking's Avatar
 

Wow, this is one of the best threads I've had in months. I love the info. guys.

I'll try the 1/4" half-track first to see if that's what I'm going for. For the first song I'm doing, it needs to sound like the old Desmond Dekker tracks, very tapey, old school recording. Almost journalistically-stylized.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #21
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vernier's Avatar
Also Teac ..mid 70's, that'll work.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #22
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dlmorley's Avatar
If you really want tape sound...


EMI stereo valve reel to reel (with mic pre's too)
I was selling, but am keeping it now as sense got hold of me :-)
Old 22nd January 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 

It seems that once you get one,you get to figure out what mods have been done to them.The 8 track scully I bought have service stickers that tell me in 1974 the mic pres were disabled and the cards moded to give "greater dynamic range".Same thing on the 2 track,and it has different amps,280b I think.So it seems if you buy one there is no telling what has been fooled with over the long years,for good or ill.I need to find some manuals,and tape.And someone who knows what mods were common on these would be helpful.
Harry
Old 22nd January 2007
  #24
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
If you really want tape sound...


EMI stereo valve reel to reel (with mic pre's too)
I was selling, but am keeping it now as sense got hold of me :-)

WOW!! That's too beautiful! That looks like a stock photo. Is yours as pretty? Either case what a cool machine!! Single VU monitors each input? Or does it show stereo sum? Both? Speeds?
Old 22nd January 2007
  #25
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HEADROOM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
If you really want tape sound...


EMI stereo valve reel to reel (with mic pre's too)
I was selling, but am keeping it now as sense got hold of me :-)

You wont be needing this anymore.....you could sell it to me



www.nickoosterhuis.com
Old 22nd January 2007
  #26
your Jedi mind tricks won't work on him
Old 22nd January 2007
  #27
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasandi View Post
your Jedi mind tricks won't work on him
My mind had gone blank... must trade for behringer fx.....must sell...

Details here:



Old 22nd January 2007
  #28
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
WOW!! That's too beautiful! That looks like a stock photo. Is yours as pretty? Either case what a cool machine!! Single VU monitors each input? Or does it show stereo sum? Both? Speeds?
Thx! that's a stock photo. Just added some of my unit above this post!
The VU monitors L or R. I think it is 3.75 & 7.5 ips
Old 22nd January 2007
  #29
hrn
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I have these 1/4 inches:
Studer B67: heavy sound as hell, perfect for rock music
Telefunken M5C: a bit more open "HiFi" sounding than the Studer
Revox G36: tube machine, high speed 19 an 38 cm/sec two-track version, and yes it has that shimmering tube sound

The Studer and the Telefunken has the highest possible built quality, made to last. Think the first M5's were tube machines, must be something to look at.

Have no problems with hiss or anything. They just glue the tracks together in a nice musical way.

Hans
Old 22nd January 2007
  #30
Gear Addict
 
fivepoundmusic's Avatar
 

The Telefunken maschines are very good, but not that common over the big pond.

They are made for broadcast and studio, intended to run 24/7 and therefore built like a tank.
Very easy to handle, good comfort in cutting etc.

Over here in Germany they pop up on ebay regularly and go off very cheap.
To get spare parts is no problem either (although you wont need any).

But because of its weight shipping to the US is no option, i´m afraid.


There are different models:

M5 (portable, invented in the 50ies, tube) M5a (60ies, tube), M5b and M5c (transistor)

M10 (tube)

M10A (tube or transistor available)

M15 (discrete transistor, 70ies)

M15A (IC based)

M20 (IC), along with M15A the most neutral sounding, but they are the most comfortable and modern types, with several optional functions
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