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1/2" 2-Tracks at 30ips Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

1/2" 2-Tracks at 30ips

What's a good 1/2" 2-track reel-to-reel tape deck that runs at 30ips?

A lot of people online brag about their machines and how they're "THE REAL THING".

Awesome, how fast do they go? And which ones can run at 30ips? Everybody always forgets to mention the head size or tape speed.

Anybody know? I'd eventually like to get one for mixdown.
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 
BradG's Avatar
 

Before you go bananas, you might want to actually try and check one out by printing a mix to it. I guarrantee that you're not going to hear the machine at all.

Unless of course it's [email protected] up or not properly aligned or something.

For a master, you're not going to really want to slam the heck out of it, which is the only other way you might "hear the tape".

If you're looking to impart some "tape" character, think about 1/4" and/or a slower speed. At some point, somebody found that the optimal speed for tape-character vs. noise level was like 17.5ips or something.
Old 28th August 2007
  #3
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Studer 820, ATR 102, ect..... 1/2" or 1/4" those and the machines in that same league will sound great at 30ips and 15ips

Also your looking at around 8 to 10 K

Old 28th August 2007
  #4
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soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Studer 820, ATR 102, ect..... 1/2" or 1/4" those and the machines in that same league will sound great at 30ips and 15ips

Also your looking at around 8 to 10 K

Actually I just saw an ATR 102 for under 3k on Craigs, but I know what you mean. I still couldn't afford that without great difficulty.
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
To me a mastering deck should be in perfect condition.

And thats what separates the cheap ones from the high dollar ones
ive seen them for 300$ missing parts, worn out, ect......

why buy a basket case 2TK ?


I am trying to save the $$$$ for a 2Tk but its hard to do,
especially when Dave just came out with his new baby Pearlmans, and i found another 820 2" and a couple R84s, and then i need the QTC40s, and the LA2, ........


seriously the 2Tk 102 or 820 is "next" on my list



.
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
To me a mastering deck should be in perfect condition.

And thats what separates the cheap ones from the high dollar ones
ive seen them for 300$ missing parts, worn out, ect......

why buy a basket case 2TK ?


I am trying to save the $$$$ for a 2Tk but its hard to do,
especially when Dave just came out with his new baby Pearlmans, and i found another 820 2" and a couple R84s, and then i need the QTC40s, and the LA2, ........


seriously the 2Tk 102 or 820 is "next" on my list



.
Yeah, gambling on a tape deck could turn into a nightmare. I haave enough repairs too.
Old 28th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Actually I just saw an ATR 102 for under 3k on Craigs, but I know what you mean. I still couldn't afford that without great difficulty.
And at that price, it may very well have "questionable" head life which could lead to as much as $3000-$5000 more in cost to replace with good heads which is a HUGE part of the machine.

I bought an MTR90 off of Ebay last year that I thought was a steal for a late model Mk1 (made in the same year that the 1st MTR90 Mk2 machines came out, so pretty close mechanically speaking to a Mk2). They even claimed it had 75% head life, but they didn't mean that for all 3 heads obviously which I discovered later when I shipped my head stack out to JRF for evaluation. It turned out that the record and erase head were good and worth relapping; but that old playback head was completely shot and I was lucky to get a replacement head from JRF for $1200 that has 80% head life left. It cost me $1800 just to get all 3 heads to the level of performance necessary to get that stellar 2" sound.

In other words, don't just assume you can jump into this analog game for the price of the machine alone when you buy it used from someone else. I wouldn't even attempt to buy a used tape machine nowadays unless the seller was perfectly OK with the head stack being sent to JRF pre-purchase.
Old 28th August 2007
  #8
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i also am sick
i am about to buy my second A827......
locking the two up to make
magnetic mixtures
2" 8 track
2" 16 track
2" 24 track
throwing things back and forth
what will it sound like ?
my tech also assures me that
with the fancy lock up
we can lock 30ips
and 15ips !!!!! = probably ten
months away = walls being moved
machine being bought this week
to store away til then.....

soup king - life cereal


be well


- jack
Old 28th August 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
i also am sick
i am about to buy my second A827......
locking the two up to make
magnetic mixtures
2" 8 track
2" 16 track
2" 24 track
throwing things back and forth
what will it sound like ?
my tech also assures me that
with the fancy lock up
we can lock 30ips
and 15ips !!!!! = probably ten
months away = walls being moved
machine being bought this week
to store away til then.....

soup king - life cereal


be well


- jack

What about that thing of making dummy tracks (probably 16 track configuration) on the second machine, spending all the time you need adding overdubs, vocals, etc, and then syncing back to the original fresh tracks? Is there something to it?
Old 28th August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
What about that thing of making dummy tracks (probably 16 track configuration) on the second machine, spending all the time you need adding overdubs, vocals, etc, and then syncing back to the original fresh tracks? Is there something to it?
that's how i use pro tools right now
16 track/ 15 track
dump/lock/ work tape for overdubs/locked to pro tools/
all sounds tracked in analog - then back to original
2" 16 w/ 3-40 tracks of pro tools......

this idea was borne of hating pro tools so passionately
that i had to have 2 2" machines - even the distant overdubs - beautiful
percussion on 16 track - it would break my heart hearing it digital......




be well

- jack
Old 28th August 2007
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Repairs can not only cost a whole lotta money, but take a long time too depending on what needs fixing...

My Studer A80mkII RC has been at ATR Service since mid-Febuary, Mike's just starting to look at it now... they've been THAT backed up with work. Gonna cost a good bit of cash, but we're looking at a fairly complete stem to stern overhaul. Could be anywhere from $1500-3000 and that's not including what I originally paid for the deck several years ago...

Hopefully those heads are still in good shape.

That reminds me that I need to purge some gear right quickly...

Anyway, if you really want/need 'tape' for mixing it's probably easier, or at least less expensive to rent a machine in.

Jack ~ Are you making slave reels for overdubs?! Very cool man. One of a dying breed!
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
Jack ~ Are you making slave reels for overdubs?! Very cool man. One of a dying breed!
I would guess not if it took that long for your deck to get repaired.
Old 28th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i have a hunch that there are more people working on tape
now than in the last 10 years.....
it is a re-born breed
studer sold 25 of the gold editions in a rush in the past
six months - those are new tape recorders
many used tape recorders exist...
my tech tells me there are more A827's spinning in nyc now
than since the early-mid 90's

pro tools sounds like ****
anyone with taste knows that
at least here in nyc - probably the finest group of musicians
in one city in the states - people love playing live and making real records
live to 2" tape
if you have experienced this - the thin lifeless sound of digital really is
like making a record on a word processor.......


with a good tech, a 2" machine from the 80's has more inherent quality
than a digidesign product still in its original packaging - they are a company
concerned exclusively with profit.....

i think this business in 5 years will be

a) analog
b) people who don't give a ****


be well


- jack
Old 28th August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
i have a hunch that there are more people working on tape
now than in the last 10 years.....
it is a re-born breed
studer sold 25 of the gold editions in a rush in the past
six months - those are new tape recorders
many used tape recorders exist...
my tech tells me there are more A827's spinning in nyc now
than since the early-mid 90's

pro tools sounds like ****
anyone with taste knows that
at least here in nyc - probably the finest group of musicians
in one city in the states - people love playing live and making real records
live to 2" tape
if you have experienced this - the thin lifeless sound of digital really is
like making a record on a word processor.......


with a good tech, a 2" machine from the 80's has more inherent quality
than a digidesign product still in its original packaging - they are a company
concerned exclusively with profit.....

i think this business in 5 years will be

a) analog
b) people who don't give a ****


be well


- jack
I think the only 2" machine I'd ever own would be the Studer 827. I've got a couple 1/2" machines that need repair. The easier, the better. I want a sturdy machine. I know the MCI machines are supposed to sound the best, but so's a Fairchild compressor.

I guess some machines are so organic they should come packaged with a human counterpart.

As far as Pro Tools is concerned, I really haven't used it so I don't know. I just know I stare enough at monitors and I want my "masterpiece" if I have one to be something more tangible than a file with and extension.

That and I get sick of "the screen". Music after all is mean to set us free. Of course, I'm the jerk rewinding tape, but I'll trade that over staring at a spiraling rainbow circle.
Old 28th August 2007
  #15
I like the MCI JH-110C. Nice linear record/play amp designs, good bed for improvements. They can be had cheap, Mark Lindsay got one for $750 in great condition. It was a 3 channel with a center time code track. They can be set up to record at +9 with only .15% THD and a 30k bandwidth. No, you won't hear it when properly aligned. You will hear it if it's fudged. The only way to do a precise alignment is to use a Audio Precision or similar test rig. That's when you discover that all the recommended bias points are all wrong.

Now, the big question: Can you get great tape for it and for how long? I dumped all of mine when Scotch got out of magnetic media.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th August 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I second the MCI JH110C. I got one off of Ebay for $300 delievered... in pretty good working order. 2 track 1/4". It was the best purchase I've ever made.
Old 28th August 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I like the MCI JH-110C. Nice linear record/play amp designs, good bed for improvements. They can be had cheap, Mark Lindsay got one for $750 in great condition. It was a 3 channel with a center time code track. They can be set up to record at +9 with only .15% THD and a 30k bandwidth. No, you won't hear it when properly aligned. You will hear it if it's fudged. The only way to do a precise alignment is to use a Audio Precision or similar test rig. That's when you discover that all the recommended bias points are all wrong.

Now, the big question: Can you get great tape for it and for how long? I dumped all of mine when Scotch got out of magnetic media.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
What's an Audio Precision? How is that different from just running a tone generator at the requested intervals?
Old 28th August 2007
  #18
Audio Precision makes the most avanced audio test rigs around. I use a System One A I paid around $10k for back in 1990. The current system two is around $15,000. You can rent them with or without an operator. I use a frequency vs THD plot to sweep the record/play electronics when the machine is aligned. This is used to set record bias precisly. I have aligned analog machines with this technique since the early 90's. I am able to reduce THD from .55% at +3 to .15% at +9 levels. Each track will be different. These will change with head wear over time. Once aligned, these settings can be charted on the side of the recorder.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th August 2007
  #19
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
i have a hunch that there are more people working on tape
now than in the last 10 years.....
it is a re-born breed
studer sold 25 of the gold editions in a rush in the past
six months - those are new tape recorders
many used tape recorders exist...
my tech tells me there are more A827's spinning in nyc now
than since the early-mid 90's

pro tools sounds like ****
anyone with taste knows that
at least here in nyc - probably the finest group of musicians
in one city in the states - people love playing live and making real records
live to 2" tape
if you have experienced this - the thin lifeless sound of digital really is
like making a record on a word processor.......


with a good tech, a 2" machine from the 80's has more inherent quality
than a digidesign product still in its original packaging - they are a company
concerned exclusively with profit.....

i think this business in 5 years will be

a) analog
b) people who don't give a ****


be well


- jack
Im with ya man ! 90% of the work here is to the Studer and it stays there, i have another 820 on the way in the next few weeks,it will be a spare machine... i will lock it up as a slave if i need to (playback machine ) and plan on getting a 16tk head block heh as soon as i can so i will have the 24tk and the 16tk synced with Ptools

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