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If I wanted to buy a 2 track tape machine, what would you suggest? Ampex?
Old 1st June 2008
  #1
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
If I wanted to buy a 2 track tape machine, what would you suggest? Ampex?

I'm not sure what size tape I want yet. But I'm really interested in getting a 2 - 4 channel tape machine from ebay or a store that sells em near where I live. Where do you suggest I look? What else should I know? Any suggestions would be great. Thank you

Jeff
Old 1st June 2008
  #2
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I haven't seen any Ampex around lately. Maybe Revox, like a B77 in good shape or something similar.
'
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #3
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
The B77 looks really nice. I don't know too much about tape accessories yet. Just the sound of tape. If I wanted to could I use a decent A/D converter to put it on my computer after I record on it? Can I plug my own mics up to it?
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #4
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Where is a good place to look for the b77 besides Ebay? Some people said they go from between 300 - 800 depending on condition.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #5
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
ATR 102 serviced by rebuilt and certified by ATR services.

What you want is a properly set-up and maintained tape machine... there's plenty of tape machines, but but few that actually work the way they should.

An alternative is to see who is the best tape tech in your area and what his or her recommendations are, what machine they have the resources to work on... for example, a Studer A80 is an amazing machine, I've got a tech that makes it great, without him, it would not be an option.

Food for thought.

-andrews
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #6
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soupking's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Listen to meee!!!! I know everything!!!! I am Soupking!!!!

(queue Godzilla)

Just kidding.

Get an MCI JH110 1/2" 4-track if you can. They're fun. I love mine. I also have a JH24, but my 110's my buddy.

If you're recording it helps to have meters on the actual machine to let you know what's on it. Something to think about.

For me, it helps a lot. really cool machine. And if you ever upsize/maintain, you can be thankful that there plenty of spare parts to surf for.

Before you buy any tape machine though. Find find find a tech that can help you out. get on a subscription level with them if you can. It sounds like you want to use it and not maintain it.

Cheers,
-soupking
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
MickeySmid's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Just got a B77 here!

I use new tape: RMG (RMGi/Emtec) SM911 1/4"


Whatever you buy, also expect to pay some extra money for getting it in good condition.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Studer are the best, followed by the Revox PR99 and B77 (the PR99 being the pro version of the B77).

The Teac A73002T was also a nice machine.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #9
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
hmm still haven't decided yet. If I wanted a nice clean sound (not too 60s sounding). What should I get? I just really want the depth/glue of tape for my recordings. Can you punch in on the tape machine? or is it just 2 tracks and that's it then transfer them to your daw?
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
tape recorders

Look for revox B77 or PR99 for a good small not too costly machine.Otari made similar style units used quite often in radio etc...I would say you want a machine that runs at 15ips and not lower!Look on the net of examples of what healthy heads look like with life left in them etc..I cant remember if its half track but you want a machine thats made to use the full width of tape!!You could check out studers B67s as they can be great units at good prices.Once you have found a nice example it might be worth checking out what tape you want to use and its availability etc..some are rebranded i think like the old agfa 468 or basf etc..then get someone with the know to check azimuth,de-mag and set up {bias/calibrate} the brand of your choice to the machine.Another thing is be carefull on E bay!!If the seller is near you and is honest then he/she will allow you to check the thing out and pay cash if happy etc...cash is king so if they are honest about the goods[a heavy good!!!] then they should be ok with the arrangment!Good luck!
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #11
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boojum's Avatar
 
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Tape editing is painful. It is as much black art as science. You make that cut in the wrong place and it cannot be undone.

It would seem a lot easier to just record in digital and use a tape sound plugin and/or a tube amp plugin. And I am curious why this is not done more.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #12
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
TEAC 3340S 4 CHANNEL SIMUL-SYNC TAPE DECK REEL TO REEL - eBay (item 120266576621 end time Jun-03-08 14:00:16 PDT)

how is that? I'm trying to stay under 700 dollars for 2-4 tracks.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #13
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by heisleyamor โžก๏ธ
Avoid.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
MickeySmid's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Teac I have the 3440. I think it's the same one as you mentioned, runs at 15.

It is a great machine. But consumer.

I bought one for 300 euro, the owner assured me it was mint/perfect condition. Once I hooked it up, there was too much noise/hiss. More than a normal tape deck. This is not normal for a teac. But it happens, cause of transistors and elkos (translation?) that go bad. So I have to get it fixed, and that is expensive and a lot of work for the person to do this. My fixer-guy has not had time.

So find one without too much hiss, and you got a winner.

I would go for a 2 track studer d77 or something if you can find one. I bounce tracks now, recorded digital, with a beep infront of it, and record it straigt back into the daw. I know, first digital, then tape, then digital is not ideal... but it works wonders sometimes.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
the teac

i would check out some other stuff first!i think you can do better with your budget like has been mentioned -revox,ampex,otari etc...research further!good luck!
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #16
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeySmid โžก๏ธ
Teac I have the 3440. I think it's the same one as you mentioned,
IIRC the 3440 is a slightly newer machine. I don't remember ever using a 3440 but I distinctly remember the 3340 and as far as I'm concerned it is best used as a boat anchor. Horrible low/mid head bump and very noisy. Always sounded muddy.
Save yourself some heartache and if you are going to mess around with a tape machine at least get one that sounded good when it was new cause it's just not worth the money and effort to deal with an old "semi-pro" machine.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #17
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
how is that? I'm trying to stay under 700 dollars for 2-4 tracks.
If mixdown is important, then you'd be better off gettin' a decent two track. But for starting a song off in the analog realm, and transfering to your digital multitrack (or computer), then more tracks might be nice. Can work either way.
'
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
avoid "semi-pro-sumer" decks

The price of a well-built, serviceable professional deck by Studer (if you are in Europe) or AMPEX (in North America) or a low-flutter 3M/Stephens M-56/M-79 may actually be LOWER than one of the more-popular consumer or consumer-transport-based models.

A pro model like ATR-102 or later Studer will have inaudible hiss with modern high-output tape. Print a good signal of real music (not test tones) and even with no NR tape hiss is below the electronics hiss. If you want to go nuts, get a Dolby A/SR rack and learn how to use it. They are cheap now, too.

When I say "cheap", I mean in real terms compared to when new. in 1974, a 16 track tape deck was priced like a nice house in a medium city (like Portland Oregon). Now, a good 16 track deck is priced like a crumby used car.

A local buddy just got a 40 year old 3M M-56 with lots of little problems. The great thing is that the deck was MADE to be serviced and repaired back to 100% (or better than new) with parts from Digikey/Mauser/Newark. No Made In Japan until 1979 unobtainium parts. Even the 16 Tr heads are available new (way better than 1973 heads!) and there are enough people still using the deck that there is a strong professional base of knowledge beyond the (excellent) factory service manual.

An AMPEX 440-series is a great workhorse deck. Available in every format up to 1" 8-track. 1/4" FT mono is a really good hi-fi recorder at 15ip/s. Nagra is a really neat tape recorder in 1/4" FT or 2T.

Beware of E-bay "Drop-off to Sell" places and their inferior packing of tape recorders. I've seen decks that were merely wrapped in cardboard and arrived as scrap metal. Collecting on insured wreckage can be nerve wracking if the seller doesn't care about your feedback or future business. The extra $500 spent on careful-handling air-ride truck shipping of big decks is worth every penny.

Cheers.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Check Blevins Audio in Nashville.
They usually have several available and should be able to vouch for them actually working properly.

jmp
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #20
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
I only can speak for one Master track machine the Telefunken M15 A which is fully restored here at my Place and I never had trouble with. Maintenance is not expensive I let it do by a professional two times a year.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #21
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years

Telefunken M15 ..nice looking machine.
'
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #22
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
The bargains are the machines that don't do time code.
Old 1st June 2008 | Show parent
  #23
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I haven't found the telefunken m15 for sale anywhere. Also, what do you think would be ideal for me with just getting into digital? I can record a decent drum track with just 2 overheads. I'm just not used to bouncing stuff from tape to digital. I did everything ITB. I dont' have a good A/D converter right now, so what do you think I should do? Would you mix everything on the 2 track? or mix drums then bounce? and keep doing that?
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #24
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GYMusic's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Hold me back... thanks... tape my mouth....
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #25
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Gawd that 8-track is COOL! ...recreate early Led Zeppelin!
'
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #26
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GYMusic's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Today, I finished aligning a recent purchase. An Ampex 440C ยฝ" 4-track. As I said in a recent post on another thread, analog has become a rich man's medium. If you have a machine that works now, that's great, but when it develops a problem, good luck finding parts.
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #27
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by heisleyamor โžก๏ธ
I haven't found the telefunken m15 for sale anywhere. Also, what do you think would be ideal for me with just getting into digital? I can record a decent drum track with just 2 overheads. I'm just not used to bouncing stuff from tape to digital. I did everything ITB. I dont' have a good A/D converter right now, so what do you think I should do? Would you mix everything on the 2 track? or mix drums then bounce? and keep doing that?

In know people mixing direct on tape and there are people which connect the M 15 A directly with the timecode of your host....very expensive.

What I do is I use it as last rounding off not on every music!!!
I use it as effect sometimes or I like it because it is smoothing transients on drums.

The M 15 A is a German machine maybe hard to find outside of Germany.
There are two types as far as I knnow one is 1/4 " the other one was 1/2".

With bad converters you will catch not the whole sound of the tape.
This is a reason why I go to a mastering studio to let the song play back to digital.

Also the Telefunken is fine with finding parts we have a guy in Germany who bought everything he could get when thy stooped building them.
I am sure there have been Telefunkens also in the USA.
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #28
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heisleyamor's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 10 years
so what should I get? 2 track B77 or something different? I want the best analog sound I can get with depth for under 800 dollars. Do you have to bounce it to your computer to record more tracks? or can you punch in on it?
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by heisleyamor โžก๏ธ
so what should I get? 2 track B77 or something different? I want the best analog sound I can get with depth for under 800 dollars. Do you have to bounce it to your computer to record more tracks? or can you punch in on it?
Probably not popular around here, but also consider a Fostex E-22. 1/2" half track that runs at 15 and 30 ips. When set up properly it may sound better than most 2 tracks you can get for under a grand. Mine sounded quite good.
Old 2nd June 2008 | Show parent
  #30
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Quote:
Today, I finished aligning a recent purchase. An Ampex 440C ยฝ" 4-track. As I said in a recent post on another thread, analog has become a rich man's medium. If you have a machine that works now, that's great, but when it develops a problem, good luck finding parts.
The rich man owns Pro Tools HD.
'
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