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Ampex Mic pre

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by AltheGatman, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. AltheGatman

    AltheGatman Active Member

    G'day all,

    I am toying with buying some Ampex AG440 mic pre's that are on an auction site down these parts.

    From what I can tell, they were originally bundled with the Ampex reel to reels of the same model.........

    Any one had, or has these that can tell me what they think of them??

    Cheers All, Al.
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Trust me they are NOTHING special. A couple of transistors, some resistors,
    capacitors and an input transformer. If you want something that is good and
    fits into an octal socket go to http://www.opamplabs.com/360bm.htm and buy
    their preamps. They make a whole lot of other stuff as well. The 440
    microphone preamps won't even give you a "vintage sound" they were never
    popular even when the 440s were in their heyday.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I had an 'old' AG440 back in the early 80s and the mic pres were nada. I used to do small demos and live remotes with it and would always take a Yamaha PM-430 mixer with it to use as a mic pre. The 440s pre's were not built for modern, dynamic program material and basically had a limited frequency response and headroom. And the noise levels were sub-par, as I recall. And don't get me started about the transport...!
  4. Tim Farrant

    Tim Farrant Active Member

    Hahahahahaha! That made me laugh!

    Yes, I used to maintain several of these machines in a studio dubbing room. I actually made a controller that started and stopped the machines and placed slate tone automatically between dubs - no mean feat given the clunkiness of the transports - but they sounded pretty good.

  5. AltheGatman

    AltheGatman Active Member

    Cheers all sounds like I should save my $$, though they are not an octal socket plug in module- by the looks of them they are all stand alone preamps , Tim you may have seen these preamps on trademe, interested to know your take on them - I trust from lookin at your logo you are one of the Buzz guys.... Nice to meet you :wink:
  6. Tim Farrant

    Tim Farrant Active Member


    No, I have not checked them out on Trademe, are they still up there? Link?

    I think people need to get out of the mind set that just because it's old it's going to sound good. Remember, the electronic designs from the past were as good as they could do with the technology of the time within the budget for the device. And this includes the early Neve and UREI stuff. I am not dissing it, just pointing out that there have been advancements in analog technology and once you embrace it, you will see that it is possible to get a much wider range of sounds, rather than have one device place it's stamp on everything you record.

  7. AltheGatman

    AltheGatman Active Member


    very wise words btw.
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    The picture is of an Ampex AG-440 record playback chassis. One was needed for each channel of an Ampex Tape deck. There were NOT seperate microphone and line inputs. You changed out the octal plug in and you could have three or four different modules including a jumper plug for unbalanced inputs, a line input transformer for balanced inputs and a microphone preamp (I believe there was even a phono preamp available) What he is selling is the record playback electronics and not a preamplifier.


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