1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

What's the most ancient music gear you ever owned?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Dr_Willie_OBGYN, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I'll begin. I remember you had to sometimes press 3 buttons to do certain tasks. I remember this thing wasn't cheap either. List price $995.00
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... I remember those.

    Emu had it going on there for awhile, they were making some cool stuff at that time, not the least of which was the E-mu EMax. I thought the grand piano sounded great in that synth... in all of its stellar-sounding 12 bit glory. LOL. Hey, you have to remember what we had to compare it to at that time. It was pretty awesome for 1984.

    The oldest piece of gear I have right now is probably a Heil Talk Box. I think I bought it around '79 or so. It still works, too.


    No... ya know what? Strike that. I know for sure what my oldest piece is... it's a 1977 Shure SM57.
    Considering that back around 1987, it spent a winter in my front yard, under the snow, and was then hit by a lawn mower that following spring, and still worked - and it still works to this day... LOL, I'd also have to rank it as the most solid piece of equipment I've ever owned.

  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    With my first band, no one knew how to work the audio equipment that was borrowed from the school for our rehersal
    We had a tape delay that I often needed to refit the tape.

    I looked somewhat like this :
    View attachment 4714

    And this was our mixer :
    View attachment 4715

    One night, we played with 4 other bands and the band's signer just before use, stepped on it even thought it was on a rack. Good thing it was still working for us...
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    LUXURY! Ee, when I were a lad...

    My oldest piece of gear that I used professionally (got paid for using) in 1962 and that I still have is a Lowe-Opta Optacord model 412 battery/mains reel-to-reel recorder. For the day, the quality was excellent and it had surprisingly good wow and flutter figures for a battery unit.

    Of course, I still use my trusty Avometer Model 8 from the mid-1960s, complete with its genuine heavy leather shoulder carry case.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I loved that box. I sold mine in the 80's. Totally regret it. But, I am planning on making one. The designer of that was hear a while back. ;)
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Arp Avatar ( guitar synth) was one that is very memorable. It was like having an Arp 2600 strapped to my Axe with this crazy Hex Fuxx that was in stereo. I could set up pulse beats and play to these wild filtering sequences.
    I was the second person in Canada to own one in 1977. I paid $2800 for mine and coupled a Les Paul Custom to it.
    It opened many doors for me. Was my introduction into New Wave and Pop.

    It was a complete disaster for Arp, it never tracked well but the stereo fuzz part of it was very cool.I managed to get a refund after owning it for almost a year, shorty after that, I replaced it with the Arp Quadra and a Jackson USA.
    I used two amps (stereo) on stage. It opened my career.

  7. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    pcrecord, Good Lord! A piece of Peavey gear! Reminds me of the Carvin mixer I used to own. All I can remember was that the pots inevitably would get all scratchy. Useless!
    pcrecord likes this.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I have an RCA Victor 1YB-11, which has little value other than art-deco / conversation piece.

    [photo from a YouTube video by wurly1100 - their machine, not mine. - clearly an enthusiast in vintage A/V technology]

    The predecessors to the cassette tape machines of the 60's & 70's, these machines used a similar concept - except with ¼" tape housed in a comparatively large (almost comical) cartridge running at 3 ¾ ips. If you pick up this 1958 RCA Promotional video at about the 7:40 mark you can get a sense of how bulky the cartridges were, [or THIS video] but compared to the average consumer wrestling with an open reel machine, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Audiophiles still preferred reel to reel, pre-recorded tapes were slow to the market, the compact cassette we all remember (lo-fidelity ⅛" tape at 1 ⅞" ips) was introduced in the early 60's, and this format was a commercial flop.

    (The first half of that RCA video announces the miracle of RCA's new stereophonic victrolas, also worth a look if you're into nostalgia-tech).

    The most interesting part of the acquisition of the RCA tape recorder was the content of the home-recorded tapes by the, then pre-teen, owner. In addition to some pretty good play-by-play of a ballgame, he made a recording from the TV of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
    pcrecord likes this.
  9. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    First microphone (omni, 25Ohm impedance, but balanced!)
    First reel to reel
    bigtree likes this.
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I was 14yo at the time, it wasn't a choice.. but even tho it sounded far from clean, it made me learn what was an EQ, fader et such ;)
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    tr606 ... Teac 2a mixers / meter bridges (still have them in storage) .. blackface adats, i had a really old Teletronix LA2A and a pair of LA3s /LA4's ... several different 1/4" four track machines, tascam 38 ... fostex G16 w/ dolby S @30ips.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Is it me or this thread is kind of revealing how old we are !:sneaky:
  13. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I had a working wire recorder complete with recordings from the 30s. That and a Harmony Sovereign went missing in a move sometime around 1990.
  14. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    That old Grundig taught me a lot - and obviously not enough because I failed the BBC sound interview, because my understanding of bias current was feeble. Thinking back though - they was one excellent feature. The green magic eye record level meter. For the younger ones, a small tube (valve) coated with green phosphor, that was a 1960s version of a bar type meter. Uncalibrated but similar ballistics to modern meters - as in too keen to bee at the top, or the bottom, and not a lot in the middle! I recorded, using the supplied mic, the BBC top 20 every sunday with Tony Blackburn (British cult DJ of the time) - plus the audio from tv programmes. I seem to remember being quite happy with the results!
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Okay... I have to recant my post regarding the 57 being the oldest piece of gear that I own.

    I remembered last night, that I have a wire recorder, circa 1952, that belonged to my grandfather. He had a radio show on Saturdays in the 50's, called "My America", where he would do "plays" on local radio (WAVL, Vandergrift, PA).... kind of like Walter Cronkite used to do with his program You Are There, where he took historical events and recreated them. I remember my dad telling me how he helped my grandfather do an episode on the Johnstown Flood, and how my dad was swirling water around in a bucket while y grandfather recorded the sound...

    I wish it still worked... there's a reel of wire on it that is labeled "Chris, 1953". Chris was my dad (R.I.P.) and I'd love to hear what's on that reel. He'd have been around 20 years old...
  16. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

    My humble very-old-gear-which-I-still-own list, reduced to the stuff made in the 60s:
    Fender Jazz ´62
    RCA BA71 preamps
    Langevin AM 16 preamps
    Sennheiser 421s and 441s
    Neumann CMV563 + UM57 + M582
  17. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Back in the '60s I bought a Baldwin Electric Harpsichord... quite an interesting instrument. Not the 'most ancient' piece of gear I ever owned, just the most ancient piece that I can remember!
  18. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    57 Strat that I bought off of a merchant marine in 1972 for $50. Traded it too soon :)
    Ampex AG440 2-track recorder .Bought it in 1975 and it looked it had been through the Korean War, and spilled tape if you looked at it wrong (which I apparently did frquently...LOL) .
    My first recorder was a Voice of Music reel-to-reel with the "magic eye" meter in 1963...A real workhorse that was!

    And...I STILL have the Baldwin Custom Reverb amplifier with the colored pushbutton tone selectors, designed to be used with Jeffguy's electric harpsichord!
  19. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

    The oldest thing I´m actually using is a Bechstein concert grand. It´s 102 yrs now. Not mine, though.
  20. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    I might win this one :D Karl Kutcshera Grand Piano. 1872 I think from memory :). Sadly it died in the UK last time I was there. Cracked soundboard due to lack of humidity. Even with a humidifier next to it 24/7 :(.

    Attached Files:

    pcrecord likes this.

Share This Page