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thoughts on otrai mx70?

im looking for advice/opinions on this machine... sound quality... reliability... maintenance...



Kurt Foster Wed, 12/04/2002 - 11:59

Otari MX 70's have been known to have transport issues. Different speeds at the head and tail of the reel in comparison with in the middle. No big deal unless you try to edit. The transports also seem to need constant attention. Sound quality is not as good as an Ampex or an MCI JH 24. They still sound pretty darn good though. Just be ready to spend time or money or both to keep it running. It takes quite a lot to get those big 2" reels up to speed and to wind them in FF and RW .... Big consoles and tape machines are like Jaguars autos. Designed to be maintained all the time. Without proper maintenance, the turn to junk in a short while. 2" tape... the best sound on the planet to date. .......... Fats

Kurt Foster Wed, 12/04/2002 - 12:21

My bad.... same thing though, 70 series machines and the 5050's..... speed problems. The 1" tape is easier on the transport. I personally would love to have one of those machines. A great compromise between semi pro and pro machine. XLR +4 in and out. :tu: How much are you being asked to pay for it? Anything over $1000 would be out of the question IMO... Have an experienced tech check it out before you buy! ............ Fats

sign Thu, 12/05/2002 - 06:25

Now that is really great Fats!!! :) I happen to own an Otari MX80 and a Jaguar :D

The Jaguar is from 1969 which was a good year, so the car runs like hell without any problem, still has its original paint.

But coming back on topic: the MX80 can have some trouble with tape speed which occurs because the machine can get pretty hot inside.

I have had the problem when I got the machine about four years back. The Otari tech advised me to remove the front panel in order to keep the machine cool. But all the align pots are in the front of the machine, so I removed a couple of small panels in the back of the machine and I have put a couple of small fans there.

The problem was gone and never came back, the machine is a real workhorse and sounds very good.

I guess the MX70 is kind of the same machine in a technical way.

$750? I wouldn't hesitate!!

Peace, Han

gordo42 Wed, 12/18/2002 - 12:03

Pretty good sounding machine. The low-end is a little wierd at 30ips. I haven't had any transport problems with it, although the machine does run hot. The thing that you will most likely have to deal with are the relays. This is almost common knowledge about these decks. The relays get noisy and you will have to swap them out. So get ready to do some board work or find someone who will. The remote isn't the greatest, but functional. Also, I use mine with Pro Tools chasing and I've never had a problem there. Under $1k and working is a good deal.

Rumblemix Sat, 12/21/2002 - 04:54

You may also wish to see if you can find a Tascam ATR60-16 used. An amazing machine as far as reliablity and flexiblity. Sounds pretty good too!. I owned both the ATR60-16(Not MS-16!!!!) and the MX-70 at different times. I always thought from a 'big picture' standpoint the ATR was a clearly superior machine. Mine was INDESTRUCTABLE.

RM. :w:

Kurt Foster Sat, 12/21/2002 - 07:48

Teac /Tascam equipment is virtually indestructible! I have many pieces left over from the 70's & 80's including 2 - 2A's w/ meter bridge, 2 M5's, a TEAC 1 and a 3340 4 track all sitting on a shelf in my garage and in good working order! All this stuff was used and used and still works! Sometimes I pull out some mix's of 4 track stuff I did back then and I am amazed at how good it still sounds. With the exception of it being inherently mono it stands up to, or in some cases, even surpasses stuff I did with more tracks and better gear! I also owned a TASCAM 1" 16 track for a while and same thing… It just kept on working. I wish I had never sold that! bulletproof! I am a big big fan of TASCAM! Those people know their sh*t!. ……… Fats

It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!