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2 inch Tape Machine Recomendations

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by phuzzy_lumpkin, May 11, 2003.

  1. sign

    sign Guest

    Kurt, the manual says: Servo controlled quartz PLL direct drive DC motor.
    You know the MX has a capstan and pinch roller, the MTR hasn't.

    Peace, han
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Han,
    Thanks, That settles the question regarding different speeds at different point in the reel. With PLL it should be constant throughout the whole reel. It must be just the 5050's that have this problem... Kurt
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    I happen to have a MTR90 Mk2 16 track 2 inch :) a few years ago we rebuilt put in new tension springs, guides and rollers also rebuilt the powersupply with fresh caps. The machine runs like a charm.

    I will be moving to Austin in the nxt 6 months or so. I may be convinced to sell it once I get down there :)
     
  4. yeah scenaria, it is tough... but we figure, what the hell ;) plus, we record ourselves too. heh, i've got a line on an mtr-90mkII with remote (no autolocator) in hollywood for $3.5k. that seems like a helluva deal... i know the heads need relapping... what should i be wary of at that low price?

    dug
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    certainly make sure the heads havent already been relapped. If so the odds of a second relapping would be tough. I would ask for the head stack to be sent into JRF and have them do a report on them, that'll give you a good idea as to what you have there. If they wont send em in for a report then unless you could personaly inspect it I wouldnt go anywhere near it.

    Also check your tape path for linearity.....make sure there isnt alot of movement verticaly as the tape travels over the heads.

    Ask how many hours are on the machine overall.

    Headstacks can be very expensive making even the best of deals for a machine hell :)

    overall though...if there is some life left on the heads and the machine is in good physical condiition thats a good price.

    Remember they are heavy and can run anywhere from $300-$650 for shipping. also crate it! (another $200)

    make sure it comes with the extender card and the service manuals. Trust me....you will need them, if you dont have them you'll regret it.

    Replace all the lamps in the meter bridge with high intensity LED's :)

    and your set
     
  6. thanks scenaria, i hadn't asked about manuals :D
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    The one at the rental house might be in better shape...Think about it.....how often did they rent out a 600 pound machine? I would see how many hours are on that one too.
     
  8. interesting... will do. :tu: thanks
     
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Han, I saw in the latest issue of "Mix" the other day that the founder of MCI, "Jeep" Harned recently passed away at age 73. I pulled these facts from the obituary “Mix” published.

    Grover C. “Jeep” Harned earned a Bachelors Degree at MSU and served a stint in the Army as an electronics instructor. He started in the music business in 1955, when he opened a hi fi store, Music Center, Inc. Mack Enerman (of Criteria Studios) was having a lot of problems with his equipment in his then new recording facility and soon he and Harned were working together getting the studios 16X3 mixing desk and 3 track tape recorders in order. Eventually Criteria would use MCI recorders and consoles exclusively. In 1965 “Jeep” Harned started MCI Inc. making replacement solid state Ampex 350 tape machines and soon after, MCI built the electronics for the first ever 24 track recorder from an Ampex 300 that Tom Hidely had modified to handle 2” tape. We all know what that led to. In 1971, MCI released it own line of multitracks and a year later came up with the first auto locater. MCI the began manufacturing a production console and soon after, ready made pro studio mixers from many companies were on the market. In conjunction with David Harrison, in 1972 MCI introduced the first inline console design, the JH400. This was followed by the JH500 and JH600 console series. I myself owned a JH600 for several years and it was a wonderful console.. very warm and functional. If I could have been able to maintain it myself and if I had room for it in my home studio, I would have never sold it. It was truly one of the nicest sounding consoles I have ever used. I think MCI is one of the audio communities best kept secrets. Jeep” Harned sold MCI to Sony in 1982 to retire. He was a pioneer in the audio business and will be remembered as an innovator of audio gear who introduced a series of firsts of what now have become standards in the pro audio community.
     
  10. What do you guys think of the soundcraft 2"? I know it's the cheapest thing around and probably the worst puncher ever seen, but with all the upgrades and PLL transport it's been pretty reliable for me. At least in the UK there's many around as well, so by now it's quite feasible to buy one just for spares. A friend had to sell his for just £600, even though it was in great shape and had had regular service! Soundcraft still service and align them as well, so they're still a good cheap bet at least in the UK.

    Thanks for any opinions!

    Bjorn
     
  11. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    I don't find upkeep on a good 2" machine to be nearly that expensive.
    $500 a year seems more like it.
    That's MTR-90's OR A-80's.
    I also don;t think the A-80 is a problem to find "aprts" for. There are lots of them out there (probably more than any other Studer model)
    Yes, it;s the "older" version relative to the 820/827's. But it's got that bullet-proof transport. Nothing handles tape better than a Studer.
    The A80 does not sound up to the standard of the A-800 (nothing DOES, except the ultra-rare ATR-124) but it or the MTR-90 are about the next best thing.

    Lots of records were made on equpiment that didn't sound great. it was still possible to turn out good records. I made lots of records on MCI machines too. But I still heard the difference when I worked on better sounding machines.
    I just wouldn't CHOOSE one if given the choice.
     
  12. lowdbrent

    lowdbrent Guest

    I second the A-80 vote. It is a great transport. Plus, if you have the cash, you can remove the three screws and pop in an 8-track stack. This machine is very easy on tape.

    Otari's are not so easy on tape. If you want an MTR90, I know where quite a few are for under $10k. They sound like crap in my opinion. Of course, I didn't like 80's music either.

    There are many Studers out there for $10-20k in various stages of use. Parts are plentiful. Before Studer went belly up in the tape machine market, the wharehouse inventory was sold to a Studer tech in Nashville.

    I have a few Studer narrow and wide body 8 tracks too, If anybody wants one, step up. They both have less that 600 hours.
     
  13. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2001
    My '87 Sony badged MCI has no surface mount electronics what so ever, in fact these are the best sounding and most reliable series of JH24 ever made. I've made some modifications to mine taking advantage of some newer opamp designs w/low dc offsets and better capacitors in the signal path.

    If you happen to be talking about the Sony redesigned 2-inch that I think was called an "APR" or something similar then all bets are off.

    Mark
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Yes that is what I was speaking of.. Both the JH24 and the JH636 console I had were built by Sony.. IMO wonderful sound! But as I said, the later versions have surface mount technology. It's still a good design, but much more difficult to repair in the field. The boards usually have to be returned to a shop where they have jigs to replace components (which is necessary more that one would care to think).

    I have a 16 track headstack that is in almost new condition for the JH-16/24 machines that I would like to sell if anyone is interested. Kurt
     

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