Hey Kev.....what do you know about OPTRO?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Sebatron, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Kev,..or anyone…
    What do you know about ‘OPTRO’ ?
    No , not opto-coupling or anything like that but OPTRO the brand of tape macines and mixers from Melbourne Australia apparently built in the sixties? Any historical facts? Who built/designed them?Cheers. :c:
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001

    ... as a brand name. :confused: :confused:

    Nothing goes off in my head. I'm not at work this and next week week but I will be in on Monday and so I will ask about.

    They made Tape Machines !!!!??? ... They must have had some size to them as tape decks aren't that easy... or are we just talking cassette ?
  3. ggoerss

    ggoerss Member

    Jun 26, 2003
    Optro were the forerunner to Editron or Sontron as they were known.Graham Thirkel was the designer and was (still is) held in high regard.There are many studios still running editron synchronizers out there.These days Sontron imports Harrison film mixing consoles and Jensen xformers amongst other things.
  4. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    I type that word in Google

    it showed that ATA in Australia has one of those name brand boards... could check with them

  5. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    actually it was a 2" tape with 8 or 16 track and i think a 1/2" tape machine

  6. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Now Editron I have heard of. And Graham (Thirkell) is just up the road from me in Huntingdale. Mostly Acoustic stuff these days.
    His company designed some Acoustic modifications for a couple of our control and edit rooms at CH7.

    ... and he still imports Jensen trafos ... very expensive.
  7. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    I once took apart an old OPTRO console.It was 20:8:2 with 16 separate monitor inputs.
    All hard wired to cards mounted at the back.It was the size of two sofas , it was huge.

    I’m not excactly sure when it was built. Late sixties/early seventies. It certainly had its own sound….
    A very defined top-mid register. Not airy at all. More yellow than white up top.

    I’ve seen at least two OPTRO 2” reel to reel 16 track machines.
    Nicely built stuff. :D
  8. rockkey

    rockkey Guest

    In the mid '80 at the now and long since gone Future Studios in Chicago we had an Optro 1000 2" 24track with 2 interchangeable head stacks: 24 and 16 track. We also had a 1/2" 2 track. Once we got them running they they sounded great but since the 24 track was actually a prototype that someone had appearently subtly sabotaged before we obtained it, it broke down quite regularly untill I figured out that solenoid DC was being applied to audio circuits during certain functions thereby blowing tantalum caps and transistors etc. I must have spent 100's of hours working on that thing. Ah, those were the days! I wonder where my old friend is now? I could write a book on that thing (if I could write: )
    I think I do still have one of Graham's notebooks we got with it.
  9. Craigmcarthur

    Craigmcarthur Member

    May 13, 2011
    Hi Guys
    I had a 2" 16 track optro in the 80's - it was a great sounding tape machine. No castings, so theoretically always repairable. It had problems with relays: I remember clients loving it when a good slap on the track 7 module would get the bass guitar back in the mix, a la Fonzie!

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