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Best Tape Machine and why?
Old 2nd November 2018
  #331
Here for the gear
 
Hey Guys, I’m based in the UK and would like my Ampex 2 track serviced, does anyone have a contact that I can approach to do such a job?
Thanks
Old 3rd November 2018 | Show parent
  #332
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
the fully automatic alignment of the STUDER A827 is the bomb...
Old 3rd November 2018 | Show parent
  #333
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"Your father's tape recorder. This is the recorder of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a computer daw. An elegant recorder... for a more civilized age."

Old 3rd November 2018
  #334
Lives for gear
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
i have used many 2 inch machines over the years, but the one i like best and kept is my Studer A800mk-1

the Mk1 has transformers on every input and every output.
thats why they sound so serious.

if you are after that Fat Analog Tape sound, then the trannies are part of it.

i also ran a Studer A800mk3 for a number of years and it was good too.

Buddha
Attached Thumbnails
Best Tape Machine and why?-studer-a800.jpg   Best Tape Machine and why?-456-vu-meters.jpg  
Old 3rd November 2018 | Show parent
  #335
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S ➡️
the fully automatic alignment of the STUDER A827 is the bomb...
I think its the A820 that has cutomated alignment, not the 827,
Old 22nd January 2019 | Show parent
  #336
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Informative thread, but also interesting one from this aspect:

even the very best decks (like MCI, Studer 800 series) are discarded by some people, who prefer other decks. Yet those "worse" decks delivered some of the best albums in history...
Consequently, lower brands are hated by most/all of commenters on this thread, and even those decks (like Soundcraft or Fostex) again delivered well respected or even legendary albums.

Realistically, lower-end decks are pain to maintain today. However, possible conclusion to this thread could be that today we are spoilt by multiple choices.
Recordist on a budget in, say 1985, had to use certain lower deck to get job done, there was no alternative, so that hypothetic guy had to give his best. Today we don't have to, therefore we can afford to hate those machines...
Old 22nd January 2019 | Show parent
  #337
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Ok, but what is the best of the worst in 2019?
(to slightly hijack the thread)


If someone would care to advise me: I have chance to get either one from 2 "bad" decks, Soundcraft 760 (brown), or Tascam MRS16.

I'm fully aware of downsides of both. But they are offered locally (some hours of drive from my place), appear to be in a good shape, and they cost around 4 times less than Otari.
I too have good source of sealed tapes locally for both 1/2" & 2" (latter way more expensive of course, but still available).

760 is serviced and calibrated, heads look good in photos. But it's overkill for me, it would mean more spending for a large serious desk. I'd be just fine with 16 tracks. And I have previous experience with recording to narrow tape format.

The reason I'm interested in these low-end decks is cause I have a day job, and I wouldn't be recording bands daily. I would use it lightly, for personal studio, and once serviced it could go long way.
So which one is wiser choice (or less evil choice), given they are in very similar condition?
Old 22nd January 2019 | Show parent
  #338
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg ➡️
Ok, but what is the best of the worst in 2019?
(to slightly hijack the thread)


If someone would care to advise me: I have chance to get either one from 2 "bad" decks, Soundcraft 760 (brown), or Tascam MRS16.
If it is a standard MSR16 with DBX, don't do it. Only get the Tascam with the Dolby S.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #339
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
in the digital age, a wide track format like 1" 8 of 2" 16 is the way to go. Ampex 44o at deptones is sick. I have an otari mx-70 1" 8, does 30 ips, but I am happy with 15, it sounds incredible. When i record minimoog or clavinet through it, it's just a like a straight wire. Whereas digitally, something is amiss. Sounds more polished but doesn't have that raw energy to it that you get from playing through an amp. analog electronic/eletric instruments (especially my '67 hofner beatle bass, hearing that through the studer 827 was what got me into tape in the first place) and drums are where tape really shines IMO. grand piano, classical guitar, or other such instruments not so much. Horns are also good on tape.
Old 23rd January 2019 | Show parent
  #340
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great ➡️
If it is a standard MSR16 with DBX, don't do it. Only get the Tascam with the Dolby S.

Thanks, that's a good point, unfortunately this one is dbx version. :-(
Old 23rd January 2019 | Show parent
  #341
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #342
Gear Guru
Noise reduction is music reduction. BTW, anyone want a Dolby SR-24 rack loaded with all Dolby "A" cards? I'll sell it cheap.
Old 23rd January 2019 | Show parent
  #343
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great ➡️
Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
I always liked how audio came back from my Tascam 80-8/DX-8 with more weight. never had a problem with lack of bass or clarity. Did have a problem with pumping, had to record kicks super low. Picked up a Dolby XP SR rack I want to recap/restore. Never liked consumer Dolby but heard SR is the way to go. Some prefer Dolby A, less audio artifacts. From what I've read about the two processes, I would still use DBX on something like a choir or orchestra. Seeing as how I do rock n roll, gonna try SR. No NR has always been too hissy for my taste but if someone can pull off quiet without it, more power to ya. Did prefer recording to cassette onto metal tape without NR. Hated type 1 tape, which is all one can get now.
Old 23rd January 2019
  #344
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If perfectly kept iso loop m79 ..if not mtr 90..yes it specs better than a studer and 1/2 the price at the time
Old 25th January 2019 | Show parent
  #345
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma ➡️
If perfectly kept iso loop m79 ..if not mtr 90..yes it specs better than a studer and 1/2 the price at the time
Analog tape is a terrible spec
Old 25th January 2019 | Show parent
  #346
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great ➡️
Don't do it, DBX noise reduction for tape blows. It's a bass killer, like throwing molasses in the mix.
vintage DBX NR is all the rage now in the hip circles. It has dethroned the tascam 388 for those in the cool.
Old 25th July 2019 | Show parent
  #347
Gear Head
 
Erik Guevara's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Like a previous comment wide track width its the key in a digital era. I have a mx5050 4 tracks 1/2 and I love his massive sound with RTM sm900 . A analog machine well calibrated it’s a magical experience . I love to calibrate my machine , hard work = better sound . I have a Antelope converter it sounds good too but the Otari well calibrated its a joy plus the autolocator . Actually only use my converter for transfer the tapes or make digital mastering works . Tape machine sound with great AD converters and clocking are good friends in this era .
Old 7th February 2020 | Show parent
  #348
Lives for gear
 
soundbarnfool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool ➡️
I think the tape itself is probably more of a factor, assuming you are using a Studer, MCI, Ampex etc. I like 900.
But I have since come around to 911.
Old 10th February 2020
  #349
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Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
For being so terrible it’s funny how analog tape beats the best vinyl reproduction system... from 2015...

https://www.theverge.com/2015/10/5/9...ro-audio-trend


This is the best built machine I’ve ever owned... only 28 tubes in this little 3 track...
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Best Tape Machine and why?-edefe2f4-1246-4d5f-8596-33c548337c98.jpg   Best Tape Machine and why?-21788059-2217-4e86-8e02-10b6cc6ff156.jpg   Best Tape Machine and why?-7abb4b7a-fcd1-4a3a-a84b-2e89ede5e518.jpg   Best Tape Machine and why?-2388221e-2c20-4521-9078-f0e8decf35a4.jpg  
Old 11th February 2020
  #350
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What a lovely machine!
Old 11th February 2020 | Show parent
  #351
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Old 11th February 2020 | Show parent
  #352
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That is a thing of beauty!
Old 8th June 2020 | Show parent
  #353
Deleted fe1803e
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle ➡️
Sometimes, I describe the exact path for the old 1967 hit "Spooky" or "Stormy" by the Classics iv. The console, tape machine, path, the way the comps were done and in pretty much what order, where doubling, tripling was done... and then I get responses......."well, I'm not interested in that sound".

I've done that before for some other pop stuff that jazzes me that I had to really dig into, do unlimited phone calls, fly to the studios in 1973 (for example) to see/hear with my own eyes/ears how Bob Archibald came up with the sound of Cornelius Bros & Sister Rose stuff, specifically, "Treat Her Like A lady", "Too Late To Turn Back Now", "Don't Ever Be Lonely". All the way down to how the reverb is gainstaged, limited, and returns gated.

I'm sure he tired of speaking with me back then (after a while), but I DO know how those were done, with what, and how high quality the gear/approaches were, even though the final sound was somewhat quirky.

Same with a bunch of Sigma stuff from 1973.

Guess what?...... I've been commented to many times "why would I want that sound?".

I know track sheets, setups, rough mixes of locked 24trk machines at Criteria (well, the old Criteria) of Bee Gees stuff from their height. Including the massive submixes. Responses? "Yawn... that's not the sound I want"

I know the exact path for 1968 Jefferson Airplane "Triad". I use it too when I'm in the mood. As no surprise, I get comments..."not interested in that".

I have some of the information but no time to pursue the paths (locked 24trk machines and ? console) for a couple of Jamiroquai tracks that I like and can hear the brass submixing that's going on. No doubt, I'll encounter those "not interested in that" comments whenever I get the insight.

Alas, I am aware of but unable to participate in conversations where guys discuss "that sound" that tape recorders and consoles impart to loops and samples and rap vocals through a u87.

Sooooo....."that sound" is a different definition to all of us.

Do we all agree it's always brunettes over blondes?
I want to know everything you know. PLS PM ME!!!!!
Old 15th June 2020 | Show parent
  #354
Gear Addict
 
c1ferrari's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood ➡️
Where is/was this Stephens?
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