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3M M-79... ancient 2"
Old 1st March 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
3M M-79... ancient 2"

Howdy all....

Was the deal with 3M tape decks?

I have heard that some have called them the 'fattest' decks on eart especially the 2" 16tr M-56 but what about the M-79?

I ahve found another steal on one of these and am looking fro opinions as round here they are as rare as the proverbial......

So ...

How well does it drop in? or is it mainly good for just rythm trax and then transfer it all across to PT?.. like can i drive the Nimitz between the gaps during punches?

How is the transport?... im expecting it to be rather archaic like my beloved MM1200's.. steam driven comes to mind..lol HeH HeH

Maintenance... will it require some alchemy or guru to keep it going? or is it a basic straight forward 2" given its age?

Any tips or hot rod mods u can do to them to make em sing liek a nightingale?

Finally parts?.... are tehy nigh on impossible to find?

Cheers...

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 1st March 2003
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I used to love the cymbal sound off them.

Nice 'zing' to em!

Re transport the 'loop' system make the unit look as if it is ruining your tape 100% of the time, VERY unsettling...



V clunky remotes, cant remember punch in/out spesifics..

Mad looking!

Nice one!
Old 1st March 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've got an M79 2" 24-track. It is a glorious sound. Even before I had it rebuilt and modded. I had one on the U.S's 3M gurus do mine. He has worked closely with the designers of the machine. His mods are what the M79 would be if it came of the line today.

The transport is a bit weird. The reverse idler often needs to be shimmed with a piece of leader tape. I 'm trying to figure out if that's what mine needs right now. There's a bit of "bounce" in the meters when playing back tones. Music still sounds fine. It's also locating a bit too far back.

As for punching there are mods for that too. Mine has a fast punch and a one-touch punch. It's not like punching on a digital machine, but I can get pretty close. It sounds like the punch out has been blown, but that's usually not the case. It's just the bias ramping down.

There is a locator that is very easy to use. It's got a keypad that you can type tape time right into. It also stores nine points. It’s small and easy to put right on the console. It also has a master remote that has all of the input, repro etc buttons, both master and per channel. It's big and a bit cumbersom. I'm thinking of having a piece of furniture built for mine. That seems to be what many have done.
Old 1st March 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How much does one of these things in good shape cost? I'm hoping cheapo since it's an unknown.


I've got all digital and can't afford any of the big name decks so I wonder.
Old 1st March 2003
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Don't try using any +9 tape... the machine's electronics cannot handle the elevated level. It can crap out when you push +6 tape... Ouch!

I bet you can find these machines under $3000.00
Old 1st March 2003
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
All I've heard about 3M's is that they're a bitch to maintain. I doubt they'd be that much cheaper then a running MCI, Otari, or Ampex MM1200. If you want the cheapest of the cheap 2" decks look for a Soundcraft, people dump those all the time because they're funky and have no support. Also, there are very few of them over here in the USA, more in England. Still, you can expect to spend about $5000+ to get a solid, reliable 2" 24 track. Even if you spend less, you'll probably have to dump a bit into the deck, get the MRL, demagger, cabling, a house reel or two etc.
Old 2nd March 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How about a 2 track? I really don't need more than two.
Old 2nd March 2003
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
I bet you can find these machines under $3000.00
Working? Or just kinda working and needs work? When I was looking at 2" decks most of the techs I talked to advised against a 3M unless I was "really handy".

Faeflora, why do you just need two tracks? You could spend anywhere from a few hundered on a 1/4" deck to about $5K on a 1/2". It's funny, a good 1/2" deck costs almost as much as a 2" deck these days. I actually prefer 1/4" to 1/2" most of the time, plus the decks and the tape are cheaper. Lucky me.
Old 2nd March 2003
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
Don't try using any +9 tape... the machine's electronics cannot handle the elevated level. It can crap out when you push +6 tape... Ouch!

I bet you can find these machines under $3000.00
Mine has been modded and can run high output tape all day. Even before the mods it ran +6 just fine.
Old 2nd March 2003
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
All I've heard about 3M's is that they're a bitch to maintain.
They're a little quirky, but not that hard to deal with. I'm not the bravest guy when it comes to maintenance, but I just needing to investigate a problem. It's been two years since the rebuild and the thing sounds great, but needs a little TLC (and it’s been moved). If I can't get it figured out with phone calls and emails I'll have my Guru come and he'll make her all better.
Old 2nd March 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: 3M M-79... ancient 2"

Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
Howdy all....

Was the deal with 3M tape decks?

I have heard that some have called them the 'fattest' decks on eart especially the 2" 16tr M-56 but what about the M-79?

I ahve found another steal on one of these and am looking fro opinions as round here they are as rare as the proverbial......

So ...

How well does it drop in? or is it mainly good for just rythm trax and then transfer it all across to PT?.. like can i drive the Nimitz between the gaps during punches?

How is the transport?... im expecting it to be rather archaic like my beloved MM1200's.. steam driven comes to mind..lol HeH HeH

Maintenance... will it require some alchemy or guru to keep it going? or is it a basic straight forward 2" given its age?

Any tips or hot rod mods u can do to them to make em sing liek a nightingale?

Finally parts?.... are tehy nigh on impossible to find?

Cheers...

PEACE
Wiggy

We have a M79 2" 16 track.
It sounds pretty tough, we track drums and bass on it, then transfer to Radar or PT.

take care

Sean
Old 3rd March 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thanx for the replies everybody.. it seems like a great deal.. but i just gota chek out the machine now..

From what i have seen on the net they look extremly funky.

I am mainly looking to use it for drums, bass and gtr bed tracks so i think it will be more than sufficient. Also to mix 2" projects from in the analogue domain.... what an expenssive luxury these days... ahh the halcyon days of analogue!

PEACE
Wiggyyuktyy
Old 3rd March 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs


Faeflora, why do you just need two tracks?
Jay, I'd like to be able to use tape as an effect during mixing.
Old 4th March 2003
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
thanx for the replies everybody.. it seems like a great deal.. but i just gota chek out the machine now..

From what i have seen on the net they look extremly funky.

I am mainly looking to use it for drums, bass and gtr bed tracks so i think it will be more than sufficient. Also to mix 2" projects from in the analogue domain.... what an expenssive luxury these days... ahh the halcyon days of analogue!

PEACE
Wiggyyuktyy
If the deal's good and the machine is decent I say go for it. The M79 is worth some TLC. It's a total rock machine. I'm amazed at how drums sound off mine. The Neotek is a great compliment to it. Today I was working on short examples for a recording clinic I'm part of this week. Minimal micing and a drum-set still sounds huge and produced. I love this machine. I think it’s your type of machine.
heh yuktyy
Old 5th March 2003
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
M79

I've owned 2 M79 24 tracks, and a 1/4" 2 track. They have to be one of the most musical sounding decks ever made. One of mine was near stock, late model, the other was an early machine with tons of mods. They both sounded fantastic. I could go on and on about how great they sound. They can punch in/out very well if the Vactec is new and everything is tweaked. If the Vactec is old or they are other problems due to age of components, forget it, the puching is ****ed.There is also a rare totally seamless add on card that was custom designed for ABC television, if I remember. Those are the bomb, but hard to find. I know all the mods and then some. There is a cult of a few guys that know and love those machines. The trick is to get someone who really knows the machine to tweak and mod the crap out of it and then you might get some usable hours out of one before the nightmare of maintainence rears it's ugly head. Parts can be found. Warning: those decks are like a women who is unbelievable in bed, but is totally insane. Can you say High Maintainence?
πŸ“ Reply

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