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ATR mastering decks
Old 25th July 2010
  #1
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axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ATR mastering decks

How many mastering people here have an Ampex ATR deck? and do you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch?

I'm getting one for my studio to mix to and might want to send tapes to a mastering studio in the future, since I only have a rosetta 200 converter.
Old 25th July 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➡️
How many mastering people here have an Ampex ATR deck? and do you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch?

I'm getting one for my studio to mix to and might want to send tapes to a mastering studio in the future, since I only have a rosetta 200 converter.
I have an ATR Services rebuilt Ampex 1/2" deck with both Vintage and Aria heads.

I use it mostly for layback work but sometimes I receive 1/2" tape to master from so it's good to have for that purpose. However, not enough demand to justify the expense of a 1/4" head block.
Old 25th July 2010
  #3
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dcollins's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➡️
How many mastering people here have an Ampex ATR deck? and do you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch?
I think it's the best overall machine ever.


DC
Old 25th July 2010 | Show parent
  #4
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Yep, it's outstanding, the best IMO.

Mine stays setup as a 1/2" machine, tho' the 1/4" heads get used from time to time.

JT
Old 25th July 2010 | Show parent
  #5
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The Orbit Room's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 Ampex ATR

We have a Spitz remanufactured Machine ( started life as a 102 from Future Disc) now a Modded 104 with 1/2 track mono, full track mono, quarter track stereo, 2 track stereo (Ampex, NAB and DIN) 1/2" 2 track, 3 track and 4 track playback headstacks. PB only, no erase or record heads, rolling dummy guides in their place.

Ya gotta love 'm! heh
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #6
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
ATR-102

ATR-102, 1/2" Flux Magnetic extended response heads and other mods. A beautiful machine.
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #7
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William Bowden's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey ➡️
ATR-102, 1/2" Flux Magnetic extended response heads and other mods. A beautiful machine.
Same here

The King
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #8
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mpdonahue's Avatar
We have both Studer and Ampex machines here.
On the ATR, I have most any head you could want(1/4" mono, NAB stereo, DIN and 4track. On 1/2" we have stereo, 3tk and 4tk) I have both Flux MR and original Ampex heads for 1/2", but I think the original Ampex 1/2" stereo head is still the best sounding for playback. (I'm sure others will disagree)
On the Studer, we have Aria as well as several custom playback electronic sets based on the MK1 playback and MK4 record electronics and heads.

All the best,
-mark
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 10 years
Ampex ATR Parts for Sale

I have a few sets of complete sheet metal top deck components for the ATR 100 series machines. (2) spare head covers , (1) pair original Ampex ATR tape reel hold downs in as new condition, (2) spare motronics reel motors in good condition, (1)Operation and Maintenance Manual Volume 2 includes complete set of schematics in 3 ring binder in excellent condition, (2) Ampex aluminum 10.5" reels in library boxes in excellent condition. Dolby 363 NR unit with two model 300 SR/A modules in very clean condition.

If interested in an y of the listed items please call Cliff at 212-254-3541 or email [email protected]
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #10
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dcollins's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue ➡️
We have both Studer and Ampex machines I have both Flux MR and original Ampex heads for 1/2", but I think the original Ampex 1/2" stereo head is still the best sounding for playback. (I'm sure others will disagree)
On the Studer, we have Aria as well as several custom playback electronic sets based on the MK1 playback and MK4 record electronics and heads.
I have the Flux extended LF head mounted in the record position on my ATR and never use it. Compared to the stock head it may have more low frequency extension but it sounds much harsher in the midrange.

Also, when I compared the Aria electronics to stock ATR (bypassing the 'penthouse') there was frankly no comparison. ATR was better in every way.

Bigger, stronger, faster. Just like Steve Austin.


DC
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #11
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jayfrigo's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Have 1/2" Ampex ATR, Studer A820, and 1/4" Otari MTR. Ampex by far gets the most use.
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #12
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The Orbit Room's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins ➡️
I have the Flux extended LF head mounted in the record position on my ATR and never use it. Compared to the stock head it may have more low frequency extension but it sounds much harsher in the midrange. DC
I gotta agree with Dave on this point. I never "got" the Flux sound. I've set up several machines and formats supported by Flux Heads, and never thought they were better or worse than what was on the machine before.

It may be that a "complete" ERP Flux set makes a difference, but I've never noticed a big difference with just a PB head set-up.
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #13
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Re: ATR-102

• ATR-102, with Flux 1/2" ME and Ampex ferrite 1/4" 1/2-track ERP assemblies, and a 1/4" 1/4-track plus full-track dual repro-only combo-assembly.

Also, machine fitted with ATR Service VS-20 vari-speed oscillator. I normally signal out of this machine single-endedly, using an Amphenol to XLR snake. Speeds: 3.75 - 7.5 - 15 - 30 ips. De-emphasis: NAB, IEC I, and AES (30 ips). Cine or NAB reel setup.

• Studer A 80 R VU "Master Recorder," with stock 1/4" 1/2-track Studer metal heads and Athan urethane pinch roller tire. VU bridge, bypassed. Speeds: 7.5 and 15 ips; De-emphasis: NAB; IEC I (via separate daughtercards). Cine or NAB reel setup.


I recommend mixing down into your tape machine while monitoring the repro head output, rather than mixing first while monitoring the DAW and then dropping the mix on tape after the fact.

I've transferred hundreds of old reels, as well as new. We have a food dehydrator, here, as well as a cold/dry soak room for dealing with tapes plagued with SBS (Soft Binder Syndrome(s)).

Wish more clients would mix to tape.


Andrew
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins ➡️
Just like Steve Austin.
But a bit cheaper, yeah?
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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MattGray's Avatar
 
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Still a happy ATR-102 owner with ARIA electronics & Flux half inch heads (standard response playback head).

When I had the machine set up at ATR services in 2006, I asked regarding the differences of extended versus standard response. The answer I kept hearing was that the standard response flux head put the LF head bump in the more usable range. Even Bob Ludwig suggested I go for the standard response over the extended response. I'm glad I did, I'm never lacking bottom here, don't ever feel the need to run 15ips to increase the low end & prefer the high end detail at 30ips.

fwiw.. the ARIA electronics are extremely flat & revealing, stock is more coloured with less low bottom & more midrange.

Matt
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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brethes's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
ATR 102 1/2" stock electronics as they sound great. Doesn't get as much use as it deserves (in the UK, mix down to 1/4" was more widely used, particularly for rock music, so our Studer 810 1/4" get a little more use).
Old 26th July 2010
  #17
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lucey's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➡️
How many mastering people here have an Ampex ATR deck? and do you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch?

I'm getting one for my studio to mix to and might want to send tapes to a mastering studio in the future, since I only have a rosetta 200 converter.
1/2" and 1/4" ATR 102 here, rebuilt by a tag team.

Mine gets more and more lonely each year. Last project was from Sub Pop in 09.

I'd think that if you know how to use it, you will like the difference between a nice machine and a Rosetta 200.
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What I'm looking for is someone with a better sounding converter than my rosetta to convert the atr mix to cd.I want to keep as much of the atr deck sound as I can into cd.
Old 26th July 2010 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➡️
What I'm looking for is someone with a better sounding converter than my rosetta to convert the atr mix to cd.I want to keep as much of the atr deck sound as I can into cd.
That will be easy, every serious pro has a better converter than the 200.


I'll make a plug for Pacific Microsonics users: the box was tuned by ear to sound perfect with 2 track analog tape running through the AD/DA. Not that it's perfect to the standards of a modern ear, but it's very nice.
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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Masterer's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Stock ATR 102

rebuilt by Mike Sptiz.

Unless someone like Michael Brauer requests the Studer for a specific reason, it's the only tape deck for me.
Old 28th July 2010
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➡️
How many mastering people here have an Ampex ATR deck? and do you have 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch?

I'm getting one for my studio to mix to and might want to send tapes to a mastering studio in the future, since I only have a rosetta 200 converter.
i got one and a studer, 1/2 & 1/4 for both .. my atr 1/2 is a NOS head.

now i cant believe i have to ask this but... you do know how to align a tape machine ? full record & playback

with an atr its not just the heads, you gotta have good cards, the entire machine has to be operating up to spec.. make sure you have a tech look over that machine before you buy it if its coming from a studio, lots of tape machines are just sitting around in studio hallways these days.

budget money for a set of mrl tapes, 1/2.. 1/4.. 30ips..15ips...

leader tape... yes you must use leader tape between songs..

remember you gotta align that machine and cut tones for every new project before you start printing the first mix, and still check the alignment every day when mixing incase it starts to drift out.

Label the box with all song info & alignment set up!

you're gonna need to learn what alignment set up you like with the brand of tape you use and if you want to tweek the bias at all from what they recommend.

your alignment set up will change how you can hit the tape.

oh yeah dont forget to calibrate the input/output of machine before you do anything.

the joys of recording to tape..

louie
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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Bonati's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Stock ATR-102 here too, ATR Services rebuild. Great machine, nothing else really needed.
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #23
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Cellotron's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonati ➡️
nothing else really needed.
...unless you want one with preview/program paths as well.


Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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inlinenl's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlouie ➡️

remember you gotta align that machine and cut tones for every new project before you start printing the first mix, and still check the alignment every day when mixing incase it starts to drift out.

you're gonna need to learn what alignment set up you like with the brand of tape you use and if you want to tweek the bias at all from what they recommend.

your alignment set up will change how you can hit the tape.

oh yeah dont forget to calibrate the input/output of machine before you do anything.

the joys of recording to tape..

louie
I think in 90% of all things recorded to tape, they just popped on the tape that was available and just hit record and playback , never cared about the "specs"..
the machines were there and were used until they were dead , but that never seemed to happen ...
you don't have to be a trained tech to use TAPE .. okay it would be great if you know the in's and out's ... but who cares, it always just sounds GREAT on tape .. just set it up once GOOD and just set and forget ...

you dont have to be Catweazle to run tape :





Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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Masterer's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron ➡️
...unless you want one with preview/program paths as well.


Best regards,
Steve Berson
I can use George Marino's if I need to. It may be the only one in the world though.

I'm not really cutting that much vinyl these days.
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #26
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axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My ATR deck is a four track 1/2 inch. I will save up to get a stereo 1/2 headstack later on but to start out it's what I'll be working with.

I guess not many on here have playback for 4 track 1/2 inch?Guess I could do a mix to two tracks of the four track for now. I'm going to get ATR tape too.

My deck is at ATR right now being set up and fixed up etc.. I had the deck shipped right to Mike when I first bought it.Mike said it wasn't too bad of shape.I just bought it a week or so ago.It's an old deck maybe 79? that was at Sigma in philly where mike worked years ago.It does have the gold pins on the connectors so thats good!

Anyone have a used 1/2 stereo headstack for sale?
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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Cellotron's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer ➡️
I can use George Marino's if I need to. It may be the only one in the world though.
I thought his preview deck was a Studer - at least it is in this video -
YouTube - Mission of Burma- Burma Reissue Mastering Sessions Part 1

Was an ATR-102 modded recently with a preview path? Take a pic and post it if it has! (pretty please!)

Quote:
I'm not really cutting that much vinyl these days.
Is it mainly George and Ray doing the cutting there or are there other ME's at Sterling also doing some bulk of it as well?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron ➡️
I thought his preview deck was a Studer - at least it is in this video -
YouTube - Mission of Burma- Burma Reissue Mastering Sessions Part 1

Was an ATR-102 modded recently with a preview path? Take a pic and post it if it has! (pretty please!)



Is it mainly George and Ray doing the cutting there or are there other ME's at Sterling also doing some bulk of it as well?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
George's ATR with preview setup is one of the coolest gear geek things ever.

Dave
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsnare ➡️
George's ATR with preview setup is one of the coolest gear geek things ever.

Dave
One day we WILL have one of these!

In the meantime our 1/2 inch 102 is finding new fans every week and we wouldn't let it go for anything in the world.
Old 28th July 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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Cellotron's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsnare ➡️
George's ATR with preview setup is one of the coolest gear geek things ever.

Dave
Cool stuff - did they just get this done recently?

Anyhoo - both myself and my clients have so far been very happy with the sound of what comes out of my JH110M - and considering the volume of work from tape I've been seeing (averaging about 1 album a month) - the cost to acquire and maintain an ATR-102 just doesn't make all that much sense for me right now.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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