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How many MCI JH 16 users here?
Old 17th February 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How many MCI JH 16 users here?

I'm fixing up my JH16 2 inch 16 track and was curious if anyone here uses one or has used one in the past?

I never used a 2 inch deck so I'm excited to get it running!!
Old 17th February 2010
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Been there... that transport isn't graceful by any stretch of the imagination... be careful when setting up your tape path and tensions!!! The electronics are very similar to MM-1200 electronics and sound pretty damn good [MCI actually made "aftermarket" electronics for Ampex machines back in the day]... but the JH-16 transport can be a nightmare.

Best of luck!!

Peace.
Old 17th February 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
Common mods back in the day were replacing the 741 opamp and shorting out the output transformers. That was done a lot in LA back in the 1980's.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 18th February 2010 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks guys!!
So am I the only one left that might be using one of these old decks?


Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
analogtodd's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
what year is it? what transport does it have?
Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
The first multitrack I had after our 1" 8-track Ampex 300/AG-440 hybrid was a JH-16.
I got it in 1977 and had it until late 1980.

It sure sounded good, but the motherboard had problems that would cause channels to drop out in REPRO and RECORD.
I still have a mix of one of my favorite recordings where my GTR solo only appears at the last note.
I forgot what I played way back in 1979!

My machine came from Shreveport, LA and the last session recorded on it before I got it was David Soul's solo LP! (David Soul was Hutch on TV's Starsky and Hutch.)
Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
The important thing to understand about MCIs is that brand new they were full of cold solder joints.

Also beware that head alignment is just like wheel alignment and tires on a car. If it has been run even a few hours without proper tape path alignment, the heads could require relapping or even be toast.
Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My deck is early 70's with the dreaded jh10 transport.All AC motors! I'm looking to buy a newer jh114 transport if I can find one. Randy Blevins is looking for one for me now but no word yet from him.

I have been reading that the molex pins should have a reflow of solder.I'm game for doing that myself. The only tape decks that I've used in the past were half inch 8 track teac 80-8 and half inch B16 track fostex.

I can't wait to hear the real thing when this is all set up.I'll use it more for my own projects then anything.I have an Auditronics console for mixing and track to ADAT HD24xr through Electrodyne and api pres.

Anyone with a jh114 transport ? I'm looking!!
Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
I learned that the hard way that it isn't just the Molex connectors that had cold solder joints.
Old 19th February 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➑️
My deck is early 70's with the dreaded jh10 transport.All AC motors! I'm looking to buy a newer jh114 transport if I can find one. Randy Blevins is looking for one for me now but no word yet from him.

I have been reading that the molex pins should have a reflow of solder.I'm game for doing that myself. The only tape decks that I've used in the past were half inch 8 track teac 80-8 and half inch B16 track fostex.

I can't wait to hear the real thing when this is all set up.I'll use it more for my own projects then anything.I have an Auditronics console for mixing and track to ADAT HD24xr through Electrodyne and api pres.

Anyone with a jh114 transport ? I'm looking!!
CN is right, the 100 xport doesn't leave much to be desired. having said that, it is kinda fun setting tensions with a spring scale & a piece of string!

once you get the thing pulling tape like it should you'll be in good shape- the decks sound great and needed to be treated like anything that's over 30 years old.

bob is also right about head alignments- they are very important not only to increase head life, but have a drastic impact on how the deck will sound.

along with randy, steve sadler is a great resource for machines of this era. he has parts for the 100 xport and knows them like the back of his hand. he helped me get one going last month.

i do MCI restorations of the later 70s & 80s decks, so if you get in a bind perhaps i can help.

good luck, it'll be worth the hard work!

chris mara

Old 22nd February 2010 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
So any users now or am I on my own? lol
Old 22nd February 2010
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
mci jh 16

I had this machine for several years in my studio I loved the sound, but beware, it requires a lot of maintenance. mostly power supply issues. Good luck!! Dave.
Old 24th February 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I have a 1979 MCI JH-16 with a 114 transport w/ alIII and Quior. Just this past weekend I recapped the audio PSU, and dang- what a difference! I also have NOS 16 track heads I bought from John French last summer, so properly set up, it's hard to beat. But maybe I'm biased...haha. Good luck getting your rocking! Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to nerd out on the ownership of 30 year old tape machines...
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
well, i thought i'd swore off tape...but i'll be joining you as an mci jh16 owner on sunday. Did not think i would be going back to tape after this long (12 years) but, i guess addicts eventually relapse or is it relap?

Anyway, took a look around the studio the other day and realized that i have more invested in tape stock than some studios have in mic's. So, with the wife's approval and a bunch of prayers (great god of analog, no transport issues please?...) i am taking the plunge...again. I've just become very frustrated with digital as a multi-track capture medium soundwise. I'll still bounce to pt or at least capture mixes there, that is, until i get an ampex mixdown again. I guess i'm still chasing mirages, but aren't we all.

We need more mci stories here people, i know you have some...

Nathan.
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
cool nathan! are you buying a deck or re-instating one you already own?

i'm a mci user- mainly jh24s and jh110s and an mci console (428) via my retro, all analog studio called "welcome to 1979". i also own a company called "no brainer audio" that restores mci tape machines and am currently restoring a very rare mci jh16 1" 8 track. it has a really cool feature called "flux track" which allows you to individually change the elevated level that you're recording/reproducing simply by moving a 11 stage pot.

does anyone have that feature on their jh16?

chris mara
nashville, tn

Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Marshman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Nathan,

I have a 1977 JH16-16 with a 114 transport and AL-II. Use it all the time and love it. I have had a few minor problems with it, but it pulls tape beautifully and sounds great. Easy enough to work on and there are parts and support out there.

Chris at No Brainer Audio knows his stuff and Steve Sadler is great too.

In my world, the machine is well worth the effort, not for everyone though!

mm
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
DrFrankencopter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I had a JH-16 with the JH-10 transport. It was capable of great sound, but was a maintenance nightmare. The transport on that thing was terrifying...it used AC reel motors, and even an AC hysteresis motor for the capstan.

I had it sounding great for a about a year, and then as I got more proficient doing my own maintenance I started tracing down a flutter issue I was observing. Eventually, after re-aligning the capstan and pinch roller, I found out that the machine had been run with poor mechanical head alignment prior to my getting it, and that the heads had a big keystone pattern worn in them and were toast. That was it for the machine for me. I went digital and never looked back. I gave the deck away (including a new 8 track headstack) in 2004.

If I had a machine room I'd contemplate getting another JH16...but it'd be one with a decent transport. Maybe someday....

Cheers

Kris
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I remember one of the times I was in town visiting, Steve showed me a flux track card for a JH-16. Mine doesn't have it, but I can't say I'd mind if it did...Right now I'm loving the joys of recording at +9 on GP9. I avoided it thusfar because I didn't think my older electronics would provide full erasure. I tried it a few weeks ago, and holy crap. Different machine!
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I have one sitting next to me right now, dated Nov 82....it's only used for transfer-to-digital work; not calibrated to record at the moment.. pretty happy with it except it seems to be in need of some work lately though- real hefty/lengthy tapes seem to cause some speed consistency issues. Apparently it was the machine used to track some of the Beastie's Ill Communications, but who knows really...
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
^Allow me to correct myself; it's a JH24... got excited when I saw MCI and JH next to each other
Old 11th March 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Moderator
 
James Lugo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticRecording ➑️
I've just become very frustrated with digital as a multi-track capture medium soundwise.
I'm right there with you.
Old 12th March 2010 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Here's the 3 inch 32 track that almost went into production!

I'm still putting my money together to buy a 114 transport for my jh16 deck. I found a guy that has an entire deck that I might get.
Attached Thumbnails
How many MCI JH 16 users here?-32.jpg  
Old 20th March 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Cadde's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➑️
So any users now or am I on my own? lol
small club , it seems ...

JH 16 / 100 from 73 and JH 24 from 83 ...

cadde
Old 9th September 2014
  #24
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I have a JH-16 24 track from 1979 ultra- rare 2” β€œQuior” machine, with Autolocator III.

I'm a MCI user from 6 moths ago, and every day I dawn been thankful!
Old 9th September 2014
  #25
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
If the machine doesn't line right up, the problem is cold solder joints and caps. The other problem is that the power supply fan sucks dirt in so you need to clean it out every month or two.
Old 11th September 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Deuce 225's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
MCI 2in 16 Track....

I'll add my name to list....Original 2 inch 16 track JH24 model.
Best,
Tim Cochran
Old 26th April 2015
  #27
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
This machine has the nice beefy sounding transformers in the audio electronics

Some people says that it used Jensen Transformers, somebody knows exactly the brand?
Old 26th April 2015
  #28
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Early JH-24s had no transformers and later ones only had one for sync playback. Jensens are transparent and don't sound beefy at all. JH-24s just had line amps with lots of headroom. Unfortunately most digital gear isn't made that way.
Old 26th April 2015
  #29
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
We have one from the late 70's with an 'autolocate 2' remote at the studio that literally goes down once a month. The transport is always malfunctioning and cards shit the bed on the regular. I'm always threatening to cover it and just pull "analog tape recording" off the website. But man... when its working, its fantastic. Warm, fat tone for days. I liken it to a really bad relationship with really amazing sex.
Old 26th April 2015
  #30
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Sounds like you need the cold solder joints fixed.
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