Discussion in 'Tape' started by PureQuill, Dec 25, 2017.
Good luck with your new Otari. It seems like a great machine for you.
I think you'll love the Otari, they're excellent machines. I love my 5050 BII.
Nice buy, you will enjoy it. Better yet, you also have someone to service it.
Just heard this from the tech "Otari 5050II 4 channel. Newly relapped heads by JRF, a minor tweaking of the eq and bias from when I sent them in, flat to 20Khz now on all channels. test run for a couple of days, then to box it up and ship it out!
Now to educate myself on analog tape!
Saw that. If I hadn't got the Crown, I would have got one of those.
Well I ordered four reels of10 1/2 " tape and a Manley Labs "Force" 4 channel tube mic preamp.....
Down the tubes and tape rabbit hole I go!
Now I only need about $10K in German microphones to compleate my "Grand Delusion" LOL!
I know the top of the line Ampex and Studers should be disregarded, and agree the 440C was much easier to service. Its a shame Revox didn't make a PR 99 or A700 in 4 channel. Thats why I recommended the TASCAM. The Ampex ATR 700 was a TASCAM machine with an Ampex name plate. All R2R need trained techs to keep them running. Its a dead technology and finding senior techs that understand them and have experience repairing them is always a challenge.
The ReVox PR 99 was designed for broadcast work. Typical on air and FM and AM automation workhorse and built to be reliable. The A 700 was a junior B 67 relative and the high end ReVox. These machines were meant for mono and Stereo. Studer nor Revox made narrow format multitrack machines until their last, they built professional grade solutions. Revox didn't do 4 channel until their last new design. The C 270 (which was their answer to Tascam and Otari and Fostex) and few were built. They were too expensive for the market they competed in.
I suggest TEAC A-3440, 40-4, Tascam 34 and 34B. All are stellar performers, '3440 probably the most plentiful. All likely need some work at this age, slide-switches on the head cover of '3440 have long been discontinued so be careful when considering a restoration candidate. Both brands are made by Tokyo Electro Acoustic Company parent company. Tascam was the later concurrent offering for professional studio use. If I had to pick one, the 40-4 would be my choice (I've serviced all of these models). While I like Ampex ATR series, most of the ones I've seen were heavily used and very worn, some to the point of not being cost-effective to restore.
The Teac 3440 was a good 4 track tape deck for home recording and sound really good when in good condition. This is 4 tracks in the same direction so they can all be played back at the same time. I have one my self but haven't used it in a long time.
From the 2 tracks the Studer A80 an A810 decks are amazing and the Otari MX50N are very good but the best value machine out there are the Tascam BR20
I own all of them and can vouch for the all
I was going to mention the Revox C274, but Kent beat me to it And I agree, f-squared rare - although one was bought by the large broadcasting outfit I was (am) with for dubbing any domestic 1/4 or 4-track tapes that may have got sent in. It was to replace a Teac X-10 that sat in a manager's office doing nothing but look pretty. (And his cred was blown, since 1/4-track tapes are not used in broadcast.) Anyway, the C274 did nothing either, eventually getting sold at auction in as-new condition.
I think the Revox could outperform the Otari - at least in terms of peak flux and flatness of response. But would it be as reliable or serviceable? Perhaps not.
If you want to do a final down mix to 1/4” 2 track I know where there is an excellent and local MTR-10 available. PM me...
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