Tag Archive for 'vintage tape machine'

multiecho hh twins

these twin spunky HH multiechos are NOT having sex. its just so rare that beauties like these could possibly be in the same room. so i just let them play around. and wow. they are good. they are gutted that they just missed out on a threesome! no further sexual innuendo intended. cos i JUST sent MY old HH to jonny boinkin of mank industries in queensland. ive had that  HH for years and years and it has never failed to do the stupid good push button echo-ing thing. ive made a heap of cool sounds with HH and this writhing track is pretty good too.


it features the HH doing multihead switching and regen blurpomatic interrupting stuff.  so HE can make a wild freaking hit LP record from one of his stonking fat songs with his new HH  . if not then i’ll be eating of my BOOT.

up underneath the 300-3U

i love this type of point to point construction , where the back of the valve socket extends backwards  and tags are riveted to that tube up the length of it so as build that particular valve stage right on the valves base. beautiful and simple. at their age these amps have plenty of leaky hi voltage caps. they work and sound good ..  but you can tell they are on the edge of crapping out completely. the leaky coupling caps cause the controls to be extra noisey , also can cause the amp stage plate resistors to burn out , and usually false bias the following stages to the point of almost cut off. the power supply sags and the whole thing goes about 25%.  i’m using french made solen brand parts to repair these amps. ive had only good experience with them. they dont leak d.c at all and are not physically oversized.

ampex 300 oozes dean martin

a client has delivered these ampex machines – ex of capitol studios L.A. – to me –  for to reclaim them up and into a new professional life. first thing has been  to strip them free of their remote control and varispeed switching wireing. to return their control back to personal only. and to bypass the signal tone injectors from the input circuitry. then to clean the decks down careful lube clean up check over electro mechanical features of the tape  transporters.  chunky old school stuff . from another world of engineering long ago long in the past .  the cleaning and clearing has revealed –  one very  munted capstan shaft – one bubbled rubber shot pinch roller – and one scratched up feed idler wheel surface . so far.   braking and control functions seem  good. a bearing bit gummy. so carefullydismantle – clean – lube – refit – quick beer.

i have  to focus now on getting one single stereo machine going all good inside the next two weeks. so the 300 transport deck 1/4″ 2 track with stereo model 300 – 3  octal tube record playback amplifiers. capitol#54 . the total yummy valve tape machine.  it actually oozes dean martin. just today ive swapped out the 60hz capstan motor for my 50 hz spare. so as to get the speed of this master machine as close to an actual 15 inches per second as possible. with that sorted and after a feed idler overhaul  – this transport should be sweet. then to dismantle – recap the amps ,  check thru and prep for full tape recording alignment and greatness.

new LP record from nathan haines.

nathan haines band at york st with ekadek ampex

nathan haines. jazz at york street studios

it was nathan’s  jazz dream.  to make a great record in one  weekend.   wild jazz quartet music recorded thoroughly old jazz school. big fat nuemann mikes all up the place. single mike on the drums. love that. fat 3/4 bass. stinking big steinway concert grand for gods sake. and sax. just … such a good sound. so expansive and expensive. recorded live mixed on york streets  neve direct to my ampex 300/351  1/2″ stereo tape deck .   the 300 was made to have a robot human stand in front of it pushing the buttons.  so i was tape op.  i didnt have a close monitor at all and have dreamt/drawn up this ultimate rebuild for my mr ampex. the massiveman.

revox heaven for swiss dairy cows

i been working on a flood of repairs for the past month plus.  all of a sudden. five revoxes. from three clients. one is a really cool dairy farmer who runs 1/4 inch tapes thru a quad 303 sound system system .. to his cows!  now ive heard everything. maybe it makes the milk better..  Ian  says they love the good sound.

2 beaut G36. the all tube ones. lovely. and so smooth and so wobble free after a good complete inside out clean. they both had transport functional problems. around the motor switches are very inductive loaded circuits which cause hi voltage spikes across the switch contacts. to prevent this reality from causing damage to the switches – big caps with series resistors are wired there. to soak up the spark and discharge the energy slowly. these little SPARK SUCKERS get hot. and leak direct current and then get hotter and short out and burn smoke /smell terrible. blowing  a fuse. they are not easy to replace. awkward. youve pretty much got to take the whole therm o nuclear reactor apart to get behind those particular go switches. there were so many other small operational issues so it was just a case of making it from one to the next and slowly getting to the point where everything is working just as good as it can or was meant to.

next on the couch  was a shiney revox PR99 with logic control issues. a dozen or so tantalum capacitors to change out. holy exploding chassis tho. man. what a hell of thing to take apart.

27 circuit boards all cross wired to the others mounted in 17 different directions. some of them are connected at right angles into a mother board that has un-get-at-able components, links, and switches connected to,and worked directly onto . how did they even do that?  it must have been so hard to make them this way.

next in line was a 2 of revox B77.  and one of A77. they all required a heap of careful cleaning. and completely swapping out the whole  compliment of electrolytic s and tantalum s. shame is that only about 1/3 of them are actually friked . but theres no way of telling that without taking them out. and once they are out … then why would would put the old ones back in. so change them all and it does work out that about 1/3 of them show leaky faults. tell u what .. the overall difference in the sound is definitely worth every penny and if the heads are reasonable the recordings are great.

the A77 is my preference to B77.   the A77 first transistorised machine by revox maybe. but ALL transistor. no chips and definitely the cleanest quietest most brightness blasting sounding electronics.
but the G36 has even more fantastic audio sound of course. i just love valve tape recorders. apart from lp records and needles of course,  and of course ‘being there’ – valve tape recorders are the most analog u can have. the playback signal is completely one new thing . completely fresh extolled up from only nanowebbers of magnetism stored in analog representational waves of aligned-up microscopic iron magnets. and made to line level thru vacummed gaps of space – voltage – and time. dont get me started. anyway the revoxes are foxes. great machines and can be made to go surprisingly well.

i recommend to NOT replay any old tapes more than the ONCE.. it takes to make a copy of said tape. the amount of shed from ageing tapes will only ever increase and dirty up the ol tape path.  time to stock up on new tape stock and more revoxes to re- record all those old radio broadcasts and live to air concerts.

2 track tape mastering

at last! this machine is alive and on line. its taken an age to rebuild and modify. and finally has brand spanking new 1/2 ” 2 track heads. the recordings are very fat and clear. very kind to transient peak levels. you can drive more sound signal at him. and he never really breaks up … just gets more glued. the playback is awesome. really big and solid. ultimate analogue really …hugh from goldbaby recorded and resampled his TR808 drummer from this machine. so send me a soundfile and i’ll record it onto mr ampex and i guarantee youll like the difference that a good tape recording can make. the first demo can be free. thereafter by easy negotiation.