Tape Project Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: ironbut on March 12, 2008, 10:26:22 pm

Title: R2R links
Post by: ironbut on March 12, 2008, 10:26:22 pm
I seems like there are a number of new members in need of info regarding tapes, machines and supplies. Many of these links have been posted before, but unlike the early days of this board, it's not practical for new members to go back and read every post.

 Links- these are other sites whose focus is reel to reel
the Recordist.comhttp://recordist.com/ (http://recordist.com/)
 This portal links you to the Ampex and Studer lists. Fantastic info from the keyboards of some of the guys that worked at the each factory. Majordomo mailing list formated forum but the home site has tons of info as well.
TapeOp message boardhttp://messageboard.tapeop.com/ (http://messageboard.tapeop.com/)
 Online forum for TapeOp magazine. More recording and studio oriented but lots of DIY repair info and some great buys from time to time in the for sale forum. Pick up the magazine too. Very down to earth and the ads can be a good resource too.
Yahoo groups reel to reelhttp://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/reeltoreel/ (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/reeltoreel/)
 Another mailing list type forum. Although the topics of discussion tend toward Teac/Sony/Akai, there are some excellent files to check out like stellavox's list of 2 track releases, so be sure and check out the archived files.
AudioAsylum Tape Trailhttp://www.audioasylum.com/forums/tape/bbs.html (http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/tape/bbs.html)
 Everybody should know about this one but maybe someone has missed it. Tons of info and discussions on just about any R2R related subject. Learn to use the advance search!
Resources parts/services/supplies we might refer to in the forums
 US Recording Mediahttp://www.usrecordingmedia.com/ (http://www.usrecordingmedia.com/) The reel to reel one stop shop. Blank tapes, reels, demag., cleaners, splicing tape etc. If they ain't got it go fish.
 MRL Calibration tapeshttp://home.comcast.net/~mrltapes/
Jay McKnight's calibration tapes for every occasion. Jay had quite a career at Ampex.
 JFR Magnetics http://jrfmagnetics.com/ (http://jrfmagnetics.com/)
 Heads for any machine. Studio machine refurbishing. Another Ampex employee. John French can design custom head nests and his standard head replacements are very reasonable.
  Flux Magnetics (website down) source for the extended response heads for Tape Project machines.
 Dark Labshttp://www.darklab-magnetics.de/darklab_webshop/index.htm (http://www.darklab-magnetics.de/darklab_webshop/index.htm)
Source for those cool NAB reel holders with the editing flanges (german)
 Terry's Rubber Rollers and Wheelshttp://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/ (http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/)
Need your pinch rollers rebuilt, this is the place.
 ATR Serviceshttp://www.atrservice.com/ (http://www.atrservice.com/)
Mike Spitz makes the famous ATR100 famous-er. Aria class A tape electronics, everything for your ATR100 and the new ATR Magnetics tape.
 MDI Precision Motor Workshttp://www.precisionmotorworks.com/ (http://www.precisionmotorworks.com/)
Upgraded parts for Ampex/Otari studio machines
 Reel Pro Sound Guyshttp://www.reelprosoundguys.com/ (http://www.reelprosoundguys.com/)
Parts and service for Teac/Tascam/Sony/Akai and reportedly, Technics soon.
Vintage Electronicshttp://www.vintage-electronics.cc/index.html (http://www.vintage-electronics.cc/index.html)
Good source for manuals and some parts. Very reasonable.
 JM Technical Artshttp://www.jmtecharts.com/ (http://www.jmtecharts.com/)
Revox/Studer parts and service $$$.
Recommended Reading Links to great info
 US Recording Media Faqs and Tipshttp://www.usrecordingmedia.com/archives.html (http://www.usrecordingmedia.com/archives.html)
Must read facts about preserving the great sound of your tapes. Also tape data sheets, machine maintenance etc.
 Tangible Technologieshttp://www.tangible-technology.com/machines.html (http://www.tangible-technology.com/machines.html)
Eddie Ciletti's home page. Includes 4 articles on tape technology. " How does it work" in easy to follow articles from "Mix" magazine.
 MRL Calibration Tapeshttp://home.comcast.net/~mrltapes/
An unbelievable resource from Jay McKnight. You name it, it's here. It can get a little technical but the knowledge is worth the effort.
 Manquenhttp://www.manquen.net/audio/ (http://www.manquen.net/audio/)
Everything you ever wanted to know about tape flutter. It's the invisible demon of tape playback. Believe it!
 Richard Hess's Tape Restoration http://www.richardhess.com/tape/index.htm (http://www.richardhess.com/tape/index.htm)
The emphasis is on restoration and archiving but Richard knows tapes and machines like few in the world. There are gems in every nook and cranny of this crumpet.
 Pictures/deck features
 Phantoms's Reel to Reelhttp://reel2reeltexas.com/index.html (http://reel2reeltexas.com/index.html)
Huge collection of reel to reel recorders and ads from a former recording studio.
 Obsolete Mediahttp://obsoletemedia.com/geeklog/index.php?topic=tdinfo (http://obsoletemedia.com/geeklog/index.php?topic=tdinfo)
Back in the old days, Audio magazine used to have a directory of gear. This is in the same format for selected brands.
 Bay Area Studio Engineeringhttp://www.analogrules.com/ (http://www.analogrules.com/)
This site is always under construction on some of the pages, but what is there is great. Sales ads, test tones, info on many studio machines.

Well, that's it for now. So check it out. I'm sure I missed tons of great links so post away.
Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: rbwtapeinterlink-Bob on March 12, 2008, 10:59:20 pm
Steve, I want to commend you for pulling together all of this awesome information for the new and some of us who have been around for a while. Thanks for taking the time to do this for us. You and others are the reason this forum is so popular and helpful. Keep up the great work.

Bob W.
Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: docb on March 13, 2008, 08:27:47 am
Very nice, Steve, I made this a sticky. I should point out that both Mike Spitz of ATR Services and Greg Orton of Flux Magnetics were associated with the old Ampex as well.

A couple more resources:

http://www.j-corder.com (http://www.j-corder.com) Jeff Jacobs restores and customizes Technics RS1500, 1506, 1520,1700 and 1800 machines and he is also the US distributor for the Darklab Magnetics NAB hub adapters that are a copy of the old Revox hub adapters.

http://www.otari.com (http://www.otari.com) Otari U.S.A. Sales supplies new MX5050BIII-2 recorders, sells parts and does repairs and restoration of most Otari tape recorders.
Title: One on tape storage and handling
Post by: xcortes on March 13, 2008, 08:40:35 am
I'd better put my dehumidifier to work:

http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub54/ (http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub54/)
Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: astrotoy on March 13, 2008, 11:03:55 am
Steve, thanks. This is great information. Larry
Title: Balanced cables demystified
Post by: ironbut on December 22, 2008, 01:13:53 am
There's been more than one thread about use of balanced cables (XLR, TRS etc) and while some of this concern is unnecessary, it's always better to understand the elements of a mystery than just following someone's advice and being done with it. At least that's the  reasoning that I've followed in these stickies.
So here's a link to an exhaustive guide to balanced cables (profusely illustrated).
Title: Online manuals
Post by: ironbut on January 19, 2009, 12:37:20 pm
HiFi Engine This site has lots of user/service manuals along with schematics and parts list. All for the cost of registering!

BASE Gorski's site might not be the easiest to navigate, but if you're looking for a manual for free, it's worth the time. Pro studio machine manuals and don't forget to check out the gallery pictures, slow but cool.
Title: Studer Manuals
Post by: ironbut on January 21, 2009, 06:51:11 pm
Continuing with free online manuals.
Studer fool (Chris Wait) has pointed out a fantastic site for Studer product manuals.
Chris just added this great Ampex manuals site,.. fantastic!
And this link to a Studer C37  schematic (the repro amp section)
Title: Re: R2R links Meter repair/replacement
Post by: ironbut on March 21, 2009, 11:11:58 am
I've seen a few folks, here and elsewhere, who've had problems with their VU meters and until now, never really had a good place to suggest that they send it. Analog meters can be very tricky and most, if not all, regular service guys outsource this work to specialists. Unfortunately, this is a dying art as everything goes digital. So here's a place that was highly recommended on the Ampex list for calibration and service.
Title: Timeline
Post by: ironbut on June 15, 2009, 10:31:07 am
Here's a great reel to reel timeline courtesy of the fine folks over at Phantom Productions. Many of the entries are linked to photos, vintage ads, and locations on other sites.
Fantastic stuff!


If you've never spent any time browsing the photos from their museum, set aside some time and check it out too.
Title: Indicator Lights
Post by: ironbut on December 17, 2009, 12:18:59 pm
The more you work on audio gear, the more you'll find that almost everybody used a different bulb to illuminate their buttons and meters.
Once you're able to pull the dead bulb and test it with a 9v battery to confirm it's demise, I suggest that you first go to MCMasterr- Carr's web site and see if they have what you need.


If they don't have the bulb you need, they have some excellent diagrams showing the different sizes and volt/amps of what they have available so you'll know the parameters to look out for.
Some other sources for bulbs are;


If you've tried these places and still come up short, the stores that specialize in bulbs are the places to try. Here's the one that I use;


Unfortunately, many of the machines use solder type bulbs and figuring out the voltage applied across the bulb, finding one that fits and has the right level of illumination is probably easier than finding an exact replacement.

Title: Otari slideshow
Post by: ironbut on May 25, 2010, 11:17:49 pm
Here's an excellent slideshow of the guts of an Otari 5050.
There's a few excellent tips for quick fixes of common problems.

Title: Awesome Ampex Restoration thread
Post by: ironbut on May 25, 2010, 11:32:03 pm
For any of you guys who've dream about, or might even be currently involved in, the restoration of one of the many wonderful studio machines. Here's a thread that I linked to in the Tape Machines forum of an Ampex MM-1000 being brought back to its former glory.
Warning,.. this contains many large photos so be prepared to wait a bit.

Title: Otari 5050 manuals/schematics
Post by: ironbut on June 09, 2010, 04:54:51 pm
Darkhorse has done a great service to this community by compiling all the manuals and schematics in one spot for the Otari 5050 series recorders.
Many thanks to him. These are available on the web but are scattered to the four corners of internetlandvilleson!

Here's a link to the link.

Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: King Arthur on June 16, 2010, 04:25:26 pm
Heres a link on baking tapes with Sticky Shed problems..


Only thing is, he doesn't recommend any approximate temperatures!
Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: steveidosound on June 18, 2010, 10:52:26 am
Here is a link for those in the Yahoo R2R group of a bunch of pictures of machines belonging to Lee Hazen.
All kinds of interesting machines in there...
In fact, there are all kinds of interesting pictures of machines in the photo section of that group in general.
Title: Re: Otari common issues
Post by: ironbut on August 01, 2010, 06:43:51 pm
Here's a great link to a gal who illustrated how to fix a few of the common problems with Otari 5050's.

Title: Digital transfer of tape
Post by: ironbut on July 22, 2011, 12:14:30 pm
I'm going to "try" and partition any links particularly relevant to the transfer of analog tape recording to digital media here in this post.
Some will "overlap" with other topics of course, but just like the other items contained in stickies here on the TP forum, the idea is to make life a little easier for our members.

TAPE project (Training for Audio/visual Preservation in Europe)
This site has lots of links and free pdf downloads regarding digital transfers of tape.
Title: Great recorder tutorial
Post by: ironbut on December 23, 2011, 12:34:22 pm
Once again, the Ampex list comes up with a gem!
This tutorial was found on the DW-World (Deutsche Welle) and perhaps, was an internal resource for the German broadcasting service.

Title: Otari Manuals
Post by: ironbut on August 19, 2012, 01:03:49 pm
Otari 5050/55 owners should be beholdin' to Dark Horse for putting all this info together in one place.
Here's a copy of his original post linked here;


I have updated the Otari Manuals Folder as I bought a MX55. Seems it belonged to Huey Lewis' before the last owner.
in Top condition.

So there is a new link. Here
Filesize:    37.75MB
Direct DL http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/1235q0
Page DL http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/1235q0

What is included in zip file. (all files are pdf's)
Otari MX50 Instruction Manual
Otari MX55 Instruction Manual
Otari MX55 Schematics
Otari MX55 Parts List/Exploded View
Otari MX5050BII Instruction Manual
Otari MX5050BIII Instruction Manual (This manual describes the MX-5050 MKIV-2, 2E, BIII-F, BIII-2 and BIII-2E models.)
Otari MX5050BIII - 8 instruction Manual
Otari MX5050BIII Parts list (complete schematic breakdown of BIII and all part numbers)
Otari MX5050BII & BIII Alignment Procedures Manual

The new MX-5050 Series is divided into the following models:
MX-5050 BIII-F Full Track, 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 BIII-2 2 Channel, NAB 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 BIII-2E 2 Channel, DIN 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 BQIII 4 Channel, 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 MKIV2 2 Channel, NAB 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 MKIV2E 2 Channel, DIN 1/4" Track Width
MX-5050 MKIV4 4 Channel, 1/2" Track Width
MX-5050 MKIV8 8 Channel, 1/2" Track Width

We Love Music
Title: More Otari repair tutorials
Post by: ironbut on November 26, 2012, 06:16:03 pm
Here's some very nice repair tutorials for Award Audio. I can't say that I've tried their tapes (and if you wish to ask, please do so in the PreRecorded Tapes forum) but the instructions for replacing the VU bulbs is a good one.


Here's where I found the suggested bulbs.

Title: Vintage Recorders
Post by: ironbut on December 18, 2012, 03:47:55 pm
Awesome site for old recorders.
Their forum could be a great resource for finding that rare schematic for vintage machines.
The pictures alone are worth a visit.

Title: Otari UK sources
Post by: ironbut on August 08, 2013, 04:45:08 pm
Here's a source for Otari R2R support in the UK.

Title: Video Tape Links
Post by: ironbut on December 26, 2013, 02:30:36 pm
If you've got a video tape that's in need of restoration or a simple transfer, here's a site that can get you pointed in the right direction.

Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: stellavox on September 08, 2015, 11:41:39 am
Hey Steve,

Just came across this ling to the "bible" of tape electronics and (tube) circuitry.  In the US at least...


Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: ironbut on September 10, 2015, 11:08:27 am
Hey Charlie,

Nice stuff!
I haven't read the whole thing yet but it seems like it covers all the basics.
Title: Re: R2R links
Post by: stellavox on September 10, 2015, 01:35:25 pm

In your links, do you include the Craig Stark article from an "old" Audio Amateur magazine on the A to Z's of setting up a tape recorder?  If not, I have the pages in individual files - now if someone a lot smarter than me could put them together into ONE file.