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Thread: Otari MX5050

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    Question Otari MX5050

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    I'm looking at picking up and Otari MX5050 BII. Seems like there are a bunch of different models and options for the 5050. Is the BII a half track (which is what I'm looking for)? Thanks....

  2. #2
    Beck Guest
    The MX5050 BII is a top of the line 1/4" half-track that, depending on the suffix, can also playback quarter-track recordings. Otari also has an MX5050 MKIII-2 2-track only. If you can find one in good condition go for it. They have been around for ages so finding one that is not too old and not spent can be tricky. The model numbers are numerous, similar and confusing. Another option is the MX-50N, the little brother of the 5050 series. It's the same tape format but didn't start production until 1989, so they are newer and less expensive. The MX-50 can be adjusted for hot tapes like GP9 and SM900. I don't know if the older MX-5050 can or not.

    I would be just as happy with a great condition Tascam 32 or better yet a BR-20, which beats the MX5050 in signal-to-noise ratio by several dB. Actually I'm so content with My Tascam 22-2 that I wouldn't go to a bigger half-track unless I was moving up to 1/2" tape (not gonna happen).

    But yes, the MX-5050 BII is super and unique. As with all decks hold out for one with low hours and pay more for it (around $500.00 & up). Considering the cost of maintenance for a ratty old machine it's either pay now or pay later. A new pinch roller alone is $50.00 - $60.00. You can almost count on replacing that on an old 5050. If the heads need relapping all bets are off. Get the best you can afford and consider the total cost of ownership when deciding on your initial investment. To have one fully refurbished by Otari is around $2000.00.

    Otari now sells the MX5050, currently the B III.


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    yea, i'm actually starting to lean more towards the tascam 32 myself... i've got a tsr-8 now, and have been happy with that. THe BR20 is reel nice too... mostly i'm trying to find something nearby instead of an ebay thing.

    do you know of any site that has good close up picks of the tascam 32 heads?

    thanks...

  4. #4
    Beck Guest
    Here's the playback head for the 32-2 (also same as 22-2):

    http://www.openreel.net/53783010.jpg

    Here's the manual:
    http://www.tascamcontractor.com/ftp_.../32_manual.pdf

    Here's the brochure:
    http://www.tascamcontractor.com/ftp_...32_faxback.pdf

    http://www.musicgoround.com/ often has the 32 with a money back policy.

    -Tim

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    ooo...

    ha.. nice site. i've got a teac 4010S i'm trying to repair now...

    there's an ATR-60 within driving distance for $200, but it's a bit large for my studio:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~saleitempix/2track/

  6. #6
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziller
    ha.. nice site. i've got a teac 4010S i'm trying to repair now...

    there's an ATR-60 within driving distance for $200, but it's a bit large for my studio:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~saleitempix/2track/
    Wow, that's a nice looking ATR. I don't have much room in my little studio either. The TSR-8 is also my main squeeze and the 22-2 is small and tape costs are reasonable. The 32-2 would be small enough as well. I went with the 22-2 because the performance specs are so close to the 32 and costs less, though it only takes 7" reels.

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