Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Very new to analog...Otari MX5050 MKIII?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Very new to analog...Otari MX5050 MKIII?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    I've been doing home recordings of mainly rock music on my Apple G5 with GarageBand, but it is really, really, weak. I'm tired of how digital sounds and so I was reading up on what a lot of my favorite bands use, which is mostly the Otari MTR-90 on 2'' tape. I'm looking at an Otari MX5050 MKIII 8 track that someone is selling "as is, decent condition, runs, heads in fair condition" for $500. First of all, is this worth it? Second, if I need to get it fixed up, how much will things run me and how easy will they be to find? Finally, will this machine with 1/2'' tape still get that real professional sound that 2'' would give (or at least close)? If I had $7000 I'd of course go for the MTR-90, but that's too much to spend being this new to analog. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Age
    34
    Posts
    732
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    363684

    eh...

    I'm still in the market for a tape machine, and after extensive research and reading, and asking around, I now realize that a tape machine is the HEART of any analog setup. You get what you pay for. You can spend 500 bucks on that tape machine, and it might work just great for years on end to come with a little bit of regular maintenance.

    Or, there's always the chance that the heads are badly worn, and may need to be relapped, which can run you more than the cost of the tape machine On top of that, tape machines consist of HUNDREDS of moving parts. It's so easy for a dozen things to go wrong at once, running up a repair bill so high, you'll wish you had spent the extra few hundred on a gently used machine at a home studio nearby, that has been well taken care of.

    Now, the issue of tape bandwidth. A 1/2" 8 track machine gives you 1/16" bandwidth PER TRACK. a 2" 24 track machine will give you 1/12" bandwidth per track, resulting in much more clarity, which also is helped out by the more professional electronics in such tape machines. Now, 1/2" 8 track ISN'T BAD AT ALL!!! I'm ALL FOR that kind of setup, just understand that you may have to cut a few corners and do some tweaking to get the same RICH, PHAT sound that you're used to hearing on those 70's-80's, and early 90's rock albums.

    Unless you can have a professional give you an assessment on what all needs to be done to that machine, pass. Parts are discontinued (as far as I know), and you're better off investing in something with good returns.

    hope that helped.
    -callie-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    510
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    17
    Just to warn you.... Analog is great, but no amount of "tweaking" will turn a 1/4" or 1/2" machine into a 2". 2" is big time stuff, still used to record today. Same, as posted above, I analog recording at any width, but just don't fool yourself into thinking a $500 setup will rival a $20,000 one.
    Been there
    done that...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Well, of course this won't compare to the MTR-90 or anything, but if the MX5050 MKIII were in good condition, would it be a good place to start with analog recording? Will it give a good, full, deep, punchy sound until I decide to upgrade?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Age
    35
    Posts
    169
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by johnthefilmer
    Well, of course this won't compare to the MTR-90 or anything, but if the MX5050 MKIII were in good condition, would it be a good place to start with analog recording? Will it give a good, full, deep, punchy sound until I decide to upgrade?
    the MX5050 does sound very good! A friend of mine's band did an EP on one

    Listen to Nirvana's Bleach album it was recorded on one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    66
    Posts
    1,822
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    311244
    A cheap 1/2 inch analog machine will still sound better than any cheap digital machine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    510
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Herm
    A cheap 1/2 inch analog machine will still sound better than any cheap digital machine.
    Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Not that G5s are cheap, but I do agree.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    7,098
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    1195184
    Here's my 2 cents ....

    ANY quality pro and semi-pro open reel recorder will sound nicer than digital. Notice I didn't say "accurate". I said "nicer". Big difference there. Personally I want my tracks to sound natural. Analog delivers, whether it be 1/4", 1/2" or beyond. Frankly, you should be looking at the amount of tracks you need and buy a machine that fits that requirement. That and the condition of the recorder is most important. Good news is that any true 4, 8, 16 track etc will deliver the goods. Hey, why not just get a TASCAM 38 with a nice mixer ? They're plentiful on the used market, sound great and they're still supported by TASCAM.

    ~Daniel

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Otari MX5050 8 track help needed
    By snipeguy in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-16-2005, 19:41
  2. Otari MX5050 MKIV
    By The Analog Kid in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-30-2004, 11:00
  3. New Studio Addition - Otari MX5050 MKIII
    By DigitalDon in forum Studio Building & Acoustic Treatment
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-28-2003, 06:44
  4. anyone have an otari mx5050 mkIII 1/2" eight track they want to get rid of
    By triple in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-23-2003, 10:41
  5. Otari MX5050 MKIII 1/4" 2 Track, Ebay Expires in 23 Minutes
    By DigitalDon in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-11-2003, 19:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •