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Thread: Where do you find a good old tape machine on this planet?!

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    Where do you find a good old tape machine on this planet?!

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    So, I'm a long time reader, and I haven't posted in a long time. But now I feel it's time to ask.

    To those who own a decent sized pro, semi professional machine, I ask you, where did you get your machines, and how much did you pay? I am always looking in my local classified for something, but it is only on very rare occasions does anything tape related pop up, and if they do it's always Tascam and Fostex 4 tracks, and portastudios. You get the very occasional Studer 2 tracks, but that's it. Never any larger scale pro hi-fi 4 tracks and up type machines. SO, my search extends to ebay, a place I wouldn't want to purchase a tape machine from anyways, but I can't seem to find much of anything there either. This week I found 2 Studer a80's, and there's always a chess records ampex 4-350 on there for $12,000, but never much more. Has the worlds tape machine supply run dry? Have all the machines been bought up by the aspiring analog heads that came not to long before me?

    HAVE I ANY HOPE?!....

    my craigslisting continues.
    René Lemieux Wilson
    "do you like soul music?"
    -Arthur Conley

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    I bought my 38 from a guy on Craigslist and my both my Otari's from a local radio station that had them in storage. The 38 cost about $250.00 and the Otari mtr-10 was $50.00 and the MX-5050b111 cost 30.00

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    No Brainer Audio pops into my head--Chris Mara refurbishes old MCI machines into something more reliable and ready to work. He charges top dollar for them compared to other used MCI machines, but much cheaper than when they were new, that's for sure...he has a few on eBay, the MCI machines with the repainted gold deck plates are his. Blevins Audio also deals in used machines, mostly pro machines, Mostly MCI but also Studer and the occasional Otari and sometimes a semi-pro machine pops up too. They're not always refurbed but usually checked through so you'd know what you were buying. Again, going through a broker you pay more and especially if they've been worked on, but that's the flipside to finding a used machine that might be reliable! I've seen those guys selling various formats of 2, 4, 8, 16, 24 track machines. Otherwise it's keep fingers crossed and keep watching the classifieds on the various audio forums, eBay and CLs...there are a lot of tape machines floating around out there but most of them need at least some work.

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    Yeah, there are bargains out there, still- I got my Tascam for $100, also via craigslist. It's the same as it always was: you gotta be in the right place at the right time, and gotta know your stuff before you get there!

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    Rene, go ahead and look on ebay. Just make sure you ask the seller if everything functions up to spec, and to INSURE your item! In case the recorder comes in and something is a bit fussy see if you can fix it yourself. If not, file a paypal dispute and say that you have an e-mail from the seller stating the item did in fact function up to spec. AKA item not as described! Honestly if your going for a 60s type sound I would purchase two Teac 3340s and bouce your tracks using monitors or some low-fi headphones. If you need more tracks go for a Tascam Ms16, tascam 38, teac 80-8, or a fostex E8. All that matters really is if you are using tape, and the music sounds like a classic western written song. Not western as cowboy but western type music that developed a long time ago. I also make sure everything is smooth and not to loud. I like music to lift me off my feet therefor you might want to have many tracks to enhance your soul

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    Here is something worth listening to.

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    Briank, I have also had contact with Chris Mara. He helped me calibrate my Ms-16. I get e-mails time to time about tape machines he refurbishes and sells.

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    I found from personal experience that Randy Blevins is a chump. Had a deal going on then tried to call and email many times and he just wouldn't respond. He might do good work but I'll never deal with him again. I expect people to keep their word but when they don't I get a little annoyed. That's just me tho.

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    the blevins website appears to be down, where can you look at their catalogue? I really hate when people don't keep their words also, I've dealt with a few of those in the past. And, I did find the No Brain audio page after I made this thread last night. Wow, his stuff looks really quite good, but what kind of 'top dollar' price are we talking about?
    René Lemieux Wilson
    "do you like soul music?"
    -Arthur Conley

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    Here's the No Brainer ebay page http://stores.ebay.com/No-Brainer-Au...id=p4340.l2563 ...I doubt they put all their machine on eBay but this gives you an idea...don't know if those prices are negotiable or not; I'd certainly hope so, but mind you they're rebuilt.

    Blevins has been erratic lately, no doubt, and the rumor mill has been swirling but I don't personally have any comment on it other than to say the usual site went down, and he has a temp site where you can see the tape machine listings here: Blevins Audio Tape Machines Only other comment I would have is I'm keeping an eye on Blevin's Audio in case he starts liquidating, especially his spare parts....
    Last edited by briank; 03-01-2011 at 15:54.

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