Look what I got for $75

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Well...I’ve been keeping busy, but I do believe you can’t entirely take the sweetbeats out of the sweetbeats...and since I tend to troll craigslist and eBay...and Reverb...when I find a good deal it tends to follow me home even if it’s been rode hard and put up wet...if I think I can fix it or shine it up and make somebody else happy and make my money back and then some, well...it does get irresistible every now and then. Diapers ain’t cheap, and Christmas is coming, so when I saw a deal that ended up totaling $75 cash and about $8 in gas I went for it...

Behold a Technics RS-B50 cassette deck:

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This is a straight-ahead 2-head single-direction cassette deck. The neat thing is it has onboard dbx noise reduction in addition to Dolby B and C. It needed a little cleaning up, but not a lot, and I think it’s seen a pretty easy life. Cosmetically it’s a solid 8.5 out of 10, and everything works as it should. I was surprised...was expecting it to be in need of a capstan belt and expected the pinch roller would either be hard as a rock or soft as gum. Neither is the case. It just works. Cleaned up the pinch roller and it feels like new:

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Ran some time ladders and recorded some program material and everything is in spec and it sounds really nice.

And then there was this thing...a 16x2 rack-mount mixing console made by Phonic.

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Now, this is no boutique mixer...it’s a budget model, but it’s got a decent feature set for what it is (phantom power, 3-band EQ with swept mid band, 3 AUX busses, one of them globally switchable pre/post, PFL circuit, a little assignable talk-back mic input, inserts on all inputs and outputs)...and it sounds alright. And I enjoy opening this stuff up to see how it was designed. I think some engineer got their way against the marketing team and the bean-counters on this one...each channel is on its own card, all wiring is connectorized and/or point-to-point, and each card is mounted by two screws to the frame...all pots are individually nutted but to an individual channel structural member, so once the cover is off the chassis, pull the knobs off of a channel, remove two screws and unplug two harness connectors and a channel is out. That’s not as convenient as individual plug-in modules, but it’s a whole lot more serviceable than scads of more expensive gear out there:

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All the jacks are individually nutted too...chassis is all steel and the faceplate is relatively thick in addition to each card having its own steel structure. So while it isn’t boutique, it’s kind of neat and physically should stand up to quite a bit...if I had a bar that did live music and I was on a budget I’d have no qualms about using something like this.

And then there were a couple boxes like this:

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Full of stuff like this:

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Much of it was junk...really cheap hi-z unbalanced mics (but I’m keeping a couple anyway), low quality bulk wire...stuff like that...the second box though was full of XLR-XLR cables of varying lengths, 7 long ones and 9 short jumpers, but all with good quality cable and genuine Switchcraft connectors...this is not to say the first box was a bust...there was this:

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That’s a Shure Unidyne 544...low impedance balanced mic...father of the SM-57...this 544 has a less common PITA threaded 4-pin connector on it, but an acquaintance had an adapter that screws on that he sold me for cheap...it’s a beautiful mic...
 
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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
And that’s not all...

I got this in the $75 bundle too...an Alesia RA-100 power amp. It will clean up nice. I haven’t tested it yet, but have no reason to suspect it doesn’t work.

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I don’t know much about these amps, but in looking at the schematics it looks like these are fully discrete...no opamps in the input or output stages...I wasn’t expecting that.
 
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cyrano

New member
Nice buy!

The Alesis is THE budget studio monitoring amp. Sounds good, easy to service.

Funny, I just bought a DBX cassette deck myself, just in case I come across some DBX encoded vinyl. I just discovered a year ago that exists...
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I guess we can safely say that your audio illness is not over yet...even if you're not as active as you use to be! :laughings: ;)

:thumbs up:

The audio illness is chronic and persistent...it’s just more in the background these days...but there are things I’m itching to get to.

[MENTION=106439]cyrano[/MENTION] thanks for the info on the Alesis amp...yeah it looks like smart design especially for a budget amp...and that’s funny you mention the dbx encoded vinyl because the Technics deck has two dbx settings, one for line input sources and one for phone input sources...interesting to find gear that interfaces with concepts that didn’t take off.

Oh shoot I can’t believe I forgot to share another piece of gear I got in the $75 bundle (a.k.a. “but wait...there’s more!”)
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Well obviously I tend to agree.

Here’s the next installment of what was in the bundle...

Allen & Heath MixWizard WZ16:2DX 16x2 mixing console. Pretty cool mixer...dual stereo onboard effects, 4-band EQ with sweepable mids, 6 AUX busses with lots of per-channel internal and external configuration possibilities, long-throw faders, some neat features in the master section for different applications, multi-position jack-panel...again this one lived in a cabinet. It’s dusty, but it will clean up nice. Haven’t even powered it on yet.

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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Looks like you bought the Australian version

Alan

:D :D :D

I still can’t figure out why the forum site does that to thumbnail pics. If you click on the thumbnail it opens up in the correct orientation...or...maybe it came from down under. :laughings:

[MENTION=7442]mixsit[/MENTION]: I’m pretty sure it all works...it’s all working pull stuff...I know the Phonic rack mixer is 100% as is the Technics cassette deck. So...fingers crossed...and now for the capstone...yes...there was yet one more item in the bundle...

This...

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A Tascam 488...mkI...the pic is before I cleaned it up, but it didn’t need much. It’s got a few minor scuffs but overall it’s in good shape. All it needed was a capstan belt, which I already purchased and installed. Did a deep clean of the guts in the process, took all the knobs off and scrubbed with toothbrush etc. and guess what? It’s 100% functional. Not even a scratchy pot to speak of. The pinch roller needed some cleaning but the rubber is good...heads look beautiful...I don’t think it’s had a lot of miles put on it. My youngest son and I tested it out last weekend...made a little dub song...had some fun hooking up my old Quadraverb and Roland analog echo box. My son has taken a real interest in music and audio production, computers...anything tech, really...but making the song was a great opportunity to reinforce what I’m teaching him about fundamental mixing console operation, multitrack recording and mixing process and theory...gain staging, and even just basic concepts...understanding what different types of busses are, different types of sources, how you use them and why. He now knows how to get any input to any tape track, monitor live sources and tape tracks while overdubbing, use effect busses (he’s a natural with getting great whacked out dub echo), and basic mixdown procedures. It was a lot of fun...the 488 sounds great.
 

RFR

Well-known member
What????? You got ALL that for 75 bucks???????

You have the gift of gab, is the seller mentally retarded?? Are they on their deathbead??

I used to like you......now I'm just in envy of your deal finding skills.

:D:D :D
 

Gtoboy

Well-known member
You sure that box didn't just "fall off the back of a truck"? Some founds are definitely lucky
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
What????? You got ALL that for 75 bucks???????

You have the gift of gab, is the seller mentally retarded?? Are they on their deathbead??

I used to like you......now I'm just in envy of your deal finding skills.

:D:D :D

Oh my best one was still this haul for $300: What I got for $300

Another good one was the Tascam 58-OB and 48-OB decks for $250 for the pair.

Or the Tascam BR-20T with factory correct rolling rack and RC-402 remote...and a box of other parts, cabling, etc. for $350.

[MENTION=94267]miroslav[/MENTION]: okay...that was sick and wrong there...and yet so funny. :D

[EDIT]

Oh and the 3M M-64 halftrack I got with 5 channels of electronics in excellent condition...I got it as a trade for the Ampex AG-440C-4 transport I got in the "$300 Haul" linked above...that's right...I got the 3M and all the electronics in trade for the 440C transport only (no electronics), and the 440C transport came to me as part of the horse trailer load of stuff I got for $300.

Or the Tascam 388 I got along the manual and RC-71 remote with three rack-mount effects processors and 9 reels of tape for $200. The 388 needed a couple minor repairs and some cleanup, but otherwise was good machine with low hours...cleaned up really nice.

I think I'm just bragging now. Look at it this way...There is NO way I'd ever be able to afford this stuff if I didn't find the good deals, but in turn I post all kinds of useful stuff here about all this stuff, so...I dunno...whatever. :D
 
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RFR

Well-known member
See, now you're just busting our balls. :D

I did manage to snag one away from you and the Oregon crowd. ;)
I got my msr16 about 2 hrs outside of Medford.
A super clean, been boxed up for years tape machine. Only about 30 hours on it.
Guy was asking 500 bucks. Without trying to grind him, I pointed out the pinch roller would need to be replaced cause it had turned gummy. He immediately dropped the price to 300.

Score! Came wirh the remote too.

But most of the time I end up paying fair mkt values. I seem to find those that know exactly what they have, what it's worth and dont want to budge. :D
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Look at it this way...There is NO way I'd ever be able to afford this stuff if I didn't find the good deals, but in turn I post all kinds of useful stuff here about all this stuff, so...I dunno...whatever. :D

Man...don't feel guilty when you can score a deal. I LOVE haggling and scoring good deals!!! :thumbs up:
 

RFR

Well-known member
Look at it this way...There is NO way I'd ever be able to afford this stuff if I didn't find the good deals, but in turn I post all kinds of useful stuff here about all this stuff, so...I dunno...whatever. :D

Just giving ya a hard time. Nothing the matter with a good deal. There's not a good deal that ever went down for a buyer, that didn't happen with the seller's consent. ;-)

To add to what you're saying;

You do document repair and restoration work for the benefit of all of us. And sooner or later you'll sell and pass on a piece of gear. The buyer can be assured of either full functionality, or at least, full disclosure.
That's a far cry from getting gear on ebay.
(It worked just fine before I put it in storage :))

Seeing some of the work you've put in, yeah, you might have made a bit more than you bought if for, but I doubt you turned an actual profit or even made a living wage.
It's evident (to me anyway) that this stuff is a labor of love.

So, as [MENTION=6814]Miro[/MENTION] says, shouldn't feel guilty
:D
 
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sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Yes it is definitely a labor of love...hard to explain why I enjoy cleaning something up and making it work, and why those somethings have to do with audio recording and processing, but there it is.

Sold the Phonic rack mixer to a fella in his 70s starting up a band again. I gave him a good deal...he was extremely happy, and I made a little something and learned about a new piece of gear I'd never had my hands on before...sold the Technics cassette deck under similar circumstances. On the Unidyne 544 mic I got a good deal on the 4-pin Amphenol to XLR mic adapter from an acquaintance, cleaned up the mic and soldered up the adapter...mic works great...into the mic case it goes...vintage SM-57. My youngest son now has a friend of his that is chomping at the bit to learn more about recording...my son told him about the recording session he and I had using the 488...now his friend wants to join the fun. That's just about perfect right there. I'm sure I'll help somebody else out with all those good mic cables...I don't need that many. The amp I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that yet...The Allen & Heath console, well I'm itching to clean that up and test it...probably after the holidays. But I'll put that out there for a good price and some buyer and I will be happy with the deal. This all seems pretty good to me.

:guitar:
 

RFR

Well-known member
Yes it is definitely a labor of love...hard to explain why I enjoy cleaning something up and making it work, and why those somethings have to do with audio recording and processing, but there it is.

Look at it this way. You're an environmentalist. ;) You recycle audio gear that goes back into use. That is a hell of a lot better than it ending up in a landfill. The stuff gets some use, makes someone happy, and you get the satisfaction of having made that happen. As an added bonus it's educational to us and probably yourself as well.

sounds like a win win to me.
 
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