Otari Mx5050BQii 4 channel deck XLR to RCA problem :SOLVED:

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
So the switches had no effect? This is important. I’m asking specific questions because I need specific answers. So, did the switches have any effect at all on the input signal?
 

Jzoha18

Member
So the switches had no effect? This is important. I’m asking specific questions because I need specific answers. So, did the switches have any effect at all on the input signal?
The switches had no effect on the signal input.
Could it possibly be the way the Mackie is wired interfering with the otaris XLRs but not my other RCA equipped decks? The channel access jacks are
Tip=output (send to external device),
Ring=input (return from external device)
And I'm inserting on first click
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I don’t think this is a wiring thing at this point per se. signal is connected and getting in but essentially not passing. If the signal you are faintly hearing was passing through the level switches, there would be *some* effect.

I need to read the 5050 BQII manual. I found a copy.
 

Jzoha18

Member
I don’t think this is a wiring thing at this point per se. signal is connected and getting in but essentially not passing. If the signal you are faintly hearing was passing through the level switches, there would be *some* effect.

I need to read the 5050 BQII manual. I found a copy.
Ok. I'm reaching out to my tech as well. I'm missing something here
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
So let’s verify:

the MONITOR SELECT section is set to INPUT, right?

And with your test wire configured with yellow to red, you just get faint signal at the output and the SW201 switches have zero effect on the signal?

question: where do you have the LINE input knobs set?
 

Jzoha18

Member
So let’s verify:

the MONITOR SELECT section is set to INPUT, right?

And with your test wire configured with yellow to red, you just get faint signal at the output and the SW201 switches have zero effect on the signal?

question: where do you have the LINE input knobs set?
Yes monitor select set to input. Yellow to red is faint and it decreases slightly the lower the line knob. I cranked it. Test originally done at 12 o clock. The switches seem to not have effected anything no
 

Jzoha18

Member
I would like to apologize to sweetbeats for taking up so much time. You and Rob showed excellent patience with me. This is the situation now. The monoprice cable and hosa reverser still don't work. But my XLR to RCA test cable do!!! Red is signal! And the deck is reading it nearly perfectly at 12 o'clock. This deck was calibrated and biased very well for MDS36 and should perform great. It did mic reproduction on initial test incredibly well. Truly a different level than a fostex or old tascam imo. Powerful preamps right on the deck for mics. In the end it was my fault. We used the internal oscillator controls to verify the channel 4 card came loose on shipping and I didn't even notice it had line as a selection or that it was set to only take signal from an external oscillator via that quarter inch input while I was dragging you guys through all these posts. I'm really sorry I feel like quite the moron. Here's the pictures. Hopefully you aren't annoyed and can get a good chuckle out of this. I think this should be in big bold letters in the manual and online for anyone who gets one of these decks to verify they are actually in line mode as I'm sure other users will buy these for the first time from a seller who has already had it calibrated and biased and it wouldn't surprise me if it's shipped left in that mode from the bench unknowingly like mine was. I'm so dumb I can't believe this LMFAO. Looks like I can get away with Jerry rigging some tape return cables and some input cables just fine and get to working. I do have a question though about the tape speed and head life if you still wouldn't mind? I'm of the understanding that running this deck at 7.5 IPS will extend the headlife of the machine by lessening the amount of wear because there's less speed passing across the heads?; The stacks heads have been tested and have full frequency response so they're basically perfect. Because of tape costs this deck is not going to be operated with 10-in reels but seven inch reels of the tape that it's been biased for and the idea is to get as much music out of each tape as possible at a reasonable sound quality so the idea was to run it at 7.5 IPS. With a deck of this quality how big of a Sonic difference is 7.5 versus 15 IPS for multitrack recording? Is the noise floor going to be significantly worse is the frequency was response going to be significantly muddied from running at a lower speed or should it handle just fine? I'm aware that 15 IPS is preferable to 7 and 1/2 but I'm just curious how much Fidelity you can squeeze out of 7.5 with four track multitrack recording from a machine of this quality?:thanks again for your patience and help!
 

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Papanate

Active member
Because of tape costs this deck is not going to be operated with 10-in reels but seven inch reels of the tape
There is no cost difference - aside from the amount of tape - with running 7" or 10" reels. You aren't saving any on the heads running at 7.5 ips versus 15 ips - but you will get more time.


I'm just curious how much Fidelity you can squeeze out of 7.5 with four track multitrack recording from a machine of this quality?
I don't know what the question is - do you want to know if you can get fidelity out of 7.5 ips? Think about it - 1/2 the speed - will you hear it? I would - but it doesn't matter unless you are going to run the deck at 15 ips becuase we say so - it won't make a difference.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
What really surprises me is how reluctant you are to fiddle. If it had been me, I'd have noted the original position of every switch and then just gone for it. You ask about the quality difference. Have you not simply tried it? Surely the first thing you do with a new toy is play! You find your test track - the one you use for quality assessment. The track I always start with is Dire Straits Money for Nothing - the original version with the drum stuff on the start. My other track is Alan Parson's Limelight. Lows and Highs, dynamic range and very clean sound. Record that to your reel to reel and then review what it records. Change the speed and repeat. I can predict what the difference will be, but YOU need to hear it and make your own decision. Frankly, what is the point of buying an expensive, capable device and then running it on less than optimum quality? If you buy a Maserati sports car would you ask on a forum if the performance drops if you run it on low octane fuel because a tankful is expensive? You have a great machine so treat it to some large spools of tape and run it at 15IPS. 7.5 simply lowers the top limit on your frequency response and raises the noise a little. Only you can say if this is good enough.
 

Jzoha18

Member
What really surprises me is how reluctant you are to fiddle. If it had been me, I'd have noted the original position of every switch and then just gone for it. You ask about the quality difference. Have you not simply tried it? Surely the first thing you do with a new toy is play! You find your test track - the one you use for quality assessment. The track I always start with is Dire Straits Money for Nothing - the original version with the drum stuff on the start. My other track is Alan Parson's Limelight. Lows and Highs, dynamic range and very clean sound. Record that to your reel to reel and then review what it records. Change the speed and repeat. I can predict what the difference will be, but YOU need to hear it and make your own decision. Frankly, what is the point of buying an expensive, capable device and then running it on less than optimum quality? If you buy a Maserati sports car would you ask on a forum if the performance drops if you run it on low octane fuel because a tankful is expensive? You have a great machine so treat it to some large spools of tape and run it at 15IPS. 7.5 simply lowers the top limit on your frequency response and raises the noise a little. Only you can say if this is good enough.
Well unfortunately I have to build cables and run a session before I really know. I spent the last week working on a fostex at 15 IPS and it worked very well. Obviously the wider track width would make a huge difference. These are just questions I have that I would like some opinions on. There isn't much info on 4 track reel to reel on quarter inch tape at 7.5 for multitrack online. Mostly guys recording LPs and they claim it works well. I do a lot of recording and this Otari was about as expensive of a deck I could run without huge costs in tape. I won't have time to really test it until the weekend but I'm very excited. Most of my experience is narrow format fostex stuff at 15 and a Teac A2340 at 7.5 which I can say doesn't do the best job but I think that's more on the deck not being calibrated and being first generation home recording equipment. I'll find out. The reason I was hesitant to fiddle is I had the seller and tech from the company who restored it in close contact and was hesitant to start really messing with stuff when they were offering to look at it. Ultimately I was right and it was a very simple thing that didn't require a tech. But this machine isn't a fostex or old teac. It's very simple to get inside of so I am more ok with looking around in it and trying stuff. I'm used to decks that people tell me basically are too complicated to work on and not worth fixing. This is the first one Ive had my hands on that is actually sustainable as a serviceble deck. I appreciate the help. I get very anxious about these machines. I'm younger and having something go bottom up means long wait times for servicing. Money lost and no music getting made. It took 4 other fostex decks before I found a model 80 that just works properly without headaches. Ive been burnt on decks like tascam 238s in the past as well. But I have a knack for finding stuff with boxes barely used. My 424mk3/porta 05 and mt8x were all basically unused decks. This Otari is the only reel to reel that's actually honestly been listed and and described and restored and setup. I'm kinda cursed with reel to reels. But things are looking up. If I can squeeze 4-5 songs out of a 30$ reel at 15 I most likely won't mind versus the longer times with slower speed. But if it performs far beyond my expectations at 7.5 I might just run that speed. I don't have unlimited funds for ATR tape ando wouldn't run it this way if was inappropriate but it was built to operate slower and with smaller reels so I don't think it's such a sin! But I'll find out soon! I appreciate your input a lot! Thank you!
 

Papanate

Active member
Well unfortunately I have to build cables and run a session before I really know. I spent the last week working on a fostex at 15 IPS and it worked very well. Obviously the wider track width would make a huge difference.
It't not a wider track - it's a faster speed

But if it performs far beyond my expectations at 7.5 I might just run that speed. I don't have unlimited funds for ATR tape ando wouldn't run it this way if was inappropriate but it was built to operate slower and with smaller reels so I don't think it's such a sin! But I'll find out soon! I appreciate your input a lot! Thank you!
Just run it at 7.5 ips and don't worry about it.
 

Jzoha18

Member
There is no cost difference - aside from the amount of tape - with running 7" or 10" reels. You aren't saving any on the heads running at 7.5 ips versus 15 ips - but you will get more time.



I don't know what the question is - do you want to know if you can get fidelity out of 7.5 ips? Think about it - 1/2 the speed - will you hear it? I would - but it doesn't matter unless you are going to run the deck at 15 ips becuase we say so - it won't make a difference.
I
It't not a wider track - it's a faster speed


Just run it at 7.5 ips and don't worry about it.
was referring to 4 channel 1/4 inch vs 8 channel 1/4 inch to clarify and I definitely will A/B the two speeds. I have faith this will work out great!
 

Chilljam

transitional phase
15ips vs 7.5ips shifts the machines EQ curve by an octave. For some music genres, I actually prefer 7.5ips for tracking.

When I had my Tascam MSR16 (and now a Otari 1/2" 4 track) both sound very good at 7.5ips when properly setup for that speed.
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Tascam 388 is 7.5ips. It’s rated frequency response starts at 30Hz. It wouldn’t be that way if it was 15ips.

Like others have said, try it at 7.5ips. If you like it you’re set. If the top end is missing something then you have decisions to make. This is assuming a machine that is calibrated and setup properly for the tape being used, and that can operate within spec.

And don’t forget there are all sorts of creative ways to coax your high end around with the EQ and bias, depending on the machine.
 

Jzoha18

Member
yea
Tascam 388 is 7.5ips. It’s rated frequency response starts at 30Hz. It wouldn’t be that way if it was 15ips.

Like others have said, try it at 7.5ips. If you like it you’re set. If the top end is missing something then you have decisions to make. This is assuming a machine that is calibrated and setup properly for the tape being used, and that can operate within spec.

And don’t forget there are all sorts of creative ways to coax your high end around with the EQ and bias, depending on the machine.
The machine has been calibrated and biased for the MDS36 i use. what i noticed is it is doing very well. only complaint is the hiss. im used to machines with noise reduction. im looking into DBX 150 units to clean everything up a bit and really get some serious mixes going off of it and i think i will be set. if the dbx will do its job at 7.5 ips i think ill be set. 15 works well too. still some hiss obviously but both are working just fine
 
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