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Re: [ARSCLIST] help in fair pricing of reel to reel machines
This guy only live 40 miles from me. The reason I asked about shipping
is if I sell one, I'd like for it to get there in one piece.
Richard L. Hess wrote:
Of course, condition drives price...and with these machines it's more
than just head condition.
I sold four Otari MTR-10/12s (including two 4-channel 1/2" ones) for
an APR-5003v and $500 and was happy they were gone (sorry, Bruce, but
we all have our pet machines).
Speaking of pet machines, mine are the Sony APR-5000 and the Studer
A810 -- I'm sure that I would love a Studer A820 but, for me, being
able to have a deep stock of otherwise unobtanium parts is more
important than the small increase in enjoyment (and probably not sound
quality) offered by the A820 (others will disagree, I'm sure).
For pristine APR-5003v's, I've paid up to $500 plus shipping. But they
better be working and pristine. Things to look for, are these APR5001
(mono) APR4002 (stereo) APR5003 (timecode) APR5003v (timecode plus)?
Take one of the large idlers apart (it should just unscrew). Is there
a cup and a 1/2" roller? If not, it's a very old machine and I would
probably pay $100-200 at the most depending on head configuration.
Steel instead of ceramic tape lifters would also put it into this
category. I'd pay little for a mono machine (they were at least listed
in the catalog) but the good news is you can probably convert it to
stereo and it MIGHT have seen less transport wear. The best deals are
the APR-5003 or especially the APR-5003v that saw life sitting in a
video post room that was there 'cause you had to have one but it never
saw any real use.
There are three NAB head blocks, two with brass-coloured Woelke R/P
heads, one of those has four heads and is off the 5003-series as it
does centre-track timecode. The third type uses Applied Magnetics
wideface heads which approach the Studer heads in low frequency bump
performance. Beware of wear and previous relappings, however.
The Studer A807 is widely used in archives, but while it is improved
over the A810 in some areas, it doesn't offer the alignment
flexibility of the A810 and I think the A810's symmetric transport may
be equal to or superior to the A807's, but the DC motors in the A807
may be a bit gentler and the shuttle control is a real plus. I use an
A807 with CBC stereo monitor bridge for tape prep (with a 4-track
Nortronics head and switching that lets me assign the four channels to
either of the two electronics channels. These go for $500 and up in
good condition, especially if they record (there are a lot of PB only
A807s out there). My best A807 and my two best A810s came from the TV
studio scenario described above.
Later MCIs (-C version?) use the same Woelke heads as the APRs so that
might be a reason to get it, but otherwise with the other machines
available, I can't see a reason to take one and maintain it.
The Ampexes are workhorses and Tom Fine told you the truth about the
tube electronics on the 350/351, but it may also be a transistorized
AG-350. The transistorized machines don't sell for all that much
(generally well under $500 and often in the $200 range). If I were not
well endowed with spares for the complex APR and A810 and A807
machines that I had, and I were interested in machines that can be
repaired forever using common tools and techniques, the Ampexes would
be my first choice. These are generally not constant tension devices
and have been reported to produce in some instances speed variations
between start and end of a reel, although others contest this fact.
The electronic alignment of the APR and the A807 (although the latter
is more limited) is very nice IMHO. All the others have screwdriver
How far away from you does this guy live? How far away from me <smile>
(I never say no to more pristine APR-5003 or APR-5003v machines)? Send
me digipix off list and I'll comment more.