eBay of the day: Spectacular, vast, 24-track reel-to-reel

People talk about analogue synths all the time, but there is something spectacularly, primally analogue about eBay item #250038798544, an enormous, monolithic Otari MTR-90 24 track two inch tape recorder from 1987, complete with 24 VU meters and a beautiful NASA-style remote control unit. This one is on eBay for £2,900, which I suspect is a tiny, tiny fraction of the original price way more than these things normally go for, apparently. It's being sold by Eurythmics' Church Studios in London, and the auction page is a treat for lovers of analogue porn, with many lingering closeups of the record heads. They're also selling a huge stereo reel-to-reel, currently just £199, and some big ol' monitors. (Thanks, Frank)


Comments:
I’m sure things like that aren’t too new, although I haven’t searched for reel to reels in a while on ebay. Whenever I used to look for (cheep) reel to reel 8 tracks I always used to find at least 1, 24 track, although I cant remember any prices, but they did seem to pop up at least once every 2 or 3 months or so.
 
The Otari MTR-90 is indeed a big rectangular prism with a lot of VU meters on the front, but there are a lot of way more vast/spectacular-looking 2" 24tks out there. The MTR-90 was a relatively affordable studio workhorse in its day -- but given a choice, most would rather use a Studer A-827, Ampex MM1200, or MCI JH-24. A little web searching for those models should result in even more exciting images of a not-gone, not-forgotten era (I use an MTR-90 at my studio).
 
Anonymous #2: Lets see some links to these more vast/spectacular items. I'm not disputing that they exist, but...

A-287 - Looks like a filing cabinet.
MM1200 - Looks exactly like this thing.
JH-24 - OK. That wooden panelling is pretty fly.
 
"spectacular, vast"? Its a 2" tape machine, not a the Hope Diamond.
 
those things are workhorses as someone said already..

much rather have a studer. some of those MCI machines sound pretty good though. studer remotes are better imho though.
 
way way way high asking price... you can generally find them around 2 grand US$, which is yeah, certainly low compared to the original retail prices.

and the woodpaneling on the MCIs was always SOOO trashy. love the late generation studers with the knight rider esque flip up digital meters... mmm....
 
My Schools got an otari 24 track and struder 2 track mastering machine, both of which sound freakin amazing. Long Live Tape!!
 
Yeah that's a pretty high asking price for something that fetches around the 1-2,000 gbp mark s/h these days. The description does claim new heads 4 years ago - course it doesn't say how many hours they've done since then.
 
I'm the happy new owner of a Studer A820; with the infamous "Knight Rider" meter bridge. Although the outside may indeed look like a filing cabinet, the inside is spectacular - it looks like a very large, complicated Swiss watch. Nearly every part is machined aluminum or stainless steel, and most of the hardware (screws, washers, bolts) is also beautifully machined, with not a stamping in sight. The previous owner of my machine spilled a red fluid (I'm hoping it was wine) over much of the machine, and I've spent the last few weeks disassembling and cleaning. When the 500 pound (you thought a CS-80 was heavy) A820 was released in 1989, the price was US $74.9K, enough to purchase a seaside cottage! I'm sure that the Memorymoog is gonna sound pretty good through this thing...
 
Ah, happy days. At the tender age of 14 I had a guided tour of The Church from Dave Stewart himself.

As the name suggests, the studios are actually within a converted church (in Crouch End). There are multiple studios, and the main one still has the choir gallery in it. When I visited, it also had a mammoth Synclavier set-up in one corner, and a badminton net strung across the room.

Lots of lovely wooden floors, it was an impressive facility.

I believe Dave Stewart sold the Church some time ago, and the current incumbent is David Gray.
 
Ooo - I've used an MTR-90, very nice piece of kit there... just won't fit in my room =(
 
I traded a DA88 for for an MTR-90 back in the late 90's. Quite a good deal, I thought, until I had to ship the damn MTR from Sydney to SanFrancisco!!!! Yikes!
 
I posted the second comment - and yeah, I guess I was thinking about the sounds and/or guts of those machines, and forgot that they don't actually look so impressive...

But OK, here's some better tape machine images - not all of them 2" 24-tracks...

Ampex MM1000

Studer A-80

Scully 280 (they made a 2" 16-track version of this machine, so, imagine it twice as big...)
 
Yup, that A-80 looks incredible, and the Scully has a definite Radiophonic Workshop vibe...
 
Where I used to work there was an 8 trk 1" MCI and a 2-trk MCI for mastering. They were way cool and great sounding machines, I think of them fondly still.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home
Music Thing on Twitter
    follow MT on Twitter

    Music Thing Hits:
    Music Thing Heroes:
    Music Thing Friends:
    My music gear for sale
    DIY Modular Synth
    Matrix Synth
    Create Digital Music
    Analog Industries
    Boing Boing Gadgets
    London Video Production
    Oddstrument
    Wire to the Ear
    Palm Sounds
    Noise Addicts
    Retro Thing
    Analogue Haven
    Music Thing Massive
    About Music Thing:
    Send tips to Music Thing
    About this site
    Music Thing Massive
    RSS Feeds


    Problem with the ads?
    Please let me know