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Author Topic: Check out Sony studio in NYC  (Read 33812 times)

Offline audio salvage

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2009, 07:46:05 AM »
Mikel,

ERP = erase, record, play
The stock heads are used with the Cello unit, the preamp on the head assembly is bypassed.

We sold the Cello electronics for a reason.
After living with stock and Cello modified A820, our engineers preferred working with the stock machines for 2 track or switched to ATR Services rebuilt ATR 104 machines.
Dominick Costanzo
Battery Studios / Sony Music Entertainment

Offline mikel

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2009, 02:08:08 PM »
Mikel,

ERP = erase, record, play
The stock heads are used with the Cello unit, the preamp on the head assembly is bypassed.

We sold the Cello electronics for a reason.
After living with stock and Cello modified A820, our engineers preferred working with the stock machines for 2 track or switched to ATR Services rebuilt ATR 104 machines.


Dominick,

thank you for the explanation. interesting you prefer stock to the Cello. i do really enjoy the performance of the stock circuit in my A820; however, a few weeks ago i was able to hear a custom circuit A/B'd (a friend wired a switch in front of the heads) with the stock circuit and it was lower noise, more natural, and more detailed. it was easy to hear a layer of grunge on the stock circuit in direct comparison to the custom circuit. having heard that i'm very much interested in improving my stock Studer circuit.

the one problem with the custom circuit was that the bass slam and microdynamics was better with the stock circuit.....likely the custom circuit was not perfectly matched to the Studer heads (or maybe some other issue with the circuit).....which is why i asked about what heads the Cello circuit was designed for.

anyway, i really appreciate the information.

i also have a Jeff Gillman (MDI Precision Motor Works) refurbed ATR-102 i'm also wanting repro electronics for.
Mike Lavigne

Offline ironbut

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2009, 03:07:22 PM »
Mike,

I think that there is a difference between the needs of a studio and listening pleasure.
After all, the Cello electronics were designed with the end user in mind. They were, however, adopted by several studios for production of several releases. The CD releases of the Mercury 3 tracks and Pope Music were two that come to mind.

For machines used for transfers, accuracy is paramount. Any enhancement of the playback should be done later by a mastering engineer before a product is released. Getting these master tapes transfered to digital leans more to the scientific than the artistic end of the continuum and I believe this is how it should be.

I'm sure there are practical considerations I could only guess about. It could be that some of the automated features of the 820 are lost when the internal playback electronics are bypassed?
steve koto
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Offline MylesAstor

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2009, 03:40:15 PM »
Mikel,

ERP = erase, record, play
The stock heads are used with the Cello unit, the preamp on the head assembly is bypassed.

We sold the Cello electronics for a reason.
After living with stock and Cello modified A820, our engineers preferred working with the stock machines for 2 track or switched to ATR Services rebuilt ATR 104 machines.


Domenick-

As I remember it, Sony got the Cello electronics several years ago (including the equalizer) for a project restoring some older tapes? Which recordings they were escapes me right now.

Did the engineers prefer the sound of the stock Studer because of sonics or other reasons?

Myles
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Offline audio salvage

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2009, 07:01:00 PM »
The Studer / Cello machines were purchased by Sony Classical early '90's.
When Sony Classical moved into W 54th St. in 1994 the machines came with them.

As Mikel mentions, the modified circuit he heard was quieter & more detailed but something was not right with the bass. There is always a give & take and the tradeoffs must be chosen to best fit the program.

Each of the 9 mastering engineers at Sony NYC 54th St. had different reasons why they preferred a machine. The did not all choose the same machine. Some preferred Ampex, some Studer, some chose machines on a project by project basis, but the Cellos were rarely used.



« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 07:17:28 PM by audio salvage »
Dominick Costanzo
Battery Studios / Sony Music Entertainment

Offline microstrip

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2009, 05:43:30 PM »
I have never heard the Cello tape machines, but I had some experience with Cello units in the 90's, as I owned several Cello systems at that time - first a Preamplifier Palette and Duet amplifier, later an Audio Palette and Etude amplifiers. The electronic modules used in the more expensive units (as well as in the Apogee based reference DAC)  had definitively a "flavor", adding body and some sweetness to sound, making it very nice sounding. But the cheapest units, based in Analog Devices ICs were cleaner sounding - the Preamplifier Palette and Duet were a fantastic match for Quad ESL63, making a very neutral system.
Another characteristic of the Cello units was that they were difficult to match with other brands.
Francisco

Offline newmedia

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2009, 05:03:15 AM »
Folks:

I have one of the Cello 4-track Audio Suites from that auction.  John French and I bid together for one of the machines, having arranged that he would take the RTR w/ headblock and I would get the electronics w/ Cello head cabling (this one had no PSU).  Another fellow got 2x complete A820 units as well as an A800, while the last one went to another guy.

I'm planning to interface my unit to my Otari MTR-20 for 4-channel playback one of these days.  I have substituted 2x HP lab power supplies to replace the +/- 30VDC from the Cello PSU.  Yes, I'm still looking for a source of three-channel stereo masters. <g>

There was also a fairly complete stereo Audio Suite + PSU that sold at that classic auction for $5K (or so) and then was resold by a UK dealer for around $8K, as I recall.

Sony was a big customer for Cello back in the day.  When Sony started selling "surplus" on eBay, I bought a variety of items and woundup with a three-chassis stereo mastering Audio Suite, which had been replaced by a 7.1 Massenburg setup.  I sold that unit to a collector and mu guess is that it's sitting in his warehouse.

Mark Stahlman
New York City
Stellavox: SM8, SU8, SP8, AMI48 / Nagra: IV-SJ, Digital / Otari: MTR-20, MTR-12 / Sound Devices: 744T, 788 / AMEK: BC II, TAC Bullet / Infinite Slope: 2.0, 1.8, 1.0, 0.8 / Bruel & Kjaer: 2133, 2144, Pulse

Offline ironbut

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2009, 11:42:41 AM »
I should have guessed that you would have been all over that auction Mark!

I'm not familiar with the MTR-20. I've searched for a listing of the models that Otari made and I've only found bits and pieces. Do you know of a site that has a somewhat complete listing of their machines?

Thanks again for sharing.
steve koto
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Offline newmedia

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2009, 01:23:27 PM »
Steve:

Sorry, I don't know of any comprehensive Otari now-and-then lists or websites.

I bought my MTR-20 from Fred Thal, the moderator of the (sometimes?) Studer list.

He is a collector of Studer and appears to be very knowledgeable.  He also apparently once worked at Otari and considered the MTR-20 to be the only Otari machine that was Studer "class."  You know how those Studer people are. <g>

Of course, the MTR-20 came too late to have any impact in the market and my guess is that only 200-or-so were ever made, which probably makes it even rarer than a Stephens.

I got a complete 1/2" 4-track machine plus the keys pieces of a 1/4" CTTC machine as spares plus the service manual -- without schematics which he said he never recieved. 

This all began when I bought a 1/2" 2-track headstack that was supposed to be for the much more common MTR-12 but it was really for the MTR-20.  Funny how those things happen.

There was one that recently sold on eBay in the LA area and its studio mastering cousin the 2-track MTR-15 shows up from time-to-time.  The MTR-15 would probably make a good TP machine, if you're looking for a bargain and aren't scared off by the brand.

Mark Stahlman
New York City
Stellavox: SM8, SU8, SP8, AMI48 / Nagra: IV-SJ, Digital / Otari: MTR-20, MTR-12 / Sound Devices: 744T, 788 / AMEK: BC II, TAC Bullet / Infinite Slope: 2.0, 1.8, 1.0, 0.8 / Bruel & Kjaer: 2133, 2144, Pulse

Offline ironbut

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2009, 02:18:41 PM »
I know that Doc was looking for an MTR-15 a while back (and it seems to me that I saw a machine hiding behind the counter at the studio the last time I was there that looked and awful lot like a 15).

A year or two ago I was at a warehouse that was packed with Studers and Otaris. Along one wall were a number of parts bins for Otari machines. If there's anything in particular you might need, PM me and I'll try and hook you up with the guy that had them.
steve koto
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Offline High and Outside

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Re: Otari MTR-20
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2009, 11:28:18 PM »
There was an Otari MTR-20 at the studio recently. I bought it off eBay from a seller in LA...probably the one you saw, Mark. It was originally a 1/2" 4-track, but I fitted it with a 1/2" 2-track play head and a Bottlehead Tube Repro. It'll be in the Magico room at CES if anyone's going to Las Vegas next month. After that, who knows?
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline ironbut

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2009, 12:41:15 AM »
Ok, so we have two guys with a wealth of first hand experience with the best machines out there.

It begs the question, what do you guys think of the MTR-20?
AFAIK, these were Otari's assault on the state of the art so how do they sound, operate and feel?
How do they compare to other top drawer machines and what are the differences between the 20 and 15?
steve koto
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Offline newmedia

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2009, 07:05:01 AM »
Steve:

My MTR-20 has done all that I expected of it -- excellent tape handling (from 7" to 14" reels) and I really like the ability to setup and align for many tape formulations.  I also like using the CB-120 autolocator.  This is a fully automated machine that was probably one of the last to be designed before digital took over, so it's the state-of-the-art at the end of the analog era.

It's a big-block studio machine, so the headblock is a prime candidate for substituting and the cabling should make it fairly easily for "wiring out" to external repro electronics . . . just as Paul has smartly done.

Plus -- much cheaper than an equivalent (?) Studer A820 and its a true 4-channel machine.  Minus -- much more rare so parts will be a problem and AFAIK there are no schematics floating around in case it breaks down.

Mark Stahlman
New York City
Stellavox: SM8, SU8, SP8, AMI48 / Nagra: IV-SJ, Digital / Otari: MTR-20, MTR-12 / Sound Devices: 744T, 788 / AMEK: BC II, TAC Bullet / Infinite Slope: 2.0, 1.8, 1.0, 0.8 / Bruel & Kjaer: 2133, 2144, Pulse

Offline ironbut

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2009, 12:30:00 PM »
Thanks Mark,

I would guess that the schematics should be easy enough to find for you. Doc has some contacts with Otari and I'm sure he can obtain those if we ask real nice.
I'd be surprised if many of the parts and accessories weren't available from them also.

There was a posting on the Ampex list a while back that stating a fellow in Chicago had bought up Otari's stock here in the US. Here's a link to the posting about that I made here.

http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,1186.0.html
steve koto
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Offline gamve

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Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2013, 07:52:40 PM »
Hi Guys,
Was lucky enough to pick up a nice condition MTR-20 1/2" 2 track very recently but unfortunately there was no
manuals included. Can anyone point me to where I may be able to purchase both user and service manuals or
is this as I suspect highly unlikely?  Perhaps someone can help with scanned copies. I would of course compensate
properly for time effort and materials

Kind Regards
Graham
Graham Van Essen
(Living in the past in an analogue dream)