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Author Topic: Otari MX-5050 BII  (Read 5806 times)

Offline DRCope

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Otari MX-5050 BII
« on: May 03, 2007, 12:28:06 PM »
A funny thing happened to me after doing some reading here on the Tape Project. I meant to "watch" a handful of promising decks on eBay and got lazy. Instead of marking something as watched, I just made an initial bid thinking it wouldn't stay on top and I could watch it that way. A few days later I discovered I was the only bidder and now own an Otari MX-5050 BII. Oops, or D-oh! as the case may be. It's shipping from CA to CT today, so it'll get here around the end of  next week and I'll see what I've gotten myself into.

The tape project tapes should be amazing, and I also plan to use it to do live recordings of choirs and classical and jazz ensembles in the area. I've got a great pair of mics and mic pre, but my A/D converter kinda sucks and I just keep thinking it would all sound much better if I stuck to analog.

Started this thread to try to create a magnet for other BII owners to share experiences, especially if anyone is planning to use Tape Project electronics on one.

Dave Cope
Moving from hifi show exhibitor to producing new, analog recordings of small classical, jazz, blues, folk/roots music.

The gear just got bigger and heavier. Who knew?!

Offline AZ_Gary

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2007, 01:35:20 PM »
Dave,

Thanks for starting this. I have a Technics RS1506 and an Otari MX-5050BII-2. Due to some space limitations in the E.C. (read WAF), I will need to use the Otari in my "main" system. The Technics will stay in my darkroom system. I have built a tape version of the Seduction that is switchable between NAB and IEC. My plan is to try the IEC setup on the Otari and use the Seduction on the Technics. I did get the full operator/service manual for the Otari and will probably mod it for the Seduction at some point just to see the difference. The Otari seems like it will be very easy to use if I leave the electronics as they are, but am tempted by the all tube approach.

I'll post results as they materialize.

Gary
Gary Marklund
Sun City, AZ - USA

Offline mstcraig

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007, 09:33:10 PM »
I think your point about things sounding better if they were kept in the analog domain is the right one Dave. I have a ReVox B77II high speed that I have been doing live big band jazz recordings with for the past 2 years. The only time it goes digital is when I hook up the ReVox to my PC and make CD's from my tapes. I never cease to be amazed at how much information is lost just going from the analog original to a CD copy-these are all done as WAV's of course. To drive the point home, I'm bringing to the Stereophile show next week some of my master tapes to listen to on these wonderful modded Tape Project machines. It is important for me to hear for myself how far I've come with my recordings, and yet how far I have to go until I'm satisfied. It should prove an interesting lesson. Craig
Craig Sypnier
(Magnepan, VPI, Sumiko, Shure,
Belles Research, ReVox (A-77 and B-77), Scully 280-B, Teac A-2300SD, Nordost)

Offline DRCope

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 07:44:41 PM »
I was going to go to the S'phile show entirely because of the Tape Project machines & tapes, plus Omega Loudspeakers and Red Wine Audio. As it turns out, I'll be in VT with my wife picking up the cello I gave her for her 50th birthday. (I bet the cellos sound more like cellos in VT than in any room at the show . . .)

I'm looking forward to reading your impressions.

My deck should arrive day after tomorrow. After a thorough check-up, the fun begins! Maybe I'll finally find out what my Microtech Gefell M930 mics and Pendulum Audio tube mic pre really sound like!
Moving from hifi show exhibitor to producing new, analog recordings of small classical, jazz, blues, folk/roots music.

The gear just got bigger and heavier. Who knew?!

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 07:27:08 PM »
Dave,
Please keep me in the loop regarding your live recordings. I am over here in Baltimore and just love classical music, particularly large scale chroal works. Of course I have loved modern jazz since I begain listening to Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, T. Monk and Dizzy Gillesspie, Billy Holliday, Jeri Southern, Chris Connors and many others.

What you are about to embark upon sounds very exciting and a wonderful project I might add. I would just appreciate know how you are progressing. Thank you so much.

Bob Williams
Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline DRCope

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2007, 05:25:05 AM »
Well, I've done my first live recording: The recital for a summer voice master class program which my wife took, taught by a friend who is the director of the college and community choirs we sing in. I used the Microtech Gefell mics, Audio Note Vx cable into the Pendulum mic pre, with Telefunken and Siemens tubes in place of the Chinese dreck it came with, into the Otari. 7" reels of BASF 456 running at 7.5ips in-line. Mics on one stand using AER spacer bar at ORTF distance.

It was a small group, small audience, so everyone was on stage, facing the rear of the stage where the audience sat with its back to the rear curtain facing out toward the main seating. The mics were about 6' high in the center of the row of seats. Each singer was accompanied by a 7' grand piano, lid closed.

The sound is very real, very immediate. Listening is a lot more fun when you're not clenching the arms of your chair approaching peaks waiting for the digits to bite or the stylus to mis-track. When I played it back over headphones I kept jumping when a truck drove by the stage doors which were open since it was a hot August day.

The real revelation came when I transfered the recording to my MacBook Pro via FireBox. Some of the fine detail and more of the life than I care to think about fell out of the recording. I told the director, who always complains about how the recordings the college makes of the concerts don't sound like the concerts to him, that he has to come over and hear the reel-to-reel original.

Long live tape! Now if only the dam* deck didn't weigh about 50 lbs. Wrenched my back hauling it around, which has never happened with my MacBook Pro! ;-)

Those were the results without cleaning, aligning and/or tweaking anything since I bought the deck on eBay. Time to do all of the above and build the NAB/IEC modded Seduction. I also need to sell off a piece of spare audio gear so I can buy a selective sub to the Tape Project! I'll want to be properly equipped for VSAC '08.

(Doc - when do you think the site will be up for registration? I'm leaving for Milan today and would love to get formal commitments from Peter QAudio Note/UK to exhibit.)
Moving from hifi show exhibitor to producing new, analog recordings of small classical, jazz, blues, folk/roots music.

The gear just got bigger and heavier. Who knew?!

Offline docb

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2007, 09:06:24 AM »
Hi Dave,

One of my greatest pleasures of VSAC 08 so far is being able to say, "it's not my job". I am not involved that much in that actual timing of VSAC planning, I am just an adviser and figurehead. Michael and Carolyn Kilfoil are doing the planning, the website and all the other heavy lifting. Michael is working on the website this week, and I'm sure he is happy to discuss exhibitor commitments with anyone who might want to know more before the site is complete. I'm afraid I don't know if they have established exhibit room rates yet. There was a considerable amount of negotiation necessary with the Hilton since it is a much more highbrow venue than the Silverdale hotel with much more to offer in terms of services. I'm not sure how that ended up affecting exhibitor rates, but I do know that the Kilfoils aren't trying to get rich off of the show so the exhibitor pricing should be pretty reasonable.

I should be talking to Michael when he comes up for air some time today. I'll mention your interest in Audio Note/UK's participation. I for one would love to see Audio Note/UK at VSAC, and attendees have asked before every show in the past if you guys would be there. With Audio Note/UK being one of the original SET kit manufacturers to come about in the 90's it's really as much an historical obligation to the attendees as anything, and besides I'd love to spend some time chatting with you and Peter.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline beefman

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Re: Otari MX-5050 BII
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 04:53:21 PM »
Well, I've done my first live recording: The recital for a summer voice master class program which my wife took, taught by a friend who is the director of the college and community choirs we sing in. I used the Microtech Gefell mics, Audio Note Vx cable into the Pendulum mic pre, with Telefunken and Siemens tubes in place of the Chinese dreck it came with, into the Otari. 7" reels of BASF 456 running at 7.5ips in-line. Mics on one stand using AER spacer bar at ORTF distance.

It was a small group, small audience, so everyone was on stage, facing the rear of the stage where the audience sat with its back to the rear curtain facing out toward the main seating. The mics were about 6' high in the center of the row of seats. Each singer was accompanied by a 7' grand piano, lid closed.

The sound is very real, very immediate. Listening is a lot more fun when you're not clenching the arms of your chair approaching peaks waiting for the digits to bite or the stylus to mis-track. When I played it back over headphones I kept jumping when a truck drove by the stage doors which were open since it was a hot August day.

The real revelation came when I transfered the recording to my MacBook Pro via FireBox. Some of the fine detail and more of the life than I care to think about fell out of the recording. I told the director, who always complains about how the recordings the college makes of the concerts don't sound like the concerts to him, that he has to come over and hear the reel-to-reel original.

Long live tape! Now if only the dam* deck didn't weigh about 50 lbs. Wrenched my back hauling it around, which has never happened with my MacBook Pro! ;-)

Those were the results without cleaning, aligning and/or tweaking anything since I bought the deck on eBay. Time to do all of the above and build the NAB/IEC modded Seduction. I also need to sell off a piece of spare audio gear so I can buy a selective sub to the Tape Project! I'll want to be properly equipped for VSAC '08.

(Doc - when do you think the site will be up for registration? I'm leaving for Milan today and would love to get formal commitments from Peter QAudio Note/UK to exhibit.)

Stellavox SP7T. Tubes AND portable. Just seriously expensive...
Jeff Kane
Owner of many decks; in possession of few!