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Author Topic: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?  (Read 18946 times)

Offline Ki Choi

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Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« on: December 23, 2009, 12:49:40 AM »
I know there are few Stellavox users such as Charles on this forum.

Which model would compete well in repro mode with Nagra T Audio and Lyrec Frida Mk II?
Ki Choi

Offline newmedia

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 04:38:06 AM »
Ki:

The Stellavox equivalent of the Nagra T-Audio is the TD9.  It was a studio machine that was mainly used for playback of field recordings.  In the TA case, these were often time-coded movie dialogue from an STC-IV.  The TD9 had the unusual capability of mounting 16mm-35mm film transfer heads as well as 1/2" and 1" mag-tape.  The head blocks and tensionometers were replaceable modules and it could accomodate up to 4 channels of audio.

These machines are quite rare and only a few of them seem to have made it to the US.  The two that I have located have 16mm heads.  Your best bet for information is the Rolland Schellin book "Stellavox: Voice of the Stars" (which both Charles and I contributed to) and the current "factory," which is JP Gurtner -- [email protected] at www.audioprojpg.com.

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 Brian C.

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 07:02:25 AM »
Owning and using a Stellavox portable is an "involving" experience, rather like owning a classic car or motorcycle - but with cleaner hands!
My SP7 is one of the very first (SN 690.003) and is mechanically much noisier than the Revox PR99 (which is a sweetheart to use but which is now relegated to spooling & splicing duties in another room).

It turns out that much of the noise was due to the original steel spring belt and swapping this with the neoprene belt for the feed reel of the ABR large reel unit has brought improvement. I think further improvement can be obtained by getting this belt off the machine completely. Has anyone found a source for suitable neoprene replacements? Vital statistics 17" x 2mm diameter.

To answer your question Ki I guess the Stellamaster version of any of the three portable models (7, 8 or 9) would be optimum, although I could only justify the extra expense if the machine was also to be used for recording. I don't think a 1/4" version of the TD9 exists although I could be wrong since Georges Quellet designed for maximum versatility.

Brian.
Brian Clark, One Inch Studio, London, UK.

Offline stellavox

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 09:25:56 AM »
Completely biased response:

Any "well working", stock Stellavox will sound better than a stock Lyrec or Nagra.  Plus, their electronics can be "tweaked" to significantly widen the gap.  Yes, changing the spring belt to neoprene on the SP7 (only neoprene on the 8 and 9) does quiet the machine down; and worn bearings make noise.
 
A TD-9 with the proper headblock and tensiometers could handle 1/4", 1/2", 16mm, 17.5mm and 35mm tapes. Good luck in finding them - have a firstborne to swap?  And, their repro/record electronics are basically the same as the SP series.  Reliability is questionable - there are at least two broken ones (out of maybe 15) in the US.

Charles

Offline stellavox

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 09:31:30 AM »
Forgot,

You can of course also "wire out" the headblock to outboard repro electronics

I maintain a complete stock of spares for the SP's, and AMI's.  Belts included.

Charles 

Offline Brian C.

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 09:50:06 AM »
BTW, noise apart, the SP7 sounds damn good. Better than the monitor feed of my PR99 Mk1 with its stock electronics.
A big, solid sound.

Brian.
Brian Clark, One Inch Studio, London, UK.

Offline HDVS

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 06:34:21 AM »
Ki:

The Stellavox equivalent of the Nagra T-Audio is the TD9.  It was a studio machine that was mainly used for playback of field recordings.  In the TA case, these were often time-coded movie dialogue from an STC-IV.  The TD9 had the unusual capability of mounting 16mm-35mm film transfer heads as well as 1/2" and 1" mag-tape.  The head blocks and tensionometers were replaceable modules and it could accomodate up to 4 channels of audio.

These machines are quite rare and only a few of them seem to have made it to the US.  The two that I have located have 16mm heads.  Your best bet for information is the Rolland Schellin book "Stellavox: Voice of the Stars" (which both Charles and I contributed to) and the current "factory," which is JP Gurtner -- [email protected] at www.audioprojpg.com.

Mark Stahlman
New York City


Hi Mark, nice to find you here!

Happy 2010 to everyone from Italy :-)


Giorgio
Ampex ATR102 1/4" & 1/2" - Nagra T Audio (2 units, one set for NAB, the other to CCIR EQ) - Nagra DII - Stellavox TD9 1/4" & 16mm perfo - Telefunken M15 - Telefunken M5 mono - Digitec F500 - ABE AG31 - Studer D820X - Studer 961 - EMT 100 - Crookwood Paintpot MkI

Offline docb

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 08:54:05 PM »
Kostas Metaxas is selling his TD9 w/1/4" and 1/2" headblocks-

http://cgi.ebay.com/Stellavox-TD9-studio-tape-recorder-VERY-RARE_W0QQitemZ250562670491QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a56b2ef9b

Having never heard one I have no idea if that is a reasonable price. I do know you don't have to worry about me snagging it before you...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline HDVS

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2010, 03:12:48 AM »
Wow, it's serial number is very near to that of my one (850.030).
I've swapped the XLR connectors in order to get "normal" arrangement for I/O. In the first units inputs were male (as per the old European standard, wiser in my opinion since live coneectors are always female...), as can be found on CCIR Nagra IV-S units too, and outputs were female.



About price: the last unit sold here in Europe in Dec 2006, went for Eur 7990.00 with only one headblock, so, what Kostas is asking, appears to be reasonable.

Giorgio
Ampex ATR102 1/4" & 1/2" - Nagra T Audio (2 units, one set for NAB, the other to CCIR EQ) - Nagra DII - Stellavox TD9 1/4" & 16mm perfo - Telefunken M15 - Telefunken M5 mono - Digitec F500 - ABE AG31 - Studer D820X - Studer 961 - EMT 100 - Crookwood Paintpot MkI

Offline Brian C.

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 05:04:24 AM »
I think Kostas is down to just one SM8 now. Perhaps keeping it for old time's sake?

The relentless logic of digital recording prevailed :o(

Brian.
Brian Clark, One Inch Studio, London, UK.

Offline newmedia

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Re: Most Ideal Stellavox model for TP tape play?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2010, 01:25:19 PM »
Giorgio:

Fancy meeting you here! <g>

Of course the headblocks/tensionometers are the really valuable part of all this, so with 16mm-only units being offered for $5000+, this does seem like the right price range for what will surely be a very unique buyer.

It was the need for more than two tracks in a portable machine that drove me away from analog recording.  I'm very interested in 3D sound and you need 4 tracks to record the space ambisonically + plus 2 more (plus?) for the "main act."  Therefore the Sound Devices 788T.

Since Kostas has long been distributing his recordings as 48kHz tracks on DVDs, I have been bugging him for years to take advantage of the medium -- which easily accommodates 6x tracks.

With the Nagra VI, he's finally got what he needs!

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