Can you believe it? Tape Project is ten years old! Thanks to everyone who has supported us in introducing studio quality tape reproduction to the audiophile community!

Author Topic: Otari MTR-20 -- Keep or Sell?  (Read 3742 times)

Offline newmedia

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Otari MTR-20 -- Keep or Sell?
« on: June 12, 2012, 09:47:34 AM »

Can anyone report their experiences with the Otari MTR-20?  I'm trying to figure out what to do with the one I have -- put it to good use or sell it?

This machine represents the industry's *final* push for studio mastering decks, sometimes compared with the Ampex ATR-102/4 or the Studer A820 (or maybe the Nagra TA, which is 1/4" only.)

It is sophisticated and robust 1/2" machine with 4-channels of electronics and can handle 14" reels but , alas, typically appears on the market with only its 4T 1/2" headblock.  (For my machine, I've got new 2T 1/2", 4T 1/2" and CTTC 1/4" headblocks -- where today's $10K Nagra TAs only have the CTTC setup.)

I'm told that only 200+ were ever made (which is why I have the essential parts of a 2nd machine as spares), so experience using them is probably limited.

Should I keep it or let it go into someone's studio where they can really use the 2-track 1/2" heads and auto-calibration capabilities?

If you'd rather discuss than post, call me at 212-699-0755.


Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
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 rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
  • For The Love Of Music
    • View Profile
    • Power Telecommunication for business & the church!
Re: Otari MTR-20 -- Keep or Sell?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 11:39:08 AM »
Hello Newmedia,

I had the awesome MTR-15 which was also developed for the studio as a pro machine. It was a very advanced tape deck but, was not portable. It took up more room than I could allow and certainly not wife friendly. Moving from Baltimore to Georgia gave me the excuse I needed to sell it. It's unfortunate I did not have a dedicated space for music at the time because it was a beautiful machine and very well made.

Bottom line, if you have the space and want a tape deck that can do literally everything, keep it. On the other hand if you will not use all or even most of its function and really don't have the room for it, sell it and get something you like and can use.

bob w.
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.