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Author Topic: Studer/Mark Levinson?  (Read 5305 times)

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Studer/Mark Levinson?
« on: December 26, 2007, 01:34:15 PM »
Has anyone seen that Mark Levinson recorder on Ebay? Check out the price on that baby. I can't believe any machine that old can be worth that much $$$$$! Well, yes I can. And to think, I'm trying to talk a guy down from an asking price of $500 for his Studer B67. What a bummer it is to be poor. Well, I guess the seller gets what the market will bear on this one (smile).

Bob W.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 01:40:34 PM by rbwtapeinterlink »
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 Harry Hasbun

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 08:55:51 PM »
From what I understand this is an A-80RC, with ML mods.  Your right about a lot of money, I wonder if it is that much better than a stock RC?  Would an RC with a Bottlehead amp be more practical?  Might sound better too...

Offline ironbut

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2007, 11:04:27 PM »
That's the first one I've seen for sale. The LNP-2 that the seller mentioned in response to some of the questions on the listing was the first "high end" piece of gear I ever saw. I remember it  cost $2300. 1970 ? or something like that. I think the Revox A700 that I was there to drool on was about $500 less. I remember thinking, "for $2300 it must be great!" What a good little consumer I was . There was a thread a while ago on the ML-5;
http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,56.0.html
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
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Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2007, 10:48:17 AM »
Mark Levinson was an amazing person. His amplifiers in particular were legend and very powerful. I did not think to much of his pre-amps. However, I had a chance to see him at an audio show some years ago demostrate one of his monster amps. At that time he used a Magnacord tape deck to demo his stuff. His power amps provided thunderous bass response with somewhat pinched but sweet highs. I traveled down the hall and heard a Crown tape recorder being demostrated and supported by Conrad Johnson tube stuff. What awesome sound. Tube sound was the best. Audion Research was there also. The recording was Bach's Partita For Unaccompanied Violin. There was also, on that same tape, a recording of a mass by Bach. I was floored by the sound. I could hear every voice and they were layered from the front to the back of the hall where the tape was made. All of this I could hear clearly. From that moment on I lusted after a Crown Tape Deck and was able to get my hands on a Crown SX 722 which was awesome as far as I was concerned.  Well that was the past.

However, as I think back, there was no jazz recordings played. I longed to hear Max Roach/Clifford Brown or Billy Holiday. Jazz was not played in those venues then. What a shame. Thanks guys for taking me back a bit. Those were joyous times anyway.

Bob W.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 11:25:35 AM by rbwtapeinterlink »
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 High and Outside

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 11:19:35 PM »
I longed to hear Max Roach/Clifford Brown ...
Bob W.
I'm with you, Bob
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Offline kftool

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 08:36:28 PM »
Hi Bob,

  I saw the ebay post and thought the seller was relying on the ML legacy to score a bonanza.
The Studer A 80 transport is a beauty. A month or so ago one was sold for less than $400 on ebay. The only problem was that it had to be shipped from England <>*!! IMHO transports that old, coupled with electronics that probably need to be re-capped due to age, shouldn't cost $12,000 just because of a Mark Levinson pedigree.

  Two months ago my wife and drove from Richmond, Va. to York, Pa. to attend a one day seminar at ATR Services learning about the fine points of analog tape theory.  The day consisted of 3 hours in  classroom discussion, a lunch of pizza, and 4 hours in a lab environment. The theory pointed out the fact that the MIGHTY AMPEX HEADS don't measure up to todays technology. My Ampex 351-2, I bought new in 1958 with only about 1500 hours on the heads, still sounds great on my TTP tapes but I have no illusions that it is as good as it gets.

  The afternoon consisted of hands on adjustments of two  ATR 100 machines. These are the same machines that Mike built for TTP.  When you take a machine that pushed the envelop in tape transports, and couple it with electronics that are fully refurbished and guaranteed to exceed original Ampex specs by 60%, with a one year guarantee what could be better.  There goes my kids inheritance!!

     In high end audio circles, Mark Levinson is known as the father of  HIGH END AUDIO. While Harry Pearson might dispute that fact, Mark Was better at audio  innovation than he was at running a business, we all can't be perfect. He cleared a path for better sound reproduction that others have widened and extended. He deserves credit for opening our ears to how good recorded sound can sound. but time and technology march on.

  IMHO, anyone willing to spend $12,000 for a tape machine,  only needs to look at the pedigree of the ATR machines and what they have to offer.

  Ken Fritz

Offline ironbut

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 09:03:39 PM »
That must've been a great seminar Ken. Did they say where the next one would be? I agree with you totally about the money that the ML machine is going for. I emailed Mark a long while ago hoping he could post some details about his "tape project"  and the mods he made to the A80s. Never happened of course, maybe if I'd bought one of his BobCat digital enhancement systems he might have taken me more seriously. He did send me a couple of nice replies and wished the Tape Project good luck. I remember hearing a rumor that he'd equipped Chick Corea's home studio just after Corea's Return to Forever days. I never was that crazy about the Cello gear that I heard so that kind of tarnished my opinion of him. That is, until he married Kim Cattrall! Then he was my audio hero!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline kftool

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 05:46:47 PM »
Hi Steve,

  It was a great day and I learned much about tape theory and Mike's ATR machines. I was in a group of 6 attendees. All were in the business of running a studio and producing CD's etc. I was the only audiophile so I kept my mouth shut and listened and learned for much of the day. Two of the guys were there to pick up the ATR machines they had Mike build for them. Both were two track at 15 and 30 ips, one being a 1/4 inch machine and the other a 1 inch machine. Both owners were going to use the machines for a final mix down.

  While there was a good deal of technical information about analog tape, the main thrust was in the direction of the capabilities of the ATR machines. The cost of the one day seminar was $250. Bench time at ATR is $110 per hour. Mike and His tech spent the entire day with our group so they lost money that day. Those that attend can get a $100 refund on the seminar fee toward the cost of an ATR Tape machine. I hope I'll be able to take them up on the offer in a few months. Scheduling is dependent on the number of respondents the get over any particular time period. Mike said ours was a small group and some were as large as 12.

  Before I became aware of TTP and heard their demo at last years CES I only had fond memories of my Ampex. After hearing their demo at CES I've gone overboard with tape machines. I plan on dragging my audio buddies to live venues in Richmond to record real music and have a little fun playing it back on our home systems.

  If you have an interest in tape machines, call Mike at ATR and find out when he's scheduled the next seminar. Be aware of the fact that once you spend an afternoon pushing the silent controls and actually adjusting bias, eq. etc. on an ATR, you might just be tempted to spend you kids inheritance too.

  As with all audio gear, upgrades are available. ATR's Aria electronics, Discrete, solid state etc. adds  another $4,000 the the ATR's base price of $10,500 . Bottlehead's tube electronics are about the same as the Aria. In both cases it may be gilding lilies, but what else is money for but audio gear?<>*.

  Happy new year Steve,  Ken

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Studer/Mark Levinson?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2008, 07:50:13 PM »
Hello Ken,

What an exciting experience that seminar must have been. And to actually get some hands on time was fantastic. As stated in an earlier post, I only met the man (Mr. Levinson) once but that was enough to let me know what a brilliant man he was. As a matter of fact I first became aware of him when I began read "The Absolute Sound" and "Stereophile" magazines. Those were exciting times for me and many times I would be the only African American at these audio shows. I have loved audio since I can remember and love it more now in my older age (smile).

I would certainly hope to be able to get to one of those working seminars in the near future. Right now I am in the process of putting my home on the market with some incentives to help sell it. Finally, Ken keep me informed regarding how your recording sessions turn out. What will you use to accomplish this task? I'd love to know all the details. Thanks for sharing my friend.

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.