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A visit to Flux Magnetics

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Had the great pleasure to spend a little of last week's vacation at Flux Magnetics. Proprietor Greg Orton most graciously allowed me to take a few photos to share of his amazing tape head manufacturing lab while he described the painstaking and incredibly precise process of making the world's best tape heads...

Here is a major repository of the most advanced audiophile knowledge. Left to right - Bob Hodas, world renowned room tuner, Greg Orton, tape head builder extraordinaire, and Paul Stubblebine, reel tape and mastering maven.

This is a two track head under construction, or rather half a head which will be united with its other half and then end-capped and potted. There can be as many as a staggering 200 custom made lams in that tiny coil stack, a number confirmed with one of the many stereo microscopes used in the lab. Nearly invisible wire used to wind coils and insulating materials measured in microinches that can disappear with an errant sneeze makes watchmaking seem like tractor repair in comparison.

This is the coil winding station. Coils are hand wound, hand tensioned.

One of the lapping machines. Once assembled with the aid of exceptionally precise jigs a head is lapped exactly enough but not too much (which would ruin the head). A final polish is performed by hand at another station. Inductance checks are made along the way to assure that the head will perform to specification.


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