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Author Topic: Otari MTR-15, Otari MX-50 and Sony APR-5000 one more time!  (Read 5073 times)

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Otari MTR-15, Otari MX-50 and Sony APR-5000 one more time!
« on: March 04, 2008, 11:06:31 AM »
Well my friends,

I finally got the word that the above three tape recorders are availble for viewing and purchasing. Bhek and I are scheduled to go see them on this Sunday at 10am. Two sets of eyes are certainly better than one. My hope is that as has been suggested, the recorders are not beat up and useless as recorde and playback instruments.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. I am very keyed up and can't waif for Sunday to get here. I plan to take my trusty lighted magnafying glass and tapes for testing. I have already been informed that there are no service records available so I will see what other good information I can get. I will probally have to go by visual content, but we shall see. Someone mentioned that it is equally difficult getting parts for the Sony and Otari MTR-15. This concerns me much. These tape recorders are located in Wheaton Maryland.  Any suggestions are welcomed. I will keep you informed.

Bob W.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 11:21:07 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 cam3xl

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Re: Otari MTR-15, Otari MX-50 and Sony APR-5000 one more time!
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 02:44:42 PM »
Gentlemen,

What a wonderful day in the neighborhood it's been.  This morning Robert and I FINALLY made the trip to the DC metro area radio station, to commendeer some of the last radiostation owned/retired RtR decks on the east coast.  More accurately, I escorted Bob on his journey.  Being new to all of this, these pro decks are a little beyond my comfort level.  That being said, even I could appreciate the engineering and smooth tape handling that they all displayed.  We were able to test each one of them and were given quite the royal treatment, but more on that later.  The Otari MTR-15 was the most impressive piece.  It was the one most recently retired and although a little dusty worked beautifully.  What took both of us by suprise was the sheer size of this machine.  You feel like your sitting at a studio board when it is in front of you.  Those bright VU meters lit up, on the head unit, and it was love at first sight.  Next up was the Sony APR-5000.  At a much more manageable size it was still very similar to the MTR-15.  The tape path seems very close to an isolated loop design as well.  I do believe that this is the deck Bob has chosen to work with.  While the big Otari may be a better machine, I think the size of it was a little putting off to him.  Last, but not least was the MX-50.  Digital counter, simple tape path, it reminded me very much of a beefy/pro 5050 IIB.  All three are on included rolling carts.  So, if there is no room in your rack, they can be rolled in and out of the way. 

So to put you all out of your misery, we acquired all three machines.  Convinced that it would be a tragedy for our little band of brothers to loose the opportunity to get such great used pro gear, or at least have access to parts, Bob took the risk of initial outlay with faith that there would be interested buyers among you.  Now, obviously these machines have been in storage at a radio station for as long as five years, so they are a little dusty.  Need the heads aligned, a couple of pots cleaned and who knows what other tweaking and minor repair.  But seeing as how most of us are modding the machines for project use anyway, they are all great starting points for those with the room and inclination for a pro machine TP experience.  Cosmetically they are clean!  I was hard pressed to find a scratch.  Like I stated earlier, Bob seems to have adopted the sony but I will leave those details for him to negotiate with you guys.

We were treated to a complete tour of a radio station that was built in 1932 and has not changed much beyond newer equipment added.  This place was a museum of vintage radios and transmiter equipment.  Old Philcos and Silvertones.  Vintage broadcast turntables with old 78 lacquer still on the decks.  We immediately regretted not bringing cameras, but our tourguide (one of the engineers who often works in the building alone) invited us back later this week to pick up a few missing accessories and gave us permission to shoot as much as we wanted.  We will post pics next weekend.

What a phenomenal experience it has been.  The radio station, the machines, the engineer, but most of all meeting Bob face to face and spending a sunny Sunday with him.  Lunch with him, at one of my favorite DC spots, was the best part of the day.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Seeing as Brother Bob is a collector of machines, as are so many of you, his new acquisition prompted him to release one of his other babies.  So I am now the proud owner of a new (to me) Otari 5050 IIB.  My very first deck.  I will now stop living vicariously through others and begin my own sick journey of tweaking and obsessing.

Thank you Bob, thank you Tape Project and thank you radio station guy.  This has been one of the greatest in my young audiophile life.  There is a GOD and he knows my heart.  And he prefers ANALOG!  :-)

Peace be with you all,
Bhek
Whatever sounds good,  Do that!

Peace,
Bhek

Pro-Ject Xpression 1, Denon DL-160 MC cart., Sony DVP-555ES SACD, Maple Tree Audio Ultra 4+ Pre, Audio Research D100 power, Onkyo Tuner, Otari 5050 IIB 2speed 2/4 track R2R.  Mirage OM-9.

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Otari MTR-15, Otari MX-50 and Sony APR-5000 one more time!
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 03:55:12 PM »
My "Tape Project" friends,

As Bhek has stated we had a wonderful time together. As a matter of fact, the time spent with this fine gentleman was worth the trip. I really can't say much more than he has already said. My only problem now is do I want to part with any of these recorders.

All of these machines are extremely heavy. It took Bhek, the engineer working at the facility and myself to get these monsters into the SUV. We still have to return to pick up the Otari MTR-15 later next week. We were only able to bring home the Sony APR-50002 and Otari MX-50.

All of these recorders will require service. Although we could see the basic operation of each recorder, it was obvious to us that service is needed.  In particular the Sony APR-50002 and the Otari MTR-15 are very complex and not operating as they should. Sitting for so long (5 plus years) in a warehouse type setting did not do these recorders any good. The engineer had to unstick everything.  I thought the place was rather cold and not temp controlled. 

Presently I don't plan to have any repairs done until my house is sold. At that point I plan to send the Sony and Otari to New Jersey to be serviced. No telling what that will cost, but these are classics and deserve the best service possible. Once up and running, I am sure that I will take better care of them than did the announcers, engineers, etc at the station.

I can honestly say I am no longer lusting after a Studer as I've been in the past. I've got enough stuff to keep me busy for a while. And once the repairs have been made on the Sony and Otari what else could I ask for. These are two very interesting and wonderful machines.

I am much shorter on cash, but I could not pass up the opportunity to get all three machines and I must say that Bhek was the catylist that pushed me over the edge on this decision. By the way, does anyone have bus fare until next week (smile).

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.

Offline ironbut

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Re: Otari MTR-15, Otari MX-50 and Sony APR-5000 one more time!
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 05:09:52 PM »
Wow Bob, I hope you don't live on a second floor! It sounds like you two had a great field trip. I love checking out places like that and if you have someone with similar interests along, it really makes it much more fun. Those are all great machines. I think when you get to that level, the tape handling is differences are pretty small. The condition of the machine is much more of a variable. As far as stuff sticking, 5 years is a whole lot of dust and deposits.
Well, congratulations on your new machines. That should keep you out of trouble for a while.
steve koto
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