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Author Topic: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?  (Read 26844 times)

Offline Ben

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Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« on: August 14, 2008, 08:58:24 PM »
Well a good chunk more $$$, but world wide shipping fooled me.
I guess Canada comes under world wide.
For $1350 I pick can up a  Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III.
Is there any Got ya's with this machine.
From the AD
-----------------------------------

Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III. Reel to Reel Deck.
This is a super nice deck.
The cosmetics are great.

Multivoltage model.
It is a 2 channel 2 track, 7.5 and 15ips. Great for masters.

ReVox PR99 MkIII
Designed and manufactured in Switzerland and West Germany,

the PR 99 MK III draws on the same engineering expertise

that has made Studer the world standard for excellence in audio recording.

The PR99 MK III is a versatile , compact professional audio recorder, offering a long list of operating features for production flexibility.

This unit is in very good and clean condition as you can see it on the pictures .

INCLUDING : OWNER'S MANUAL In PDF file Format,

Power cord,

The Unit is in very good cosmetic & performing condition , with very few and very light scratches/marks as shown on the pictures - evidence of fine use .
Fantastic sound on playback and amazing quality of
recording.
The heads looks clean and in the good Condition as shown on the pictures .

Manufactured Willi Studer GMBH, Germany.
2 Tape Speeds 7 1/2ips and 15 ips.

AC line voltage Switchable: 100,120,140,200,220,240 Volt AC
Shipping weight approx. 75 lbs. , will be shipped from
U.S.A.

Features:

Balanced and floating line-in and line out.

Calibrated input and output levels ( Switch UNCAL=variable up to +10dB )

Full logic transport control

Digital counter in hours, minutes and seconds.

Build in vari-speed ( 33% to + 50% )

True auto locator with Zero-Locator

Input amplifier allow a maximum overload margin and active, linear output stages deliver levels up to 22 dBu.

Edit switch

Tape dump

Repeat function

rack mount flange

VU meters

Manufactured Willi Studer GMBH, Germany.
2 Tape Speeds 7 1/2ips and 15 ips.

Fully functional machine with excellent recording sound reproduction. very nice natural sound, plays great, operation silent, smooth & easy on the tape

German Quality!!

? integrated control logic with tape motion sensor provides for any desired transition between different operating modes.

? Contactless electronic switching of all motors.

? Remote control of all functions and electric timer operation are optional

? Motors 3 AC driven electronically regulated motors

? Heads 3 two-track erase, record and reproduce

? Meters VU x 2 with LED peak

? Reel Size Up to 10,5" (26,5cm) NAB

? Tape 1/4"

? Bias Adjustable

? Freq. Response 30-22000Hz +2/-3dB (38 cm/s) 50-18000Hz +-1,5dB (19 cm/s) Wow & Flutter 0.06% (38 cm/s) 0.08% (19 cm/s)

? Fast Wind Time 120s / 2500ft

? Inputs Line balanced XLR Mic unbalanced 1/4" Mic Lo -70dBu, Mic Hi -42dBu

? Outputs Line balanced XLR Phones Max 5,6V, internal resistance 220 ohms

? Connectors for Remote control of tape transport functions.

? Weight 75lbs. Working posit. Horizontal and vertical
------------------
PS: As for useing my real name ... I only found that out after I logged in. :)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 09:02:34 PM by seaelf »
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 09:33:39 PM »
I don't have any hands on experience with those but I know that there's a few PR99 owners here and hopefully they'll chime in. It does seem kinda expensive though and they come up for sale pretty often on eBay. For machines that are somewhat common, you might want to take distance into consideration since, each time that a heavy package ( which most reel to reel tape machines are) is moved from one shipping vehicle to another, it increases the chances that it'll be badly damaged (dropped).
It seems like most of the members that have one are pretty enthusiastic about them but it would pay to wait for some advice on buying one. All these machines are just that,.. machines and unlike other audio gear you might buy, there are things that wear. Time and long term storage can take their toll too so hopefully, you can get some hints on what to look out for. There's an excellent upgrade article written by a member, Arian, that might give you some ideas too.
http://laocaudiosociety.net/tech.html
I hope I'm not raining on your parade too much but it's very easy to find yourself lashed to a boat anchor that's the source of one headache after another rather than being your pride and joy. A little research and patience will save you a whole ton of grief.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 09:37:58 PM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 09:12:14 AM »
Welcome Sir,

Please be aware that parts/service for Studer/Revox and Ampex tape recorders tend to be much more expensive than for most other decks such as Teac, Otari, Sony, etc.

As Steve has suggested, try to wait for input from others on this forum who have purchased this deck. You might also want to check out some of the posts here that speak to the Revox PR-99 tape deck. Finally, wait to see if you can get one for less money. I've seen them for several hundred dollars less than what you mention. Have a great day.

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 Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 10:59:49 AM »
The problem with waiting ... A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Most of my problems stems from the fact that 90% of the people will not ship
to Canada. I don't mind spending the money knowing a product will last
but getting it home safely is my other concern on a One of a kind item.
Since the machines for the tape project are playback only, I'd like to see
somebody buy the questionable machines for a low price,clean test and make
the playback mods,and sell them for a reasonable price. Can the surplus
4 track decks have the heads changed to 2 track for a reasonable price?
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 12:02:02 PM »
Hi----, it sounds like you'd be better off buying a machine that's been gone over and serviced. Lots of ads you'll see will say that the machine in question was just serviced but what you'll find with the majority of them, is that this servicing was done around the time that it was put in storage for a decade or two. I often tell folks to think about these more like an automobile than a stereo component (at least for the purposes of searching for a used one to buy). And if you found a nice Porsche that hadn't been started in 20 years, the first thing that you'd think about is where you would have it towed.
So the PR99 will almost certainly run, but even if it was serviced then put into storage, it won't run up to it's full potential.
If you don't want to learn to do your own servicing, than I'd suggest that you buy one that's either refurbished or cleaned and serviced from a service professional who has a known track record. There is a Services Resource forum here and you can contact them regarding what you want.
Another way to go is to find someone in your neck of the woods. This is the best option since, from time to time, every reel to reel deck (just like that Porsche) needs to be serviced. I advise members that do alltheir own repairs and servicing to take their beloved machines to a qualified service tech every once in a while just to check things out. If you're at a loss for finding a tech, on your next post, include the town/city where you live, and perhaps one of us can point you to someone who can help in that respect. Also, posting an inquiry on Canuck Audio forum might help as well.
steve koto
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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2008, 06:16:13 PM »
First things first; 'machines for the tape project are for playback only'
On that point I believe you are mistaken, unless you have your machine modified for playback only, the deck will playback and record.
Second, there are other machines which while they do not have the cachet of a Studer/Revox or the like are quite serviceable, provide excellent build quality, have plentiful sources for parts, and thus constitute excellent value such as Otari.
I concur with Steve, look for a seller who has excellent references, and preferably services the machines they sell.
There are some real quagmires on Ebay masquerading as great deals/descriptions.
You could likely get a modded/serviced deck ready to go for about the cost of that Studer which would be ready to service.
Good Luck.


 

Offline Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008, 07:05:58 PM »
Well I can let you know where I live -- Cold Lake, Alberta Canada.
That is about a 4 hour drive from Edmonton Alberta and I don't drive.
I'll check up on the Canuck  Audio mart, later this week but so far
I have seen are the low end consumer products -- 7" Sony ect ...
The main reason I am looking at the tape project is because I got
Decware's NFX speakers in this spring - A Very fast full range speaker.
 Thanks Again for the help.
Ben Alias Seaelf

PS. I don't use ebay, Have no credit cards and I get sniped out on the few times
I have bid. Most what I have seen is from web searches, and that
often too specific for a tape deck.
Set 45,Open baffle speakers,Otari 5050,,Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD/CD/SCAD player

Offline ironbut

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008, 11:03:43 PM »
The reason I asked about your location is there's a seller that refurbishes Revox/Studer but they're in Ontario and sell on eBay. From what I can tell, they cater to the film and pro audio industries and do some sales. Their prices are pretty high but their feedback is perfect. For the prices they charge, I'd expect that their customers must be pretty satisfied. You might call them and let them know that you're in the market for a minty PR99 and see what happens. Here's their phone # from a current eBay item;
Edouard 905-313-8802
steve koto
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Offline Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2008, 01:39:07 AM »
Did I also tell you, I don't have long distance calling. ;)
This is good information to know, since now I know of one dealer
in Canada that will have known standard of workmanship.
I will try later this week to see if I can find out just what the mods
for the PR99 Mark III are to give me IEC opt.  I really would like to
see a schematic on just what the mods are, so one can have EQ switchable
before I buy a deck.

For me, any deck I can find is fine (that is good shape) providing it can be modified for the eq and line level is not too low a voltage*. I don't intend to make changes
to the read amp section at this time, so if anybody has a tape player that
they feel don't plan to use as it is not worth fully upgrading please let me know.

While I can see options like the seduction pre-amp as an upgrade; I have to be convinced about why any upgrade is better over the stock machine. I am thinking
you need a very linear amp, rather than a very low noise one if you do upgrade
since TP tapes will have large uncompressed dynamic range.



* I designed my amp for CD input levels.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Ben's rule of amp design.
Buy the best parts and tubes you can afford. Only after the smoke clears
what you find in your junk box makes it work.
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Offline jcmusic

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2008, 07:49:09 AM »
While I can see options like the seduction pre-amp as an upgrade; I have to be convinced about why any upgrade is better over the stock machine.

I am pretty sure that is why they call them (upgrades), they are better than the stock or original equipment.

Jay
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Offline Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 11:08:17 AM »
Ok, the bottom line -- I can't afford upgrades unless I know WHY they are better than
stock equipment.This takes into the muddy waters of amp design, for a line amp.
Right now I see very little sense in the (valve) Hi-Fi market place, but lots of snake oil
on this part sounds better than that part. I got into tube amps from the web
only a few years ago and every thing is this same design copied from the 1950's.
This has left me bitter, because of the lack of real innovative amp design since then
because of cost cutting in the commerical market place, and the lack of knowledge
for the DIY'ers like myself. I think I have lost faith in some audio design
ever since I've read ... "not to use a wire wound resistor for a dummy load
for a audio power amp." Heaven help us here -- 99% of all speakers are inductive.
:(   I tend to believe in the first watt of power idea and am trying to get my noise floor down. I still can hear a hum with my ear the speaker (96 dbm) but have gone
as far a amateur can go in amp design. Most of the mods I have seen are simple
but I really question design now unless I see a schematic.
PS: I only found out about Bottlehead and other places after I bought all my parts
for my amp.


 
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2008, 12:35:20 PM »
Regarding the upgrading of the playback amp section, I'll relate my impressions of what I did with my Technics RS1500.
I bought the 1500 a couple of years before the inception of the Tape Project. I'd owned a few reel to reels back in the 70'-80's and had more recently gone through a few other eBay machines. I had collected a number of prerecorded tapes from various sources and even on the cheapest, out of spec machine I had, several of these tapes revealed qualities that were absent or inaudible on my vinyl/digital sources. The further I got into collecting these 7 1/2 ips, 1/2 track and 1/4 track tapes, the more I realized the importance of gentle tape handling in the preservation of these tapes. That's what brought me to the Technics.
I was pretty jazzed about getting one but even through the haze of new owners syndrome, I could easily tell that the playback electronics were a long way from being up to current audio standards. At the same time, I'd been following a fellow they called Doc Bottlehead who was using reel to reel tape as a source to demo his equipment. A while latter, he posted the upgrades for his Seduction phono amp for tape eq and gain and bypassing of the internal electronics of an old Ampex consumer machine. I found an appropriate Ampex machine (all tube) and bought it. While I was in the process of restoring it, I found that the sound was much more musical (although very frequency limited and lots of wow and flutter). So, even with my fancy Technics, I found myself listening to the Ampex more.
I decided I was going to live with this situation for a while when Doc posted an addition to the Seduction Mod page and outlined the mods specifically for a Technics RS1500. Wow! I've told Doc a few times that it's been like the Tape Project was done for me personally and this is just one of the reasons. So, I ordered a Seduction, did the mods and tried it one the Technics. With the bare bones, stock Seduction I could tell in the first notes played that this was a huge improvement. There's no area of sound reproduction that isn't improved. The 70's era electronics is like a laundry list of distortions. And, unfortunately, that's when most of these machines were designed. Sure some sound a little better than others, but we're talking about pretty small differences that you tend to not hear in the long run. 
Needless to say, this became the favored machine to listen to and the Ampex only comes out on very rare occasions.
Doc, being an insatiable perfectionist, designed the Repro amp which eliminated my major qualm with the Seduction, the low gain. It also improved on just about every other area but certainly not to the extent that bypassing the internal electronics of the Technics made (which is as big gain in performance I've ever had in this hobby, equal to a big upgrade  in speakers). I never felt the need to A/B the Seduction and the Repro and that is how it should be. Personally, if you have to A/B components to hear the difference, and if it's an improvement, it isn't significant. It has brought me to the point that I'm quite satisfied with this component in the chain and can move on to concentrate on other things.
Well, I hope that helps.
steve koto
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Offline Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2008, 05:47:53 PM »
Doc, being an insatiable perfectionist, designed the Repro amp which eliminated my major qualm with the Seduction, the low gain. It also improved on just about every other area but certainly not to the extent that bypassing the internal electronics of the Technics made (which is as big gain in performance I've ever had in this hobby, equal to a big upgrade  in speakers). I never felt the need to A/B the Seduction and the Repro and that is how it should be. Personally, if you have to A/B components to hear the difference, and if it's an improvement, it isn't significant. It has brought me to the point that I'm quite satisfied with this component in the chain and can move on to concentrate on other things.
Well, I hope that helps.



Well that brings us all back to square one again - Lack of RS-1500's.
That also answers my questions about the amp  designs -- 1970's ideology :
The quantity of transistors sells not the quality.
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Offline Ben

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2008, 08:36:36 PM »
It looks like I have found somebody in Canada that is selling a ReVox B77 and parts.
($400). Assuming I can purchase the deck and it has 2 track heads it looks like I will
be modding it to 15 ips and IEC opt. The only other thing I would need to get the
maintenance manual just to figure out what is done for the mods from the pdf. Wish me luck as I wait back for my email.
Set 45,Open baffle speakers,Otari 5050,,Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD/CD/SCAD player

Offline steveidosound

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Re: Is this the cats meyow ...Studer ReVox PR-99 Mk III ?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2008, 11:57:26 PM »
Some versions of the Revox A77 at least, came with all the right stuff - the big 4 - 10.5" reel, 15 ips., 2 track stereo heads, AND CCIR eq ! (compatible).
But most were 7.5/3.75 with 1/4 track stereo heads and later ones (including the B77 ?) dropped the other eq switching in favor of built in Dolby NR.
So, the ideal version as a stock machine is rare.
Steve Williams

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