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  • Chris Mara HiFi MCI JH 110 Tape Machine

    Hello to everyone and what a great atmosphere !


    was looking to dip my feet into Tape machines. but to be honest i'm a total newbie, and was thinking if its best to buy a complete Turn Key machine.


    wanted to get some feedback. on Mara Machines if someone owns his "New" Hifi MCI JH 110 machine and their thoughts. seems like MCI machines were used mostly in a Studio/Broadcast environment and equipped with good heads from the factory and seprate power supply. (gathered info from online searching) forgive me if i posted something that is not accurate.



    found this clip from youtube (RMAF 16 Mara/Acoustic Sound room) anyone get a chance to listen and thought?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnm99V9a2Q8&t=23s



    Thanks to Everyone.......



  • #2
    Glad to you found our little corner of the net!



    I'm not sure Chris' machines are quite ready for prime time. The one thing Chris was working on the last time I spoke to Chad was the noisy transport. Mark Pearson and I both commented on the same thing when we heard the machine at RMAF. Chad and Chris were supposed to drop by with a machine by this month but doesn't look like will happen.

    But yes, I think Charlie King reminded MCI machines use the well respected Bogen heads. (I think Charlie likes MCI machines.) Chris' machine is certainly one that I'd have atop my list when it's ready for prime time.

    Maybe I can get Chris on to comment more on where the machine stands.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you want a complete turn-key machine "with warranty", then look no further than Greg's machines at UHA. You can get the bottom line machine and upgrade as funds become available. The top of the line model will give a stock Studer a run for its money!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
        If you want a complete turn-key machine "with warranty", then look no further than Greg's machines at UHA. You can get the bottom line machine and upgrade as funds become available. The top of the line model will give a stock Studer a run for its money!!
        Chris' machine is $4000 and also comes with warranty and even Skype service.

        The UHA machine is certainly another alternative starting at $6500. My main issue with the starting deck is the stock heads.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys for your feedback and comments about the tape machines.


          As a person with zero experience with tape machines.i thought that a turn key setup would probably be my best option?

          ​​​​​​thats why the Mara HiFi MCI JH 110 tape machine was so intriguing to me. a Studio machine with good heads and a great price.

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Purevinyl View Post
            Thanks guys for your feedback and comments about the tape machines.


            As a person with zero experience with tape machines.i thought that a turn key setup would probably be my best option?

            ​​​​​​thats why the Mara HiFi MCI JH 110 tape machine was so intriguing to me. a Studio machine with good heads and a great price.

            Thanks
            Myles pretty well summed it up about the Mara deck. Unless you can stick this deck in another room and run cables to your preamp or your listening room already has a super high noise floor, the Mara could drive you to distraction because of the noise issues. I have to assume the Mara deck that was brought to RMAF 2016 is representative of the noise levels you can expect to hear from their decks.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              From what Chad told me, Chris can address the noise issue.

          • #7
            Purevinyl - Thanks for inquiring about the Mara Machines HiFi version. I'm Chris Mara, owner of Mara Machines, and i'm here to address everyone's questions/comments. Myles was kind enough to have me on panels at the last couple HiFi shows, during that time I took a lot of feedback from people interested in Mara Machines offering a HiFi deck. The main concerns were size, transport noise and overall appearance. I took these comments to my team and I'm proud to announce we've sorted them out.

            The Mara HiFi will feature rebuilt capstan motors, upgraded bearings in the rollers (this will eliminate transport noise), Flux Magnetic reproduce heads, solid wood cabinets, and subtle, yet distinguished color schemes. We'll be offering 3 color combinations, complete with painted & badged power supplies to tie it all together. (pics coming soon!) The price point will be in the $7k range. If you prefer, you can buy the 'studio version' without these upgrades in the $4k range. Either way, the Mara HiFi will record & playback at 7.5, 15 & 30 IPS, both NAB & IEC.

            If you currently have, or plan to add 3rd party audio electronics, we can add another Flux Magnetic head on the headstack that will feed those electronics, giving you the option of using both the stock MCI and your 3rd party electronics at the same time. This will be an additional cost, and can also be added at a later date. You can also upgrade to 1/2" two track, then easily swap between 1/4" an 1/2" formats in mere minutes.

            Our machines are restored and we offer a 6 month warranty. Our goal is a quality machine at an affordable price.

            Any other questions?

            Thanks again for your interest in Mara Machines!

            Comment


            • #8
              Great to see Chris from Mara Machines here to answer questions and give details about his machines!


              Chris do you any feedback on your Upgraded version and what will the color options be for the wood cabinets and front panel.


              Thanks


              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by ChrisMara View Post
                Purevinyl - Thanks for inquiring about the Mara Machines HiFi version. I'm Chris Mara, owner of Mara Machines, and i'm here to address everyone's questions/comments. Myles was kind enough to have me on panels at the last couple HiFi shows, during that time I took a lot of feedback from people interested in Mara Machines offering a HiFi deck. The main concerns were size, transport noise and overall appearance. I took these comments to my team and I'm proud to announce we've sorted them out.

                The Mara HiFi will feature rebuilt capstan motors, upgraded bearings in the rollers (this will eliminate transport noise), Flux Magnetic reproduce heads, solid wood cabinets, and subtle, yet distinguished color schemes. We'll be offering 3 color combinations, complete with painted & badged power supplies to tie it all together. (pics coming soon!) The price point will be in the $7k range. If you prefer, you can buy the 'studio version' without these upgrades in the $4k range. Either way, the Mara HiFi will record & playback at 7.5, 15 & 30 IPS, both NAB & IEC.

                If you currently have, or plan to add 3rd party audio electronics, we can add another Flux Magnetic head on the headstack that will feed those electronics, giving you the option of using both the stock MCI and your 3rd party electronics at the same time. This will be an additional cost, and can also be added at a later date. You can also upgrade to 1/2" two track, then easily swap between 1/4" an 1/2" formats in mere minutes.

                Our machines are restored and we offer a 6 month warranty. Our goal is a quality machine at an affordable price.

                Any other questions?

                Thanks again for your interest in Mara Machines!
                Great news Chris and glad to have your aboard! Chris is one of the foremost people when it comes to MCI machines and a diehard analog person. On top of that, he runs courses in recording technology (Dave Cope here recently took one of his courses). In fact, Chris also masters records and has set up plating facilities at his Welcometo1979 facilities!

                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Purevinyl View Post
                  Great to see Chris from Mara Machines here to answer questions and give details about his machines!


                  Chris do you any feedback on your Upgraded version and what will the color options be for the wood cabinets and front panel.


                  Thanks

                  Purevinyl No feedback yet as they are still being restored but we expect that the feedback will be very favorable. We currently have two machines out for painting and custom cabinets being made.
                  Expect photos in a couple of weeks!

                  Thanks for the kind words Myles!!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Great news Chris! I hope you have much success with the standard and upgraded decks.
                    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by ChrisMara View Post
                      Purevinyl -

                      You can also upgrade to 1/2" two track, then easily swap between 1/4" an 1/2" formats in mere minutes.

                      Any other questions?

                      Thanks again for your interest in Mara Machines!
                      Hi Chris,

                      Many thanks for the information. As Sony bought MCI and based the APR5000 series on the MCI transport, do you make any 1/2 inch headstacks, tach rollers, guides etc, which would fit a Sony APR 5003 or 5002?

                      Happy New Year

                      Charlie

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by topoxforddoc View Post

                        Hi Chris,

                        Many thanks for the information. As Sony bought MCI and based the APR5000 series on the MCI transport, do you make any 1/2 inch headstacks, tach rollers, guides etc, which would fit a Sony APR 5003 or 5002?

                        Happy New Year

                        Charlie

                        Charlie,

                        We don't deal in the post-MCI designed Sony APR Machines - sorry!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by ChrisMara View Post


                          Charlie,

                          We don't deal in the post-MCI designed Sony APR Machines - sorry!
                          Chris,

                          many thanks for the reply

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Hey everyone- a quick update as we all gear up for Axpona 2017. Mara Machines HiFi version is now ready for prime time. We've rolled out two color schemes with either solid Birch or solid Maple dovetail cabinets and high end custom paint colors that change slightly depending on angle of light source. Tape transport systems have been upgraded for silent operation.
                            Machines come standard with Flux Magnetic reproduce head, you can choose to upgrade to an additional Flux Magnetic reproduce head that is wired to feed external preamps. This allows you to send the same signal to the MCI preamps and your 3rd party preamps simultaneously. Come see/hear for yourself on the 2nd floor of the Westin during Axpona 2017.
                            Be sure to say hi to me!

                            Comment

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