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  • Flux Magnetic or Nortronics Heads?

    I am thinking about adding new heads to my Otari MX 5050 BII and was wondering wish of these is the better for the Otari? Anyone have either or both to compare? The title should read Nortronics Heads!!!
    Last edited by jcmusic; 03-05-2017, 12:06 PM.

  • #2
    Flux Magnetic or Norditrac Heads


    Ive heard of Flux Magnetics but I didn't know Norditrac not only made fitness equipment but R2R playback heads (?) I only have experience with JRF Magnetics aka Nortronics, and they were considered the 'proper' drop in for the RS1500 head stack.
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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    • #3
      I mistakenly said Nordtronics instead of Nortronics!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        My experience with my old Otari MX-5050 BIII was buying a new head block for it on ebay. It originally came with a 2 track head block (3 heads) and I bought a 2/4 track head block to replace it on ebay (it was about $100 IIRC about 4 years ago), so I could play both 2 and 4 track tapes (stereo only). The new head block came with a switch between 2 and 4 track play. It still would only record 2 track. When it came to relap the heads, I had JRF do the that. I also have bought heads from Greg Orton (Flux Magnetics) for my Ampex ATR-102. He makes the heads that ATR Services sells in their head blocks for the ATR-100 series. I've only had JRF do relapping, not provide new heads. I didn't know that JRF was also known as Nortronics.

        Larry
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

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        • #5
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
          My experience with my old Otari MX-5050 BIII was buying a new head block for it on ebay. It originally came with a 2 track head block (3 heads) and I bought a 2/4 track head block to replace it on ebay (it was about $100 IIRC about 4 years ago), so I could play both 2 and 4 track tapes (stereo only). The new head block came with a switch between 2 and 4 track play. It still would only record 2 track. When it came to relap the heads, I had JRF do the that. I also have bought heads from Greg Orton (Flux Magnetics) for my Ampex ATR-102. He makes the heads that ATR Services sells in their head blocks for the ATR-100 series. I've only had JRF do relapping, not provide new heads. I didn't know that JRF was also known as Nortronics.

          Larry
          Not exactly. John bought up the last remaining supplies of Nortronics heads a while ago.
          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.

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          • #6
            I was told by John that I got the last Nortronics heads that he had left for my Technics R to R, which was two years ago.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the clarification. Does John make heads himself or just relap? Are there other sources of new heads (not NOS) other than Greg (Flux Magnetics)? I know ATR Services uses Greg's heads for their new head blocks for the ATR-100's.

              Larry
              Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
              Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
              Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
              Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
              Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
              Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
              Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

              Comment


              • #8
                you can edit the title of the thread
                Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
                  you can edit the title of the thread
                  I couldn't figure out how to do it..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcmusic View Post

                    I couldn't figure out how to do it..
                    if you go to the first post, edit it, there should be a box with the subject line you can correct/edit
                    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
                      Thanks for the clarification. Does John make heads himself or just relap? Are there other sources of new heads (not NOS) other than Greg (Flux Magnetics)? I know ATR Services uses Greg's heads for their new head blocks for the ATR-100's.

                      Larry
                      I don't think John makes heads.

                      It depends on the machine when we are talking new heads. For instance there's FM heads as well as another source from Europe (distributed by Brian Tucker in Chicago) for Studer decks. Plus IIRC, Studer heads. There are Nortronics heads for machines other than Technics too.

                      Not sure where Greg Beron is having his heads made.

                      Sure Ki and others more up on it than I am.
                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

                        I don't think John makes heads.

                        It depends on the machine when we are talking new heads. For instance there's FM heads as well as another source from Europe (distributed by Brian Tucker in Chicago) for Studer decks. Plus IIRC, Studer heads. There are Nortronics heads for machines other than Technics too.

                        Not sure where Greg Beron is having his heads made.

                        Sure Ki and others more up on it than I am.
                        Thanks, Myles. My impression, when communicating with Greg last fall, was that he fabricated the heads himself. I had him make a 4 track stereo playback head for my 1/2" headblock on my ATR-102. He mounted the new playback head in the headblock (which already had 3 heads and a small switch to go between the Ampex electronics and any external electronics. He moved the heads around so all four head fit and put in another switch so I can go between 4 track stereo and 2 track stereo playback, and still go between internal and external electronics for either play back head. Of course, I can still erase and record in 2 track stereo.

                        Larry
                        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
                        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
                        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
                        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
                        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is something that Rene LaFlamme's of Nagra/2XHD recording did with Nagra machine's headblock. He had a custom made headblock fashioned out of carbon fiber to reduce vibrations.
                          Click image for larger version  Name:	16939319_10154927989419088_5259824032993900037_n.jpg Views:	1 Size:	68.3 KB ID:	45940
                          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


                          • Bruce B
                            Bruce B commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You mean "René Laflamme" ??

                          • Tunes
                            Tunes commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yes, that is René Laflamme's Nagra T Audio deck with carbon headblock cover (made by Andre Theriault - tonearm designer popular among Kronos owners - and headbock mounted rca connectors. René now has a bottlehead tape pre (on the left side). Not sure what tape heads he uses on this Nagra.

                          • MylesBAstor
                            MylesBAstor commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Yes thanks. Brain fart.

                        • #14
                          Originally posted by jcmusic View Post
                          I am thinking about adding new heads to my Otari MX 5050 BII and was wondering wish of these is the better for the Otari? Anyone have either or both to compare? The title should read Nortronics Heads!!!
                          Unfortunately was far from a perfect experiment here when I had the Nortronics heads vs. the FM heads with Nick's tapestage. But I would say the FM heads definitely sounded better. Quieter yet, more linear bass and better soundstaging.

                          That said, some of your decision will be determined by your electronics and their gain. All things being equal, I would go with the lower inductance FM heads rather than the higher inductance Nortronics. They are just a newer, more modern design. Each head is personally checked and comes with it's own performance specs. But lower inductance = lower output. OTOH, lower inductance makes the heads less sensitive to the length of the wire from the headblock to your electronics.

                          Either choice is a huge improvement over the machine's stock heads. As I understand, one place made all the heads for the Japanese machines. Upgrading will decrease the noise floor, increase the resolution and markedly improve the machine's frequency extremes.
                          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


                          • #15
                            Thanks Myles...

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