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  • Ok , look what the cat dragged in.

    While not to the stature of some of the machines here. I read enough and observed enough that the Otari MX 5050Bii was on my radar. This will be a diversion no matter how good it is I'm not going to invest heavily in this format and I certainly wasn't looking for a studio quality unit- too big and the cost of tapes is hideous.

    I'm too committed to vinyl. So this local Otari came up and it was reasonable as it came with some new tapes, pre-recorded ones, take up reel and the hubs + no shipping. So I need it like a hole in the head but you confounded tape heads have gotten me curious.

    I've experienced R2R over 30 years ago & know what is possible - I will run this for a while and see whats up. It is in pretty good shape. I will likely get it tuned up mechanically- I will handle the electronics . There are a couple of very qualified local studio type techs that work on R2R in the area. I hate learning about servos and mechanicals on stuff I've never seen before so this will go to a pro . I will investigate building my own tape repro in the future as it really isn't that complex .

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_2201.JPG Views:	1 Size:	92.4 KB ID:	47432

    Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
    Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
    Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
    Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
    Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
    Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

  • #2
    I've had a couple of those. MX 5050 BII - 2. Two track but with a 4th head that can play back 4-track tapes. (but not record 4-track)
    Excellent machines imho.

    3 speeds. There is a switch on the back, just under the back cover that switches speed between hi / low. Set switch to hi and your two speeds are 7 1/2 ips and 15 ips. Switch to low and your two speeds are 3-3/4 to 7-1/2s ips.

    But the built-in tape head preamp is the limit and must be by-passed. For a while Doc B (Dan Schmalle) at Bottlehead was doing the conversion on these players, but after a while he stopped doing it.

    I have one remaining MX 5050 BII-2. It is a sort of project so when I get around to it I'll find a way to do the head bypass and tape-head preamp thing. And it won't cost a ton.
    -Steve
    webmaster at The Analog Dept.
    system list:Classe' CAP 151 integrated, Carver TX-11b Tuner, NHT 2.9 Speakers, Thorens TD124 ( plus other Thorens models), Otari MX-5050 BII-2 R2R, Jolida JD100 cd player, ML-9600 digital recorder

    Comment


    • #3
      Resistance is futile! Famous last words!

      Congrats great choice for starter deck,
      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


      • kcin
        kcin commented
        Editing a comment
        just a bunch of enablers here

    • #4
      Great starter deck. I had an Otari MX5050 BIII as one of my starter decks. I think the stock electronics were much better than the other semi-pro competitors.So getting or making an external prepro is not quite as urgent as say one for the Technics 1500 series (which I also had). People have tweaked the mechanics a bit. I got a replacement capstan roller from George Athan, and Bottlehead made (maybe still makes) a little kit that you can install yourself. If it doesn't have the four head block (with the little switch to toggle between 1/4 track and 1/2 track playback, that would be a good investment to allow you to play the old commercial 1/4 track tapes as mentioned in post #2. I found an unused one on ebay for $125 or so. If the heads are worn, John French can relap them for not too much money. The budget busters are all those wonderful tapes.

      Have fun, 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


      • #5
        Originally posted by user510 View Post
        I've had a couple of those. MX 5050 BII - 2. Two track but with a 4th head that can play back 4-track tapes. (but not record 4-track)
        Excellent machines imho.

        3 speeds. There is a switch on the back, just under the back cover that switches speed between hi / low. Set switch to hi and your two speeds are 7 1/2 ips and 15 ips. Switch to low and your two speeds are 3-3/4 to 7-1/2s ips.

        But the built-in tape head preamp is the limit and must be by-passed. For a while Doc B (Dan Schmalle) at Bottlehead was doing the conversion on these players, but after a while he stopped doing it.

        I have one remaining MX 5050 BII-2. It is a sort of project so when I get around to it I'll find a way to do the head bypass and tape-head preamp thing. And it won't cost a ton.
        -Steve
        Thanks those kits are still available I will pick one up
        Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
        Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
        Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
        Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
        Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
        Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

        Comment


        • #6
          I didn't start with an Otari deck I had a couple Akai's, Revox, a Sony. Once I got serious about tape (The Tape Project) that's when I got my first Otari MX 5050 BII-2. Did all the mods got the Bottlehead Tube Repo and rest is history as they say. I moved to a Studer after being so impressed with the Otari and would still have it had UPS not destroyed and then lost it!!! I still have my Otari and enjoy it everytime I listen to it...
          Recently loss my Mom so I been playing those Motown tapes and others that she liked. Nancy Wilson, The Beatles, Tom Jones, and Lou Rawls. Seriously considering adding the Flux Magnetic Heads to my Otari instead of investing in another Studer or other deck... The Otari is absolutely the best bang for the buck out there in R2R machines!!!

          Comment


          • #7
            Sorry to hear about your mom.

            Your experience with the Otari is a good testament to the overall enjoyment and value this deck can bring.
            Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
            Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
            Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
            Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
            Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
            Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by kcin View Post
              Sorry to hear about your mom.

              Your experience with the Otari is a good testament to the overall enjoyment and value this deck can bring.
              Thanks so much for your thoughts, it is a day to day thing I have to deal with!!!

              Comment


              • #9
                Congratulations on the new deck. Interested in following your journey on building your own tape repro.
                [TURNTABLE] TW Acustic Raven One [TONEARM] Dynavector DV 507Mkii & Graham Phantom [PHONO] BAT VK-P10 & Dynavector PHA200; [CARTRIDGE] Dynavector XV1S, Lyra Kleos, Ortofon Cadenza Mono [TAPE] Otari MTR15 & Technics RS1500 with JRF Headblock [DIGITAL] Grace Design M920, Lynx Auroa 8 ADC/DAC, Mac Mini with roon labs [PRAMP] McIntosh C2300 [AMP] McIntosh C601s [SPEAKERS] Legacy Audio Whisper & Wavelet [ACC] Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

                Comment


                • kcin
                  kcin commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've started to assemble some parts

              • #10
                Feed that cat more food!

                Comment


                • kcin
                  kcin commented
                  Editing a comment

              • #11
                Originally posted by kcin View Post

                Thanks those kits are still available I will pick one up
                I have an Otari with the Bottlehead kit and I wired the playback heads (after the 2/4 track switch) to a pair of Cardas jacks on the back. Then I added another pair of Cardas to the input of the internal playback amp so that It can be connected for biasing. You could also wire directly to the 2 track head, but you would lose 4 track functionality.
                UHA Phase 11S OPS-Otari 5050B2II-deHavilland 222-Mcintosh C500T-ARC DS450M-Magico V3-Avid Acutus-SME V-Lyra Kleos-Shunyata-Synergistic

                Comment


                • #12
                  How do you like the de Havilland? Do you run it through your pre or can you go direct?

                  I've already ordered some Neutrik RCAs that will that I will wire direct in -after the switch is a good idea. New caps for the power supplies and new pinch roller and take up arm are coming in as well as the bottle head kit. I 'll get the mechanisms lubricated aligned at a local shop after I do the caps and wiring.

                  i should be up and running in a few weeks.






                  Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                  Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                  Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
                  Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                  Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
                  Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

                  Comment


                  • cpreal
                    cpreal commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The de Havilland sounds really nice, and is very versatile. I have run it both ways. Volume pots are separate for left and right, which is inconvenient for direct use. It has no muting circuits, so you have to make sure you turn them down when switching it off, or you will get a loud pop.
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