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  • Any Word on the Horch House Revox Machine

    Has anyone heard anything about the new machine? Is the project still alive? Thanks, 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

  • #2
    When I met Volker Lange in Munich last year in May, I enquired about the project and the reply was very brief and evasive : « Wait. Next year... ». In the meantime, all references to the machine have disapeared from the website.

    Comment


    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      I think the issue with releasing a new tape deck is so many of the people who originally designed these decks have now passed on. And with that goes the know how. Benno from GamuT designed the electronics for Volker’s machine but there’s a lot more that goes into a machine. The devil is in the details. I’d like to think a new machine is in the works but at this point I’m not holding my breath. At least a new machine in the $5K range.

  • #3
    It’s definitely a kind of a pickle. It’s not that hard to buy a decent Studer A810 for $3K and spend $2K getting it completely restored and aligned. One can do the same for a Tascam BR-20 or Technics 1500 for more like $2-3k total. I know - I have done it, with all of those decks. So given that, any new deck is going to have to be pretty decent for even $5K. And if it’s more like $10K, it needs to be special.

    That said, I was 100% planning to buy a new “Revox” from HH if they actually came out...but I dunno now if it ever will, sadly.

    TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
    VINYL: Denon DP59-L/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Pioneer PL-50LII/Dynavector 20xH
    DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
    SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
    AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

    Comment


    • #4
      Thanks for the update. As as tape enthusiast, I have played tapes for audiophile friends, and they have all been blown away. They are very interested. However, when I explain that they need to buy a used machine, or one that has been refurbished (even to the degree that Greg Beron has done), they start to lose interest. Most are not DIY types and many don't buy used cars or much of anything used, especially with complex moving parts. I knew that before I took the plunge into prosumer and now pro R2R, I needed to have a local tech who could handle the machines that I bought. And the machines did not come from the usual high end audio shops, with the ability to put it in the car and bring it back to the dealer, who would take care of any issues.

      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


      • Skylab
        Skylab commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup, it’s a very fair point for sure. It takes a certain kind of crazy to be deep into R2R like we are...but for the right kind of crazies like us it sure is fun!

        I had planned to buy a “new” Revox partly to support the venture. And I likely still would, at $5K or under. I WISH it would happen...I just don’t think it will.

    • #5
      Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
      Thanks for the update. As as tape enthusiast, I have played tapes for audiophile friends, and they have all been blown away. They are very interested. However, when I explain that they need to buy a used machine, or one that has been refurbished (even to the degree that Greg Beron has done), they start to lose interest. Most are not DIY types and many don't buy used cars or much of anything used, especially with complex moving parts. I knew that before I took the plunge into prosumer and now pro R2R, I needed to have a local tech who could handle the machines that I bought. And the machines did not come from the usual high end audio shops, with the ability to put it in the car and bring it back to the dealer, who would take care of any issues.

      Larry


      There’s certainly a lot of people who want the turn key, plug and play approach. It just seems, however, that building a new all in one machine is cost prohibitive. At least at a price point that would interest budding tapeheads. Greg Beron recognized that fact from the beginning in large part because of his audio store customers. So he chose a solid chassis and design, something that was plentiful and went to work. My only regret is Greg dropped his entry $6500 deck. OTOH, he had a ton load of business for his top machines.

      One other turnkey alternative. Brian Tucker at Pro Audio is selling refurbished and warranties Revox PR99s for $4500 iirc.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 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, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting to hear Brian is doing that - I met him at Axpona last year where he had a mint fully refurbished B62 in his room. Very nice fellow.

    • #6
      More and more I am finding the need to learn how to do some basic maintenance and calibration work myself. Some of it is not that hard as long as you spend the time learning how to do it properly. I don’t want to have to ship my deck across the country or to Canada every time something minor happens and with all these moving parts it is inevitable. Having a machine that could be serviced locally would be great. As Rob said, i don’t expect it to happen.
      Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

      Comment


      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        You're fortunate in that if you ever decide to take the plunge with an ATR-102, you're only about 15 minutes from a service location.

    • #7
      By the way, I know that at one time Charlie was exploring the possibility of replacing the stock electronics inside Technics machine with the K-C electronics. Not sure where that project is at. That with new heads might make for a nice basic turnkey machine.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 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, 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. 5, 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 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • stellavox
        stellavox commented
        Editing a comment
        Sorry for the late response;

        While working on the 1500 I bought from you, I did look into incorporating K/C playback inside - down in the bottom portion where the audio electronics are. Turns out that my mother board is about 1/2" too wide to fit in - and there isn't enough "extra width" on it to shrink down / re-lay out the board. In the process tho I figured out a simple way to "access'" the VU meters by replacing/rewiring the front-panel headphone jack. Can now get them working on playback by plugging in a jack with a cable running to the output of the K/C. Anyone can contact me for info on this and/or I could put details in the DIY section...

        Charles

      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        Charles, would retrofit of your PB electronics require removal of the record circuitry?

    • #8
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

      There’s certainly a lot of people who want the turn key, plug and play approach. It just seems, however, that building a new all in one machine is cost prohibitive. At least at a price point that would interest budding tapeheads. Greg Beron recognized that fact from the beginning in large part because of his audio store customers. So he chose a solid chassis and design, something that was plentiful and went to work. My only regret is Greg dropped his entry $6500 deck. OTOH, he had a ton load of business for his top machines.

      One other turnkey alternative. Brian Tucker at Pro Audio is selling refurbished and warranties Revox PR99s for $4500 iirc.
      Therein lies the problem with current turnkey solutions - they rely on a supply of used decks (the Tascam BR20, Technics RS1500 series or the Revox B77/PR99) that are drying up. When they are gone, they are gone. I didn't know Greg had dropped the $6500 entry-level machine, but it makes sense if he has sufficient demand for the $26,000 ultra-uber one - there are only so many Tascam BR20's out there.

      But I can't imagine what a new machine like a PR99 or Technics RS1500 would cost today, let alone a Studer A810 clone. Manufacturing something like the A810 today would probably cost upwards of $50K per unit, if it could even be done. Revox still exists as a company, and they probably have the technical drawings, etc. for the B77/PR99 units, but they would have to source the chassis, motors, electronics, heads (at least AM Belgium still is in business), etc. So a new deck would be . . . VERY expensive.

      John C.
      Tape Decks: Studer A810; Tascam BR20; Nak CR4A; Nak ZX-9; Nak ZX-7.
      Other: Magneplanar 1.6QR; Paradigm Servo 15; Musical Fidelity A5; Meridian G61; Shiit Bifrost Multibit; Schiit Lyr; Sennheiser HD650; Roon; Tidal; various Macs as digital music servers

      Comment


      • astrotoy
        astrotoy commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed. You can see what Fred Thal charges for his completely redone Studer machines. Larry

      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        People get into and out of the hobby with the enough frequency to keep things circulating so I don't see a concern with there being a scarcity of the decks available over time. BR20s and PR99s have always been hit and miss on the marketplace in the US while the RS-1500 decks are plentiful. The issue is that folks are treating open reel decks like investments - buy locally to do a basic service on (if that) and then to flip at exorbitant pricing online. This is taking excellent and formerly 'attainable' decks like the BR20, RS1500 series and PR99 / B77s out of the picture for those looking to get into the hobby and on a working man's budget.

    • #9
      Originally posted by dminches View Post
      More and more I am finding the need to learn how to do some basic maintenance and calibration work myself. Some of it is not that hard as long as you spend the time learning how to do it properly. I don’t want to have to ship my deck across the country or to Canada every time something minor happens and with all these moving parts it is inevitable. Having a machine that could be serviced locally would be great. As Rob said, i don’t expect it to happen.
      David,

      Even though I am fairly clumsy, I also have had to learn how to do some basic stuff with my two ATR-102's. I can set the bias and other adjustments for recording - something that I never thought was within my capabilities. However, before I took the plunge with my first ATR-102, I called Paul Stubblebine from the Tape Project who is also in the SF Bay Area. I asked him who his tech was for the six ATR-100's that he has for the Tape Project. Fortunately he has a great tech, Krieg Wunderlich (who also is the tech for Mobile Fidelity), who not only makes house calls, but also has worked with me on the phone and email, diagnosing problems which has saved me the cost of repair visit and also taught me more about the machine. A few months after my first ATR arrived, I stumbled upon a second ATR-102 which was being sold by a local recording studio at a very good price. I didn't hesitate to get it so that I could easily dub tapes. It also really helps to have two identical machines so I can more easily diagnose problems by comparing the two. They are big machines however.

      One important point for newbies or those thinking about upscaling to a pro machine. They are heavy!! Best to hire at least one person to help you move them in or out of your residence. I had two people do the moving!

      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


      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, you can always ask friends or hire folks... or do what I did and purchase portable wheelchair ramps - about $100 on Amazon and very light for easy garage storage when not in use.

    • #10
      I am lucky having technician who has 40 years of experience with professional studio machines (Studer and Telefunken) and who is passionate about the A80. His lab is just a 10 minutes drive and he does not mind to come to my place for the calibration and small maintenance work as indeed a Studer A80 is heavy. Studer spare parts are also available from Audio House though they are everything but cheap.

      I would have not jumped into R2R without the assurance of having access to spare parts and a reliable tech.

      My tech is currently upgrading the audio section of my tape deck. The goal is to achieve enhanced specs vs. a stock unit without the use of a tape head preamp.

      Comment


      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        Is your tech modding the record and playback electronics or just PB? Are these modifications fashioned on the MTSL upgrades?

      • dcc
        dcc commented
        Editing a comment
        Basically:
        - Heavily modifying the PB cards. The record cards have been modified as well but to a lesser extent
        - A brand new stabiliser card based on my tech’s own design
        - Changing the circuits in the VU-meter bridge as the switches are the bottleneck in the signal path

        I also have the MTSL upgrades (stabiliser cards and a second set of repro cards that I am getting modified).

        I am halfway thru the process as we are implementing the upgrades one by one. I hope having the full upgrade completed in about 6 weeks.
        Last edited by dcc; 01-11-2018, 02:06 PM.

    • #11
      Originally posted by astrotoy View Post

      Even though I am fairly clumsy, I also have had to learn how to do some basic stuff with my two ATR-102's. I can set the bias and other adjustments for recording - something that I never thought was within my capabilities.

      [ . . . ]

      One important point for newbies or those thinking about upscaling to a pro machine. They are heavy!! Best to hire at least one person to help you move them in or out of your residence. I had two people do the moving!

      Larry
      Basic calibration of a pro tape machine really isn't very difficult. You do need an MRL test tape for azimuth alignment and repro level/eq setting, and a decent multimeter and some kind of oscilloscope to check voltages and waveforms. But you can use a laptop with a good sound card and appropriate software as an oscilloscope (and as a tone generator and spectrum analyzer). I use a Macbook Pro. A decent multimeter that will read RMS AC and DC voltages runs in the $150 range, and a couple of MRL test tapes (15 ips and 7.5 ips) will cost another $250. If your machine uses variable resistors (pots) to set bias and so forth, you also need some plastic "screwdrivers" - a set of plastic alignment tools is about $10 from Amazon. So you can put together a basic test instrument and alignment equipment package for under $500 if you have a laptop. Then it's just a matter of following the procedure in the service manual. I've done azimuth, levels, record eq and playback eq on both my Studer A810 and Tascam BR20 (the Studer is much more adjustable, btw) in a half-hour on each. You DO need a tech to do an initial alignment to make sure that things like tape tension, bias trap, VU meter readings and so forth are correct, but once that is done, doing a basic alignment (azimuth, record/repro levels and eq) is pretty straightforward.

      It sounds more intimidating than it is. If you can set up a turntable tonearm/cartridge, you can do a basic alignment on a pro tape machine. Remember that pro machines were built to be easily adjustable, under the theory that basic alignment would be done for a specific tape formulation before each recording session. Time is money; they needed to be designed so this could be done by a studio tech in a short time.

      And Larry is right: these things are HEAVY - figure on 150 pounds, minimum. I've thought about mounting both my A810 and BR20 in a vertical 19" rack, but I haven't yet figured out how I'd hold the chassis in place while putting in the rack screws. Two really strong human beings or maybe a couple of hydraulic jacks! (I've toyed with the idea of using a hydraulic car floor jack). And once I got them in such a rack, taking them out for service would be . . . challenging . . .

      John C.

      Tape Decks: Studer A810; Tascam BR20; Nak CR4A; Nak ZX-9; Nak ZX-7.
      Other: Magneplanar 1.6QR; Paradigm Servo 15; Musical Fidelity A5; Meridian G61; Shiit Bifrost Multibit; Schiit Lyr; Sennheiser HD650; Roon; Tidal; various Macs as digital music servers

      Comment


      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        Dunno about tape machines, but for heavy amps and other electronics, most of the big racks had various trays that bolted inside, so the mass was not held solely by the faceplate-- the device to be mounted was resting on a tray and the faceplate mountings just secured them further. Still, lifting stuff like that in and out of a rack was at least a two person job. I had two 6 foot tall racks for a big video system in my last house. Not sure I'd like what the racks do for "isolation" so that was an additional issue I dealt with in some cases. Plus, fan cooling..

    • #12
      Originally posted by jdcolombo View Post

      Basic calibration of a pro tape machine really isn't very difficult. You do need an MRL test tape for azimuth alignment and repro level/eq setting, and a decent multimeter and some kind of oscilloscope to check voltages and waveforms. But you can use a laptop with a good sound card and appropriate software as an oscilloscope (and as a tone generator and spectrum analyzer). I use a Macbook Pro. A decent multimeter that will read RMS AC and DC voltages runs in the $150 range, and a couple of MRL test tapes (15 ips and 7.5 ips) will cost another $250. If your machine uses variable resistors (pots) to set bias and so forth, you also need some plastic "screwdrivers" - a set of plastic alignment tools is about $10 from Amazon. So you can put together a basic test instrument and alignment equipment package for under $500 if you have a laptop. Then it's just a matter of following the procedure in the service manual. I've done azimuth, levels, record eq and playback eq on both my Studer A810 and Tascam BR20 (the Studer is much more adjustable, btw) in a half-hour on each. You DO need a tech to do an initial alignment to make sure that things like tape tension, bias trap, VU meter readings and so forth are correct, but once that is done, doing a basic alignment (azimuth, record/repro levels and eq) is pretty straightforward.

      It sounds more intimidating than it is. If you can set up a turntable tonearm/cartridge, you can do a basic alignment on a pro tape machine. Remember that pro machines were built to be easily adjustable, under the theory that basic alignment would be done for a specific tape formulation before each recording session. Time is money; they needed to be designed so this could be done by a studio tech in a short time.

      And Larry is right: these things are HEAVY - figure on 150 pounds, minimum. I've thought about mounting both my A810 and BR20 in a vertical 19" rack, but I haven't yet figured out how I'd hold the chassis in place while putting in the rack screws. Two really strong human beings or maybe a couple of hydraulic jacks! (I've toyed with the idea of using a hydraulic car floor jack). And once I got them in such a rack, taking them out for service would be . . . challenging . . .

      John C.
      John, I was surprised that I was able to do the adjustments so easily. You are right about needing to do things efficiently in the studio setting where time is money. Being able to switch between 1/4" and 1/2" head blocks and guides within a couple of minutes is a real plus with the ATRs. The Ampex manual is not written for beginners and it really helped to have someone walk through the steps with me - albeit by phone or conversation and not necessarily in person. The manual is more than 100 pages long and pretty dense. Mostly it is in standard English, but sometimes feels like reading an advanced cookbook, which assumes you know basic and not so basic stuff. But once you've got it down, Many of the steps are quite easy, although they are not necessarily intuitive. Fortunately Tape Project provides test tapes and having a friend who has lent me his tone generator semi-permanently and getting a couple of tools has made it possible. Between the two ATR's I have a total of three sets of audio cards and so have one for each of three different types of tapes. So I can switch between different types of tapes pretty quickly.

      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


      • srs148
        srs148 commented
        Editing a comment
        We're spoiled by the simplicity and convenience of aligning and configuring our ATR decks, the inability to store multiple calibration settings on the audio cards notwithstanding.

    • #13
      Originally posted by jdcolombo View Post
      . A decent multimeter that will read RMS AC and DC voltages runs in the $150 range,
      For adjusting audio output levels, play EQ, record EQ and bias levels, you can't rely on most digital multimeters (DMMs) to be accurate. Even if they read RMS AC. Most do not have a flat frequency response at all levels. A few TOTL Fluke meters do have flat response out to 200KHz and they have a dedicated "dB" setting. Those you can trust.

      If you want to measure audio levels and frequency response, just get a dedicated, analog millivolt meter (a dB meter).
      -Tim Leinbaugh
      -Professional RTR restoration and modification for 45 years.
      [email protected]
      www.MusicTechnology.com

      Comment

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