- Jun 5, 2020
- Santa Fe, NM
It's fun for me to see your pics as I have mostly just memories from those days. You may recall better than I do but if I actually do recall correctly it was JRF that originally supplied the 8 tr. heads for your recorder. In any event as is clear from your photo, they were proper built. For certain specialty heads, like those on the 1/2" machine the factory did take on the production but since it's so specialized, at first only one guy at the factory could build them and this was a production bottleneck for a painfully long period of time. I don't see any gap on your 354 heads, you are probably good for a long time. Original electronics on that? Remember Inovonics?
I wouldn't mind a 5050 for myself but mainly for sentimental reasons. I have a few tapes but no way to play them. I do have this however, a tiny memento from those days. I just now took these pics just for the two of us. Well, Amir too since he still has his 5050. Possibly the only extent NOS Otari reel in the world! I should send it to Amir for a thorough re-test on his Otari with a proper Otari reel! Can't be too fussy about these things!
As you know, this came in the box with your new machine. You got one to get you started cause otherwise it would be, somewhat awkward to roll tape!
Yes, the heads on the 7300 were obviously of very high quality. I assumed they were made by Otari, but I never saw a manufacturer's name on them.
The Ampex 354 I have was from the couple who ran the dance company my wife was a member of. The machine was used very little and only to make music tapes for the shows, so it was already in very, very good shape. I restored it to off-the-factory-floor condition, even having the stainless steel panels re-grained. Everything is all original with the exception of resistors and capacitors in the vacuum tube electronics which were replaced with modern parts. The playback head is new (only because the original head had an open coil), and I got it from JRF. The record and erase heads have little wear on them.
Here's the machine:
And a close-up of the MX7300 transport; I was a heavy user of Scotch 250 tape.