Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

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Old-Draftsman
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Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by Old-Draftsman » Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:24 pm

There is one available locally and the current owner is willing to part with it for 500 bucks. It's been stored about 5 years and may need some "minor" maintenance. It was used for "mastering" only and is in "great condition".

I haven't seen it yet and I would like all y'alls opinion. Is it worth my effort to revive the old thing as a working relic?

I didn't ask for the specific model number etc. The owner confirmed it's a "BIG ONE".

Your input please. :?

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by the brill bedroom » Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:07 pm

Nah, you don't want that old hunk of junk. Maintenance nightmare, tape's expensive, pain in the ass. Matter of fact, why don't you give me the guy's number and I'll let him know that you're not intereste din his old garbage?

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by schnozzle » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:21 pm

500 bucks? I would have a very hard time saying no to that. Is it in LA? C'mon, c'mon, you can tell me.

No, seriously...I very much want a 1/2" 4-track myself, but my understanding is that old Ampex machines do require you to know enough about electronics to keep them running. And I know absolutely nothing in this department. Thus I still have a Teac.

But if you were able to get it running and maintain it well, that would be a steal.

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by Family Hoof » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:26 pm

Minor maintenance? Yeah, right. That's what all the sellers say. Neglected electronic items stop working. Capacitors aren't going to want to chrage after 5 years of being dormant and there's likely to be a lot more wrong with it. As long as you go into this deal realizing that you'll have to invest at least what you paid and that it will not be usable until you do. I'd love to be proven wrong, but more often than not this is the case.

[EDIT] I forgot the positive outlook part of my response so here it is... I've known people to pay three times that much for an Otari MX-70 1" 8-track recently, and anything Ampex is likely to sound better.

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:31 am

Being an Ampex owner..I can guess it will cost another 500$-1000+$ ? to get it up to spec and or the tools to keep it going..the 1" MRL tape alone is $400..there is a big learning curve if your clueless..it took me about 9 months and some serious repairs and a lot of help from other people to get mine up to spec..there are a few red flags and I'm not sure if I can think of all of them..things if missing are not made or that available anymore..sometime down right rare..like the ruby guides..certain xfrmrs..and components..

pretty fantastic sounding unit though..

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by takeout » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:39 am

The actual cost of that machine will end up being about $1500. Manual, parts, MRL...

That said, it will sound amazing when you get it up and running. Mine does. Records all but mix themselves.

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by joeysimms » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:39 am

I fuckin hate that word "vintage".
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I'm Painting Again
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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:42 am

space is also an issue..have you seen it.. :shock:

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by Old-Draftsman » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:02 am

joeysimms wrote:I fuckin hate that word "vintage".

:oops: I should have said "Old used..." probably more accurate. :wink:

Thanks folks for the response, I do value the input and will reference your replys for the "budget committee" least she break my ... uh well that's a tomorrow worry. :)

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by joeysimms » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:09 am

If you're really serious about having a look at it, you'll want the seller to demonstrate it for you. Fire it up, put up a reel, and show that all 8 channels are recording and playing back. If the guy doesn't want to bother, offer him $250. For all you know, it could be a boat anchor.
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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:32 am

And I forgot the most important thing..the heads..you can get 'em but its not easy..if the heads are on the way out it may not be worth it..

theres no real way short of sending them to a magnetics lab to determine how much life is left..the only thing you can do is look at the gaps and see if they are filled and to what extent and how the overall condition and arc appear..

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by nestle » Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:04 am

sounds like a hunk of junk, I'd pass.......a money pit

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by goose » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:19 pm

If you're getting serious about this machine, go ask some of the experts at
the Ampex list: www.recordist.com/ampex

I'd say that at $500 it's sure worth it even if it needs some TLC. Then again I've got a disease and own about 8 Ampexes, 4 MCI's, a couple Tascams...I'm sick, and contagious. :-)

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by nacho459 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:27 pm

I'm guessing it's probabily an AG440 with the electronics stacked to the sky. I think 440's are really easy to repair and parts are easy to come by. I have one and bought a second set of electronics off ebay for $40. I also see them at surplus stores (APEX) I say go for it as long as there is still head life. but It's still probabily worth it for all the parts.

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Re: Vintage Ampex 1" 8-track...

Post by somniferum » Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:04 pm

nacho459 wrote:I'm guessing it's probabily an AG440 with the electronics stacked to the sky. I think 440's are really easy to repair and parts are easy to come by. I have one and bought a second set of electronics off ebay for $40. I also see them at surplus stores (APEX) I say go for it as long as there is still head life. but It's still probabily worth it for all the parts.
Hey Nacho...
How many tracks is your AG440? I'm looking into the possibility of getting the two track version for use as a mixdown machine, but don't know a whole lot about these machines. PM me if you want. Sorry to derail this thread y'all.
And hey Old Draftsman, if I were you I would definately go take a look at the Ampex 8 track if I were you, if the seller is local, you won't lose anything by checking it out. At the price I would guess it needs quite a bit of work, the heads don't have much life left, or maybe the seller just doesn't know what he has. If its been sitting for five years in storage, there's a good chance you will need to replace belts if you do end up getting it.
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