this machine has taken an age to rebuild and modify. finally it has brand spanking new 1/2″ 2 track heads. thanks jrf magnetics. the recordings are very fat and clear. great to mix with. very kind to transient peak levels. you can drive more sound signal at him. and he never really breaks up … just gets more glued. the playback is awesome. really big and solid. ultimate analogue really …hugh from goldbaby recorded and resampled his TR808 drummer from this machine.

mine was original a three tracker with another channel of course and a simul sync switcher. it had been modified to be a 1/2″ quarter track stereo machine with low impedance heads. i stripped that all away. the top space will be a monitor / headphone / alignment tone box. i want the machine to be kinda self sufficient. much easier to use in the studio.

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got rid of all the record and playback eq on the internal bracket chassis. ive put the record monitor level (input monitor) pot there to ease its adjusting. the vu meter has a kill switch too. this means that i can run any kind of input overloading – tape saturation effects – or whatever and can always set the input monitor correct against playback level. u know what i mean. very convenient.

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the record eq is now only 1 vari cap mounted right in the record amp.simple and no extra wiring sensitivity noise. same with playback eq. the hi freq set is now mounted direct at the pb amp.

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ive cut out a whole preamp stage. i go direct in unbalanced (unless im recording mics of course)the heater grounding was noisey crappy angry sounding mess so i fitted hum balance control.
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this aint pretty but its a picture of my star earth modification.this circuit board design must have been ampex’s first attempt…at circuit board design. and i reckon they got it all wrong. the negative line went kind of like in a chain thru all the different amplifier and filter circuits. frigging mess. so i cut prints and removed the several grounding spots and generally separated all those negative/to be grounded/shields circuits and then star earthed them to a tag fitted just by the playback amp. plain ugly … but hey!. the sound is quite a heap cleaner and fatter. with no hum and ‘hard’ buzzy noises. with a’no input and full! volume playback amp listen’ the (very low) noise is now airey clean and friendly. uite a lot different from the bitchy grubby crackling buzzing that was. the whole machine now sounds so much more fat. really impressive dynamics and is very black. and when you decide to overblow/saturate… it is effortless and large. the electronics doesnt distort. only the tape.heres the ampex virtual museum if you’d like to find out about ampex history.