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Thread: What is this thing?

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    What is this thing?

    Does anyone know what this is or what it could be used for? Uses a 12ax7, 5651, two 5as7, 6al5. It weights 36 pounds. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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    Looks like it may be recording electronics for a tape recorder. This is just a guess!

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    What is this thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by theminnesotaao View Post
    Does anyone know what this is or what it could be used for? Uses a 12ax7, 5651, two 5as7, 6al5. It weights 36 pounds. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    This "thing" looks like a monoral Ampex Model-2 Magnetic Audio Recorder component complete with power supply, aka: the Playback amplifier with low Impedance, wide-frequency range, input & output transformers. It has typical Ampex multi-pin rectangular connectors & other features. The Ampex-2 was a huge machine with several modules in contast to the subsequent portable single electronics chassis Ampex monoral Model-300, the stereo 350, 351, 352, & others. I recall Ampex-2 used 18 inch tape reels.

    The Ampex Model-2 was the first magnetic tape recorder in the Broadcast & Recording industry & the Movie industry. Ampex-2 greatly simplified Bing Crosby's program editing tasks. Bing Crosby was instrumental in the creation of the Ampex-2.

    You would do well to trace out the schematic diagram. This "thing" probably can be converted to a Broadcast Quality Microphone Pre-amplifier by simply removing the magnetic tape frequency- response shape R/C network __ $$$$.

    cheers, herki

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    Thank you so much for the input, I greatly appreciate it!

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    Ampex model 200?

    I've never heard of a Model 2 and I have "been around the block". Unless you are referring to just the electronics module I think you mean a Model 200. And yes, it ran 30ips, using the unique Ampex Master Equalization curve, so it took 14" reels. Jack Mullin, it's inventor and a founder of Ampex, used to show one at AES conventions and would occasionally play the original Bing Crosby recordings made on paper backed magnetic tape!

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    Senior Member herki the cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohearen;
    I've never heard of a Model 2
    Quote Originally Posted by cohearent;
    and I have "been around the block". Unless you are referring to just the electronics module I think you mean a Model 200. And yes, it ran 30ips, using the unique Ampex Master Equalization curve, so it took 14" reels. Jack Mullin, it's inventor and a founder of Ampex, used to show one at AES conventions and would occasionally play the original Bing Crosby recordings made on paper backed magnetic tape!
    cohearent; Thanks for the kind words and the "heads up" regarding the Model 2 Typo error. I do own an old Model 200 plus a few stereo multi-track model 300's, 350"s, & 351's, EMT Reverb plate, etc, .... quaint antiques which nobody wants despite the high quality tube sound.

    I invite you to study the awesome 15 page presentation of John T. "Jack" Mullin's "MUSEUM OF BROADCASTING" aka, Mullin's Pavek Museum detailing Jack Mullin's experience with the AEG Magnetophon type K4 which he discovered in July of 1945 in Germany.




    The AEG Magnetophon K4 sp
    at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting

    Go to this Link http://www.pavekmuseum.org/jmullin.html

    In July of 1945, Jack Mullin discovered the Germans were broadcasting with a "Magnetophon" magnetic recorder with the sound quality of a straight wire. This Magnetophon may have been the first to use high frequency Advanced AC bias instead of a DC bias which fights with the recorded signal.

    Jack managed to legally send two disassembled Magnetophons home in 35 bags as war souvenirs. After rebuilding, these recorders came to the attention of Mr. Alexander Poniatoff, president of "AMPREX" a small company that had been making tiny motors and generators for military use.

    Mr. Poniatoff had been looking to build new products and he liked Mullins Magnetophon. He took his own initials "AMP" and "EX" for excellence thereby up-dating his company name to "AMPEX." President Poniatff worked closely with Jack Mullin, "Col. [Richard] Ranger, W. A Palmer, & other great engineers to support Bing Crosby's NBC Radio Network requirements.

    Bing Crosby had been doing Kraft Music Hall performances live on NBC. He hated the regimentation of live broadcasting and asked NBC permission to record and edit the shows well in advance of broadcast. NBC flatly refused with a strict policy against pre-recording. Jack Mullin's hard work and brilliant decision making resulted in not only his successful editing of twenty six consecutive Bing Crosby programs using two restored Magnetophon recorders and only fifty reels of German tape, but also in the development of the Ampex 200 tape recorder, 3M audio tape, and the first video tape recorder.

    The Magnetophon fragile tapes themselves were never played on the air. Only when 3M Scotch No.111 acetate recording tape arrived in the spring of 1948 with the Ampex Model 200 A machine was magnetic tape recording finally used directly on the air.

    BILLBOARD stated in 1972 "What a relief it was to start with brand new machines capable of running continuously for 35 minutes instead of of only 22, plus an inexhaustible supply of 3M tape." Jack worked on the Crosby show until 1950. Together with Bing Crosby, they created the Bing Crosby Enterprises Electronics Division. Jack was the division's chief engineer and Bing Crosby Enterprises became the sole distributor world-wide for Ampex audio tape recorders.

    cheers, herki the cat

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    Wow! Thanks for that link, Herki! Such great history. I glanced at it and will go through it in depth when time permits. I already knew quite a bit about the early Ampex history. I would like to know more about the development of the Magnetophon at AEG. I know it was shown at the World's Fair in 1939. I believe that was still a DC bias machine. I heard that it had already been converted to AC bias before War's end. I think the one Jack brought back was still DC bias and was converted. Anyone know if that is correct?

    Best,

    Kev

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    Forgot to comment...EMTs are making a comeback, I'm glad to say. I still have an Ecoplate 2 which I love. Plates still sound better to my ear than any digital reverb I have heard. Who cares if they can store a gillion samples if none of them sound good??? Sorry if I'm getting off topic

  9. #9
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    The advanced AC bias tape recorder

    Quote Originally Posted by cohearent View Post
    Wow! Thanks for that link, Herki! Such great history. I glanced at it and will go through it in depth when time permits. . I think the one Jack brought back was still DC bias and was converted. Anyone know if that is correct? Best, Kev
    Kev, the link "http://www.pavekmuseum.org/jmullin.html" states that:

    "The advanced AC bias tape recorder was widely used in wartime German broadcasting. Mullin said, "The Magnetophon had been used at Radio Frankfurt and at other stations in occupied Germany by the time I stumbled onto it, but there was no official word that such a thing existed. The people who were using it to prepare radio programs apparently were unaware of its significance. For me, it was the answer to my question about where all that beautiful night-music had come from.”1 Later, Mullin would joke that, “The reason we didn't know about the Magnetophon was that the Germans never bothered to classify it as top-secret.” ...herki[quote/]

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