Any Opinions on an Otari MX70 1" 8 track?

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by mymarch, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. mymarch

    mymarch Active Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I have a chance to pick one of these up locally for a great price from a trusted source, but I've never used/heard one yet. Anyone have any experience/comments about this machine? I am only familiar w/ the MTR series. Any similarities sonically? This is just for home use (right now I've got the whole Fatso and HEDD to DAW thing happening and am looking at this machine for cutting drums).
    Many thanks,

    Martin Trum
  2. sign

    sign Guest

    I have a MX80 2" 24 and I'm quite happy with it.

    I suppose the MX70 has the same electronics since it's the same series :)

    All I can say is my machine sounds great.

    Hope this helps.
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I like the idea of that, is it small? That would be handy eh?

    You have to tell me how you use the Fatso AND head together? (Is it a Hedd 192?)

    a bit of everything from each unit or what?

    :) :) :)

    Also, would you be using up a track on the 8 track for timecode???

    In the mid-late 08's I speced an Otari 8 track for a studio I advised was a dark green model...

  4. mymarch

    mymarch Active Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Hey Jules,
    This machine is big... a little smaller than a washing machine. Runs at 15/30ips. I think the green one you mentioned was probably an MX5050 which is a much smaller 1/2" machine.

    Yeah, I'll probably use one track for SMPTE, but it's no big deal... I don't use many mics on drums so losing the track won't matter.

    I'm really digging the Fat-Hedd kit! I use the fatso for "processing" on the way in to the HEDD (not the 192). I like to hit it HARD w/ the compressors off. It really rounds things out. I usually don't use the HEDD processing while tracking w/ Fatso though... unless I'm going for something really "sticky" and then I combine the 2 processes. Sometimes I use the HEDD process on the full mix if I stay all in the computer. Man, if I could only afford a whole rack of this $*^t...

    Martin Trum
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Ah yes, the MX5050.. that was it..

    Cool to know re the Fatso, I skip the compresors too..and hop between 3/4/5/6/7 of the warmth.. and mess with the ins and out levels A LOT.


  6. innerbooty

    innerbooty Guest

    I owned an MX-70 16-track for many years, and loved it! I only regrettably sold it because I moved to New York, and it wasn't a practical way to record in my apartment. I can only imagine that the 8-track sounds even better. Nowadays I fantasize about getting another used one, and recording to it before dumping to Pro Tools. All the stuff I recorded to the MX-70 sounds better than what I record directly into my Mix Plus system...
  7. mymarch

    mymarch Active Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Thanks for your help! I've narrowed down my choice between the MX-70 and and Ampex 440-8 1" 8 track. Anyone dare to compare the 2 sonically? I'm not concerned with the functional differences... I know the 440 is nowhere near as complex or "modern" as the MX70.
    Thanks again!
  8. subspace

    subspace Guest

    The following is from a RAP post John Klett answered concerning 1" 8 track choices:

    The MCI JH-110C would be the most practical and there are plenty of them
    around. They are fairly easy to service in my opinion. Advantages are
    good tension control (assuming molex pins on transport motherboard are
    clean), a decent servo controlled capstan and it does 7-1/2, 15 and
    30ips without screwing around with mods... plus varispeed and
    synchronizability if you need it.

    The Ampex AG-440-C 8track. These are substantially more mechanical to
    deal with and some adjustments can be really annoying. These came with
    synchronous motors that depend on the power line frequency to run on
    speed and they do not varispeed. Others (most but not all 440C's) I
    have seen will have a servo'd capstan motor than can vari-speed. This
    is a two speed machine and parts are getting harder and harder to find.

    The 3M M23 8track is both a far simpler machine than either Ampex or MCI
    and it has a sound that is quite good. It has a very solid sound and
    speaks with authority. 3M machines are also becoming a little hard to
    support but I kept my M23 and deal with it... also a no varispeed
    machine and two speed only - almost all are 7-1/2 and 15ips

    Scully 280's WITHOUT syncmaster sounds okay... oh - overdubbing with
    this and the M-23 can be a bitch but the Syncmaster seems to interfere
    with the sound and it's a horrible mess to maintain. 280's are fairly
    borderline and may best be avoided... the 280B is actually not terrible
    - almost forgot about that one. The 280B may have a servo motor and may
    be 15/30 but unless there is an obvious varispeed control assume it is a
    syncro motor and not a servo motor.

    Otari made a number of dedicated MTR90 1" 8track machines. If you can
    find one you would have a machine that could be upgraded to 2" 8track -
    like one we did for Sound Station Seven in R.I..... but this is
    expensive up front and you may never do the upgrade. The stock playback
    head on the MTR90's both 1" and 2" have their low frequency head bump up
    a little high and it is more bumpy than, say, any of the machines I
    mentioned above... on the other hand they tend to work

    Studer made A-80's and A-800's as dedicated 1" 8tracks, 3M made a 1" 8
    version of the M-79, a few Ampex MM1200's I THINK were done this way -
    these are all upgradable to 2" if you want to spend a lot on media...
    but it sounds real nice

    There are others but Soundcraft, ITAM, Otari (MX-7800) and probably
    Scully should be avoided.... I'd say look for an MCI but no one else
    may agree




    John Klett / Singularity Enterprises, Inc. / Tech Mecca, Inc.
    Technical Audio, Engineering, Consulting & Design
    ++ (1) 845-225-0699 <voice
    ++ (1) 845-225-0382 <FAX
  9. mymarch

    mymarch Active Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Hey thanks! I actually read that thread a few days back along with some others over there that were a bit helpful.

  10. dcb1227

    dcb1227 Guest

    I have owned an MX70 8track one inch for a couple of years now and I am very happy with it.15 ips is nice and fat and 30 ips has a nice top end on this machine.If you get one and find it to be noisy when you pop it into record(frying bacon in a wind storm)it should be an easy fix.Mine just needed new relays at about 5 bucks apiece,two per channel.good luck
  11. mymarch

    mymarch Active Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Thanks for the suggestions/help. I decided to go with the Ampex! It sure is pretty....

    Martin Trum

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