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Reel To Reel All discussions pertaining to reel to reel decks. These include general usage, recording, playback, and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Open Reel subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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Old 06-01-2012, 03:48 PM
fredcohiba fredcohiba is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 22
Ampex AX 50

I picked up an Ampex AX 50 the other day. Seller said it seemed to be working. I paid the money and took it home.
I got out the Fantastic and Windex and proceeded to remove 20 plus yrs of dirt and grime. Next came the alcohol and q-tips and I cleaned everything in the tape path that the tape contacts. Lots of q-tips, but fairly easy.
Brought out a pre-recorded tape made on a Pioneer RT-707 and held my breath. Hit play and - viola it worked. Actually sounded pretty good. I then put on a blank tape and hit record - same results, works very well. The only issue is the fan or motor, not sure which as I have not opened it up, is making a lot of hoise - like rushing air, so I assume it is a fan.
Anyone have one of these units or know much about them?
Best part, it only ran me $10.

Last edited by fredcohiba; 06-01-2012 at 03:49 PM. Reason: spelling error
Old 06-01-2012, 05:44 PM
Listens2tubes's Avatar
Listens2tubes Listens2tubes is offline
Supporter of Reel Analog-resistance is futile!
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,553
At 10 bucks you are way ahead! All my Otari's needed contact cleaning of most to all the contacts to even hold speed in all modes. And they are much more modern, though well used.
(3) Otari MX-5050Bll-2 - main deck with MTR metal "smoothie" heads, Ampex A-122 & F-44, Teac A-4010S & A-4070, A-6010 GLS, Revox A77 Mk II, Heath A-16 (Magnecord 1020) __
Old 06-02-2012, 07:11 AM
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Jonny Ramone Jonny Ramone is offline
Jammis Archivivist
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,472
I picked one up at my thrift for cheap. Pretty shagged out, but the heads were good. Single motor, idler driven. Cool VU's. Mine isn't worth fixing up,though. It's going to be used for soldering practice. Hitachi made them, as the name is scattered inside. Cheap replacement heads are readily available on ebay under Ampex, but alignment tapes are insanely expensive if you do that yourself- use a tech. I can't remember if the motor has oil ports. If you need it, I'll send you my motor for the postage cost. these old motors are pretty stout , though.
Old 06-02-2012, 09:39 AM
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ke4mcl ke4mcl is offline
Miami Space Transit Planetarium 11/1966-8/2015
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: miami, fl
Posts: 10,984
as mentioned they are hitachi machines. made by the same people of rice cooker fame. i have two of the ax300 6 head machines and they are working ok considering they have not been to the shop as long as i have owned them.

hitachi also made the "micro" series of vertical cassette decks for ampex consumer line.
Home taping isn't killing music, it's dying of natural causes!
Old 06-07-2012, 09:14 PM
fredcohiba fredcohiba is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 22
Thanks for the offer of the motor.
I cleaned the unit up, looks like new, and I will post it on Craigs List.
It was good practice for me.

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