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Old 15th Dec 2019, 2:25 pm   #30
gramofiend
Pentode
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, UK.
Posts: 133
Default Re: Nakamichi bliss!

I remember encountering the Revox B710 cassette machine with its dual capstans in the presentation studios of BBC wales. All these were new in the early 1980's. A few more were scattered around music studios to provide soloists with copies of performances etc but all these machines, were constantly in and out of the service department and none provided azimuth compatability with another machine. The importer FWO Bauch swapped several machines out and when I visited the IBC(professional broadcast equipment exhibition) in the late 1980's at Brighton to see the latest toys, I was privilaged to see the new Nakamichi CR7E This thing had automatic line up, like the Dragon and all one needed to do was place a tape in it and press go. It then rolled in 30 seconds dropped into record and proceeded to record two tones, one low frequency and one higher several times, finishing with a motorised azimuth tweak after which it returned to the beginning and displayed (Ready) on the display. The stability of this machine was amazing and I was able to secure a trial of one from the importers B&W, I set it up with suitable pro pack, for balanced line working as machine three in the recording channel next to the concert hall in BH Cardiff and one day whilst recording a live Midday Concert to Radio 3 the stations Operations Manager walked in and said 'what is that cassette machine doing here'? I informed him it was on appraisal and that he was listening to it off tape! I then switched to tape machine 1 which was making the library recording and he then switched back to the Nak with the response 'good God' , why do the Revox machines not sound like this? I replied that with respect there was nothing wrong with rhe Revox that dropping in a Nakamichi transport would not cure! during the next few years all the revox cassette machines were phased out to be replaced with three headed off tape monitor Naks. Many of these, for an organisation of the BBCs' reputation, were very economical as they cost between 500 and 700 pounds including balanced line operaton wheras the CR7E needed a pro-pack, bringing the price to 1500. The servicing of these machines was easily performed by the engineering staff. The audio engineering department had a fleet of 55 Studer A80RC machines, in fact a complete cross section of Studer products including the venerable C37. If anyone gets to see one of those working it is a pleasure to see and hear for the sheer overall technical delight both mechanical and electronic. As a footnote to this ramble I was accidentally in the right place at the right time when the nakamichi CR7E, which I had on trial was offered to me by an ex colleague now trading in ex broadcasting equipment. He did not know its importance to my broadcasting life and when told said well you can have it for what I paid for it, 50. This was in 2008 and the machine was 20 years old and all that was necessary were the two rubber pinch rollers which were still available! Two years ago I believe B&W were still servicing all but the earliest Nakamichi product. I too have a lot of recordings made on this machine and I cannot say that I have noticed appreciable sonic degradation. I am however arranging to copy to computer and DVD. I wonder which format will be suitable for long storage?
Mike
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