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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 23rd May 2024, 11:09 am   #1
Sonofprent
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Default Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Hi, first post - found you guys an age ago when I was looking into my old beocord and picked up some helpful advice - thanks for that!

Anyhow, a colleague at work is clearing out a loft after a death in the family - they've an old, and rather beautiful looking, Vortexion VWB (type tbc) that I told them not to clear out while I investigated about value - so here I am!

Thought if anyone knows anything about these it would be you folks. Believe it's mono and has some kind of sound on sound recording? Pete Townsend had one is a claim to fame I believe.

Anyhow, does anyone know the value of these or the best places to find a prospective buyer? eBay is fine though I'd need to know a basic start price I guess, though wondered if there were auction houses that may be interested depending on the rarity and desirability of such a thing - obviously I don't know about that much.

All I've done is powered it, and briefly tested the mechanical side - it's working in that regard, though had no sound in my brief tests, which may well be because the tape is a blank.

So yeah, they will be looking to find it a new home - I figured there would be people who wanted the tubes, spares, bakelite knobs etc so when they asked me (I'm a synthesizer geek so tend to get asked about old audio stuff from time to time) I said I'd ask and not to take it, as they were intending, to the tip!

Any advice, ideas or valuations gratefully received - thanks!
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Old 23rd May 2024, 12:42 pm   #2
Sergeauckland
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Vortexion were one of several manufacturers to use the Wright & Wear tape deck with their own electronics. They were a more 'Professional' offering than the very similar Ferrograph machine using the same tape deck. There's a suggestion that Vortexion W&W made to a tighter specification, but according to Terry Martini in hisbook 'Built Like A battleship', there's no evidence for this.

As far as I know, there's little difference between a Vortexion and the Ferrograph of the same vintage. As to value, you can check what Ferrographs go for on eBay, and I would expect a Vortexion to be much the same.

As to breaking it down for spares, please don't!

S.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 1:05 pm   #3
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Ha, no need to worry there - I certainly won't be pulling it apart! Just wondered if it was more likely that someone would buy as a spares/backup unit?

Thanks very much for the info - I'll do se googling around Wright and Wear - there's a W&W logo on the front so assume that's them.

Appreciate the info, thanks.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 1:23 pm   #4
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Try Wright and Weaire. The latter name often gets mis-spelled and you might otherwise miss things with a search engine.

David
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Old 23rd May 2024, 2:08 pm   #5
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Good advice so far.

Nobody on this forum likes the idea of scrapping good quality vintage equipment, but if you really are unable to rehome this, please do some dismantling before sending it to WEEE. At the very least, save all the valves, knobs and if possible the transformers (mains and output). Some forum members may also need parts from the Wearite deck.

Here's hoping it will find a new home where it can be restored though.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 2:31 pm   #6
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

It looks like a Series 4 WVB. So will be c. 1961. Please try to sell it complete as there are plenty of spares for these out there already.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 2:38 pm   #7
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDWVA View Post
It looks like a Series 4 WVB. So will be c. 1961. Please try to sell it complete as there are plenty of spares for these out there already.
I was told it's a 1959 - single owner unit I believe! Yeah, like I said wherever this ends up it will go complete - things like this deserve restoration.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 2:39 pm   #8
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
Try Wright and Weaire. The latter name often gets mis-spelled and you might otherwise miss things with a search engine.

David
Thank you - I can see why it gets misspelled!
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Old 23rd May 2024, 2:46 pm   #9
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Good advice so far.

Nobody on this forum likes the idea of scrapping good quality vintage equipment, but if you really are unable to rehome this, please do some dismantling before sending it to WEEE. At the very least, save all the valves, knobs and if possible the transformers (mains and output). Some forum members may also need parts from the Wearite deck.

Here's hoping it will find a new home where it can be restored though.
I'd hate for it to go to landfill - there's got to be someone out there who'd want something like this. Assuming the amp works even as a vintage tube colouring device it must have use to somebody. (I speak as someone who has a couple of tube bits and pieces as well as a tape simulator for audio processing.)

Looking around the auction room sites there doesn't seem to be much demand though. eBay has had a couple on but I imagine it's more that they're sitting there with high prices... I don't think they are eBay people either.

Wondered about directing them to omega auctions with it - are there any other vintage audio specialist places in the UK that buy/sell/take on items like this does anyone here know?

Thanks for all the advice btw - really helpful.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 7:00 pm   #10
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Smile Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Hi,
I have a Ferrograph Series Five with the same deck and I love it.
There was a stereo version of the Vortexion with another amplifier unit on the RH side.
It's best not to leave the control knob in the 'PLAY' in case it causes 'flat spots' on the rubberware. I leave mine in fast forward or rewind when it's not in use.
Hope this helps.
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 24th May 2024, 9:43 am   #11
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Funnily enough it arrived in fast forward - now I know why!

I've asked at a couple of places so will see what, if anything, they come back with. Speaking to the owner this morning they share the same desire as those on here, in that they want it to stay together, in one piece and hopefully be of use to someone.

Depending on what I hear back it might be that it ends up being offered for free, so I guess if anyone wants to express interest in it as a resto project then post here and we'll see what happens. No guarantees obviously, but if anyone is near North Derbyshire or fancies a drive out I can pass on details if it gets to that point.
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Old 24th May 2024, 10:59 am   #12
Sonofprent
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

Little update here in that I may have found it a home with someone with a similar background to me - audio/music geek has expressed an interest for use in his studio.
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Old 25th May 2024, 9:21 am   #13
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Default Re: Vortexion reel to reel/tube amp value?

I recently came across a Ferrograph in an auction, bid £10 because didn't want it scrapped, was, finally, outbid at £11, so not much demand as mentioned.
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