Ballfinger M063 both 1/4 track and 1/2 Track playback

sunan

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Jun 8, 2015
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I emailed Ballfinger about the possibility of the new Ballfinger deck being configured for both 1/2 track and 1/4 track playback, and this is what they had to say

"We have checked this and there is a possibility to switch the heads in front of the playback amp. The option would then be located on the tape drive keyboard. You would then have two play buttons - one for 1/2 track and one for 1/4 track. For this purpose, the REC button would be converted + modification of the tape drive software. The different output levels on the playback amplifier can thus also be set separately. A change to the playback amplifier is not necessary. Please tell me if that is interesting for you and if so, what other features you want to have (counter, VU meter, balanced output, etc.) Then I can make you a qoutation."

Price wise not bad

"Of course I can equip you the machine with an additional 1/4 track head. Unfortunately, we do not have these heads in stock, this must be procured, also an additional PCB must be made as well as a modification of the tape drive electronic. The modification will cost about 1800.00 € additionally. I can tell you a precise price if I have determined the associated costs for us."

Very interesting play only deck with both formats. Since the deck is modular the buyer can get it converted to record and play at a later date if he wants. I am definitely interested in this play ONLY deck. Seems like it offers everything and price wise not bad, about $13K brand new with warranty.:cool:
 

CKKeung

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CKKeung

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astrotoy

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Thanks sunan!

ATR10 price is similar to an UHA Phase 11 or Phase 12 deck.

I didn't think that Sonorus or UHA machines could do 1/2" tapes, which seems to be the direction of the OP. I had read the Ballfinger specs earlier, and I was under the misimpression that you could order it with a configuration that could play both 1/4" and 1/2" tapes, with two different sets of head blocks and rollers. Sunan, are your thinking about ordering a Ballfinger? Particularly one that can play both 1/4" and 1/2"? It certainly is more sleek and elegant looking that my old clunky Ampex ATR-102's (for which I have both 1/4" and 1/2" headblock kits.) Thanks. Larry
 

Ron Resnick

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Uniquely the Sonorous has a built-in tube repro amplifier.
 

sunan

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Jun 8, 2015
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I didn't think that Sonorus or UHA machines could do 1/2" tapes, which seems to be the direction of the OP. I had read the Ballfinger specs earlier, and I was under the misimpression that you could order it with a configuration that could play both 1/4" and 1/2" tapes, with two different sets of head blocks and rollers. Sunan, are your thinking about ordering a Ballfinger? Particularly one that can play both 1/4" and 1/2"? It certainly is more sleek and elegant looking that my old clunky Ampex ATR-102's (for which I have both 1/4" and 1/2" headblock kits.) Thanks. Larry

Yes I am thinking of getting a Ballfinger with both 2 track and 4 track playback only capability. Roland said he is working on a black faceplate unit which he said he will have pictures soon. Actually I am looking at 1/4 inch.
 

astrotoy

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Yes I am thinking of getting a Ballfinger with both 2 track and 4 track playback only capability. Roland said he is working on a black faceplate unit which he said he will have pictures soon. Actually I am looking at 1/4 inch.

Good luck, very interested what happens. I reread your OP and saw I misread it - not 1/4" and 1/2", but 1/4 track and 1/2 track. I had Greg Orton install a 1/4 track play head into one of my Ampex 1/4" head blocks, so I can playback 4 track stereo tapes on it in addition to 1/2 track. No 1/4 track record head however.

Has Ballfinger worked on having a service center in the US? or will machines have to go back to Germany for service? I would guess that a competent tech could figure things out, particularly if there was a comprehensive service manual, like the Ampex one. Clearly there is a definite attraction for people wanting a new machine (or one that has undergone the complete restoration and improvements that Greg Beron does). There were hopes for the Horch machine, particularly at the price point they were shooting at, but it was not to be. Not sure about the new Kostas Metaxas machine. Looks very sleek, like his other electronics. However, I am guessing the price point (based on his other electronics prices) will be in the Ballfinger range, not the Horch House range.

Larry
 

sunan

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Jun 8, 2015
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Good luck, very interested what happens. I reread your OP and saw I misread it - not 1/4" and 1/2", but 1/4 track and 1/2 track. I had Greg Orton install a 1/4 track play head into one of my Ampex 1/4" head blocks, so I can playback 4 track stereo tapes on it in addition to 1/2 track. No 1/4 track record head however.

Has Ballfinger worked on having a service center in the US? or will machines have to go back to Germany for service? I would guess that a competent tech could figure things out, particularly if there was a comprehensive service manual, like the Ampex one. Clearly there is a definite attraction for people wanting a new machine (or one that has undergone the complete restoration and improvements that Greg Beron does). There were hopes for the Horch machine, particularly at the price point they were shooting at, but it was not to be. Not sure about the new Kostas Metaxas machine. Looks very sleek, like his other electronics. However, I am guessing the price point (based on his other electronics prices) will be in the Ballfinger range, not the Horch House range.

Larry

I have not thought about the service thing. A competent tech would be able to figure out with service manual how to service it. Need to ask Roland how he plans on doing warranty repairs if there are any. Since it's modular I don't think you have to ship the whole deck back to Germany to get the repairs done? A good tech would be able to figure out which board or part is bad and take it out and send back to Germany for a replacement. Either way I figured if I am going to spend so much money on a deck it should rather be a brand new made deck and not a refurbished deck. Play only deck would cost around $11K-$13K depending on the options
 

sunan

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Jun 8, 2015
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I saw somewhere metaxas deck costs around $55K? And it does not look anywhere near the Ballfinger or a Studer
 

c1ferrari

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May 15, 2010
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I saw somewhere metaxas deck costs around $55K? And it does not look anywhere near the Ballfinger or a Studer

Pics of the Metaxas prototype are available on the web and it most certainly exudes an avant-garde flair! :cool:
 

CKKeung

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I saw somewhere metaxas deck costs around $55K? And it does not look anywhere near the Ballfinger or a Studer

Metaxas has signed dealership agreement with Pacific Audio of Hong Kong at the Munich Show in May.
I expect some Metaxas products will be demoed at the Hong Kong HiFi Show in Aug.
However, most probably the tape deck may not be in time for the Show. I heard that the net price will be much lower than USD55k. :rolleyes:
 

astrotoy

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May 25, 2010
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Metaxas has signed dealership agreement with Pacific Audio of Hong Kong at the Munich Show in May.
I expect some Metaxas products will be demoed at the Hong Kong HiFi Show in Aug.
However, most probably the tape deck may not be in time for the Show. I heard that the net price will be much lower than USD55k. :rolleyes:

Hopefully it will be 55k HKD. :)

Larry
 

CKKeung

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Tango

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One arrived at Khun Woody’s Audio Excellence, Bangkok.


Tang
 

CKKeung

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One arrived at Khun Woody’s Audio Excellence, Bangkok.
Tang

Audioexotics in Hong Kong has become a Ballfinger dealer.
The open reel movement is gaining momentum rapidly in Hong Kong! :D

However I heard that the worldwide demand on the Ballfinger decks is so large that there it is severely backordered. :(
 

sunan

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Jun 8, 2015
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I was waiting till Ballfinger put out the black version of the deck. I saw the pictures on their website last week. I emailed them yesterday, got a reply back that the 1/4 track play along with 1/2 track is in demand and they can do that for me but their order books for 2019 is full with orders and they have a issues hiring more good personel to keep up with the orders. So for me they said they might be able to get my deck made by the end of 2019.
 
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yjwu

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Jun 28, 2011
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I wondered how people would commit such large sum of money to a brand new reel to reel tape recorder without inquiring to the technical detail; at least waiting for some third party test report to surface? How does it perform in compared to our beloved, say STUDER A810, A820, Ampex ATR102, Otari MTR15, Nagra T-Audio etc.; both in tape transport and audio recording/reproduce quality? Just by its looking?
What is new in this twenty years of technology progress in the context of professional analog magnetic recording?
My point of view was the Danish made Lyrec PTR-1 "Frida" was a pinnacle in its time, at least in portability; though there were issues to be solved. Any improvement from this deserve its credit.

STUDER's multi-micro-processors control/AD7524+OP amp design concept? Georges Quellet Tribute's extreme simple design concept? any new idea?
 

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