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Magna-Tech 600 film recorder


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 03:48 PM

I just got one of these. It's model MTE 635-4, first generation made about 30 years ago, can anyone tell me any information about these units, maintenance, where I might find a manual the history, ect. I'm having trouble finding any information as one might imagine with such an old machine. I got it with 5 cases of 35mm mag reels and sence we're going old school editing (IE KEM flatbeds, cutting table, block splicers rewinds, synconizers ect) we need a way to transfer sound to the mag reels and this was availible at the right price. Can anyone tell me anything they'd care to impart about their expirence or knowlage of these machines. Thanks-The Captain B)
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:32 PM

NO ONE knows anything about these machines? :blink:
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:39 PM

Nothin'!
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#4 David Venhaus

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 01:40 AM

I have done sound recording with an old Stancil-Hoffman film recorder, but not with a Magna-Tech, so I can't really give you any specifics. Their both just basically large tape recorders, and need the same general maintenance as small ones, like cleaning the tape/recording heads and demagnetizing them, keep the other parts/belts/chains/gears and especially anything in the tape path, clean. As for operating it, it is important to have an understanding of general audio recording, so to know the appropriate sound db/vu levels for recording. Have you tried to contact Magna-Tech? http://www.magna-tech.com/mte600.htm There is contact info at the bottom of that page. With the Stancil-Hoffman recorder I used, there was a Operation and Maintenance Manual with it and it had all the specifics, including all the wiring diagrams, what to oil and not oil, etc, so I assume there is one for the Magna-Tech recorders that should have all the info you need.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the reply, David, I did contact Magna Tech, they were unfortunately of little help with the manual however they said they did have some parts machines availible and that's some help I suppose.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 22 May 2007 - 11:20 PM.

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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 09:02 AM

Hi Cap'n!

Aligning any magnetic tape recorder is about the same procedure. Back in the day when I maintained all sort of reel-to-reels and broadcast cart machines the general practice was to have a test tape and:

1. Check mechanical performance, feed and pick-up torque, speed, etc. The torque numbers for a 1" non-sprocketed machine will be pretty close to what's good on a 35mm sprocketed recorder.
2. Set head height and Azimuth. If there's a wear track on the heads set height to run the tape in the existing groove. A bit of visible wear is not fatal, the record and playback gaps are pretty deep to allow for wear.
3. Set Bias (general rule is to overbias 1dB at 1kHz).
4. Check frequency response and touch-up if necessary. There's an interaction between bias and high frequency response, reducing bias at bit increases HF's.

If you don't have an alignment tape, and can't find one, ask a lab that uses an alignment tape to record a 10kHz tone with one of their properly aligned machines and use it as a second generation alignment tape. That's much better than nothing. A real friendly lab might even record some tones for you - if you have 100Hz, 1kHz, and 10kHz you can do a pretty good job of eq'ing most recorders - a full set of tones is best but those three frequencies will get you very close on 95% of the machines out there.
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