Head direct out on the Studer A80 RC?

Fred Thal

[Industry Expert]
Jul 15, 2016
147
0
0
#1
There might be a couple of people on this forum that I actually know. They will be astounded to see me now starting a thread here about head direct out.

Especially on a Studer!

But let's face it, this direct out trend just isn't going away!

So, let's say that you happen to own an A80 RC and that you want to use one of the outboard tape stages.

So, how do you do that, knowledgeably and responsibly?

Obviously, you'll want to retain the Studer-manufactured repro head, as they were unquestionably the finest in the world. (I'm sorry if yours is worn out. That's sad.)

You'll also want to retain that head's loading network, as well as its original cabling.

The A80 RC thankfully makes doing this invitingly simple and elegant.

DSC_0213.JPG

On the slide-in, direct-out substitution card (an ATAE product) you have the passive head loading network. Optionally, we can add an active cable driving stage (aka a flat amp).

No wiring changes. No switches added to the signal path. Just swap out the two cards (takes under 30 seconds).

That's how we've been doing it at ATAE, for our customers that want to go down this path.
 
Feb 20, 2015
53
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Cheltenham, UK
#3
That is very neat. Part of me wants to ask Fred about similar cards for the A820. But I'm not going to use my 1/2 inch A820 as my main playback machine. That would be insane :)
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,556
1
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Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#4
There might be a couple of people on this forum that I actually know. They will be astounded to see me now starting a thread here about head direct out.

Especially on a Studer!

That's how we've been doing it at ATAE, for our customers that want to go down this path.
Are these direct out cards for sale? and how much ?
 

Fred Thal

[Industry Expert]
Jul 15, 2016
147
0
0
#6
Is there any additional re-wiring/re-routing needed for the output card slots ? In other words, can you take a stock A80, plug these cards in and connect to the outboard pre w/o further modification(s) ?
Answer to your first question: No.

Answer to your second question: Yes.

Preserving the Studer A80 RC recorder-reproducer (keeping it all-original and making no modifications) was the design goal of these direct-out substitution cards.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,868
1
38
Northern NY
#7
Answer to your first question: No.

Answer to your second question: Yes.

Preserving the Studer A80 RC recorder-reproducer (keeping it all-original and making no modifications) was the design goal of these direct-out substitution cards.
Thank you Fred. As I am in the process of closing on a new home and renovating the music room there, I will be in touch this upcoming year. I may be a good prospect for one of your A80 based PB only machines. Thanks again for answering my questions.
 
May 30, 2010
13,919
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38
Portugal
#8
(...) Obviously, you'll want to retain the Studer-manufactured repro head, as they were unquestionably the finest in the world. (I'm sorry if yours is worn out. That's sad.) (...)
Can we have your opinion on relapping Studer repro heads?
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,848
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Bangkok
#9
Dear Fred,

I am also interested in your machine. Apart from technical aspects that you modified your machine to be superior to normal Studer for playback, sonically what could I expect to hear over the normal well refurbished A820?

Kind regards,
Tang
 

Fred Thal

[Industry Expert]
Jul 15, 2016
147
0
0
#11
cute
so calibration pots are removed and its fixed?
No. This card is for people who want to use an outboard tape stage.

Thus, in its simplest form, the ATAE direct-out substitution card for the A80 RC has only two passive components, a head damping resistor and a capacitor. Those two components form the head loading network.

Optionally, we can add a flat amp for buffered drive of the interconnecting cables.
 

Fred Thal

[Industry Expert]
Jul 15, 2016
147
0
0
#12
Can we have your opinion on relapping Studer repro heads?
That's a huge topic, actually.

The process would be better named re-contouring.

The face contour (where the tape is in intimate contact) is indeed of great importance.

When this head contact area widens due to abrasive wear, a number of detrimental things happen. This is a factor behind our SHRO headblock designs for the Studer A80 and A820 transports.

So, in a nutshell, head re-contouring is desirable, or sometimes even necessary.

This re-contouring process can be done as many times as the usable depth of the pole piece tips may allow.
 

Fred Thal

[Industry Expert]
Jul 15, 2016
147
0
0
#13
Dear Fred,

I am also interested in your machine. Apart from technical aspects that you modified your machine to be superior to normal Studer for playback, sonically what could I expect to hear over the normal well refurbished A820?

Kind regards,
Tang
I think your question will be better answered if I say nothing and you listen to the same, high-quality source master tapes played back on an expertly refurbished Studer A820 recorder and then on an ATAE Model One or Model Two reproducer.

Such a comparison demonstration can be done here at ATAE in northern California, given advance notice. You are encouraged to bring your own source tapes and perhaps your own preferred headphone system. (The loudspeakers of our house system are Dunlavy Signature Fours, now over twenty years old. But I'm not apologizing for them.) We also have over 300 real master tapes (meaning original masters, not copies) available here for your demonstration.

No audiophile that I am aware of is using an ATAE Model One or Model Two reproducer. I would be honored if you decided to be the first. Thanks for your interest in our products.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
1,848
41
48
Bangkok
#14
Aahhhh...First mover again. Shall we do a lucky draw Christian?
I think we have another friend who likes to shoot for the best in every format. I am sure he is following this too :D.

Tang
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,868
1
38
Northern NY
#15
Aahhhh...First mover again. Shall we do a lucky draw Christian?
I think we have another friend who likes to shoot for the best in every format. I am sure he is following this too :D.

Tang
That is my dream...ATAE reproducer coupled with their technical training program to maximize the use and maintenance of the machine including proper alignment and calibration techniques.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,081
4
38
#16
Aahhhh...First mover again. Shall we do a lucky draw Christian?
I think we have another friend who likes to shoot for the best in every format. I am sure he is following this too :D.

Tang
is it safe to come out yet?

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srs148

New Member
Jan 4, 2016
25
0
0
#19
No. This card is for people who want to use an outboard tape stage.

Thus, in its simplest form, the ATAE direct-out substitution card for the A80 RC has only two passive components, a head damping resistor and a capacitor. Those two components form the head loading network.

Optionally, we can add a flat amp for buffered drive of the interconnecting cables.
Hi Fred, these direct-out cards would be popular with A80 owners - will you offer the cards for sale to forum members and/or the general public?
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,049
24
38
Beverly Hills, CA
#20
I would like an ATAE reproducer also.