(St Louis MO)
Hi. I can shed some light on this wonderful recorder; I own one. Two things you are missing in this article is that the most popular (believe it or not) configuration was the one inch twelve track. That picture of Jimi is with a 12 track, and is very famous for making (i believe little wing). We do know the Scully 280 recorded Led Zepplins entire Whole Lotta Love Album, Bostons first album, Take a Letter Maria, Freebird, Brown Sugar, Wild Horses, everything at Stax during certain years, Koadchrome and lots more I cant list.
Someone is working on identifying the pattern (electronic signature) of tape recorders, and we may someday be able to correlate that info and determine what recorder recorded certain albums.
It is an elaborate RECORDING INSTRUMENT, and says so in the book. Heads are ground to .000 and polished to .0000. Only an "optical alignment device" a special comparative-microscope, can accurately align the heads.
Just so you know. EVERYTHING you need for a tape recorder is still being made and has very much *never* died; I know because I have talked to these people. George Laforgia is a rock star tape recorder troubleshooter, flown around the country, making big money, to fix TV studios, broadcast Ampex recorders. A true rock star.
New recorders are being made today and have been for years, you just dont know it.
The ATR-108 is the monster machine; a 2 inch eight track. (ill wait till you gain your composure). Mastering engineers use it for movies, and that is the ONLY thing the core uses. Yes 2 inch eight.
The 3 most sought after tape recorders are as follows:
Ampex 350-8, Ampex 1260, and Scully 280. I own 2 of the 3.
If you would like to record on my Scully, you are very welcome.
Take care and let me know if you have any questions.