Ampex 351. A true member of the family.
(Somerset, United Kingdom. )
So back in the early eighties, my father was working in a recording studio in London. Never found out why he was there! Anyway, a mobile studio was being re-fitted at the time and all equipment was being skipped. Luckily dad was there to catch a 350 transport and a stereo nest of Levers-Rich E-200 amplifiers plus a panel with 2 large vu meters.
Being an electronics engineer, he promptly brought them home and set about work marrying the two together. We know that this was a complete running setup as the levers heads were professionally fitted to the headblock!
To cut a long story short, he managed to get it all working, and the sound was amazing! Even recording a CD onto the machine gave the normally stale sounding digital source sound analog!
So later in life he some how picked up a mono levers machine and the nest was robbed to convert the levers.
Since 1994, the Ampex transport has followed me everywhere I have lived.
Currently I am trying to get the old girl running again, but sadly with the use of electronics from a domestic Sony recorder. So far, it is all looking good, though I can only run the machine at 7 1/2 ips due to the equalisation on the Sony electronics.
There is something truly endearing about this machine, add to that the history in my family and the fact it is a relatively rare machine in the UK, it deserves to be kept running for as long as spare parts are available.