For Love Of The 350

by Steve ONeill
(San Francisco,Ca)

I am a Broadcast Engineer that began my career in the 60's

as board op at a classical music FM station. We used the Ampex 350 machines to play voice tracks and commercials.

Three units,rack mounted with remote control from the audio board. All controlled by the board op.

At one point the station went to a Scully automation system. The three decks became part of that system.

I fell in love with them! The modular design allowed easy access to electronic and mechanical parts. The use of steel
in the transport,head assembly,and the electronics prevented
RF from our on site transmitter (100kw) from bleeding into the audio board.

Later on I opened up a small recording studio of my own.
A simple 2-track setup for production of jingles for radio and commercials. The 350 was the recorder of choice.

The studio was on the ground floor of a building which was flooded by a big summer storm. The recorders got wet!
Using a hair dryer I was able to save them. The electronics came to back to life in full voice!

Now radio stations use computers to air content. Strange as it may seem I miss the sound of a relay closing when you push PLAY.

Steve ONeill

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