Memories from the turn of 80's decade

by Tony C
(London UK)

The M79 was considered to have great "sound" and I believe was the machine of choice for the Steely Dan's producers. Anyone who owned / operated one of these, as did Mayfair studios of London in the late 70's to early 80's (just 1 amongst many Studers), kept a drawer full of 2N3055 and PNP3055 transistors. These powered the capstan motor and blew about every 2 months... 3M stopped making these to concentrate on the 3M digital tape recorder. What a success that turned out to be...

Tony C

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May 29, 2016
Isoloop drive
by: Dale Manquen

Although people mention the similarity to the "Davis Drive" film path, the 3M Isoloop was not related to anything in film. The 3M transports were derived from early tape recorders for instrumentation recording of rockets that require low lowband and scrape flutter. The very short span of tape over the heads and lack of any guides or other sliding surfaces near the heads yields very low scrape flutter. (The original 3M Mastering System that used Dynatrack to extend the dynamic range actually had a shorter Isoloop span since it didn't use an erase head!)

Dale Manquen

May 28, 2016
Closed loop transport.
by: Sisti

As I recall this was the key to the 3m design. Borrowing from the film projector, 3M was concerned with the tape keeping steady and firm contract with the heads. They felt the two capstan, closed loop was the best solution.


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