Sugar Rays Recording Company

by Pat Reyford
(Essex UK)

Hi Folks,

We are based in Essex in the UK and we are in the process of building a complete mono valve/tube recording studio in a little building. 40ft by 17ft with a 11ft apex roof. We have kitted the soundproofing with old style perforated pegboard which will be painted an off white color. The recording booth(with window) will be at one end of the building. We will be working with An Ampex 350 2 track and an Ampex 300 mono(bathtub electronics) along with a Collins 212e broadcast console which we purchased off a very helpful chap called Robert Van Dyke. So far as microphones are concerned we have a various number ranging from Altec/Western electric 639's, RCA 77's, RCA 74's and 55 Fat boy Shure's. Even got the old fashion heavy duty mic stands. Compressors consist of Altec 436c and hoping to get another. Be nice when we can finally also get an RCA 44 too. Fro location recording we've got ampex 600's with an Ampex MX35. Hopefully we'll get a great sound just like they use to back in the old days. Will update when its complete.

Pat Reyford (United Kingdom)

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Feb 05, 2013
Nearly done.
by: Pat Reyford

Thanks Steve and thanks Chris. Studio near on completeion. Next procedure is moving all recording equipment in the next 2 weeks and connecting it all up then a field test with a band to see what resut we get. Will try and post some pictures of the process.

Jan 10, 2013
Ampex 600
by: Stephen Barncard

The 600 was a cool looking machine that promised professional portability and sounded pretty good, however, it sucked as a master recorder - the transport was not ready for heavy pro use.

Single motor design meant linkages had to transfer power to the reels mechanically for fast forward and rewind and the transport was susceptible to flutter and wow problems, the belts would deteriorate, etc.

This is not to diminish the importance of this machine in regards to remote recording of the 50's and 60's, I'm sure many live records were made on this machine during that time.

However, the AG440 machines are far superior and easily aligned. They are also more plentiful and not too expensive in the used market.


Jan 09, 2013
Vacuum tube based recording studio
by: Chris Juried

Hi Pat,

You’re going to have one heck of a studio, in many ways, when all said and done. Make sure you have a sufficient HVAC system in order to keep the room cool! Sum of equipment "wattage" x 3.4 = BTU Cooling Consumption.

It would be great, for everybody, if you would post pictures of the studio being built through its completion. You are re-commissioning some of the great equipment of recording history and now present! Thanks and best of luck to you!



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