Technician Ampex Stereo Tapes 1971

We used the MM(basically a video machine with audio-only heads and electronics) and MR-70, only occasionally 300 and 350. The workhorse was the MR-70. This was a pleasure to operate. The variable speed wind/rewind was unique, and made all the difference in the world. I didn't have to risk slicing a finger slowing tape the old-fashioned way ! I think the electronics had more head-room (dynamic range) than the 350 and AG models.

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Apr 25, 2021
Variable speed FF/rewind
by: Rob V.

Your comment about sparing your fingers brought back some memories! I worked at a major AM/FM station in Detroit in the late '60s, and did production on both AG-440s and RCA RT-21s. The Ampexes were used far more, and I don't think I've ever seen RT-21s elsewhere. But the RCA had the same variable fast-wind feature you mentioned. A continuously-variable "Cue" knob gave dead stop in the center and high speeds at full CW/CCW. Made editing really fast & easy - you could literally go from full wind speeds to rocking the tape in tiny increments with just a single knob, and without ever touching the reels. Always missed having this feature on the AG-440s, where it took a combo of FF, rew, stop and cue buttons along with manually rocking the reels with both hands to find your edit spot.

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