Open Reel Tape Machine M 063 HX
Analog High End Tape Machine for Operation on external Playback Amplifier or for free Configuration
- Only playback
- Reel size up to 30 cm
- Direct drive reel- and capstan motor
- 3 speeds switchable from 9.5 cm / s to 38 cm / s
- Edit function manually one-handed or via kontrol knob
- Hour meter
- ¼“ Stereo with 2 mm track width
- 2 speed spooling
- Playback tape head direct to balanced XLR output
- Ready to install in 19″ rack or console
- Surfaces in black or silver anodized
The basic version of the M 063 HX represents a new concept in tape recorders and is intended as a playback machine for operation on external amplifier equipment. The separation of tape drive and audio signal processing creates the prerequisite to achieve the best audio data and is therefore not only the ideal high-end solution: With the real-time counter with locator, the machine can be used for professional archiving purposes.
Another feature of the M 063 HX is the possibility of free configuration: The modular product architecture we have developed makes it possible to individually custom-build the machine. The options are grouped into equipment packages and can be reordered and installed at any time.
- Speed fine adjustment for capstan drive +/- 10%
- Real-time counter with hrs / min / sec and 100 / sec and locator function
- Mainboard with input amplifier + recording amplifier + erase oscillator with ¼ „full track erase head for 3 speeds switchable
- Record section 2,00 mm track width or 2,75 mm track width
- Input amplifier electronically balanced with XLR jacks
- Input level permanently calibrated or with level control and calibration button and VU meter with peak hold function and LED peak value display and driver card
- Mainboard + playback amplifier + output amplifier for 3 speeds switchable + CCIR / NAB switchable
- Playback head ¼“ with 2,75 mm track width
- Electronically balanced outputs with XLR jacks
- Output level permanently calibrated or with level control + calibration button
- High end headphone amplifier with volume control for headphones with impedances from 16 – 2000 ohms
- Side panels in wood or black frosted
In order to meet a broad range of applications, the M 063 HX chassis has been developed for professional applications and consists of high-strength aluminium. In addition, the wearing surfaces of the base platter are finely milled on both sides, ensuring that the angles and height of the mechanical elements of the tape transport are precise and lasting. The head block and audio heads are so precisely machined that there is no need for a time-consuming and inexact adjustment of the tape heads. The reel motors, capstan motor, power supply and audio unit components are so positioned as to keep the signal flows short, while failure-critical components are spatially separated from each other. This enables substantial measures to electromagnetically shield the components – particularly the motors and tape heads – to be avoided from the outset. All components and circuit boards are equipped with high-quality plug-in connectors on both sides. Longer cables and signal lines are grouped in a sealed cable harness with magnetic shielding. This allows servicing of all components to be performed with the minimum of delay, without having to change the position of adjacent cables or components.
The processor-based drive control prevents any kind of looping and tape deformation. The braking process from the spooling operation thus ensues completely electrically incorporating the sensitive tape tension sensors. You can select between two tachometer-controlled spooling speeds plus optional archive winding function with increased counterbalancing. For this purpose, extremely torque-invariable motors have been developed with state-of-the-art power electronics and direct drive. Even at high load, these fast-reacting servomotors generate hardly any waste heat, and operate virtually silently while developing an extremely high and uniform torque with their axial magnetic field. Two highly precise force sensors on the guide rollers monitor the tape tension and set the current for the reel motors without any delay. This enables both an extremely uniform tape-head contact and an extremely low slippage at the pressure roller, combined with low pressure strength.
The capstan drive thus possesses outstanding acceleration and deceleration values and can be in standby mode. For a smooth start that is gentle on the tape, first the pressure roller is engaged, then the motor accelerated – using precisely calculated ramp control – and stabilised without overshooting. This occurs in less than 0.5 seconds – even at a speed of 38 cm/s, and then the audio channels are activated. The speed control of the capstan motor is realised by means of the phase lock loop (PLL) method, a process with decades of proven performance behind it. Here a so-called phase comparator synchronises the frequency of the capstan shaft tachometer generator (in the microsecond range) with an externally supplied reference value. In contrast to the well-tried PLL regulation, the M 063 capstan motor, however, operates with a digital loop filter and process-controlled regulator. Only in this way was it possible to realise an extremely precise and fast-reacting direct drive with a very low wow & flutter.
In basic version, the M 063 HX audio head is directly connected to the XLR jacks provided for balanced signal transmission in the connecting terminal. This machine is therefore a pure drive with no integrated audio electronics. This radically new approach in the construction of analogue tape recorders thus offers all the possibilities that have always been a global standard in vinyl record players. The complete separation of drive and playback amplifier offered not only provides the ideal foundation for optimal audio specifications. In the future, it will not only be lovers of vinyl who appreciate the individual, optimal assembly of all sound-relevant components. Furthermore, the option of equipping the device with two audio heads is also available on request: this allows, say, tapes recorded in various track widths to be played back on a machine with no loss of quality.
The optional class-leading modern audio electronics consist of a plug-in card system with very short signal paths. Playback and recording electronics and erase oscillator are powered by separate precision power supplies. The use of toroidal transformers and the spatial separation of audio and power electronics ensures a high unweighted signal-to-noise ratio, which is far above studio standard. This allows the playback head to be without mechanically shields.
The front panel can be move along with the audio unit. Thus, work, such as measuring on other types of tape or replacing individual amplifier cards, can be carried out from both sides. In addition, the ad-justment controls on the amplifier cards are arranged in such a way that they are both accessible from the front, as well as from the rear. If the machine is mounted in a rack or console, it does not need to be removed for calibration. It is sufficient to remove the front panel.