Classic Ampex AX-300 Reel to Reel Tape Deck Superb
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Classic Ampex AX-300 Reel to Reel Tape Deck Superb Picture(s) and Description:
Here's another fantastic item that was owned by my dad since the day it was new back in 1972. Indeed, the AX-300 would take an enviable place as the last (and finest) of the high end home models that the company would produce themselves. As such, Ampex held back nothing. The AX-300 was touted in advertisements as a 46 pound professional recording studio. In fact, this deck could easily live up to the performance hype with stellar reviews from the audiophile press and public alike! Built around a solid girder type frame construction, this featured three independent motors and a unique six head configuration which allowed perfect recording and playback alignment in both directions. All transport functions are handled by soft touch buttons with the solid feel of logic type solenoid controls. This design made the deck virtually goof proof as no combination of transport commands will make the tape spill. In fact, the tape handling is supremely gentle. The use of a pair of large idlers to couple the motor to the capstan virtually eliminates the need to be concerned about belts stretching and such, and the precision of the design ultimately yields exceptionally stable operation with simply vanishing levels of wow & flutter. Likewise, the heads which were required to meet Ampex professional tolerances, and associated electronics afford a truly open and extended presentation with recordings that are virtually indistinguishable from even the most demanding source material! Having grown up with this tape deck as the benchmark and unobtainable teaser by which I would judge my own best right through my teens, I was very interested to see how well it would recover from at least 20 years of storage. Fortunately, the environment was a humidity controlled cool basement, and I was pleasantly surprised when the machine powered right up. I got it to pull tape okay, and then stopped and pulled the deck from its case. I lubricated the spool motors, top side of the capstan, cleaned and checked the tape path and inspected/cleaned all the internal rubber idlers. All of the rubber, including the pinch roller, is clean and supple. Likewise, I'm really amazed at the condition of the heads. I know that this deck didn't see the kind of hours as some of the family's earlier machines from the 1960's, but I do recall at least a few hundred or so hours of use over the years. Look at the heads though, and you'd be hard pressed to tell them from new! In all, I gave this a good once over, and then loaded up some classic Quantegy (Ampex) 642 low noise tape to see what she could do. After quickly touching up the bias with some inter-station fm noise (left side a little under), the Ampex was ready to shine. I've gone over just about every aspect of this deck, and it is working perfectly in all respects (I don't recall how the reverse signal feature works, so I couldn't reliably check it). The transport handles tape perfectly. The electronics sound great, with the condition of the heads being a great long range plus. With all the switches and multi-pin connectors recently cleaned, this is nothing less than fully ready to put into service. Oh yes, this is also incredibly beautiful! There's a little rub wear on the face plate from the reel height being out of adjustment (since set properly). You can see it in the pictures, it's very minor, and it's about the worst flaw you'll find by far. I can't call it perfect, but considering that this is 40 years old, it looks amazing! Bottom line is that the AX-300 has indeed earned a legendary reputation while remaining a rare bird indeed. Here's one of those rare opportunities to call one of these yours! Buyer pays actual shipping cost. Happy Bidding! On May-20-11 at 04:24:46 PDT, seller added the following information: Click to View Image Album Over 100,000,000 served. Get FREE counters from Vendio today! More than just a pretty picture. Try Vendio Image Hosting.