Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'

I used to be a media mogul. Shucks - I usta be a lodda things. Now, I've getting rid of my past, lock, stock and barrel. I'm only going to keep what I can use to create and if those tools are not good enough, I'm going to get rid of them, too. Here's a description for something that's on eBay right now - hot damn!:

Complete cassette duplication system, including:

High-speed (16:1) Otari DP-1010 1/2" bin-loop master
3 pancake slaves
Stand for bin
- $25,000 in 1980's dollars
King automatic cassette loader
- $12,000 new
2 King 680 semi-auto loaders
AVA super-high speed loader (may need work)
- $55,000 new and can make 5000+ cassettes per shift
2 Otari DP-2700 table-top semi-auto loaders, one needs cutter work
- $8,000 each, new
- That's SIX loaders
Gast vacuum pump
- diaphram type, $1200 new
Fostex E-2 1/2 master-maker, converted by professional technician
- worth over $6 grand new !
APEX CA-5 cassette printer
- cost $3K new!
Nakamichi MR-2 deck for quality control
- cost $800 new
cables for duplicator
- priceless!

This is sold as-is and requires some knowledge to operate. I will provide whatever manuals I can find. This equipment was working when taken out of service and has been in storage for a few years. You might have to align the system and replace some rubber belts. Otari built this stuff very heavy duty. This is all you need to make cassettes quickly and cheaply. You can also load blanks and print them with ink.

The duplicator and slaves can run Chrome-compatible (high-quality music) or Ferric (voice) tape with the flick of a switch since this system allows for two bias presets.

The process is very simple. A master is made on 1/2" mastering tape (I like BASF, but the Fostex E2 will run well with BASF bin-loop master tape or Ampex 456 or 499), the master is loaded into the bin, cassette tape in up 12,500 foot reels or "pancakes" as they're called, is threaded onto the three slaves and the system is set to go. There's a Pass Counter, so you know how many loops have run.

This is a high-speed system which means that you're recording 2 tracks of stereo in each direction all at once, at a time ratio of 16 to 1. That means that you can record a 32 minute-long cassette (16 minutes on each side), one per minute, times three slaves or 180 pieces PER HOUR!!!

The recorded pancakes are then put on a loader. In this auction, there are 2 auto and 4 semi-auto loaders. The auto loader winds tape into an empty C-0, or cassette shell with leader already in it, until it "hears" the end of the program by listening for a "cue tone" - a very low frequency tone placed on the recorded pancakes by the bin master player. It then cuts the tape, splices it to the leader in the shell, winds up the leader and spits out the tape, ready to load the next piece. The King auto loader in this auction can do about 150 pieces an hour of C-45 program.

Then, the cassette are printed with white, black or colored ink on the CA-5 flexographic cassette printed, one side at a time, using plates that are easily made by a "rubber stamp" maker from a negative. The CA-5 is crank operated but can but fitted with a motor, if you want. We've printed plenty of cassettes this way and they look pretty good, I think.

The cassettes then get packaged and, hopefully, you get paid. The "beauty part" of all of this is that you get to be a player that's small and flexible in a highly specialized market. There's lots of religious, voice and promo work out there, but you'll have to go get in. On the other hand, if you're a preacher with a ministry and can reach out to other preachers, heck, there's a business right there that will benefit everyone, especially your flock!

This is definitely a pick-up only, truck-load lot. It's all stored in a garage which means no loading dock and I won't arrange shipping. I will help you load but you must have your own insurance!!! Sold strictly as-is. I want it out of my life and my garage, so, your gain is my gain! PayPal or cash on pick-up only. New, this stuff cost well over $75K. Installation is available for a fee but transport is your responsibility.

This was our first, then second, then third, then short-run system. It worked real good. We made probably on the order of 5 or 6 million cassettes on this tiny system. I love making stuff, but Feng Shui tells me, it gotta go, round eyes (oops - just got fired AGAIN!)