Mitsubishi X-850 digital 32-track reel to reel tape recorder




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Published on Jul 1, 2007

a digital reel-to-reel 32-track recorder made in 1987. 44.1 or 48khz at 16-bit on expensive 1" tape, which is why nobody uses these anymore. The tape transport is based on the Otari MTR-90, which does not use a pinch roller.. the capstan is simply a rubber roller that holds the tape with friction using carefully controlled tape tension.

Note: If you ended up here from an ebay or craigslist ad with the poorly-worded "see the x850 in action" followed by the YT link for this video, please don't be confused, this machine is NOT owned by Kingston Records. I do not have this machine listed for sale, though I'd consider passing it on as it does not see use.

This is a fully-optioned unit that has the meter bridge (not connected in this video, though it works), emphasis control, and SSL console interface. This was purchased new and used for it's entire working lifetime (~10 years) at Harpo studios to record audio for The Oprah Winfrey Show - I imagine only as a safety backup if the live mix was fouled, so it never saw "hard" studio use. Masters were not kept; the tapes were re-used dozens of times - several of them are still with the machine.

The custom-engraved emblem on the front edge of the unit has a cut-away ceramic chip on the left side, and says "The 150th Commemorative Model X-850 Serial # XXXXXX Mitsubishi Electric Co. Japan" on the right side.


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