Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Magnitude...Magnacord!

OK this is a weird one. We have a bunch of NEW OLD STOCK Magnacord mono tape electronics heads. Yeah.

What is a Magnacord, you ask? Well, here's a pic:



These all-tube tape-machine electronics chassis' were put in a box at the factory in April of 1960 (My mom was seven months pregnant with you-know-who), and have been waiting all these years to come to life. Seriously. 47 Years ago. It was like they were buried in a time capsule. They look absolutely mint! Brand new!

So why is this so great? Well, inside these boxes are all-tube mic preamps. You can plug a microphone right in the back, and there's a line-out, a tape-head out, and an on-board speaker (which makes the thing a stand-alone amplifier!).

Plugged in first an SM57, then an RCA 77dx. Both sounded really tubey and euphonic through the M-Cord. Fluffy! I joked that it made the 57 sound like a 67! And you can easily overdrive this baby in to really cool sounding tube distortion. We turned up the speaker and it sounded like a bad overloaded PA. Awesome! You could put a mic on that! Or maybe play a harmonica through it.

Hell, the NOS RCA tubes that are in it are worth hundreds!

We're sellin' em for $1100 each.

I want one!

1 comment:

Jason said...

Noticed this just today.....

When I was 3 years old (1966), my father took delivery of a Magnacord rack mounted dual tape deck, leftovers from a radio station upgrading to stereo (the deck was mono), and the picture you show of the Magnacord electronics section WAS IN THAT RACK!

The section you picture was between the two decks, one above, one below. The orientation of the deck was 90 degrees from 'standard' - that is, one reel above, the other below (not side to side like most any other deck), with the head stack to the right.

The two decks worked in tandem, each holding 14" reels, mono half track 1/4" tape, dual capstan with auto reverse. The reverse direction was triggered with a bit of foil on the tape, which completed a connection from two commutators in the tape path.

However, when the top deck hit that foil, the bottom deck was activated until it reached it's foil at the other end of the tape - at which point the top deck was switch back on, in the reverse, until it hit the oppose end of the tape, which switched back to the bottom deck in ITS reverse path - back and forth through an entire program for all night radio broadcasting.

Now, this may sound odd, but that dual deck, 6' or so tall, was in my bedroom from the time I was 3 until I was 5, playing music from the late 50's and early 60's. There wasn't a better place in the house for it, which was a good idea to me at the time.

I haven't seen any hint of it in over 35 years.

It's All About The Tone, Baby!