Bob Olhsson wrote:
> Steve Puntolillo writes:
> >There is a puzzling lack of information on the web about Scully
> >professional tape recorders.
> It's not that puzzling to me. They only had around a five
> year heyday 40 years ago in maybe a hundred US music
> recording studios. Scullys had mostly been replaced by Ampex
> and 3M 2" machines by the time recording studios became a
> common part of popular culture. Everybody had to build their
> own one-off recording consoles back then too and we see very
> little about this on the web.
That's a very good point. Maybe why I feel differently is a regional
When, in my late teens, I first stepped into NYC studios (late 60's and
early 70's) they were almost all FULL of Scully machines. Most of them
were 1/4" 2-track machines. Most of them had a pair of Dolby 361s
sitting on top of them. And, all over the NYC metro area in the small
independent studios were hand-me-down Scully 8-tracks.
> At 9:27 AM -0500 12/7/06, Tom Fine wrote:
> >>I think another factor is that few Scully machines survived. I've
> >>never used one so I can't comment on their reliability or
> >>durability. I've only seen two working, and one of them is Steve's.
> Not very many were in service in the first place.
In an absolute sense, this is true, but maybe there are two ways to look
I don't have production numbers, but one of the Scully principals gave
an AES presentation and mentioned that 60-70 Scully 12-tracks were sold.
And, he didn't consider them to be big sellers. So, they must have sold
considerably more 1" 8-track machines. Then there were 4-tracks,
3-tracks, full tracks, etc.
So, if we consider how few recording studios could have been around from
1965-1970 (which would have been their peak period) it seems they could
have sold into quite a decent percentage of them. OTOH, to be fair, we
also have to take into account sales into institutions, radio stations,
mastering rooms, etc.
Bob also wrote:
> I don't remember
> any reliability problems.
> At Motown we had four 1" 8 tracks that were replaced by Ampex
> MM-1000s within weeks of their installation. We also had the
> prototype that we used for remotes and 4 pairs of mono and 1/4" 2
> tracks that we continued using. The Scully 8-track was THE machine to
> have for only a couple years and the Scully 4 track only had its
> heyday for maybe 3 years before that.
Absolutely. I think the MM1000 was a big setback for Scully. And, the 3M
M56 2" 16-track that followed didn't help. Then, in 1973, Dictaphone
moved operations out to California, leaving the people who had built
relationships with the pro audio community behind. Those folks defected
to MCI and proceeded to put them on the map.
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