I purchased a used Scully 280 4/2 track in 1998 for Family Theater in
Hollywood for use in transferring 1/4" masters to digital. It came
with manuals and plug in 2 and 4 track head stacks and a 1/2" alignment
tape. The project has finished, so it remains there in the downstairs
vault. It worked fine except for a small off speed playback which had
to be corrected. It's still there while I've since moved to northern
California with my own Teac A-6100 "Master Recorder" deck I use for
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.
> That said, I can name at least two studios with Scully machines in
> service for at least part of the 60's.
> 1. Stax -- numerous pictures show Scully 4-track in the control room
> when they were still mixing to mono on an Ampex AG-350. There may have
> been a Scully or Ampex 2-track elsewhere in the control room in the
> pictures I've seen.
> 2. Fine Recording -- Scully 8-track installed in Studio B in 1967,
> along with one of the first Audio Design and Manufacturing modular
> solid-state consoles. Later swapped or upgraded to a Scully 12-track.
> I don't think the Scully machines were in service very long, may have
> been leased. Walter Sear's Moog room upstairs had an Ampex AG-440B-8.
> When Studio A was rebuilt in 1969 for 16-track, it was with Ampex
> MM-1000's and a huge ADM board featuring early routing automation.
> I've also heard of Scully machines in several different radio
> stations. From what the Ampex veterans tell me, Ampex basically shut
> down manufacturing for a year or more while moving the facilities to a
> new factory. Furthermore, the 300/350 type machines, updated in an
> early solid-state design with AG-300/AG-350, were very long in the
> tooth by the mid-60's -- and the MR-70 was a bomb in the market due to
> too-high price. Here comes Scully with a new machine and more modern
> solid-state designs at a time when Ampex was producing zero machines,
> and priced competitively with good leasing terms from what I've been
> told. Zappo, they get a toe-hold, especially in the northeast near
> their Connecticut base (remember that many northeast studios already
> had Scully cutting lathes). Then in 1967, Ampex finally gets back in
> the market with the AG-440, which was a very durable machine with then
> modern solid-state design, and priced to be in the heart of the
> market. I believe Scully was out of the tape machine business less
> than 5 years later. Remember also that in the late 60's/early 70's
> era, 3M was working hard to sell tape machines outside of the West
> Coast (they did get a small toe-hold in some northeast studios, but
> Ampex was still king). Then Studer and MCI came along by the late
> 70's. Most 80's and onward upgrades or new studios I saw in NYC had
> Studer tape machines, a few MCI's.
> Question for Steve P -- do you have any idea how many 12-track session
> tapes there are out there? How many studios actually used 12-tracks?
> It was actually a forward-looking format (precursor to 24-track with
> roughly same specs), but didn't have time to catch on before 16-track
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 8:16 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Yahoo discussion group for Scully tape machines
>> 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.
>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
>> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
>> 615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com