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Ampex 600 Questions
Ampex 600 Questions
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Old 24th January 2013, 06:02 PM   #1
noah330 is offline noah330  United States
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Default Ampex 600 Questions


I was hoping someone here could help me get started working on a pair of Ampex 600 Reel to Reel machines that I have picked up.

I have disconnected them from the tape machines and would like to use them as mic preamps. So far, I have been able to use them and they sound pretty good. I have seen a lot of people online talking about how you should remove the circuits that are for the tape playback to clean up the signal path.

From what I can see, and I am not an electronics expert my experience ends with building effect pedals and re-capping amps but I am trying to learn.

My question (and I will reference the schematic below) would be I am thinking I need to disconnect one, three and four from the red block below to remove the bias control and the erase controls. It looks like I need to leave 1 connected, as it is a ground (is this right?)

Then I can disconnect the tape playback by leaving the switch on input (which is what I am doing). I can unsolder the tape side and then remove that section at C2.

Am I way off or am I at least on the right track? Any help would be amazing.


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Old 24th January 2013, 07:06 PM   #2
noah330 is offline noah330  United States
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EDIT - I see now that the whole connector can be removed as power comes not from the harness but from C1. That being said, I suppose I would remove the harness then the connection @ C16 and at the switch?
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:23 PM   #3
HollowState is offline HollowState  United States
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May I suggest that you not "disconnect" anything. There is no need to butcher an otherwise nice tape electronics. Instead simply remove the three tubes in the red areas. The 6F5, 5879 and 12AU7 bias oscillator. This will effectively disable those circuits. And since these circuits are not in the signal path you are using, they will just be there dormant. They will neither add or detract anything. There will be a slight increase in B+ voltage from the lessened load which can easily be companseted for by installing a suitable power resistor to ground from the "B" filter capacitor. And this may not even really be necessary since it will be only a small increase. But take a before and after voltage reading at this point.
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:29 PM   #4
Frank Berry is offline Frank Berry  United States
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I agree with HollowState. I was going to post the very same thing. Just realize that the microphone input is not balanced.
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:37 PM   #5
noah330 is offline noah330  United States
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Thanks for the advice. I will do that. I had thought about that but had read on a site that sells upgrades to these units that removing the tubes damages everything else, something I have never really heard of happening.

I do have two of these, one has the aftermarket input transformer added and one is stock with the plate. Thanks again for all the help, I may have more questions about installing a transformer.
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