1978 Studer A800 Multitrack

Aug 28, 2008 3:20 PM


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Since its founding 60 years ago, Studer has a long history of building high-performance, precision recorders, with some three-quarters of a million units bearing the Studer or Revox names. Its first multitrack—the J37 tube 4-track—debuted in 1964 and found fame in 1967 when George Martin and crew used two J37s at Abbey Road Studio to record The Beatles’Sgt. Pepper album.

In 1978, the Studer A800 brought a new generation of pro multitracks. Thanks to its huge frame, twin half-horsepower spooling motors (capable of effortlessly handling 14-inch reels) and thick slab alloy deckplate, the A800 weighed in at nearly 900 pounds, yet it was the first microprocessor- controlled multitrack—remarkable in 1978, when even the simplest early PCs were years away. Perhaps more important than the A800’s smooth, fast transport handling was its sound, providing 15 Hz to 30k Hz of analog excellence. The recorder was discontinued in 1988, although thousands of A800s are in daily use 30 years after its introduction.

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