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Otari MTR-12

Mastering/Production Recorder (1984-89)

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Otari MTR-12

Description

The MTR-12 Mastering & Production Recorder is designed to be the most advanced available for the audio professional.

Whether you consider yourself an artist, an engineer, or both, these superlative machines will deliver the performance necessary for your most challenging audio requirements today, and tomorrow.

You'll discover that the MTR-12 makes sense for the way you work with audio that these are truly intelligent machines that will quickly become a dependable and powerful extension of your expertise.

You'll also find that the MTR-12's quiet and natural sound speaks well for its excellent technical specifications, and that the machine as a whole is logically laid out and easy to use, so you can concentrate on what's really important.

Note how the controls recessed into the deck eliminate tape tangle and back-up. Work with the control buttons. They're where you need them - every time.

And deep into one of those, long, long sessions, you the artist, and you the engineer, will discover the true value of The Technology You Can Trust.

Specifications

  • Track system: 2-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 40Hz to 27kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 74dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 55dB

    Dimensions: 846 x 584 x 660mm

    Year: 1984

  • Track system: 4-track, 4-channel, stereo/monaural/multi channel system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 60Hz to 29kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 73dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 55dB

    Dimensions: 846 x 584 x 660mm

    Year: 1984

  • Track system: 2-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 40Hz to 27kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 74dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 55dB

    Dimensions: 1156 x 584 x 660mm

    Weight: 113.4kg

    Year: 1984

  • Track system: 2-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 33Hz to 27kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 77dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 60dB

    Dimensions: 846 x 584 x 660mm

    Year: 1984

  • Track system: 2-track, 2-channel, stereo/monaural system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 33Hz to 27kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 77dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 60dB

    Dimensions: 1156 x 584 x 660mm

    Weight: 113.4kg

    Year: 1984

  • Track system: 4-track, 4-channel, stereo/monaural/multi channel system

    Motor: 3 x DC servo

    Reel size: up to 12.5 inch reel

    Equalization: NAB/IEC/AES

    Tape speeds: 7 12  15  30 ips

    Wow and flutter: 0.04% (30 ips)

    Frequency response: 60Hz to 29kHz (30 ips)

    Signal to Noise Ratio: 73dB

    Total harmonic distortion: 0.15%

    Crosstalk: 55dB

    Dimensions: 1156 x 584 x 660mm

    Weight: 113.4kg

    Year: 1984

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Reviewed Nov 28th, 2015 by Mo-Tech

MTR-12 is among the most underrated pro decks around considering their going prices these days. Mainly due (and thanks to-) it does not have that resonating R2R clique name behind such as Studer or Ampex. Those who know Otari brand and their long tradition of high-end R2R machines also know their top notch design and build quality. Otari went to great lenghts to prove themselves against the lobbying that went on in 70-80s calling them a Japanese junk to put them into a marketing disadvantage. This ment Otari had to design and build superior decks compared to it's competition to gain that edge and since early 80s Otaris got so good that the MTR-series did force their way into many famous studios as the preferred machines for the highest mastering machine demands. MTR-10 and MTR-12 (and II) go into that golden Otari era, when every last detail was uncompromisingly though through, designed and knowingly chosen high-end.

Sonically they are more to transparent and 3D side with it's carefully designed high-end later Otari large-coil heads and solid-state OP-amp circuitry, yet when you saturate (hit the tape harder) you can add that slight crunchy american or large flavour to sound that many people find suprising since the common myth has been that the Otaris sound just too clean or silky compared to the more legendary pro vintage machines such as AG440, A80 or JH110 that have a certain sonic character. Thus sonically there's more than one side with MTR and it can be the jack of many trades if you learn to use it's abilities. They also make a great DIY project since you can modify their circuitry, i.e. using different set of audiophile-grade capacitors for the audio path (I've done this with excellent results), input/output transformers can be added for more flavour, also if you're good in electronics and require that excessive colored sonic character then even adding tube stages for recording and playback is certainly possible as I will explain below.

Not only MTR-12 is stunning sonically, it's also excellent mechanically. Transport may not be at the level of the legendarily gentle-to-tape A80, but very close yet it's faster and more gentle than i.e. A807 that costs much more than MTR-12 and IMHO yet A807 sounds inferior sonically.

Another thing going for MTRs are they are open-source machines so to speak: all detailed schematics are reaily available, parts are cheap and plenty but most of all - they are utterly easy to work on (each board comes out in a split second to get a direct acess to any bit or part you like) in case you want to improve, modify or repair it. Something that's much more harder, risky and conisderably more time consuming to do on integrated compact decks as i.e. competing Studer A807/810/812 where parts are also tend to be more expensive and harder to obtain.

Otari MTR-series are known for their renowned reliability, it's rightfully called the Lexus of pro grade R2R decks made to run a very long time with virtually very little to no maintenance required. Back in the tape haydays MTR was a preferred machine also in radio- or TV stations running them 24/7 since MTRs have no belts or other high maintenance parts common on other decks and they hold their calibration superbly stable, almost indefinitely.

So go on, grab one before it's too late since sooner or later people will release how good and underrated those Otari MTRs are!

 

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