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Otari MX-50

Professional Tape Recorder (1988)

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Otari MX-50


The Otari MX-50 series tape recorders are economical high-performance 1/4" tape recorder / reproducers utilizing the latest technology in analogue tape recording.

All machines in the series will accept any size reel from a 5" EIA reel to an 11.2" DIN reel. Different size reels can be used for supply and take-up.

The front panel pitch control provides ±8% variable speed range. The capstan motor speed can also be controlled by an external source of 9600 Hz (nominal) square waves for easy interface with a synchronizer or similar controller. The speed range under external control is -50 +100%.

An optional Voice Edit Mode pcb assembly allows listening at twice normal play speed without pitch shift for easy editing of lecture and interview work or for transcription.

For convenience of tape editing work, the monitor speaker unit and headphone connector with channel selector switches are equipped.

The built-in tape timer displays the current tape position as Hours, Minutes and Seconds. The tape timer incorporates a search-to-cue locator with one cue point memory and a zero location memory.

All machines in the series feature front panel selection of two operating speeds, with internal switch selection of either high (15 ips and 7.5 ips) or low (7.5 ips and 3.75 ips) speed pair operation.

The MX-50 series machines provide switch selection of NAB or IEC equalization with front panel indication of equalization. XL type connectors are provided for inputs and outputs.


Track system: 2-track, 2-channel system

Heads: 1 x record, 1 x play, 1 x erase

Motor: 2 x reel, 1 x capstan

Reel size: up to 11.2 inch reel

Equalization: NAB, IEC

Tape speeds: 3 34  7 12  15 ips

Wow and flutter: 0.06% (15 ips)

Frequency response: 30Hz to 20kHz (15 ips)

Total harmonic distortion: 0.3%

Crosstalk: 55dB

Dimensions: 430 x 455 x 250mm

Weight: 25kg



recording with 2T in both directions possible?

I understand (after getting a headache) that the MX5050 only records in 2T but can play 4T (commercial tapes) as a bonus feature.

My question has to do with recording with 2T.

After flipping the 2T-4T switch to 2T and recording in that mode, can the tape be flipped over and used to record in the opposite direction?

I do understand that it would still need to be played with the switch in 2T regardless of direction.

re: recording with 2T in both directions possible?


No it is not possible to record in the opposite direction without erasing the original recording. 2 track machines divide the tape into "top" and "bottom" tracks. This doubles the width of the track compared to 4 track machines resulting in a higher quality recording. So recording on one "side" of the tape uses up all of the space on the tape, leaving nothing left for the "other side".

4 track machines divide the tape in quarters with only half of the tape used for stereo in each direction.


This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Otari. To purchase MX-50 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.