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October 1, 2007


Do you remember?

Do you remember

In 1987, Otari introduced the MX-55, as seen in this ad from the September 1988 issue of Broadcast Engineering.

Founded in 1965 in Tokyo, Otari was responsible for producing a great deal of audio equipment throughout the growth of the radio industry, and is still making audio equipment today.

Six years prior to the MX-55, Otari implemented the MX-5050BII, a recorder the company was not trying to replace with the MX-55, but improve upon it. As the ad states, the BII was a workhorse standard for two-channel audio machines, but the MX-55 offered many additional features including “An integral auto locator; a voice editing mode that allows 2x speed playback at normal pitch; a built-in cue speaker; GSPIPO (gapless, seamless, punch-in, punch-out), and all adjustments are available through the front panel!”

The MX-55 proves there is always room for improvement and new does not always mean the demise of old.

Do you still have a working reel-to-reel machine in your station? Tell me how you keep it running (and why).


That was then

That was then

In 1973, Dan Steffen (Plano, TX) posed for this publicity shot in the WVQM studio, located on a mountaintop just outside Huntington, WV. The station broadcast a 100kW signal that could reach as far as Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. The format at the time was middle of the road and it operated at 103.3MHz. The station still operates at this output.

The equipment, both studio and transmitter, were almost exclusively RCA. Steffen thinks the consoles were RCA BC7s. The mics were all RCA 77DXs, now collector's items. The reel-to-reel decks were Ampex 1/2-track stereo and the cart machines were Spotmaster.

That was then

Steffan has fond memories from working at the station, including the fact that from the studio window, he could see the transmitter room through another glass window on the other side of the studio in between and when a storm would blow up and the VSWR would get out of whack, the fluorescent lights in the transmitter room would come on, whether they were turned on or not.


Sample and Hold

How well does radio retain listeners during commercial breaks?

Source: Arbitron, Media Monitors and Coleman



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