Rola 66 "Frankenamp" and head available to a good home

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Secretary AES Melbourne Section Inc

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Aug 23, 2020, 1:27:45 AM8/23/20
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Somebody has contacted me for assistance in finding a new home for this strange device (photos at the link below):

Apparently there is also a Rola66 head available - not sure if that's a rec/play (66 was only a 2 head machine) or erase head.

The amp doesn't look functional (salvageable?) but it may be good for parts.
He believes it came from ABC Ripponlea.

Contact me if you want his details.

Speculation is welcome as to the device's function.
My guess is that it was a Muppet Labs creation to extend the Rola MKII's HF response above the specified 10kc/s (that's 10kHz for those too young to remember), for TV's FM "HiFi" audio.
Sound plausible?
Anyone have practical knowledge of this device?

Regards,

Peter Smerdon.
Secretary 
AES Melbourne Section 
Ph 0437-422-458
Website    https://www.aesmelbourne.org.au/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MelbAES
Twitter      https://twitter.com/AESMelbourne


Graeme Huon

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Aug 23, 2020, 1:35:24 AM8/23/20
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Not sure what a Rola66 head is but I keep an eye out for a Byer 66 half-track with an orange power plug as I used to own it.

Graeme
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Secretary AES Melbourne Section Inc

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Aug 23, 2020, 1:56:49 AM8/23/20
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A Rola66 head would look something like this:
GT_Head.jpg

You wouldn't believe how the azimuth was adjusted on these beauties!

Rola bought out the Byer business, and sold the MKII range under the Rola brand until they were replaced by the MKIII.
At my first job we had one Byer77 and one Rola77 - I couldn't tell them apart except from the name on the speaker grille.

What happened to your Byer66 Graeme? Recycled?
(This is on a public group email, so you you might have to be a bit circumspect, Graeme) 

Peter Smerdon.


Graeme Huon

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Aug 23, 2020, 3:18:12 AM8/23/20
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Peter, 

My parents told me I was circumspect at a young age.

The Byer 66 had to be sold as part of the cost of a university degree multiple years ago. Sold it to a religious group (Order of the mu metal shield?).

I think I sighted it in the mixing studio Port/North Melbourne back room during the AES visit a few years ago. Never followed up tho. 

I would recognise it if I saw it again.

Graeme
On 23 Aug 2020, at 3:56 pm, Secretary AES Melbourne Section Inc <secr...@aesmelbourne.org.au> wrote:

A Rola66 head would look something like this:

Tony Mitevski

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Aug 23, 2020, 10:06:57 AM8/23/20
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Hi Peter,

is the Rola66 to be given away or sold?


Regards,
Tony

Rod Brown

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Aug 24, 2020, 12:50:22 AM8/24/20
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Graeme

Could that reported sighting have been on a tour of DEX Audio at 369 Macauley Road, Kensington?  I drove past recently and they seem to still be there - phone 8378 2266, www.dexaudio.com.au

Peter, the images of the "strange device" are vaguely familiar from my early days at 7, but as to what it was for I can't remember.  Maybe someone like Tony Hambling or Terry Bennett could help...

regards Rod






Rod Brown CTS-D, CTS-I
Freelance AV Services
57 Barry Street
Northcote Vic 3070

Landline: +61 3 9481 8660
Mobile: +61 412 727 696
email: rodb...@ozemail.com.au


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Re: [aes-melb-discuss] Rola 66 "Frankenamp" and head available to a good home

Shubroto Bhattacharjee

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Aug 24, 2020, 3:24:54 AM8/24/20
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Hello, friends!
Here’s a small desk-lamp to shed light on the beast.
The link toward the end caught my eye...
Do bin if of no use.
Stay safe and well.
Cheers!
Shubroto
"Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope." - Robert F. Kennedy

"You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear." - Sammy Davis Jr

Shubroto Bhattacharjee

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Aug 24, 2020, 3:25:42 AM8/24/20
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Graeme Huon

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Aug 24, 2020, 7:16:45 PM8/24/20
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Hey thanks for the reminder Rod!

Graeme

da...@jydwebb.id.au

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Aug 24, 2020, 7:58:26 PM8/24/20
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Thanks for this, I used and maintained a few Rola 77 MkIII tapes recorders at ABc Melbourne and Canberra. Also routine maintenance on them at ABC Radio 2CO Albury and Wagga as Well as ABC Radio

2BA Bega. The CEI?? Solid state models that replaced the Rola 77MK11 (which is valve) disappointed, I felt they had some intermodulation distortion.  The design of the tape path on the Beyey/Rola/CEI was so good and better for cleaning editing than any other “portable” recorder. And yes the Rolas were portable, with a handle. I once had to carry one up the stairs of a building overlooking the Cenotaph?? In Melbourne for an OB recording.

Good tape recorder memories.

 

David Webb

From: aes-melbourn...@googlegroups.com <aes-melbourn...@googlegroups.com> On Behalf Of Shubroto Bhattacharjee
Sent: Monday, 24 August 2020 17:25
To: aes-melbourn...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [aes-melb-discuss] Rola 66 "Frankenamp" and head available to a good home

 

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Peter Smerdon

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Aug 25, 2020, 1:26:05 AM8/25/20
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Thanks for your recollections, David.
It's amazing how a couple of pictures can take us down memory lane!
My first experience was with Byer and Rola versions of MarkII's
The 66 and 77 MKII's were called "transportable" in the brochures. 
I'd call them "luggable".
I lugged them to church services, quiz shows and sing-a-long recordings more times than I care to remember.

Also, if you ever maintained MKII's, I'm sure you remember the rudimentary head azimuth adjustment technique, and the infuriating pressure-roller pressure adjustment (balancing the two sides of the solenoid armature to be "just right").

However, the 77 MKII was my favourite editing machine of all time. 
For tight dub-edits, the erase and playback heads seemed just close enough for me to do a clean drop-in and not leave a fragment of the original audio at the drop-in point.
It's downside was that its top-end was restricted to 10kHz (10kc/s) so the second-generation edited recordings sounded a bit duller than with the MKIII's which went out to 15kHz.
However the MKIII's heads were too far apart for tight dub-editing.

Apparently the MKIV's overcame this problem with a system called "pre-sage" (I think it was hyphenated), where you could listen off the record head - sort of like the multi-tracks' "sync" mode.
I never got to use a MKIV, so I don't know how well that worked.

Also, the MKII had a very slow erase rampdown, so you didn't switch quickly from "record" to "fast rewind" or the decaying erase signal would impress a few seconds of an audible tone glissando over the end of the recording (45kHz recorded at 10x speed = 4.5kHz at 1x playback). 
The safest technique I found was to drop from "record" to "play", count "1-2-3-4" (by which time hopefully the bias signal had died), then rewind the tape.

I believe the MKIV's first came out under the Plessey marque, and were the first 77's with solid state electronics (MKIII's were also valve electronics).
On acquisition, CEI continued to offer the MKIV for some time until they came out with their own MKV design, with many similar core tape deck elements - but with a lot of their own "enhancements" (like constant tension circuitry and a digital tape timer) which brought their own "challenges".

Good times!

Peter Smerdon.


Peter Smerdon

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Aug 25, 2020, 2:12:27 AM8/25/20
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Graeme, Rod,

I just checked through my photos from the Dex tour (June 2012 - time flies!), and see an original Byer 77 (Mark "none") but no 66/77 MKII's.
However I can't believe there weren't any there.
Anyone else have photos from that night?

Meeting report with some photos is at http://www.aesmelbourne.org.au/dex-audio-june-2012/
And more photos of Daniel's museum are at http://www.aesmelbourne.org.au/dex-audio-photos/

Peter Smerdon.
(currently down a rabbit hole!)



David Briggs

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Aug 25, 2020, 6:15:38 AM8/25/20
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Didn’t Paul Dixon have a couple of Rola machines , or am I the only one old enough to remember Paul. He was located around Malvern/ Glen Iris. dB

 

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