I admit to being a bit of a hoarder. No, not the obsessive type found on the reality TV shows that can’t make it through their home or apartment because of all of the garbage and stuff. But I do recognize that I tend to hang on to equipment and stuff longer than I should. Sometimes it works out for the best like last year’s use of my aging Ampex 440-C 2-channel reel to reel machine but other times I visit the upstairs storage area of my building and think…when was the last time you used those Apogee converters or the Kawai 88-note MIDI controller? So I’m turning over a new leaf and going to be using this site and eBay to offer some of the “classic” equipment or recordings that I have (including a couple of vinyl LPs by George Van Eps, the original 7-string guitarist that I revered as a kid…in protective sleeves).
The first item that I’m going to try and sell is my cherished SONY PCM-601 Digital Audio Processor. I purchased this unit from a guy in Pasadena in the mid 80s so that I could do digital transfers from my PCM F1 Beta Tapes. The move from analog recording to digital recording was just starting and those of us that made the move used the Sony F1 in conjunction with a Beta Video Deck. It worked with VHS decks too, but at that time both Beta and VHS were vying for the consumer home video market…and the Beta format was actually better.
Of course, none of my customers could play the master “digital recording” that I produced at home so I had to transfer the 44.056 kHz/16-bit PCM Beta Tape to multiple cassette tape machines. I would spend hours making copies for clients. Why use the Sony F1? Well, because it meant that the master was made in very high fidelity PCM and that perhaps sometime in the future I would be able to provide that quality to my customers. I also used this technology to record a lot of my own compositions and concerts. When I did finally get my first digital audio workstation in the late 80s (a Sound Tools system from Digidesign), the PCM-601 was able to do digital transfers into the DAW.
My acquisition of a Sonic Solutions CD Premastering business in 1989 was my road into the world of mastering and I used the SONY PCM-601 a lot in those days.
The use of videotape transports was an interim step between analog recording and DAT (Digital Audio Tapes), It was the bridge format and it worked very well. But I’ve already transferred all of my own recordings and don’t really need this device any longer.
I found one on eBay sold by a medical doctor that has been playing around with audio equipment for years. He describes himself as an avid collector “with a disease”. His description is way over the top with regards to the “audiophile quality” of the converters in this box. We’re doing much better these days…but his pitch is polite. Here are a few of the best selling points that he posted on the eBay site:
“This will do Analog to Digital Conversion with the Best of them.
They do not make them like this anymore.
If they did this unit would likely cost at least $5000 maybe more.
This unit operates at 44 KHz.
This unit can truly be the heart of a current state of the art system.
This is truly one of the best made and best sounding PCM Digital Audio Processors ever made.
No matter what you spend, no matter when you buy your system, this Processor remains state of the art, even to this day.
That is how well it is made and how far ahead of it’s [sic] time it was.
I am likely the most honest person in the world.
I try not to screw anyone.
I practice the Golden Rule and so should you.”
Wow! Are you convinced yet? I love the fact that the sample rate is listed as “44 kHz”…how convenient that he left off the needed decimal place. The 601 (and all of the other digital processor from Sony) has a sample rate of 44.056 kHz NOT 44.1 like standard CDs. That means that digital transfers will be off pitch and slower by a little bit (most of us won’t notice it). So we’re not talking about a state of the art piece. But it does have a specific function and is quite prized by the right people. I was one of those people…but I’m not anymore.
If the good doctor can offer his SONY PCM-601 at $350 then I figure I’m looking for about the same price. I saw one on a site in Manila listed for $1200, but that’s stupid price.
This unit is a piece of history. It’s available…just send me a note. Shipping is on you and there aren’t any refunds or returns. The unit works perfectly.
Note: I have a bunch of other items that will be going up on eBay soon. If you want a list of what I’m going to offering, just drop me an email. I rather sell them to this community than worry about eBay.