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Ferrograph pre-amp project ?

GUEST,Lotech Strummer 07 Aug 09 - 02:00 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Aug 09 - 04:27 AM
Bernard 07 Aug 09 - 05:54 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 09 - 02:40 AM
Bernard 10 Aug 09 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,The Man in the Shed 11 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM
Bernard 11 Aug 09 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Evo 09 Oct 14 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 09 Oct 14 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Itay 08 Apr 15 - 08:30 AM
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Subject: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST,Lotech Strummer
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 02:00 AM

Hi, anyone know if its worth trying to salvage the valve pre-amp
out of an early 60's mono Ferrograph Tape Recorder
and modify it into a viable standalone recording pre-amp?

I'm crap at electrics so I'd have to consider paying a local technician
to disconnect it, restore any components, and then fit it into a new box with inputs/ outputs and vol/tone controls.

So would this be a reasonable idea, or just too expensive to justify
the end result in comparison to the sound quality & price of brand new Chinese built pre-amps ?

I used to record my band with it back in the 70's.

.. and use it as a makeshift
fuzzed out guitar amp when my Dad wasn't looking.

But its not been used for at least 20 years, and getting caked in dust and cobwebs last time I checked it out at my Mums house.


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 04:27 AM

Probably not up to modern-day standards. Try the Joe Meek range.


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 05:54 AM

Take care - the mains smoothing electrolytic capacitors may be far too dried out to work properly, and could even explode... you must replace them with ones with the correct ripple current specification, which may be tricky to source these days.

My guess is your memory is improving its performance in your head...!

I don't mean that in a derisory way, it's just the way we are!


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 02:40 AM

Hi I'm not a real tech person but
I have a ferrograph series 4 tube tape machine.. I use it A as a guitar amp (often fuzzed out because it does it so well)for solo gigs and recording and B as a line amp and high impedance mic pre on occasions. Its input is very high impedance and not suited to standard modern balanced mics but a tech can tackle that with the right input transformer.

I recapped the power supply and it came to life.

Its got a great bottom end and obviously a real valve quality. When mixing I often run stuff through it admittedly to drive it but I think it would make a great mic pre if modded. Probably not technically good on paper ( I read somewhere its meant to be flat on playback to 12khz which is not bad ) but who cares? If you want super transparent and hi fi then there are probably expensive mic pres or cheap functional ones out there that fit the bill but if you want the explosive and lifelike valve tone I reckon youd have it there. Anyway its plenty clear and present to my ears. I have a couple of dedicated mic pre's that would be more hi fi but I don't think by much and many of them don't have the same qualities as the ferrograph.

It has nice old mullard valves in it, inductor eq on playback, and output transformer for the speaker or 15 ohm output. I think they were built really well, not cheaply by any stretch and there is plenty in there for a tech to do something with. Alot of the capacitors are paper in oil which are good in that they have a smooth tone etc, bad in that alot of them may have dried out. I'm sure my one would be improved by a recap in the amplifier section.

PS I'm no tech expert but have looked alot in to these and am thinking of setting up a mic input transformer so I can feed in low impedance mics through the machine as is....

What a rant!

Anyway, I reckon it'd be great to give it a shot.

Tim


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 06:35 AM

You could always run a passive DI box backwards... saves a lot of modding!

By backwards I mean plug the mic into the 'output' XLR - you'll need a 'gender-bender' or modified cable - and connect the 'input' to the Ferrograph input. This won't work with active DI boxes, only passive!


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST,The Man in the Shed
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM

Is this any help ?

http://www.morphet.org.uk/ferro/s5docs.html

"Ferrograph Series 5 Documentation

The following pages are scanned from the manuals of Ferrograph Series 5 tape recorders, kindly donated by Derek Revell and David Sylvester.

This manual is also available as a high resolution PDF file (8.0MB).

The Manual of the Ferrograph Series 5

Front Cover
Series 5 Photo
Title Page
Important Notice
Contents
Contents, List of Diagrams and Plates
Page 1, Foreword
Page 2, Model 5A Specification
Page 3, General Information
Page 4
Page 5, Operating Instructions
Page 6, Loading the Instrument
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9, Speed Selection, Playback, Winding
Page 10, Recording
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15, Brief Stop, Playback after Recording
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18, Erasing, Record Links
Page 19
Page 20, Auxiliary Socket, Changing Tracks
Page 21, Editing and Splicing Tape
Page 22, Spools
Page 23, Endless Loops
Page 24
Page 25, Care and Maintenance
Page 26
Page 27 Technical Description - Design Details
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
Page 34
Page 35
Page 36, Testing and Alignment
Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42, Use as an Amplifier, Conversion of 5A to 5S
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45, The Ferrograph Model 5S
Page 46, General Description, Connections
Page 47, Playing Back Pre-Recorded Stereo Tapes
Page 48, Appendix A - Operational Fault Analysis
Page 49
Page 50, Appendix B - List of Components - Model 5A, 240V, 50 c.p.s
Page 51
Page 52
Page 53
Page 54, List of Components - Model 5A, 110V, 50 and 60 c.p.s
Page 55, Appendix C - Accessories
Circuit Diagram (220K)
Page 58
Page 59"


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 08:22 AM

Don't you just love t'internet?! ;o)


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST,Evo
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 02:05 AM

Anyone made a definitive mod guide for these units yet?


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 12:34 PM

5 year old thread...

The OP was me using one of my off the top of my head disposable IDs
[don't ask why, I can't remember]

The ferro is still gathering dust at my mum's house.

Since then I've found the odd blog post from techs who have modded these old boxes.

So there are newer additions to the internet to google.

This is my favourite...

Ferrograph Amp

I am now resigned to probably not being able to afford to pay to have the work done.....


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Subject: RE: Ferrograph pre-amp project ?
From: GUEST,Itay
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 08:30 AM

Hi guys,

Quite an old tread but I thought I'd give this a go.
I've got a couple of Series 6 units, stripped bare of their valves, transformers and power supply.
I could get the remaining bits by checking for the right ones in the schematics, but I couldn't find which power supply it needed exactly. any thoughts?


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