This is a preliminary page which will get you started in a basic audio alignment for the JH-16 and JH-24 MCI machines.

JH 16 machines:

Until I finish this page, if you go to the AMPEX AUDIO ALIGNMENT page the alignment procedures there are almost EXACTLY like the MCI JH-16's Audio Alignment.
But NOTE this well...
The MCI tape decks CANNOT be properly aligned IF the Low Freq pot is
set way beyond middle range...     so if you are having problems
aligning your tape deck, pre-set the Low Freq Repro Pot to the middle of its turning range...
then go back and set Level, High Freq in Repro using your Test Tape tones,
just look at the low frequencies - note any channels that are way off the others
Then do a normal record alignment   which is where you normally
and correctly can adjust the Low Freq Repro pots while recording 50hz
or 60hz for 15 ips, and 100 hz for 30ips....
Remember a real Test Tape is recorded FULL WIDTH, and cannot be used
to properly set low freq repro levels!   Because of fringing you MUST
set low freq levels while recording low feq tone, or if you have made
proper track-width set-up tones on a reel of tape.

Note that MCI in the JH-16 series machines used 'copies' of the Ampex Audio Cards,
so the alignment for Reproduce, Record and Bias are exactly the same as the Ampex ones.

Only the Level pots are different: in the MCI JH-16 they're in the Input/Output Switching module.
Note that in the MCI Record Card the 'Input Level" pot is in the Audio I/O Switcher card
and NOT in the Record Card as with the Ampex Record Cards.

I'm working on a detailed Audio Alignment Procedure for the MCI JH-16.
Once that's finished I'll put up right here...

JH 24 Machines:

These machines are different from the JH-16 series in that the Record Card now has the Sync functions on it as well as the Record functions.
They've got more ICs in the Audio Circuit than the JH-16 series machines.
Personally I think the fewer ICs in the Audio Path the better the overall sound...

the 'theory' of alignment is still similar to the Ampex Audio Alignment procedures,
so go take a look there first...

The JH24 AUDIO alignment from the Manual  (as well as the Transport Alignment and Trouble-Shooting tips)  is now up in the Manuals Link on the Main Page



The followinbg steps assume you know how to do a correct head alignment....
and that you CAN do a COMPLETE and ACCURATE Azimuth adjustment.
Do NOT ATTEMPT to do this if you do NOT know how to do a complete head alignment yourself !!!

Often it is hard to adjust the head azimuth on a MCI machine - all of them.
If you get jumpy adjustments, or it becomes difficult to set the azimuth
it is likely the original adjustment screw lubrication is long gone...

IF this is the case, CAREFULLY remove the azimuth adjustment hex screw
and put just a tiny bit of  lithium grease  into the screw hole, then replace
the Azimuth screw, and do a COMPLETE and ACCURATE Azimuth adjustment.

If you cannot do a COMPLETE and ACCURATE Azimuth adjustment, either hire a good 
EXPERIENCED tape machine tech to do it for you - 
or just do NOT TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF !!