The WORST MISTAKE you can make when buying gear...

Time and time again I keep hearing of folks making the WORST MISTAKE
you can make when buying a Tape Recorder or Console...

DO NOT Buy Equipment
that is not in good working condition   !!! !

DO NOT Buy Equipment
that is MISSING PARTS   !!! !

Recently a client bought an Ampex MM1200 that was not working... the seller of course said
"It was running fine before I put her into storage a couple years ago..."
The buyer 'trusted' him, bought the machine thinking it would only take a couple hundred bucks to fix it up...
And of course it took $2,000.     Making a 'fair' deal into a very very 'bad deal'.
The power supply was blown, the Capstan Motor damaged beyond repair, the Control Box switches
so worn as to become intermittent, some audio cards didn't work at all,
and so on...    

Another client bought a Console that was once again in storage, and yes the seller
said the very same thing - "it all worked fine just before I put her into storage..."
Once again the power supplies were bad,
and the Console will take well over 4K more in work to get her in even fair condition.

or is MISSING PARTS is an 'complete unknown'.

You may think it will not take much money to get it back into good condition, but   IT WILL.

Old gear requires CONSTANT maintenance... and putting gear into storage is a
sure way to run up the repair bill.....     switches and pots need to get
turned and used, and spray-cleaned once a month to operate well.
Store gear in a storage facility or garage for a year and corrosion, dirt
and dust and grime gets into the switches and pots, if there is any dampness
things start to corrode fast.     Connectors start to go bad.

And the WORST THING YOU CAN DO when looking at gear that has been stored
or has not been in constant use is to NOT be able to fully test it.
The SECOND WORST THING you can do is to not know the gear you're buying...
Don't go buying a console that you have no personal knowledge of,
or because of something that you read in a Forum.
Or buy an old Ampex 351 tube two track because it's a tube machine...
and you've never even seen one, let alone every used one.
There is a growing amount of junk equipment for sale now....
Much of it not worth the cost of repairs.   And all of this
junk equipment is sold by folks who keep saying... "it was running fine".
So if it is not in running condition, you are buying a "Pig-in-a-poke".
If you get the story that "we can't test it out because
there isn't power"... or light... or speakers.... whatever,
pass on the deal no matter how 'good' it might look at first.

And remember that any 'good' deal can (and usually will) turn quickly into
a financial disaster if you cannot fully test out the equipment BEFORE you buy it.


Brokers are often the worst offenders in selling junk equipment...
Usually they have never even seen the equipment they sell,
and have no real idea if it's in good condition or junk.
I've recently seen a Neve console that the Broker said was a discrete
Mic Preamp console (it is not - it uses only ICs), was a Class A console
(it isn't), was recapped (only 30% was recapped - with poor quality caps
that are now bad) and was in "overall good condition"... but it isn't.
And to get back the money paid to a Broker you have to Sue them,
which you have to do at the point of Sale - their City.   So
you have to fly there, pay a lawyer, stay in a hotel room, and hope
the Broker's lawyer won't have the trial postponed... which of course he will.
So you Fly back home and then have to do it all over again...
Costing you thousands, just to TRY and get your money back.

Are there good deals out there - sure.
Good running Tape Recorders are very cheap these days.
Large Format Consoles are selling for very inexpensive prices.

A few equipment Brokers are actually good people to buy from
and know the actual real condition of the equipment they sell...
and are honest.

If you ARE dealing with a Broker - you MUST ask them
"Have you seen this equipment yourself in person?"
"Have you personally tested the unit?"
"Did you personally check ALL functions of the unit to insure that they all operate correctly?"
"If I am unhappy with the equipment what is the Return policy"
Finally, "Please put the above statements and your answers in writing for me"

Good deals can be found if you wait and are not in a hurry.

So FIRST - ONLY buy equipment you have FULLY TESTED or had an Honest Tech check out for you
SECOND - Never buy equipment you have no knowledge of or have not personally used
THIRD - Never Trust the Seller or Broker
FOURTH - NEVER buy equipment that is not working well



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