The Studer A80 and A800 are analog tape recorders with a capacity of up to 24-tracks, enabling them to facilitate extensive multi-track recordings and processing. Both machines provide ample opportunities for applying tape aesthetics to audio projects, although they do vary in their sonic characteristics and their transport systems are individually better suited to different types of projects and applications.
The Studer A800 marked a new generation of multi-track recorders when it was introduced in 1978, boasting the first microprocessor control unit. These machines went on to be used to record a vast amount of classic albums, including the works of Stevie Wonder, Jeff Buckley and Metallica.
The Studer A800 has outstanding mechanical stability, high user flexibility and very fast responding transport. It also has an extremely rugged die-cast chassis and a stainless steel headblock chassis. Each channel consists of 4 printed circuit boards of European standard size for the record amplifier, reproduce amplifier, sync amplifier and the HF driver.
The Studer A80 is often referred to as a Master Recorder, and is one of the most present machines in the history of recording. It was produced from 1970 though to 1988, beginning with a 1/8" QC for cassette duplication and working up to 2 inch 24-track models. It has incorporated the legendary C37 tubes that are hallmark of the Studer brand, and has remained an integral part of analog recording until the advent and transition of the digital recording. The performances are those that one expects from a Master Recorder that has recorded countless international hits of all music genres.
Studios around the world still rely on the performance and the sound of analogue multitrack tape recorders, with tape yielding 'warm' and 'cohesive' subtle coloration and compression, with solid low end and overall presence that helps ‘glue’ instruments together in a musical way. Tape machines are no longer limited by track counts and are often used in addition with DAW environments to obtain tape’s sonic qualities. Tracks processed through tape can then transferred into a DAW, to combine tape sound with the freedom of digital editing.
Due to the A800’s faster and more accurate transport capabilities, we recommend these for larger multi-track processing of tracks and projects where a heavy analog aesthetic influence is desired. The larger capacity A80s do still pair well with most projects, but will have a different sonic performance than that of the A800s when processing larger amounts of tracks.
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