Ampex Model 1250 Tubed Reel-to-Reel

Hello -- I am thinking of investing in an Ampex Model 1250 tubed reel-to-reel. Would someone familiar with this unit extrapolate on its pros and cons relative to other machines. Currently I use a vinyl-only setup and hope to occassionaly use the Ampex to delve into a medium that is perhaps closer to an original performance.

The 1250 is a two-track machine that can use upto 7" reels and runs at speeds: 7 1/2 and 3 3/4 IPS

Thank you for your time and patience assisting in this matter.

The 1250 is a 1/4 track one motor model vintage 1963.The belts tend to get gooey after time. Probably not worth more than $100 to buy.

There are other tube tape decks out there that are a lot better. You might investigate the Revox G36 series and the Teac/Concord 2000 series for starters. These are 3 head 3 motor models more substantially built. Or if you have the room research the various Ampex pro models such as the 350/351 series or the Crown tube units.

I personally use a Concord 2000 that's had the caps upgraded and I use Mullard box plate tubes. It's also auto reverse.

Hope this is helpful.
Your comment about delving into a medium that is closer to the original performance leads me to believe you plan on purchasing software as opposed to copying LP's.

The problem with the machine your describing is most of the software for sale is quarter track, 3.75 or 7.5 IPS. I never buy 3.75, figure it's a waste of space compared to performance difference between it and 7.5 IPS.

Half track is clearly superior to quarter track but unless you already own a library your satisfied with, finding half track tapes is going to be rough.

I have about 250 open reel tapes and quickly running into the problem of finding new material I want to buy. My two machines run 3.75. 7.5 and 15 IPS and will play quarter and half track.

If I remove the ability to play quarter track and 15 IPS, I'm left with less than 20 titles. Not enough to bother with owning an open reel (in my opinion).

So even though I love Ampex (I own a 351) and a dedicated tube guy, the machine you list would be very difficult to feed. I suggest either an Ampex 351 converted to play half and quarter track or a Technics 1520 or 1800 which handles just about every format.

I'm open to talking with you on the phone if that helps, click on my name and use the Audiogon server to send an email. I wish you well on your project!
I owned the Ampex F44, also of mid 60's vintage. It listed at the time for $600. Far and away the best sounding deck of it's day (not counting big pro models). Much better sounding than the Revox of the same era.

I was in the business and could get any model, but bought the F44.


I offer a gracious thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer this relatively complex issue. Like a good vinyl setup, this reel-to-reel endeavor is going to require some careful thought and research; more so given the expectation that the medium should live up to or surpass vinyl sonics.

Thank once again.

If your concidering a purchase Check out by Crown the "vanguard" its a killer sounding 7-15 IPS machine. Mono tube amplifiers included. Mine spilled tapes if not careful, but the sound was to die for, completly KILLED revox, Tascam, ect i owned, Pry can pick one up for around 2-300 mint. I used to record my favorite records on tape and play those and enjoyed VERY much. Crown Made some great reel to reels. The vanguard is from late 60's.