35 Facts About Ampex


Ampex is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M Poniatoff as a spin-off of Dalmo-Victor.

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Today, Ampex operates as Ampex Data Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Delta Information Systems, and consists of two business units.

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Ampex's first great success was a line of reel-to-reel tape recorders developed from the German wartime Magnetophon system at the behest of Bing Crosby.

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Ampex quickly became a leader in audio tape technology, developing many of the analog recording formats for both music and movies that remained in use into the 1990s.

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Ampex moved into digital storage for DoD Flight Test Instrumentation with the introduction of the first, true all digital flight test recorder.

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Currently, Ampex is attempting to do more with the data stored on its network attached storage devices.

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Ampex name came from his initials plus "ex" to avoid using the name AMP already in use.

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Ampex was initially set up in an abandoned loft-space above the Dalmo-Victor plant; eventually they would have offices at 1313 Laurel Street, San Carlos, California.

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Ampex discovered the Magnetophons with AC biasing on a trip to Radio Frankfurt.

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Ampex demonstrated them to the Institute of Radio Engineers in San Francisco on May 16, 1946.

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Ampex disliked the regimentation of live broadcasts, and much preferred the relaxed atmosphere of the recording studio.

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Ampex was finishing its prototype of the Model 200 tape recorder, and Mullin used the first two models as soon as they were built.

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Crosby immediately appointed Mullin as his chief engineer and placed an order for $50, 000 worth of the new recorders so that Ampex could develop a commercial production model from the prototypes.

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Ampex acquired Orradio Industries in 1959, which became the Ampex Magnetic Tape Division, headquartered in Opelika, Alabama.

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In 1952, movie producer Mike Todd asked Ampex to develop a high fidelity movie sound system using sound magnetically recorded on the film itself, as contrasted with the technology of the time, which used magnetic tracks on a separate celluloid base film.

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Ampex received an early portable Ampex Model 200A from Crosby.

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Ampex built a handful of multitrack machines during the late 1950s that could record as many as eight tracks on 1-inch tape.

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In 1967, Ampex responded to demand by stepping up production of their 8-track machines with the production model MM 1000.

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In 1966, Ampex built their first 16-track recorder, the model AG-1000, at the request of Mirasound Studios in New York City.

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In 1967, Ampex introduced a 16-track version of the MM 1000 which was the world's first 16-track professional tape recorder put into mass-production.

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In 1979, Ampex introduced their most advanced 24-track recorder, the model ATR-124.

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Ampex sold only about 50 or 60 ATR-124 machines, and withdrew from the professional audio tape recorder market entirely in 1983.

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In 1991, Ampex sold their professional audio recorder line to Sprague Magnetics.

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The Ampex Recording Media Corporation spun off in 1995 as Quantegy Inc ; that company has ceased producing recording tape.

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Ampex demonstrated the VR-1000, which was the first of Ampex's line of 2 inch Quadruplex videotape recorders on April 14, 1956, at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters in Chicago.

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The first magnetically recorded time-delayed television network program using the new Ampex Quadruplex recording system was CBS's Douglas Edwards and the News on November 30, 1956.

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Ampex received a total of 12 Emmys for its technical video achievements.

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In 1967, Ampex introduced the Ampex VR-3000 portable broadcast video recorder, which revolutionized the recording of broadcast quality television in the field without the need for long cables and large support vehicles.

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Ampex had trademarked the name "video tape", so competitor RCA called the medium "TV tape" or "television tape".

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One of the key engineers in the development of the Quadruplex video recorder for Ampex was Ray Dolby, who worked under Charlie Ginsburg and went on to form Dolby Laboratories, a pioneer in audio noise reduction systems.

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Dolby left Ampex to seek a PhD in physics in England, which is where Dolby Labs was later founded, before moving back to San Francisco.

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In 1961, Ampex introduced the first One-Inch helical scan video recorders, the Ampex 2 inch helical VTRs, which recorded video using helical scan recording technology on tape.

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Ampex originated three subsidiary labels: Bearsville, Big Tree, and Lizard.

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Ampex Records ceased around 1973 and Bearsville and Big Tree switched distribution to Warner Bros.

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Ampex Corporation supported the Ampex Museum of Magnetic Recording, started by Peter Hammar in 1982.

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