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Mara Machines MCI JH16 2” 16-Track – No Longer Available

Fully restored, aligned and calibrated MCI 2” 16-track analog tape machine

Product Description

This is an ultra-rare 2” “Quior” machine. This is the famed JH16 with the fast-punching circuitry that was only offered for two years. These decks were offered as twenty-four track machines, and the wide-track, high-headroom 2” 16 track version like this one.

Your Mara Machine will be completely restored, recapped, aligned, adjusted - you name it. Not only will all the audio cards be recapped (see below), but all of the channel strip boards will be removed, re-soldered & recapped too. Furthermore, all the Molex connectors get cleaned and re-soldered in order to combat any and all potential connection issues down the road. Even the sync relays will be disassembled, cleaned and re-assembled!

These are the MCI 2” 16-track machine everyone is always talking about. Earlier versions (non-Quior) do not punch in or out nearly as fast as this machine. Two short years later MCI migrated to the JH24 version, which is a transformer-less tape machine.

This version is LOADED with transformers! It has two large transformers on the control card and another transformer on the reproduce card. Even before you hit record to hear tape, you’ll hear all the sonic goodness this bad boy brings to the table!

Features:
  • Totally restored
  • Auto-locator upgrade
  • Ultra-rare machine!
  • Support for first-time tape machine owners
  • Six-month warranty
Contact your Vintage King representative for more information.

Per Chris Mara, regarding the restoration process:

"I achieve the same level of restoration for each machine. I basically tear the machines completely down to the frame, and re-assemble as I re-solder the Molex connectors and other stress points on the machine. This takes place in the power supply, transport and audio boards. Roughly 500 solder points and 80 IC chips are reworked, re-soldered or cleaned... and that’s on the two track machines. The total number of solder points and connectors multiplies quickly as tracks are added.

All of this happens before I even turn the machine on. I re-solder everything to help insure that future problems are headed off at the pass.

After that, every transport adjustment is made - lifters, brakes, tensions, etc., then on to the audio. All head adjustments are made (heads are not re-lapped unless needed) and all audio channels are aligned at all speeds. Certain capacitors get replaced, like the capacitor that controls the accuracy of the counter. I do not recap the audio cards unless they don’t meet spec. I strive to have a complete restoration, yet meet an affordable price point. For instance, a total audio recap and head re-lap on every machine would increase the price drastically and is rarely actually needed.

After all of that I burn them in by using them in my all-analog studio called "Welcome To 1979" to make sure no other issues pop up before they go out the door.

I should also mention that every machine comes with a six-month warranty! The beauty about the MCI decks is that they are very, very modular. Each channel is broken up into separate cards to handle the different tasks of the channel. If a problem is to occur, we can diagnose it together by swapping cards and the problematic card can be shipped to me for repair or replacement. The same goes for the transport and power supply.

Regarding the heads:
These machines were built to run tape across the heads 10 hours a day for years. Typically the heads are the best part of the machines we select to become Mara Machines. If the heads are bad, it’s an indication of the condition of the rest of the machine. Heads, like tires, have a wear indicator so I can easily judge whether a machine is worthy of refurbishing. I’ve had my own 2” machine running full-time in my studio for three years - a machine that’s been running full-time from the early 80s to the mid 90s - and I've have had no reason or inclination to re-lap the heads."






Please note: These are authentic vintage tape machines which are tediously restored on a 'per order' basis. Raw machines may not always be available for restoration, so please contact us today for availability and lead time.

Product Specifications

Condition New

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I would like to thank VK for the wonderful sales assistance, service and prices. This was my first purchase with you and it won't be my last. I only wish I'd discovered you years ago!
Matthew R.
I had two Grammy wins this year - Ray LaMontagne & Carolina Chocolate Drops. Both made with help from Vintage King!
Ryan F.
In almost 20 years in Pro audio buying, never did I receive a unit so well packed and exactly as described. Works flawlessly. The whole process has been so smooth. I will never hesitate to do business with you guys in the future and will recommend you to everyone I know.
Martin C.
This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.