1952 Ampex 401A

Here is a vintage 1952 Ampex Model 401A Single Case Portable Recorder. This tube magnetic tape recording machine, serial number 52M20, is in very excellent 100% all original condition and includes the original power cable, the original instruction manual, as well as, an original Ampex advertisement! Purchased fairly recently from the original owner, Ed Stella, (hence the initials “ES” in small aluminum letters placed upon the front), it is quite obvious that this machine was barely used. With a 1952 list price of $985, this was a very serious tape recorder, approaching the equivalent of $10,000.00 in today’s economy adjusted for inflation, and while it has clearly become obsolete and archaic when compared to the basic functionality of a modern smart phone, there is tremendous innate value within the components, craftsmanship, and most importantly, the quality of sound it captures. This tube tape recorder offers a very high degree of sonic bandwidth, allowing one track on a 1/4″ tape. A must have for any boutique or home studio, or the audiophile who values an obvious bargain, this Ampex Model 401A is both a really fantastic investment, and of course, a timeless recording tool.

Having remained in a veritable time capsule within the original owner’s home, AC power was slowly applied with a Variac to help reform the original capacitors.