First Barn Find of 2024!!

At the beginning of February, 2024, I received an email from a local stereo store in Calgary BC, asking if I was interested in buying a bunch of tape decks. My first thought was …..where am I going to put them???

But.. I always have room!

So the back story is that a fellow named Myles had a digitization company that he ran out of his home, that could digitize virtually any audio or video format.

Sony digital tape PCM machines, along with Sony professional video machines to the right of them

My understanding was that at his peak, he had 5 digital workstations running, so that he could digitize a number of formats at the same time.

Sadly, Myles passed, and thus all of this equipment was up for sale.

A long shot of his main room, with Otari and Sony reel to reels at the left, a Studer A800 24 track at the back left, and a pro Sony open reel video recorder at the front right.

Amongst the treasures were apparently 15,000 albums that were sold before I got to site.  The University of Calgary was also interested in a bunch of pieces, and since they were giving a large tax grant to the estate, they had first dibs on all of the equipment. They took all of the large format video machines, and the large Studer and Otari reel to reels, amongst a bunch of other items. Of what you see in these pictures, I’d say the U of Calgary took about 60% of the inventory, as they also run a digitization facility (they are running three Studer A820s, amongst other decks), and are taking over the business from Myles’ estate.

Myles’ workbench, and a couple of PC based computers to the right of the workbench.
One of three Ampex A-440 units that I picked up, and brought back to Vancouver.
A better view of what I gather was the main digitization station, with a large number of various formats of reel to reel and digital recorders, to accommodate a wide variety of magnetic tape.

On Feb 14, 2024, I did the 11 hour trek from Vancouver to Calgary, did an assessment of the remaining inventory.. and filled 8 pallets full of audio and video goodness!

one of two rooms in the basement that were filled with spare decks of all kinds. Several were very high end SVHS decks, of which I grabbed two.
More VCRs and various processing equipment. Much of the video switchers were composite video, and pretty much useless at this point, so I left them behind.

More pictures showing how densely packed the equipment was. The U of Calgary ended up with the rolling racks, and all of the pro video equipment.

Another shot of the racks of equipment, and another Ampex AG-440 that I picked up.
I left all of the lower end consumer RTR decks there, as they weren’t worth the shipping price. Ditto for CRT monitors.
The flagship and hard to find Sony TC-880-2. Top of the line circa early 1980s. About 80 lbs total, dual capstan, brushed aluminum knobs. This one will be serviced and will be for sale.

More equipment in a storage room. I did get the Fostex, the Teac X7 and the Revox B77. The B77 is a slow speed ‘’documenter’ deck, running at 1 7/8 IPS. I will change the capstan motor and the electronics cards to turn it into a ‘regular’ consumer ¼ track machine.nnnn
More equipment in the garage. I left most of it behind, as it was mostly entry level equipment, and many pieces had open cases and/or had parts missing.

Tons of manuals, and about 20 various camcorders. The U of Calgary took the manuals, and hopes to make them available online down the road. I left all of the consumer camcorders behind, but took one Panasonic HD unit.


To summarize, I ended up with 8 pallets of equipment, which will arrive in Vancouver in the last week of March.

Stay tuned for part 2, where I will detail some of the pieces I picked up as I resurrect and service them.