AM44 Custom Disk Mastering Lathe
We have available for sale a prototype of the Neumann-based AM44 disk mastering lathe, from our ongoing research and development work. This is a very rare opportunity, since the AM44 is not yet in production. When it goes, it might be a long time before another one becomes available. So if you need a professional setup ASAP, this is your chance!
The body is an original NOS casting, manufactured by Neumann in Germany circa 1945. It will be fitted with a 14" vacuum platter and a new bearing unit, as well as a slide/linear unit/leadscrew assembly and suspension with oil dashpot, as standard.
We can assemble a complete, turn-key professional mastering system, and supply it with a Caruso stereophonic feedback cutter head, high-end cutting amplifier rack, stylus heat supply, Pitch13 automatic variable pitch system, TT15 floor mounted motor with electronic speed regulation, chip suction system with chip jar and vacuum pump, groove inspection microscope, and stylus inspection microscope.
If you are setting up a disk mastering facility from scratch, we can also supply a complete transfer console with high quality signal processing, PCM and DSD playback, and even a preview-head tape machine.
This setup could look like this:
Or, it can look entirely different. Everything is possible.
Alternatively, we can supply the lathe without a cutter head or cutting amplifier rack, if you already have your own. We could even just supply the bare mechanical assembly without motors and electronics, if you would prefer having it as a project to build up on your own, from a solid basic assembly.
Since this would be built up from scratch to your requirements, specifications and budget, it can be painted any color you like and can be customized all you like. The price will depend on the configuration. There are too many options to list here. Please inform us of your requirements and budget via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can assist you in selecting the right configuration for your needs.
Training on the use and maintenance of such systems can also be provided.
Please note that as opposed to the vast majority of used (and abused) lathes coming up for sale on popular auction platforms every now and again, this is a guaranteed fully functional system, fitted with brand new, custom-made, high quality parts, which will provide you with many decades of trouble-free operation. This is the safest path to cutting records on a professional basis. We can supply everything you need in terms of equipment, teach you how to use it, and back it up with customer support in the unlikely event that you encounter difficulties.
If you want to hear some records showcasing the abilities of the AM44, consider these fine examples:
"Drunk Confident" Bandcamp: This is an experimental electronic music act, using synthesizers and effects, producing strange sounds that are generally considered tricky to transfer to disk. For one of these records, there was a direct comparison of a test pressing from masters cut on an original Neumann lathe with Neumann cutter head and Neumann electronics, and a test pressing from masters cut on an AM44 with a Caruso cutter head and custom electronics developed by J. I. Agnew. The latter won and was used for the final pressing run.
"Naxatras" Bandcamp: This is a rock band with a 70's vibe. All their records were 100% analog transfers, directly from the master tapes, cut on an AM44 at Magnetic Fidelity.
A complete AM44 setup can be seen in action at Magnetic Fidelity (https://www.magneticfidelity.com), and a video here:
Agnew Analog Blog: Cutting Master Lacquer Disks for the Naxatras debut LP on the AM44 system, directly from analog tape
In 2016, Sabine and J. I. Agnew assembled the first functional prototype of the AM44 project. The project was founded by Flo Kaufmann in Switzerland. We are all hoping that at some point in the future, there will be a "production version" of the AM44. This does not exist yet. Any AM44 lathes currently in operation are development prototypes (July 2018), and there are not many of them. You can read more about the building up of the very first AM44 prototype on the Lathe Projects section of our website.
Agnew Analog Blog
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