Ampex Reel-to-reel

Published: May 24, 2021
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The name AMPEX is a portmanteau, created by its founder, a Russian immigrant to the US, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence. Poniatoff's early life was full of narrow escapes. As a Russian studying in Germany at the outbreak of World War I, he narrowly escaped home via Belgium, England, and Norway. Later, as a pilot, he ripped his flying boat in two during a takeoff attempt in rough seas. When training to fly fighter aircraft, he narrowly escaped a deadly crash while practicing spins. He retreated with the White forces through Siberia during the Bolshevik Revolution, ending up in Shanghai in 1920. Ampex Magnetic Tape Recorders offer the only proved means of making electrically reproducible recordings up to 40,000 cps! Such critical recording permits detailed study of particular  phenomena from tape loops, or other automatic data reducing systems. Up to 14 channels of data recorded simultaneously on separate tracks where required.

Ampex reel-to-reel

Excerpt from a vintage Ampex advert:

Special systems record Ampex Magnetic Tape down to O cycles with no phase shift or wave form distortion. Recorders are available in console, rack or portable types. Write for analysis of your specific problem.


  • Recording-Broadcasting 
  • Aerophysical Research
  • Industrial Recording
  • Multi-Channel Recording
  • Laboratory Research
  • Portable Half-Track Recording
  • Telemetering

Poniatoff had a hard time finding passage out of China due to his lack of credentials and linguistic limitations. His knowledge of German, however, did help him obtain a position working for the Shanghai Power Company. After seven years in China, Poniatoff at last managed to obtain a passport from the League of Nations, enabling him to sail to San Francisco, where is electro-engineering career started.

Ampex reel to reel models

Popular vintage models for collectors are:

  • Ampex ATR-102
  • Ampex 351
  • Ampex MM1200
  • Ampex ATR-700
  • Ampex 440
  • Ampex ATR-100

Ampex Reel-to-reel value and price guide

What's your Ampex reel-to-reel worth in 2022? Here are some recently sold items with prices.

Item Title Date Price
Ampex AMPEX 300 Recorder not AMPEX 300 Recorder Not Working… 11/2021 $9650
Ampex Ampex 300c 300 c rare reel to Ampex 300c 300 C Rare Reel To Reel 12/2021 $4200
Ampex RARE Ampex ATR 102 Mastering 1 RARE Ampex ATR 102 Mastering 1 2 Tape 11/2021 $4050
Ampex One of MOST COMPLETE AMPEX AG One Of MOST COMPLETE AMPEX AG 440C Reel 10/2021 $3500
Ampex Ampex 351 Tube Preamp EQ Rare Ampex 351 Tube Preamp EQ Rare Serviced 11/2021 $2800
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices01/2022-.--

Ampex Reel-to-reel forum

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