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.
Excerpt from a vintage Ampex advert:
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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.
Popular vintage models for collectors are:
What's your Ampex reel-to-reel worth in 2022? Here are some recently sold items with prices.
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